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Old 06-03-2019, 01:55 PM   #1  
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Default Cargo pilot holiday schedule

Hello, I am interested in a career as a cargo pilot. I've completed my introductory flight at the school I plan on attending. I am just curious what kind of holiday schedule I can expect as a cargo pilot. I'm aware the busiest time would most likely be before the holidays, but what do the holidays normally look like? Specifically, as a low hour newcomer. Thank you for your help!
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:29 PM   #2  
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Mine was spent in a hotel room.
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Old 06-03-2019, 02:45 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll17ll View Post
Hello, I am interested in a career as a cargo pilot. I've completed my introductory flight at the school I plan on attending. I am just curious what kind of holiday schedule I can expect as a cargo pilot. I'm aware the busiest time would most likely be before the holidays, but what do the holidays normally look like? Specifically, as a low hour newcomer. Thank you for your help!
If you end up at anyone besides ups or fedex you will be in SDF ot MEM over holidays and if you end up at UPS or Fedex you be in SDF or MEM over holidays 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:08 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ll17ll View Post
Hello, I am interested in a career as a cargo pilot. I've completed my introductory flight at the school I plan on attending. I am just curious what kind of holiday schedule I can expect as a cargo pilot. I'm aware the busiest time would most likely be before the holidays, but what do the holidays normally look like? Specifically, as a low hour newcomer. Thank you for your help!
As a low-hour new newcomer, you won't necessarily be eligible to hire into those jobs, but when you do, you can "bid" for your schedule like everyone else, but there's a good chance you'll work the holidays.

That said, I have had thanksgiving and Christmas off for several years...but other years in which I worked every holiday.

A "bid" is a request that you put in monthly to the company. The company lists all the "lines" of flying, which is the time one is expected to be at work during the following month. These lines may include specific flights or for some operators, just the days one can expect to work. If you want a particular day off, list the lines you hope to work, in the order you hope to work them.

The company will go through each request or "bid," and will award those with the greatest seniority their first choice, and so on down the line; the lines are awarded based on seniority.

You may also take vacation, if it's available, and if vacation is allowed during the time you want it (sometimes others have taken the available vacation times in a given month; bidding is sometimes by seniority, sometimes by the first person to put in their vacation request.

I wanted time off to attend a high school graduation this month, so I bid a particular line that had me working early in the month, and I took some vacation to nail down my time off to ensure I'd be at the graduation.

Some cargo operators, indeed many, will assign work days in blocks of up to 20 days at a time. This gives 10 or more days free at a time; the trick is making the days you want fall on the days off for the lines you bid. If you bid a line that starts on the first of the month and goes through the 16th, for example, you have the remaining days off after the 16th. If you bid a line for the following month that starts on the 14th, then you have the 16th off until the end of the first month, and the first off through the 14th...a month free.

The opposite can also happen, in which you're working 30-40 days at a time away from home.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:49 PM   #5  
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In over 20 years at FedEx, I've only worked one time over Thanksgiving and Christmas. Always been able to bid around those holidays or swap off them. Other holidays have never been a factor, if I didn't want to work them.
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Old 06-03-2019, 04:27 PM   #6  
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As a low timer new hire in ANY part of the industry, your chances of not working/being home for the holidays are slim...
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Old 06-03-2019, 06:42 PM   #7  
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Iíve been at UPS for 3 Christmasí now, havenít worked one... I worked one Thanksgiving by choice.

YMMV
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Old 06-03-2019, 07:50 PM   #8  
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You got a very long and challenging road ahead of you before you need to decide which 121 cargo outfit you want to go to.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:17 PM   #9  
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Hate to break it to you but pax guys are busy over the holidays too. Just think about what people want around Christmas: to see their families and ship gifts. That means as an industry we get to move them and their stuff around while enjoying a hotel on Christmas until youíre senior enough to avoid it.

I spent Christmas in air flying east. Lost the entire day to time zones, and landed just in time for a drink before midnight.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:55 PM   #10  
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Hate to break it to you but pax guys are busy over the holidays too.
The question was specific to cargo operations.

The general concept, however, remains the same regardless of what's behind the cockpit; seniority dictates whether you get the schedule you want.
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