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Old 10-27-2008, 11:26 AM   #1  
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Default FDX-Open Time Comment from Jetflyer

I saw this in the jetflyer and thought it would make for a lively discussion. Comes from one of our WB Capts:

I flew with a senior F/O in June who screwed up bidding and had a 61-hrtrip dropped due to a 1-minute encroachment into the 12-hr trainingbuffer. He was with me on a crappy YMX trip, and explained that he wasliving on M/U to get his hours back (he didn't realize the trip wasdropped until after the CIA window closed). He was telling me how hewas amazed that he could sit on the computer and check open time everycouple minutes, put in for the very-average trip that had just comeopen, and still miss it due to 'earlier time stamp'. He later flew witha captain who told him 'you need to get with the program', as he pulledout his I-Phone. His phone chimed, he told him, every time a new tripcomes open. Constantly looks at open time and re-freshes VIPS. Certainly the over-manned situation has lots to do with this right now,but the point is that open time, trip-trading, and open time release hasbecome a joke for the vast majority of us, and most don't realize it. None of this is factually backed up, but as I've started asking aroundabout this, I'm realizing that I might as well not even try for opentrips unless I get some kind of technological advantage. But do I havethe best, or is it enough? I hear of some guys writing their ownprograms, some use Bid-x, some bastardize other programs. People canpre-program parameters, and if the newly open trip meets them, it doesthe trade (or M/U) automatically. Guys tell me stories of people with 6computers all logged on and using special software; or of sending in 15trip trades (with their clock synched to the VIPS clock) at the zerohour of open-time release, and getting half of them. No wonder all ofus idiots only see "VIPS server is busy". Don't waste your time withthe finger-on-the-enter button method. Now we know why, to the vastmajority of us, open time release is such a joke that we don't eventry. And what about the guys who are flying when open time comes out? On a side note, someone else said he knowssomeone who got a Double-European-DH X-pairing 2 months in a row thissummer. What are the chances of that, even when there's a shortage ofpilots?? And as technology advances, this is only going to get worse. Someonewill always out-do what's just been done. I am pushing for the MEC(along with Fred Eissler) to address this in the next negotiations, butso far, it's only been met with yawns (we don't see this as a big issue,we need more emails about it, etc.). At an absolute minimum, in myopinion, the MEC should find out what's out there, and bring this allinto the open and let us have an honest discussion about it. I hardlythink the response will be that it's OK for smart guys to dominate opentime. The company has no dog in this fight, but as I see it, we'reeither all going to start salivating everytime our PDA dings (fastesttyper or electron wins), or we worry that someone's just outdone ournew, $200 software program. The people at the biggest disadvantage arethose who only need to trip-trade a few times/yr. You'll only get whatthe techno-dudes don't want or need. And it only takes a few people in each seat to rule open time. Or we can deal with it in other ways. Some airlines leave trips in opentime a period of hours, and then hand them out based on seniority,taking into account how many trip trades you've had that month, or inthe last 60 or 90 days. UAL has a mini-bid when open time comes out. Or maybe give a person 1 trip trade based on his super-fast software,but after that you're at the bottom of the list. There are ways to dealwith this without giving the senior people any more advantage than theyalready have, but the guy who writes the best software programs doesn'tdeserve inflated seniority either. Certainly, the vast majority ofpeople I've informed about this, agree that some kind of alternativemethodology needs to be found. And the pigs will sqeal, you can bet onthat. Think training dept and our last negotiations. But as I told myMEC rep, the fact that I have 99% 'earlier time stamp' crewnotifications over the last 12 months of trip-trading adversely affects my life much more than anything thecompany has done to me with the optimizer. And this is pilots doing itto each other. Those with the advantage are being very quiet. So email your MEC rep, talk to other pilots about it, go to a localcouncil meeting and bring this up, so we can come up with a rationalmethod of open time and trip trading.

Here's my hack on this:

1. Senior FO mentioned above should know the contract and know that if you have training in a given month it's "pay attention time." and watch out for CICs.

2. This guy is afraid of technology so he wants to compensate with seniority. I scoff, the technology approaches, Bid-X and MagicWebFX aren't that hard to learn and are cheap subscriptions. So get into it or stop whining, I'm glad the union has given him the "yawn".
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:52 AM   #2  
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here we go again with that open time stuff....

I've even asked my ANC block rep about it and I'm still not sure what it is.

guess I'll have to keep muddling along without it....
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:49 PM   #3  
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Jag
You Kill me
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Old 10-27-2008, 01:59 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishead View Post
Jag
You Kill me
I know... I kill me too!!!!

"big smile... BIG SMILE" Det. John Riggs
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:19 PM   #5  
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That was one of the whinier Jetflyer messages I've seen in a while. He must be voting for OB, since he wants the "wealth redistributed".

Oh well, at least I got a good laugh out of it.
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Old 10-27-2008, 02:31 PM   #6  
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keep it up! we reserve long beards love it when open time gets devoured by those who live above their means! more time with the kids at home!
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:40 PM   #7  
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I lost the pay for a OTP trip because I couldn't make it up in the two month window. Sure, I could've flown the SUB trip when offered, but it was tacked on to three days in a row of Burbank-MEM hub turns. No thanks. I figured it'd be easy to make up it up over the next two months. Wrong. Next time I'll take the SUB trip. What's the point of even having that option in the contract if it's next to impossible to get a 6 hour (or longer) trip in open time? On the upside, APT STDBYs are always available for those willing to roll the dice.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:41 PM   #8  
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.............

Last edited by Deuce130; 10-27-2008 at 03:50 PM. Reason: duplicate post
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Old 10-27-2008, 04:20 PM   #9  
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If the senior F/O had played the training buffer game correctly, he could probably have had himself an even nicer trip than the one that was in conflict.

It's a hidden gem in the contract for the junior guy.

Pay the money for the programs and get an iPhone. The one sweet x pairing per year that you are able to pick up makes it well worth the money.

Then again, what do I know, I am just a 32% squeel'in pig.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:27 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce130 View Post
I lost the pay for a OTP trip because I couldn't make it up in the two month window. Sure, I could've flown the SUB trip when offered, but it was tacked on to three days in a row of Burbank-MEM hub turns. No thanks. I figured it'd be easy to make up it up over the next two months. Wrong. Next time I'll take the SUB trip. What's the point of even having that option in the contract if it's next to impossible to get a 6 hour (or longer) trip in open time? On the upside, APT STDBYs are always available for those willing to roll the dice.
Deuce -

Could you have used your OTP during the subsequent view/add window?

Wasn't there plenty of choices in there before the VTO lines were built??
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