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NWA Jump Seat policy for Mesaba

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NWA Jump Seat policy for Mesaba

Old 04-13-2009, 10:59 AM
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Default NWA Jump Seat policy for Mesaba

Hello All,

Just need an input on jump seat ‘Priority’ when boarding on NWA mainline flight. It just happened a few days ago at SFO when I, as a Mesaba First Officer, was trying to hitch a ride to MSP to report for flight duties.

I was first at the gate and the friendly gate agent had my form signed by the captain and asked me to wait till everyone is on board. I patiently waited as I normally do.

While the last few passengers were boarding, another Mesaba pilot, also a First Officer, showed up and asked for the jump seat. Plane was full and he was told that the only jump seat (B757) has been allotted (to me). He then demanded to know if I were junior/senior to him. His attitude didn’t bode well with the very polite Gate staff. They said it didn’t matter because both of us were ‘not’ main line pilots so it’s on ‘First Come First Service’ basis.

Apparently, the pilot wasn’t convinced and started lecturing the gate agents and said that if were senior to me – which none of us at that time knew if that was the case – he would go first. The gate agents politely disagreed with him. He then came to me and demanded to see my ID to ascertain who was senior. It seemed a bit odd to me that how he wanted to run the show and it was quite awkward as there were about 10 other non-revs standing near the gate and by this time were being ‘entertained’ by our not-so-friendly First Officer who was in a full ‘demand’ mode.

He had to the balls to tell me that if I get on the plane and I were junior to him, which I was, I’m breaking company policy for Jump Seating. I politely told him that I am not aware of NWA policy of ‘First Come First Service’ and I’d be happy to give up my seat to him if indeed that was the case. The gate agent told me that he can not let the other, now incessantly rude – pilot go as I showed up first.

Ok, to make it short, he didn’t get on the plane and I did. While being greeted by the friendly Flight Deck crew and settling down, the gate agent came in with final papers and told the captain about the mishap at the gate. Captain asked the name of that pilot.

Anyone knows what’s the proper procedure for the above scenario?

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Old 04-13-2009, 11:06 AM
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the guy was and *ss and out of line and incorrect. Check your FOM or have the NWA CA check his FOM it shoud be in there. Mine's always been first come first served but theres always the know it all me me me guy that tries to pull that stunt.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:08 AM
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I don't work for Mesaba, so I won't try to guess an answer to your company procedures.

However, last time I checked, the jumpseat belongs to the Captain operating the flight. Someone at the gate insisting that its their jumpseat over someone else doesn't seem quite right. I am an old school believer that even if you have a seat in the back and are technically a jumpseater, you need to come to the flight deck and ASK permission for a ride. That's protocol and I think that very few people will disagree (by the way - if you are a Dispatcher, this also applies to you!).

I know the jumpseat order at my company (and I have a reference card that I carry as well). But if two pilots from my company had a spat at the gate similar to what you are stating, I would take the one that was NOT yelling at the gate agent or a fellow pilot (regardless of seniority).

The way that I look at it, the gate agent shouldn't be making the final determination. Either the gate agent should ask for the Captain to come to the gate or both of you should go down and talk to the Captain. End result - Captain has final authority as to who gets the jumpseat. Also, if I get input from the gate agent that you were creating a scene at the podium - plan on not getting a ride (as long as I feel that the gate agent isn't lying).

It sounds like you handled it appropriately. If you have a jumpseat committee at your company, I would suggest calling them and have them discuss this issue with the "attitude" pilot.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:12 AM
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Thumbs down

This happens sometimes. Most airlines do first-come-first-serve for offline jumpers.

However...some regionals have clauses in their SOP stating that when jumping offline, a more senior pilot has priority. The problem here is that a regional's SOP is obviously not binding on another airline, so the only way for that sort of policy to work is that the junior pilot who checked in first would need to voluntarily allow the senior pilot who showed up late to take his place.

IMO, that is BS. Nice try on the part of some regional pilot groups to legislate the operations of other airlines It is basically not enforceable, unless your airline managers cared enough about it to try to discipline you for violating an SOP policy. My airline will not enforce it, doubt yours would either.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:05 PM
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So to clear this up, what is the official priority on the following airlines?




I use them quite a bit to commute, but never quite understood it. Is it first come first serve unless you work for the company? For instance, if I work for another carrier other than NWA or a NWA Airlink carrier, and I'm trying to jumpseat on Mesaba, does a Pinnacle or NWA guy bump me or is it first come first serve unless you work for Mesaba? Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:06 PM
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Post either on company or union boards for more input. I haven't had it come down to it yet so haven't had to deal with the prob. In the end, it's all up to the capt. anyway. Glad you kept your cool and made the flight. Too bad there's creeps among us like him, plenty of good pilots on the streets.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:13 PM
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Heyas Max,

I don't like posting JS info on a public forum, so my recommendation would be to contact your XJ JS coordinator, or failing that, the DAL-N jumpseat coordinator. But if I were you, I'd sleep easy knowing you did the right thing.

Let your JS coordinator know the names, location, flight number and all the other details. Tools like this are the kind that wind up giving their pilot group a bad name, and it's best to nip it in the bud ASAP.

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Old 04-13-2009, 01:42 PM
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I'm fairly certain he would be senior to you ONLY on a Mesaba flight & not a NWA Mainline flight. I'd double check with your JS Coordinator, but I'm certain HE was WRONG.
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by johnso29 View Post
I'm fairly certain he would be senior to you ONLY on a Mesaba flight & not a NWA Mainline flight. I'd double check with your JS Coordinator, but I'm certain HE was WRONG.
I believe that is correct.......
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:05 PM
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As an XJ pilot, it is first come first serve. There is no other policy. Plus there is no authority given for another pilot to demand anything from a coworker.
I have got on before very senior captains just because I was there first.

I seem to recall something about arriving as a group with not enough seats, DOH would be used.

When jumpseating, I always wrote the time I got there on the form. Sorry for the hassel.

It is unfortunate that this other person acted this way. If the mainline captain follows through with his j/s coordinator, it could cause trouble for all of us.

Bottom line, you were right and have nothing to worry about.
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