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Old 03-04-2019, 01:54 AM   #21  
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Originally Posted by FXLAX View Post
I had a situation recently where I didn’t uncheck the second box (didn’t know that was a thing) and did my final check in at the gate. Everything fine until my scheduled dh flight air returned and cancelled. When I called, CRS said I had deviated and am responsible to get to the destination. I explained it a couple times until I was transferred to duty officer. When he came on the phone, he just took care of the situation without me explaining anything.
I have had to reach out to duty officers several times in last couple years... I had a jet with a mysterious fuel gauge malfunction in Manilla that I needed to get fixed and mx didn't want to address (IMHO). I called in fatigued one night last year. Most recently I called in because I got word my father in law had passed away while I was on a layover in Malaysia. In each case, the help/support I got was outstanding. YMMV, but when I have an issue in the field I don't wrestle with schedulers. They have their job to do, and often seem to be unaware or unwilling to work with you. The duty officers, on the other hand, make things happen and have helped me tremendously on a couple of occasions. I don't argue with anyone--just contact the DO and calmly explain the situation, and the options (if any) you'd like to use.

Also--it should go without saying--but any conversation is recorded. Speak in a tone and a manner you wouldn't mind having played back over and over. I suggest writing down the info you want to convey, think about what you are going to say, and then call and discuss it in a calm voice. If you have a contract reference handy then perhaps jotting that down might be a good move too. Emotion isn't your friend when you are solving these problems--stay professional and cool and it always seems to work out pretty well.
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:50 AM   #22  
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Note that there is no reference to whether or not a pilot has checked the deviation box for a specific deadhead segment in the “Deviation and Deadheads” section of VIPS in order to use the provisions of this section of the CBA. That is not part of the criteria. In fact, the above CBA passage makes two references to the fact that a pilot performing this Final Check-in using this option HAS deviated. The only thing not checking the deviation box for the final leg of the deadhead does is avoids auto-cancellation of GT services upon arrival. However, I have successfully requested these services be reinstated when I either accidentally or intentionally checked the deviation box for the final leg but was actually on that flight and performed my Final Check-in according to the CBA.

Just playing devils advocate here, but the CBA states in section 8.C.1.a that a pilot must let the company know 60 hours prior to the start of a trip of their intentions to deviate. So, how do we do that? We go on VIPS and check the appropriate boxes in the deviation section.

My guess is that the company would argue that the only way they keep track of which segments are deviated is by using the deviation section in VIPS. They would probably argue that once you deviate, you can't un-deviate according to the contract, so if you checked the boxes stating that you were going to deviate on both legs, you can't decide later that you want to undo that deviation. The company would probably also argue that they can't determine the actual intent of the pilot using this system, but only what the pilot has indicated they will do based on their selections in the deviation window.

Again, just playing devils advocate here. My guess is we would lose any grievance on this. Just look at our past track record. I think the best course of action would be to try to educate everyone on how to deviate if you intend to take the final company scheduled leg of a deadhead.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:04 AM   #23  
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Just playing devils advocate here, but the CBA states in section 8.C.1.a that a pilot must let the company know 60 hours prior to the start of a trip of their intentions to deviate. So, how do we do that? We go on VIPS and check the appropriate boxes in the deviation section.

My guess is that the company would argue that the only way they keep track of which segments are deviated is by using the deviation section in VIPS. They would probably argue that once you deviate, you can't un-deviate according to the contract, so if you checked the boxes stating that you were going to deviate on both legs, you can't decide later that you want to undo that deviation. The company would probably also argue that they can't determine the actual intent of the pilot using this system, but only what the pilot has indicated they will do based on their selections in the deviation window.

Again, just playing devils advocate here. My guess is we would lose any grievance on this. Just look at our past track record. I think the best course of action would be to try to educate everyone on how to deviate if you intend to take the final company scheduled leg of a deadhead.

Maybe having the union put out some guidance on how to properly do a partial deviation is in order. I know I had questions the first time I did it and I usually get questions when I tell a captain that is what I have done when we meet for the second leg. Also, I have had people not even know that was an option to them, let alone with how to accomplish it and when to check in.



