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flyingisok
10-01-2018, 05:47 PM
When it comes to schedule flexibility, how do the major airlines compare to one another?

Background: I have a little bit of time left in the military and am starting to discuss future job options with my wife and kiddos.

At this point in my life, I don't have a desire to fly 900 hrs a year and spend that much time away from the family. Instead of flying 75 hrs/month all year...I'd rather fly, say, 100 hrs/month for 3 months straight, and then 20 hrs/month for 3 months straight. rinse & repeat

So, since my initial question was super vague, I guess here are my real questions.
1) Is a schedule like this even allowed? Or are there no **** minimum hour requirements each month
2) Are any of the major airlines more/less accepting of schedule creativity than others?
3) Would I ever run into any currency issues?
4) Would PBS or straight bidding make a difference?
5) Anything else I'm not factoring in?

I guess that's it. I'm aware that this might be a pretty dumb question, but I'm sure you nice folks will let me know if it is ;)

Thanks for your time!


deadseal
10-01-2018, 06:11 PM
Iíve been on call Monday through Friday for 3 weeks. Havenít turned a wheel. Delta, 7er, 4 year seniority

Iím too lazy to answer your posts.

Live in domicile, bid reserve on a fat category. Donít be a bottom feeder in said category

This will equal QOL

PRS Guitars
10-01-2018, 06:22 PM
Are you going to be in the reserves or guard? If so, you can absolutely do 100ish a month for a few months then drop to 20 using mil leave at pretty much any airline.

Other than that, this is a tough comparison, simply because there arenít a lot of guys whoíve worked at multiple major airlines and can make an accurate comparison.

Queue the SWA fanboys that will claim the best schedule flexibility in the industry...


Gators
10-01-2018, 06:55 PM
Spirit might have the best schedule flexibility as a line holder. Most months you can drop or trade trips as much as you like

e6bpilot
10-01-2018, 09:02 PM
You can do it easily at SWA with a little seniority. And yes, we really do have some great schedule manipulation tools available to us. It is hard to do a straight drop to the company, but I am able to get rid of half or more of my flying each month through giveaways and overlap pull. Right now I could clear my whole month if I wanted to since it is so slow and we are so overmanned.
Also a week of vacation equals two weeks of flying pulled with pay. Two weeks equals a month or more off.
Other airlines allow you to do a straight up drop to the company on days where manning is solid. We unfortunately donít have that.

And as for flying more, the sky is the limit here. The only restriction is FAR 117.

NotTellin
10-02-2018, 12:45 AM
Alaska is the worst. Worse than several regionals for scheduling flexibility.

Al Czervik
10-02-2018, 04:08 AM
The problem you’re going to run into is what’s happening now vs later. Looking at the posts above in five years Alaska may be the best and spirit may be the worst. Pick an airline based on location/seniority/type of flying.

e6bpilot
10-02-2018, 08:43 AM
The problem youíre going to run into is whatís happening now vs later. Looking at the posts above in five years Alaska may be the best and spirit may be the worst. Pick an airline based on location/seniority/type of flying.



Bingo.

Filler.

Smokey23
10-02-2018, 09:04 AM
Seniority=flexibility. Hopefully you will get on board with an airline where your seat/domicile seniority (the seniority that really matters) will improve quickly. Apply to all of them and go with the one that hires you first.


In the current environment, there's no wrong answer.

ShyGuy
10-02-2018, 11:43 AM
When it comes to schedule flexibility, how do the major airlines compare to one another?

Background: I have a little bit of time left in the military and am starting to discuss future job options with my wife and kiddos.

At this point in my life, I don't have a desire to fly 900 hrs a year and spend that much time away from the family. Instead of flying 75 hrs/month all year...I'd rather fly, say, 100 hrs/month for 3 months straight, and then 20 hrs/month for 3 months straight. rinse & repeat

So, since my initial question was super vague, I guess here are my real questions.
1) Is a schedule like this even allowed? Or are there no **** minimum hour requirements each month
2) Are any of the major airlines more/less accepting of schedule creativity than others?
3) Would I ever run into any currency issues?
4) Would PBS or straight bidding make a difference?
5) Anything else I'm not factoring in?

I guess that's it. I'm aware that this might be a pretty dumb question, but I'm sure you nice folks will let me know if it is ;)

Thanks for your time!

