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Old 09-20-2016, 07:01 PM   #1  
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Default Possible to roam as a NH?

I'm starting indoc soon and looking for some suggestions on living arrangements. My family and I are roaming around the US in our RV, taking advantage of the gateway benefit offered by my current company. I'm fairly certain we'll park the RV close to training for indoc, but once that's complete it seems like I have some options:

1) Stay with the family in MEM. Only 1 "house" payment but hard to study, late night sims, etc (not my first choice)
2) Keep the family in MEM but move into a crash pad to make studying and odd schedules easier
3) Park the family somewhere else they'd like to visit while I stay at a crash pad

Once training is complete, is it feasible to continue traveling around the US and commuting to work, or should we prepare ourselves to get a house sooner rather than later? I'd love to hear your experience if you did something similar while working at FedEx. Thanks!
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:42 PM   #2  
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We lived in a fifth wheel the first two years I was at Fedex.

It was a blast. Ended up mainly parking near Mobile, Alabama. I drove to work.

We went into that two year period with one child, and came out with three.....

For the rest of my time here (15 years) I've used an RV for a crash pad. Used to use the Agricenter but now I like Jellystone better.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:39 AM   #3  
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I know a couple Capts that roamed shortly before retirement but I would remind you that as a NH, you need to show up that first yr while you're on probation with your Superman cape on. Your plans for indoc and initial training are good but .... not catching a jumpseat, missing a scheduled DH, or having car trouble on your commute from BFE once you are on the line will probably not get you a pink slip unless it happens repeatedly but it will put you under a spotlight.

Also, your home of record (so-to-speak) or official address that you'll establish while you're at indoc is what the company will use for staging purposes (to jumpseat on the company) and the address they will use for tax purposes, mail your pay stub, etc... To my knowledge, you can change all of that monthly thru VIPS....

HOWEVER...

About a month ago we got a huge missive about taxes and expense report filings because guys/gals are misunderstanding (my word) the IRS rules and how FedEx interprets them and reports your State of record to collect your state's taxes. Additionally, you are afforded priority on the company jumpseats when you use an airport w/i 100nm of your official address. Outside of that radius you would be only on 'personal' status for jumpseating (at a much lower priority) and could get bumped from the jumpseat and be yo-yo for getting to MEM.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:38 AM   #4  
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Do what makes you happy and simply follow the rules and all will be OK.

Indoc through IOE would recommend a stable location for ease--park in Memphis or park where ever but have a crash pad in Memphis. Once you hit the line, do what you want, even in your probationary year. Follow the rules, keep your taxes correct, update your address with the company. There is no boogie man gunning for you because of what you want to do. You can update your staging location every time you update your address.

Most of the problems others have in mind come from individuals "bending" the rules.
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:50 AM   #5  
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Thanks for the replies. It seems possible to do without remaining stationary once training is over. I guess we'll take it as it comes and see what happens. In any event, I've been looking at Jellystone and TO Fuller State Park initially. Looking forward to being there in a few weeks!
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:26 AM   #6  
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Sounds like a dream to me. Whatever line you get--its a hometown line. I don't mean to encourage you to trash your sleep or be a complete cheap ass in your airline career, but if you got the Kxxx line any given month you could park your RV at the closest campground to the airport and cancel your hotel. The $35 bucks you got a night would probably more than pay for your RV parking. You cannot spend it directly on RV parking, but my point is the savings could be applied to other commuting expenses.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:30 AM   #7  
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Even while you roam, you will still be a 'resident' of some state. It's not like you're going to be getting a new drivers license and register to vote in every state you roam to.
Nor should you be bouncing your 'staging' ramp around to match your current locale, IMO. Some time ago, our SCP sent us an email outlining when Business status was appropriate for use while jumpseating....and in kind of a no brainer way, it's basically you can use Business if you're jumpseating for Business reasons. Just my 2 cents, but should you happen to be in Yellowstone NP-I would use Business to get to work.

Contractually you aren't protected should your JS plan go awry, but practically it's hard for me to imagine the company taking any disciplinary action if you're communicating with your scheduler proactively.
You'd lose the pay, but that's better than surprising the company with your absence at show time

FedEx will sweep another plane in to pick up the freight, and-space permitting, the ramp will switch you over to that flight. So, might be late, but almost 100% certainty that you'll make Memphis. And I've seen jumpers go straight to their outbound plane after arrival, so what happens depends a lot on what CRS needs on that particular night.

or if it's an Ops Emergency in Memphis
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:12 AM   #8  
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Thanks for the insight. We were on the cusp of changing our licenses etc since we only just started a few days before the interview. For now I'm holding off switching state residency until we decide if we're going to be stationary or continue travelling once training is over. I don't want to switch all the registrations to TX if we are going to wind up buying a house in easy driving distance of MEM.

The answers have some insider terms I'm sure I'll come to understand, so forgive me if you've already stated this. Right now I just tell my current company what airport I want to use, and they buy me a ticket from there. Last month it was in AR, this month TN and later FL, etc. Would I be able to do the same thing without the purchased ticket, realizing that jumpseating is on my own responsibility and there's no protection unless I'm on a reserved FedEx seat? I'd maintain a permanent mailing/tax address and keep the company updated on my physical location as required. Does that sound about right?
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:21 AM   #9  
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I think you would be sweating the small stuff. Whenever you schedule a FDX JS for FDX Business, use Business. The staging protection language essentially means whether or not you can make up the hours. I am pretty sure the Business reservation gives you the same protection anyways. Ask the question during indoc.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:38 AM   #10  
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Have to guess at which insider terms, but my wag is Staging, Business, Personal

Think of those as just different levels of priority on Company booked Jumpseats. Just different levels that we use internally, with different obligations. There is a Contractual provision of No Harm No Foul if you are jumpseating into the hub and meet certain wickets, technically that's only if you use Staging status...but it's a lower priority than Business so some shoe clerk could, and have, bumped pilots going to work so they could commute into Memphis for a meeting
Personal is just that, a lower priority Jumpseat status. And it's one I only use now if I'm Jumpseating somewhere for Personal reasons in no way related to any Company business

If you are fortunate enough to hold trips that begin somewhere other than your domicile, there is a travel bank established and you can travel to/from anywhere in the world. That's based solely on where you need to go, but it's not an unlimited-open amount

Home-domicile-home is considered a fringe benefit by the IRS if the company purchases a ticket (kind of like if FedEx provides Fres w/a company car and driver)

You can do it, but it's a taxable event
Just me, but if I'm relying on someone else's plane to get me to Memphis, I try and get there as early as I reasonably can
If I'm driving (about an 6 hour drive for me), I leave early enough to give me the leeway to rent a replacement car should I have to

And most importantly, if any of my travel plans get disrupted, I keep scheduling in the loop so they don't get blindsided
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