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Old 04-25-2005, 08:31 PM   #1  
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Default Life at FedEx

Captain Drew and Others,

I've got a few years to go before I retire from the USAF and am thinking about what to do next. I was hoping folks with FedEx experience would post some information on what it's like to fly for the company. I know a couple of guys that fly for FedEx, but most of the guys from my unit go to Southwest. I hear that there is more day flying at FedEx with the mail contract, but I wonder what percentage of day flying a new to fairly new guy could get.

Thanks in advance,
Razor
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:37 AM   #2  
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Razor,
as a new hire you can trust you'll be doing hub turns on the panel of the 27...at night! Yes, there is more day flying but it's pretty senior. The one plus is if you can get a rapid advancement to the Maddog (which does happen), then you'll be flying long international legs, so you'll get your day flying(and night) there.
Good luck
jaime zuniga
anc/md11
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:52 AM   #3  
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Default Fedex flying

Razor,
You can expect to fly mostly nights until you get some seniority, than expect the delemma of seat change vs seniority in current position. The INTL flying is both day and night, but since you will be on the other side of the world is it better to flying during the day, when back home is night or visa verca?? Either way fatigue will be a big part of any flying you do here (or any freight AL). Good luck and stay close to your Fedex buddies, they are your only real chance of getting "In" at Fedex.

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Old 05-02-2005, 01:28 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dckozak
Razor,
You can expect to fly mostly nights until you get some seniority, than expect the delemma of seat change vs seniority in current position. The INTL flying is both day and night, but since you will be on the other side of the world is it better to flying during the day, when back home is night or visa verca?? Either way fatigue will be a big part of any flying you do here (or any freight AL). Good luck and stay close to your Fedex buddies, they are your only real chance of getting "In" at Fedex.

I concur 100% with what Dennis has to say.

The night flying is not all that bad, if you figure out the ways to beat the circadian rhythm trap. A lot of caffeine helps <g> . .

When you are junior (in any seat) you are going to get the dregs (Peoria night Hub Turns to MEM). The up side is that I see advancement at places like FedEx to be more rapid than elsewhere. There is a list somewhere I recall seeing, that shows the retirement numbers for every year over about a 20 year span. There are a LOT of them, coupled with more routes and the business continuing to grow, you could expect to advance pretty rapidly to more senior flying in your seat.

Let me expand on “the dilemma” Dennis mentioned . . . of “do I stay . . or do I go”. You finally get senior enough in your seat to hold some REALLY nice trips (day-or otherwise) and they have a System Bid -for new airplanes, a domicile or just to “fill in” for replacements to retirement, etc.

Quandary, quandary, quandary! The MEM-living guys tend to “go for it” . . the seat/airplane upgrade (big pay raise) at the earliest possible moment their seniority allows them to hold the next bid. The “commuters” tend to stay in their seat a LOT longer than the guys junior to them would like.

Dennis and I know that from a personal perspective. I stayed senior in my seats, passing many upgrades and a LOT of wide body pay. . just to fly the kind of trips I liked a lot and because it provided the lifestyle I liked. This allowed people below me to fly a seat that I would have otherwise been occupying. There is a lot of that going on. If you want to live in Subic Bay, you could likely be very junior, flying the wide body.

It used to be that there were between 70-75% of us who commuted (Dennis can update that #) and that really tends to skew seniority quiet a bit, because of what I said above.

BTW . . congratulations! Dennis . .didn’t know you had upgraded. The last time I heard you had just given my old crew a check ride. . and gave them an “up” <g>

Last edited by captain_drew; 05-02-2005 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 05-03-2005, 04:32 PM   #5  
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Default Life at FedEx

Guys,

Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the information you provided. I’ve got a couple more questions now however. Can someone describe what a work day is like when you’re low seniority and getting “the dregs (Peoria night Hub Turns to MEM).” Also, with the way things are moving now, how long before a new guy has enough seniority to get a descent schedule? If I remember correctly, I read a post from Capt Drew that said his friend’s son moved to the MD-11 after only 6 months. I guess being that junior on a wide body means you’re going to stay junior for a long time but you’d be doing international flights right?

Cheers,
Razor
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Old 05-03-2005, 06:33 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razor
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the information you provided. I’ve got a couple more questions now however. Can someone describe what a work day is like when you’re low seniority and getting “the dregs (Peoria night Hub Turns to MEM).” I guess being that junior on a wide body means you’re going to stay junior for a long time but you’d be doing international flights right?
I'll let Dennis -or any other “active” guy talk about how rapid advancement is these days, since I have been gone for 2 years now.

As far as a "work day", I still have THAT emblazoned on my memory and I don't think life as a freight dog has changed much.

The way the week starts depends on whether or not the trip originates in the Hub or is a DH out to the field. In the case of starting in the Hub, you can expect to either DH in or drive from home, depending on your living arrangements. The Show Time will depend on the time of your departure and can be anywhere between, say, 0100 to 0330 or so.

As an engineer, you will show, check in, find your crew (or not), screw around until the time you have figured it takes to get to the jet, do the preflight and have everything ready for when the other two folks show up out there. I used to go out to the ramp without delay, just to have the time alone with the jet and be ahead of the power curve.