I haven't had an issue yet, so I can't speak to the CRS aspect of when things go sideways.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:38 AM   #24  
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In my case, I knew we can deviate the first leg and do the final check in at the gate. That fact that it let me do the final check in at the gate reinforced my thinking that that’s simply what you do to let CRS know what you are doing. I didn’t know was that you had to uncheck the box for the second leg. In fact, I never notice me those check boxes before this incident. I looked in the new hire guide again and see where the confusion comes from as it doesn’t specify exactly what you are supposed to do in this situation. Lesson learned, luckily for me it was a non-issue with the DO.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:06 PM   #25  
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Originally Posted by pinseeker View Post
Just playing devils advocate here, but the CBA states in section 8.C.1.a that a pilot must let the company know 60 hours prior to the start of a trip of their intentions to deviate. So, how do we do that? We go on VIPS and check the appropriate boxes in the deviation section.
This is clouding the discussion. Yes, we have a deviation deadline but that's not what's at issue. We're talking about the Final Check-in.

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Originally Posted by pinseeker View Post
My guess is that the company would argue that the only way they keep track of which segments are deviated is by using the deviation section in VIPS. They would probably argue that once you deviate, you can't un-deviate according to the contract, so if you checked the boxes stating that you were going to deviate on both legs, you can't decide later that you want to undo that deviation.
Please do not over-complicate this. VIPS and it's limitations is not what's at issue here. The contract language is simple and allows the option to completely bypass VIPS on your Final Check-in and tell a scheduler exactly what you're doing.


Upon arrival at the departure gate of the scheduled deadhead flight, the pilot shall check-in with VIPS, or CRS if VIPS is not accessible, and indicate that he is in position for the scheduled deadhead flight. Once this check-in has been accomplished, the pilot shall no longer be considered as deviating, for the purposes of subsequent delays, revisions, and all trip services.

"No longer be considered as deviating" as in - I was deviating until that point and now I no longer am deviating because I'm joining a segment of the scheduled deadhead. There's nothing in there about checking a box or not because even if you did, you communicate to the company in accordance with the red contract passage, complete your Final Check-in and you've changed your status.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:17 PM   #26  
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In my case, I knew we can deviate the first leg and do the final check in at the gate. That fact that it let me do the final check in at the gate reinforced my thinking that that’s simply what you do to let CRS know what you are doing. I didn’t know was that you had to uncheck the box for the second leg. In fact, I never notice me those check boxes before this incident.
You don't need to uncheck the box for the second leg. That was my whole point of bring this up in the first place. If you do uncheck it, you keep your GT without asking for it back. That's all that does for you.
You can accomplish your Final Check-in using VIPS regardless of what you check or uncheck (using your words, it will "let you"). You can also just call scheduling.

I uncheck the box on the second leg when it's appropriate all the time. But, I've also checked it, changed my plans and done my Final Check-in for that same leg at the gate. My point to this whole line of discussion was that checking or unchecking the deviation box in VIPS does not deny you the contractually allowed options for Final Check-in. It also doesn't alleviate crew control's responsibility to revise or re-schedule you should you need it after you've complete your Final Check-in.

Last edited by Adlerdriver; 03-04-2019 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:27 PM   #27  
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This is clouding the discussion. Yes, we have a deviation deadline but that's not what's at issue. We're talking about the Final Check-in.


Please do not over-complicate this. VIPS and it's limitations is not what's at issue here. The contract language is simple and allows the option to completely bypass VIPS on your Final Check-in and tell a scheduler exactly what you're doing.


Upon arrival at the departure gate of the scheduled deadhead flight, the pilot shall check-in with VIPS, or CRS if VIPS is not accessible, and indicate that he is in position for the scheduled deadhead flight. Once this check-in has been accomplished, the pilot shall no longer be considered as deviating, for the purposes of subsequent delays, revisions, and all trip services.

