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Old 03-28-2005, 08:30 AM   #1  
Realistic
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Default Staffing and the QSO

It baffled me when everyone received the disclaimer that our QSO would not entertain discussions about basing or staffing.
Likewise, many communications from the scheduling committee contain a disclaimer that they have nothing to do with staffing.
If both of these are true, then we've got a pretty unique system for determining how many pilots it takes to run the airline. And - as evidenced by near constant dips into "staffing crisis" we don't seem to be doing a very good job. The 190's are not going to help matters.
I've seen staffing at three airlines and in every case it was tied very closely to pairing creation, planned absences, military reserves, simulator time, aircraft orders, attrition, FMLA, management pilots, pseudo-management pilots, etc.
Staffing and scheduling must work in close harmony.
It is going to be very difficult to claim that any particular "crisis" is just a short-term bump in the road when it happens year after year or month after month.
I wonder if the people doing staffing understand what open time means to the pilot group?
Open time = the chance to break 80 if you got short changed = Swaps = PTO = Schedule Flexibility = the chance to break 90 if you have the days off to do it. Open time is an accumulator that ensures pilot quality of life.
Breaking 80 is a big deal and 75 sucks. Staffing is part of the equation that ensures that we can provide at least 80 hours to our line holders and provide some realistic rules for our reserves. If more and more people come in under 80 hours and when FO's realize how far out the $120,000 mark is getting - the time-and-a-half pay system will be seen as a bad deal for a lot of people. When straight pay will provide higher career earnings for more pilots than our current system. I would hope that we have the integrity to change the system.
The big question is: does anybody know who does the staffing at jetBlue and do they have any interaction at all with our committee pilots?
If we're essentially being told that staffing is none of our business, I would strongly disagree.
Maybe we can get a detailed description in the White Papers at some point.
Realistic
 
Old 03-28-2005, 03:33 PM   #2  
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I just hope they can do something about the reserves. I don't know how it is everywhere else but Long Beach is a B-atch.
I get junior manned into my days off on a regular basis and they call me at 4 am to release to fly all night.
It's like going back to th stone ages when reserves were 24 hours 7 days a week.
and if someone else telss me to bid back to kennedy if I don't like it, I'm going Columbine!!!!! kidding
 
Old 04-01-2005, 08:57 AM   #3  
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Any word on the QSO?
 
Old 04-02-2005, 07:31 AM   #4  
bluerthanyou
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I heard they had a great time. Then everybody got junior manned.
 
Old 04-02-2005, 12:26 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jblumindtrick
I get junior manned into my days off on a regular basis and they call me at 4 am to release to fly all night.
It's like going back to th stone ages when reserves were 24 hours 7 days a week.
and if someone else telss me to bid back to kennedy if I don't like it, I'm going Columbine!!!!! kidding


The only reason you get junior manned into your days off is because you let them! Just say NO thank you. If you allow them to keep behaving like that then they will keep behaving like that. STICK TOGETHER!
When you can't stand it any more, don't answer the phone.

FNG
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Old 04-02-2005, 12:32 PM   #6  
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Default Reserves

Remember,
Management "promised" (Dave Barger and Dave Bushy) that the shortage of reserves we had last summer would not happen again.....

Oops, I guess they already forgot.....

Oops, just like the summer of 03 when comapred to summer of 02.....

But now it's starting even earlier in the the year (winter/spring vs spring/summer) What will it be like in July?

Right now we are taking it in the shorts for on time stats. A lot of that could be fixed if we had the correct number of reserves to man late flights (both front and back end crews), allow PTO vs forcing guys to call sick, excessive JR manning (which cost $$$$).

FNG
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Old 04-04-2005, 09:46 AM   #7  
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The spin this weekend was weather. Yes the weather was a trigger, but we could see a looming crisis a week ago. STAFFING!
Make no mistake - understaffing is a conscious decision by people with Wharton MBA's and optimization on the brain.
We've all seen it before and we've all heard the excuses and the thank you's.
You simply have to provide enough pilots to cover the dips like we just had and to cover the open time and the PTO that will be required to meet the expectations that the White Papers have set out.
I don't know what staffing model they are using but they need to sit a few regional guys down in a room with a chalk board and it would be fixed. It would be costly, but it would be fixed.
Realistic
 
Old 04-04-2005, 09:04 PM   #8  
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Default Reserves and QSO

For the manning,
This weekend was a perfect example of a lack of reserves. There were many airplanes just sitting around for hours waiting for either the pilots or flight attendants to get there (plus lots of cutomers). Had there been plenty of reserves many of these flight could have been launched to keep the system moving and the late crew members released or put on reserve/airport standby IAW the flight scheduling guide to pick up the next batch of late flights. I know that we have always made it thru with lots of reflowing crews, junior mannning crews and volunteers. But I think it all fell apart this time. I know we cancelled a bunch of flights for crews. They may try to blame it on wx, but it was just a lack of reserves/crews. I hope that the senior management see this for what it is and fix it (Dave and David). I have no doubt that the VPs in operations (A and D) have not been fully informative to the big guys about the status of manning (trying to save $$$), but this will be hard to hide! Think of the cost to give refunds, vouchers, hotel rooms, meals, etc. All that money could have been used to pay more crews.

Back on the QSO, has anyone talked to any one that was there and has some gouge on the discussions, directions we are going and what type of changes we will see (and when)? I haven't heard a think from the guys there or from management. Did they take a blood oath not to tell anyone? Just looking for some info.

Thanks,
FNG

Last edited by FNG320; 04-04-2005 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:59 AM   #9  
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"Optimizer"

I see this term thrown about quite a bit, but honestly I have only a vague idea of what it means.

Can someone explain?
 
Old 04-05-2005, 03:25 PM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennon
"Optimizer"

I see this term thrown about quite a bit, but honestly I have only a vague idea of what it means.

Can someone explain?
It is the software that the scheduling committee and crew services uses to construct the pairings and I believe alos some manning issues. It is my understanding that they can make all kinds of inputs to its logic (such as productivity, layover cities, cost, time of layover, manning levels, hour per pilot, reserves, etc, etc, etc.) You name it, and it can be put into the software in constructing pairings. I am pretty sure there is some additional software that covers manning specifically (another type of optimizer program but build the best manning plan such as Captains, FO, reserves #, etc), but the pairing optimizer is what I feel make or breaks our quality of life. (hours per day, commuteablity on pairings, days off, etc). Thus it is abuse of these programs to maximize trips for specific bases, or manning to minimize cost (not enough reserves) that make or break the quality of life for 90% of us.

FNG



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