Airline Pilot Central Forums

Airline Pilot Central Forums (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/)
-   Regional (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/regional/)
-   -   How commuting works (https://www.airlinepilotforums.com/regional/81680-how-commuting-works.html)

kfahmi 05-22-2014 11:41 AM

How commuting works
 
Sorry for the noob question, but I'm looking to improve my limited understanding of how commuting works, given that it looks like I'll have to commute for a while after starting at OO.

As I understand it, here's how it works. Please correct me where I'm wrong (and I'm sure much of this is wrong.)

1. On Skywest aircraft, you can list for the jumpseat in advance, presumably using a website to do so. How long in advance can you list? Is it first-come, first-served, or does it go by seniority?

2. On aircraft operated by a partner airline (AA, DAL, UAL, Alaska)...how does that work? I assume that mainline crews get priority. Can you list in advance or do you just have to show up and hope you get a seat? Who can bump you? And, given that OO only operates for AA and Alaska along relatively limited routes, how would your chances of getting an Alaska jumpseat be if you aren't flying on a OO airplane on an Alaska route?

3. On aircraft operated by non-partner airlines (SWA, VX, etc etc), you cannot list in advance. You just show up at the airport and hope there is a seat. You are last in priority after mainline crew and crew at regionals that partner with that mainline.

I'm not talking about travel benefits...just the logistics of getting to and from work.

A few more questions:
1) Let's say you commute out of SFO, as I would be. Can you park for free in SFO employee parking or do you have to pay?

2) In the worst-case scenario, you've done your best but you can't find a seat on any airline, meaning you're stuck in Dubuque while you're supposed to be in O'Hare. Crew scheduling calls you for a trip, and you confess you can't make it. How many times can that happen before they show you the door?

3) In places such as MSP, ORD, DEN, COS, IAH (the junior RJ bases, I believe), are there crash pads within reach of the airport by public transit?

Sorry for the long-winded questions but given that an SFO/EMB base does not seem to be an option for new guys for quite some time, I just wanted to figure out how to prepare for the commuting life. Thank you for helping a FNG.

Terrain Inop 05-22-2014 11:47 AM

Typically you have priority on your own metal. Offline depends on the Jumpseat agreement.
You're on your own for parking out of domicile, unless there's been a change in the past year.
Don't miss your commute while on probation (year 1). Don't make a habit of it after that (miss more than one a year)
COS most likely won't have a convinent crash pad, DEN is nearly in Kansas, so not real likely there, the others should. Once you get on property check the SAPA boards.

rcfd13 05-22-2014 11:54 AM

As I understand it:

Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
1. On Skywest aircraft, you can list for the jumpseat in advance, presumably using a website to do so. How long in advance can you list? Is it first-come, first-served, or does it go by seniority?

You can't really list for jumpseat in advance (except on AA). You show up to the gate and list at the gate. Skywest crews have priority for jumpseats on Skywest airplanes. If you list with another Skywest pilot then it goes by seniority for who gets the jumpseat.


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
2. On aircraft operated by a partner airline (AA, DAL, UAL, Alaska)...how does that work? I assume that mainline crews get priority. Can you list in advance or do you just have to show up and hope you get a seat? Who can bump you? And, given that OO only operates for AA and Alaska along relatively limited routes, how would your chances of getting an Alaska jumpseat be if you aren't flying on a OO airplane on an Alaska route?

Again you just show up at the gate and list. Anyone listed who works for the airline will have priority over you. For United flights the priority is UAL pilots, then United Express employees by time of checkin. If you check in before an expressjet/republic pilot you bump them. If they check in before you then they bump you.

Chances of getting on vary by route. I've commuted ORD-SFO, ORD-LAX and LAX-FAT in my career. ORD-SFO and ORD-LAX I rarely ever got bumped. The jumpseat was always available. LAX-FAT I was bumped probably an average of 3 times every single day I tried to do that commute. Every plane is full with multiple jumpseaters for every flight. It got better once we started doing the AA flights and had priority on them. When Eagle operated those flights I would get bumped by mainline American pilots all the time who for some reason choose to live in FAT.