"No longer be considered as deviating" as in - I was deviating until that point and now I no longer am deviating because I'm joining a segment of the scheduled deadhead. There's nothing in there about checking a box or not because even if you did, you communicate to the company in accordance with the red contract passage, complete your Final Check-in and you've changed your status.
I'm not clouding the issue at all. You mentioned that the contract didn't state having checked the proper deviation box (paraphrased). I'm simply pointing out that the contract does state that you must notify the company at least 60 hours prior of your intentions to deviate. We do this by clicking the appropriate boxes in VIPS.

I was stating that we should educate pilots on the proper way to deviate if you want to avoid hassles with scheduling. If you want to check all of the boxes when you deviate and push the press to test button, go for it. I hope you don't have any issues, but if you do, then grieve it.

And if you think that contract language is so simple, you are truly naive. You simply took a passage from the contract and said this is what the contract means. I attempted to point out that the contract also has other language requiring pilots to notify the company in advance of their deviation intentions. If you tell them the wrong thing through VIPS, so sorry. Now, go check that attitude you have.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:19 PM   #28  
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First, I'm not feeling an "attitude". So, if I'm coming across that way, I apologize. I'm just trying to help and disseminate information on an observed problem. I'm passionate about enforcing our contract and it's frustrating to see anyone give up our contractual rights out of ignorance, apathy or being bullied by scheduling. Reading "VIPS box checking" into our current CBA language based on past practices is a mistake, IMO. There is clear language that spells out when a pilot is no longer to be considered deviating and what services he is afforded after that point.

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I'm simply pointing out that the contract does state that you must notify the company at least 60 hours prior of your intentions to deviate. We do this by clicking the appropriate boxes in VIPS.
Yes, I understand this. And I'm trying to point out that we have moved from an old "deviate = you're on your own" black and white CBA language to a CBA with Final Check-in options prior to arrival in the revenue city that have nothing to do with how we notify the company of our intentions to deviate.
There is a lack of awareness on the part of scheduling (intentional or not I can't say) and obviously some of our pilots as well concerning this new option. I'm sure it's easy for anyone to fall into the old interpretation especially if they haven't read the CBA section carefully or encountered this situation yet.

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I was stating that we should educate pilots on the proper way to deviate if you want to avoid hassles with scheduling. If you want to check all of the boxes when you deviate and push the press to test button, go for it. I hope you don't have any issues, but if you do, then grieve it.
Exactly what I'm trying to do. If anyone can make their deviation happen without checking all the boxes, that's definitely the best option. However, plans change and all I'm trying to do is make sure we enforce our contract, pilot's don't accept the standard CRS mantra and make sure crew control is fulfilling their responsibilities to pilots who encounter deadhead issues after their Final Check-in.

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And if you think that contract language is so simple, you are truly naive. You simply took a passage from the contract and said this is what the contract means. I attempted to point out that the contract also has other language requiring pilots to notify the company in advance of their deviation intentions. If you tell them the wrong thing through VIPS, so sorry. Now, go check that attitude you have.
The contract language is very simple. I'd be naive if I assumed that language is going to preclude a scheduler from trying to shift responsibility for a blown deadhead schedule to an unwitting pilot. If you want to make it more complicated than it is, that's your option.
Yes, we notify the company of our intentions to deviate. That has nothing to do with when and how we choose to do our Final Check-in. That was the whole point of this new change to the CBA. It allows us to deviate until completing our Final Check-in, then sit on the scheduled DH flight next to a pilot who didn't deviate and be afforded the same protections he gets when things go bad. I would hope that no one willingly gives up those protections. Cheers.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:59 PM   #29  
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Alderdriver,

Look at it this way. If I deviate on a trip that goes from MEM to ATL and then later decide that I want to take the scheduled DH, can I un-deviate? We all know that the answer is no. Once you deviate, you are on your own.

The contract requires you to notify the company through VIPS of your deviation intentions. If you deviate on both legs, and then decide that you want to take the originally scheduled second leg, you can't un-deviate. When you check in on that deviation, VIPS says that you are confirming that you are within 100nm of XXX airport.

My "guess" is that the company looks at the language you quoted as you are deviating as you told us you would, and once you are in position to take the second leg that you told us through VIPS that you were going to take, you are now no longer deviating. Its just like when you do your final check in for a single leg deviation, once you are in position, you are no longer deviating.