Depending on the trip, you can have one, two -or multiple legs to your destination, which you are generally going to arrive at as the sun is coming up -or the fog is the thickest. THEN you get to wait around an interminable amount of time for the hotel van to pick you up. Generally, you pass the “real” airline crews, all bright eyed and bushy tailed . . standing on the curb, waiting for the van ride to the airport. . as you are dragging your fatigued butt up to the front desk.

Crew rest . .broad daylight. . in a layover hotel that has no regard for the fact that the FAA mandates 8 hours before you fly again. Generally, the crew might meet for dinner between 1630-1730 local. Back to the room, freshen up, pack the bag and head back to the ramp. Preflight. .fly whatever legs it takes to get back to the Hub. . and then do your 1st Hub Turn of the week. You got a 3-5 hour turn to catch a nap, do your personal stuff. . and the routine starts all over again.

The difference between that and doing a DH out to the field is that your 1st “show time” is going to be in the early evening (1830-2000) at the field ramp. So your 1st “live” leg will be the early evening inbound to the Hub . .for the turn. You do that for as many days as the trip lasts and generally end up on Saturday AM at the field airport where you started out Monday night.

In the case of commuters who might live nearby the field airport where the trips operate to the Hub, you can “deviate” on the dead head portions, effectively giving yourself an additional 4 days off per month, with pay.

In my case, I operated a trip that ran like this: DH MEM to SAN on Sunday - crew rest till Monday PM -fly SAN/OAK -Hub Turn- OAK/SAN all week, till Saturday -crew rest until Sunday-DH-MEM. Since I never took the dead head flights from/to MEM, it was 7-8 days of pay for 5 nights of work. THAT is where seniority comes in -to be able to hold a trip that enhances lifestyle. There are many trip parings like that -to/from many cities to a Hub.

So, if you live in or nearby one of those cities, it could be worth while to stay senior in the seat/equipment that flies those trips. Or, you stay constantly junior, though upgrading . . live in the Domicile OR get to DH, on your own time and nickel to the Hub where you operate out of . . and then drag your tired bones home on the jump seat at the end of the sequence. There used to be a pretty good “trip trade” policy, so that if you couldn’t bid or hold “week on, week off” . . you can “trade” into a commutable schedule, if living in the Domicile is not a palatable option.
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:52 PM   #7  
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Default Fedex and "Juniority"

Razor,
Can't add much that Drew hasn't already said, re: typical work day (domestic). I try to fly intl and some of the same issues regarding commuting are (almost) the same as starting a domestic trip.
If you commute (as 60% at Fedex do) you got four ways to get work. Best one. drive. Bid flying that starts were you live, don't pax in (because you live there), get some pay for starting at home and, depending how far away you live from the airport, a relaxing start to your trip. Second best: Deadhead on the company nickel to some other (hopefully) near by city that your trip is sch to start from. Fedex has a procedure for this that requires you to check in twice, once when your within 24 hours of your sch deadhead departure (from domicle) that again when you are in position to operate your live leg. This last check-in must be either 8 or 12 hours before you are sch to operate depending on wheather your operating leg is domestic (8) or intl (12). BTW, this is also required for the first example but you can check in for both at the same time.
The third and forth way require you to jumpseat to your domicile, one via interline (other airlines, probably a pax carrier) or more likely on Fedex. We can book the JS, a reasonably painless affair unless you live in a (small) city with alot of other Fedex pilots commuting out of it.
Regarding Intl flying and commuiting, if your trip starts at domicile and has a long duty day (say MEM to Paris) than you need to show earlier than a normal hub turn and get rested in domicile, lest you get on the wrong side of the CP. Intl trips can be short (MEM to STN London and back, 36 hours+-) or very, very long. My next trip is a single departure (for the month) and is 310 hours TAFB, about 12 days. At least I only have one commute!
I hope this has be helpful to anyone consider Fedex, its probably pretty simailar at UPS. The way hiring is looking anyone here 6 months will be able to hold the MD-11, but things change fast. If you want in, call your buddies already here and talk about getting a recomendation.

BTW Drew, I'm not Dennis, not sure which Dennis your talking about. (Maybe your the guy who was calling to me in F streeet and I thought you were talking to someone else)
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Old 05-04-2005, 01:02 PM   #8  
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Default Correction regarding pay

To Whom read the last post,
Should have proof read my work. Correction regarding pay at home. I ment to say that your payed for the trip that started in domicile (while you were still home watching CSI with the wife) not that you are payed more because you started at the "live" airport. We start a (dominishing) number of trips with a deadhead from domicile (also that sometimes end that way) the best deal for a commuter is to have the double DH with your home city the first and last operating city than sch to deadhead (preferably with a high cost ticket) Will expain that some other time
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:01 PM   #9  
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Great info guys. I think flying for FedEx would be a super job, but the night stuff is hard on the body. These days I'm ready for bed at 9:30! I'm not sure I could handle a schedule with 3:00 AM show times for very long.
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:47 PM   #10  
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Question Info to a FEDEX/UPS newhire wannabe...

I am currently working for a regional airline and have been thinking about the cargo airlines. Anyone currently at FEDEX or UPS knows what happens when you first get hired? Does everyone flys sideways for a while? How long does that usualy last? Which domiciles are junior/senior? I live in SOCAL, and like to be based in ONT(UPS) or LAX(FEDEX). Also, what are typical schedules? 4on/3off, 7on/7off, or something else? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,

Fabio.
 
 
 
 

 
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