Guys entering the industry with this kind of mentality are setting up for disappointment no matter where you go. What Al Cz. said above is spot on. Contracts and scheduling section/rules can easily change.

Hacker15e
10-02-2018, 01:24 PM
When it comes to schedule flexibility, how do the major airlines compare to one another?

They are all less flexible when junior, more flexible when senior. What schedules look like now probably won't be what they'll look like in 5 or 10 years down the road.

Honestly, I wouldn't use what you're asking as a discriminator in picking a career destination.

Sputnik
10-02-2018, 01:41 PM
When it comes to schedule flexibility, how do the major airlines compare to one another?

Background: I have a little bit of time left in the military and am starting to discuss future job options with my wife and kiddos.

At this point in my life, I don't have a desire to fly 900 hrs a year and spend that much time away from the family. Instead of flying 75 hrs/month all year...I'd rather fly, say, 100 hrs/month for 3 months straight, and then 20 hrs/month for 3 months straight. rinse & repeat

So, since my initial question was super vague, I guess here are my real questions.
1) Is a schedule like this even allowed? Or are there no **** minimum hour requirements each month
2) Are any of the major airlines more/less accepting of schedule creativity than others?
3) Would I ever run into any currency issues?
4) Would PBS or straight bidding make a difference?
5) Anything else I'm not factoring in?

I guess that's it. I'm aware that this might be a pretty dumb question, but I'm sure you nice folks will let me know if it is ;)

Thanks for your time!

Hacker answered more succinctly than I will.

It is very unlikely you will fly 900 hours a year, actual block. I might be overly literal though.

Speaking for Delta
1. Yes, may or may not be possible. You cannot bid a 20 hour month, but if manning is good you can drop to zero if desired. Will manning be good? Maybe. Pretty outside your control
2. ?
3. Not necessarily your problem. Though I was all about keeping my head down on probation
4. PBS has been very good to me. I have been able to get every kid and spouse birthday off so far. Even as a very jr guy, PBS allowed me to get a key weekend off for a birthday.
5. Overall the solution you are seeking is seniority. Get a job. Get to a Jr jet. Stay with it and build seniority. Seniority=choice.

For reference, a full month for me as a narrow body guy is 4 4 day trips. I live in base, so that's 3 nights away per trip. 12 nights a month. Not as hard for the family as we all thought it would be

NYC Pilot
10-02-2018, 05:33 PM
You also have the option of going on sick leave to get as much time off as you need. No limit on that after the probationary period.

flensr
10-02-2018, 10:22 PM
What does "flexibility" mean to you? If it means being able to fill up your schedule with work and get paid a ton to do it, then SWA is your place.

If you want to get paid a lot sitting around and not flying, then maybe a legacy widebody is your destination.

If you want to be able to drop from your schedule and fly when it's convenient for you even though you're not getting top dollar, then maybe Spirit is your dream job.

Scheduling flexibility means something different for everyone. At SWA, I found that I could get paid about the same blocking 90 hours in a month as I could by being patient, working more days, but blocking only 70 hours on better paying trips. And that was as a new guy. With seniority, SWA only gets better and better if you want to get paid more for the work you do. But if you prefer to be able to work only when it's right for you and don't mind not getting the huge premium payouts, maybe Spirit's red/green board is a better QOL tool for you than SWA's multiple ways to trade trips and/or pick up extra trips.

at6d
10-03-2018, 12:04 AM
Time to a blank line (mix of reserve and sched trips) and to lineholder status at SWA is fairly short at this time. In three years Iíve moved to a 50% spot in domicile with over 2000 new hires below me. Iím holding three-day trips with weekends off, drive to domicile (I rarely fly extra), and average about 105 trips a month credit.

We are presently heavy on reservesóI know FOís that routinely pick up reserve blocks thru trades, donít get called, and then fly extra trips on what would be a day off. They average 150 trips/month. There are ways to play the game as a junior guy!

In addition to in-base flexibility, we can also bid extra flying in any base, or trade trips out of base. This helps with reserve/new hires that are commuting to a junior domicile. For example, I would try to give away a trip and then pick one up at a much closer base.

We can also move domiciles without a seat lock (not including ETOPS yet). We have several FOs that summer in DEN and winter in PHX for example. Of course, at this time we have pretty steady vacancy bids every month so folks move around quite a bit.

As has been mentioned, somebody hired three years ago may experience a vastly different environment than someone getting on today. That goes for any airline.