I feel that stating that your interpretation is 100% correct and telling pilots that they can check both boxes when intending to take the company scheduled second leg is risky. I wouldn't want to advise anyone to do anything other than follow the proper deviation criteria, being more conservative if needed.

Are you 100% sure that you would win in arbitration if you checked both boxes in VIPS, and then changed your plans and decided to take the scheduled second leg and missed your trip because something happened on that second leg? To me, that is a pretty big gamble. If the duty officer or scheduler won't help you out, do you think the company will just pay you for the missed trip and let it slide.

It all boils down to you saying unequivocally that you are allowed to deviate one way, then change you mind and all is good. This is based on what you perceive as simple language. However, when other language is mentioned, you state that it is clouding the waters. Don't you think that both sides will use language to cloudy the waters in arbitration?

My advice would be to wait to deviate until you are sure of your plans. If you check the boxes indicating that you are going to deviate on all legs, then count on the company holding you to that. If you later end up on the scheduled leg and something happens and the duty officer helps you out, count yourself lucky. I see this as being more grey than black and white. YMMV, but wouldn't you feel terrible if a new hire followed your advice, missed a trip, and lost a job?
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:49 PM   #30  
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Just to be clear - I'm not suggesting anyone check all boxes of a deadhead to deviate unless 1) it's necessary and 2) they're willing to accept all the responsibility of deviating.

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Look at it this way. If I deviate on a trip that goes from MEM to ATL and then later decide that I want to take the scheduled DH, can I un-deviate? We all know that the answer is no. Once you deviate, you are on your own.
Yes, you can. See below.

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When you check in on that deviation, VIPS says that you are confirming that you are within 100nm of XXX airport.
This is what I'm talking about. Pilots or schedulers using old information to apply the contract and draw their conclusions. The next time you deviate and go to the appropriate page to accomplish your Final Check-in, read the screen carefully. It says you are verifying that you are within 100 NM of XYZ or a distance approved by whoever (can't remember) or joining a segment of the scheduled deadhead.

So, I deviate MEM-ATL, try to take the jumpseat from MEM and fail. But have a ticket on the scheduled DH as a backup, so I go over to the terminal - get to the gate and do my Final Check-in in compliance with the CBA. Have I not "joined a segment of the scheduled deadhead"?

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Are you 100% sure that you would win in arbitration if you checked both boxes in VIPS, and then changed your plans and decided to take the scheduled second leg and missed your trip because something happened on that second leg? To me, that is a pretty big gamble. If the duty officer or scheduler won't help you out, do you think the company will just pay you for the missed trip and let it slide.
IMO, there's nothing to arbitrate. I complied with the contract and joined a segment of the scheduled deadhead. You're making way too big a deal about checking a box in VIPS.

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My advice would be to wait to deviate until you are sure of your plans. If you check the boxes indicating that you are going to deviate on all legs, then count on the company holding you to that. If you later end up on the scheduled leg and something happens and the duty officer helps you out, count yourself lucky. I see this as being more grey than black and white. YMMV, but wouldn't you feel terrible if a new hire followed your advice, missed a trip, and lost a job?
I'm not advising anyone to do anything. Deviating carries risk and anyone checking all boxes has accepted that risk long before (i.e. at least 60 hours before) anything I'm talking about is taking place. In both scenarios I provided initially, a deviating pilot encountering the option to accomplish a Final Check-in as I described has already accepted all risks.

The first, jumpseating out of MEM and going to a back-up plan using the scheduled DH. The second, deviating completely and then opting later to try to join the scheduled DH, perhaps due to last minute ticket availability.

In either case, they now have the option to accomplish their Final Check-in sooner than they would have using either of their original plans. How, exactly, am I leading anyone astray by suggesting that once they have done that Check-in, they're covered for any future disruptions?
If anything, I'm offering them a lifeline that they may not have considered in the past should their deviation start to go sideways. But how is that any worse than not using the CBA options available and just dealing with a blown deviation on their own (which is what they agreed to do in the first place by checking all boxes)?

Last edited by Adlerdriver; 03-04-2019 at 05:23 PM.
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