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
3. On aircraft operated by non-partner airlines (SWA, VX, etc etc), you cannot list in advance. You just show up at the airport and hope there is a seat. You are last in priority after mainline crew and crew at regionals that partner with that mainline.

You can list in advance for some airlines. Every airline is different. SWA, JetBlue and American are three that prefer you call ahead or list online. Most airlines just have you list at the gate.

Jumpseaters always have last priority on the standby list. Even on a Skywest flight if you list for jumpseat you're put at the bottom of the standby list. It doesn't matter if you're offline or not.


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
1) Let's say you commute out of SFO, as I would be. Can you park for free in SFO employee parking or do you have to pay?

Skywest will not buy commuters parking passes anywhere other than their domicile. Parking is 100% on you if you're looking for a parking pass outside of your domicile even if you live in one domicile and commute to another. I have a lot of unkind things to say about this policy so I'll just leave it at that.


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
2) In the worst-case scenario, you've done your best but you can't find a seat on any airline, meaning you're stuck in Dubuque while you're supposed to be in O'Hare. Crew scheduling calls you for a trip, and you confess you can't make it. How many times can that happen before they show you the door?

I met a guy with over 30 SADs once who hadn't been fired. Your first year you'll be on probation and won't be able to get away with much. After that it's pretty hard to get fired.

For what it's worth I commuted ORD-SFO, ORD-LAX and ORD-FAT for 2 years and never missed a single commute. If you're nervous about loads or it's near a holiday just leave yourself a few options and don't try to commute at the last second. As long as you plan ahead a bit it's not that hard (but it's a big waste of your time at home).


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
3) In places such as MSP, ORD, DEN, COS, IAH (the junior RJ bases, I believe), are there crash pads within reach of the airport by public transit?

Yes. Every domicile will have crashpad listings posted in the crew room. You probably want to stay away from maintenance bases like COS, TUS and FAT as a commuter. Most trips in maintenance bases start early in the morning when planes come out of maintenance, then end late at night with planes coming in for overnight maintenance. When I was based in FAT I would get stuck there for an extra night a lot because there are no late flights out of FAT, and every show time is early in the morning.


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
Sorry for the long-winded questions but given that an SFO/EMB base does not seem to be an option for new guys for quite some time, I just wanted to figure out how to prepare for the commuting life. Thank you for helping a FNG.

You'll probably get a transfer to at least LAX if not all the way to SFO within your first few months. Things are moving a bit at the bottom of the seniority list.

kfahmi 05-22-2014 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by rcfd13 (Post 1649330)
As I understand it:


You can't really list for jumpseat in advance (except on AA).

So if I was commuting SFO-ORD, given that those are both AA hubs, AA would seem like a good option, yes? And now that OO will be flying SFO-ORD, that would seem to make that commute a bit easier.


Originally Posted by rcfd13 (Post 1649330)
Jumpseaters always have last priority on the standby list. Even on a Skywest flight if you list for jumpseat you're put at the bottom of the standby list. It doesn't matter if you're offline or not.

But you're not behind passengers, right? Since if the flight is completely full AND there is no other OO pilot wanting the JS, you get the JS in the cockpit, yes? Wait a minute...does an RJ even physically have a JS?


Originally Posted by rcfd13 (Post 1649330)
Skywest will not buy commuters parking passes anywhere other than their domicile. Parking is 100% on you if you're looking for a parking pass outside of your domicile even if you live in one domicile and commute to another. I have a lot of unkind things to say about this policy so I'll just leave it at that.

Wow.


Originally Posted by rcfd13 (Post 1649330)
You'll probably get a transfer to at least LAX if not all the way to SFO within your first few months. Things are moving a bit at the bottom of the seniority list.

That would be nice!

