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Old 01-27-2012, 02:32 PM   #1  
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Default Best Schedule Flexibility / Guard Guy

I am a Guard pilot looking to get on with a regional and be based on the east coast.

Which regionals have the most flexible trip trade or giveaway rules (if any)? I know USERRA lets us drop trips, but I'd rather move my flying days to maximize my flying and my pay.

Have you guys found certain regionals that work well with guard/reserve pilots? Any experiences or advice is appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:30 PM   #2  
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Hey Man,

It would be tough to say what regional is "best" for schedules, that has so many variables from your seniority number, work rules, the amount of folks on reserve, etc. The best advice I could ever give someone going to work at an airline, especially a regional where you would most likely make a lot more money flying w/ the guard/reserves is live near your guard/reserve gig and if you have to commute, commute to your airline job. Rational being on your days off you can easily go in for locals/sims or other ground activities, while when you are at the airlines, when you are flying a trip you usually are flying away from your domicile for the most part, unless you are lucky enough to bid day trips (usually the more senior folks snag those, though it is airline dependent).

You are correct, USERRA will protect you from dropping trips and you can use that to your advantage, but if you want to maximize on both, the best way to do so is having your reserve/guard gig at your airline base, which I know very few places that have that. Where are you at guard guy @? Feel free to PM me if you have further questions.

Mongo
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #3  
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Skywest is pretty good.

They like you to pre-assign mil leave before the bid, in which case it builds your schedule around the mil leave. The system gives you 2.5 hours virtual credit for each mil day so it doesn't try to pack a full schedule into the rest of the month, which would reduce your days off. If target line is 85 a typical drill weekend (4-5 days accounting for travel/rest on front/back) would mean PBS would build a 75-72 hour line.

Basically it doesn't force you to drill on your days off, but you can pick up additional trips if you want to get your credit back up...normally there's no shortage of extra flying, although that was not the case in 2008-2009 at the height of the slowdown.

If something military comes up last minute, mil leave will just overwrite whatever was already on your schedule. They will let you drop it at whatever point makes sense for you...you can drop when it passes through your base, or do it at an oustation and make your own way to wherever you need to be.

Other airlines with PBS probably are similar, although I know as a fact not all of them are as accommodating as SKW...mesa even got in the habit of turning off my nonrev/jumpseat privileges on a drill weekend! They did that just to be tools, and it's a violation of federal law. That crap came to a stop when I called them at check-in time for my 4-day...from another city...and told them I would be at work about 4 hours after they turned my CASS back on!

An airline with hard lines will normally just drop all or part of a trip which touches mil leave (unless you bid a line which has days off coincident with drill).
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:59 AM   #4  
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That sounds pretty helpful. Any others out there use a system like Skywest?
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:07 AM   #5  
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Compass does as well, 2.5 hours/day of every day you put in for Mil Leave. They also request you give them advanced notice of the day you want to use, but for their benefit they say so it won't mess with the schedules. I give them the drill weekends I need, bid my schedule and drop as I need to or adjust, technique only. I think PBS is what most company's use, so that is the feature they work with.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:43 AM   #6  
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....definitely Skywest!
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