Thank you for all your advice, it is much appreciated...!!

etflies 05-22-2014 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649364)
So if I was commuting SFO-ORD, given that those are both AA hubs, AA would seem like a good option, yes? And now that OO will be flying SFO-ORD, that would seem to make that commute a bit easier.



But you're not behind passengers, right? Since if the flight is completely full AND there is no other OO pilot wanting the JS, you get the JS in the cockpit, yes? Wait a minute...does an RJ even physically have a JS?



Wow.



That would be nice!

Thank you for all your advice, it is much appreciated...!!


American would work, but SFO/ORD are also both United hubs, and I believe Virgin has flights between the two as well so you'll have plenty of options to work with. I haven't heard anything about SkyWest metal flying SFO/ORD. That one seems to have no trouble filling mainline flights all day.

You'd be behind revenue passengers, but you can still take the flight deck jump seat if it isn't otherwise occupied or taken by someone with priority over you. Yes, the RJ has a physical jump seat....it isn't comfortable but it'll get you there.

air101 05-22-2014 12:41 PM

[QUOTE=kfahmi;1649364]So if I was commuting SFO-ORD, given that those are both AA hubs, AA would seem like a good option, yes? And now that OO will be flying SFO-ORD, that would seem to make that commute a bit easier.


SkyWest will NOT be flying SFO-ORD... that is a mainline route all the way.

rcfd13 05-22-2014 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649364)
So if I was commuting SFO-ORD, given that those are both AA hubs, AA would seem like a good option, yes? And now that OO will be flying SFO-ORD, that would seem to make that commute a bit easier.



But you're not behind passengers, right? Since if the flight is completely full AND there is no other OO pilot wanting the JS, you get the JS in the cockpit, yes? Wait a minute...does an RJ even physically have a JS

The only plane I've been on without a jumpseat is a Beach 1900. If you're commuting SFO-ORD it's not going to be on RJs. They're all mainline 737s, A320s and 757s. Sometimes you'll get lucky and get a 777 on that route.

Skywest isn't going to fly SFO-ORD. That's hub to hub for both United and American which is prohibited by scope. It also pushes the limitations of what both the 700 and E175 could do range wise with a full load of passengers.

I used to take Virgin, AA and United in that order for my ORD-SFO and ORD-LAX commutes. Virgin is the best but only runs a couple of flights per day. AA treats their jumpseaters really well. United runs the most flights per day so I'd end up on United if that was the best option but I tried to avoid it.

kfahmi 05-22-2014 12:57 PM

[QUOTE=air101;1649395]

Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649364)
So if I was commuting SFO-ORD, given that those are both AA hubs, AA would seem like a good option, yes? And now that OO will be flying SFO-ORD, that would seem to make that commute a bit easier.


SkyWest will NOT be flying SFO-ORD... that is a mainline route all the way.

Oops, sorry. I saw the announcement of E175 service SFO-MSP and somehow got MSP confused with ORD. Thank you.

Std Deviation 05-22-2014 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by kfahmi (Post 1649310)
Sorry for the noob question, but I'm looking to improve my limited understanding of how commuting works, given that it looks like I'll have to commute for a while after starting at OO.

I thought for sure you'd get the sarcastic answers like, "It's a non-paid part time job on your days off."

No really, It's a non-paid part time job on your days off.:eek:

kfahmi 05-22-2014 02:51 PM


Originally Posted by Std Deviation (Post 1649476)
I thought for sure you'd get the sarcastic answers like, "It's a non-paid part time job on your days off."

No really, It's a non-paid part time job on your days off.:eek:

Yeah, I kinda figured that out already. I think I am starting to understand why everyone told me, "Whatever you do, don't commute, and for the love of God do not commute to reserve." So I'm just looking for whatever plan takes me to an SFO base in the shortest possible timeframe.

I can see myself commuting for a year or two but I cannot imagine how the guys who commute for many years, especially across the country and especially during holidays and major weather events, manage to do it.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:17 AM.


User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Website Copyright 2000 - 2017 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands