March 2019 Schedule

A pretty standard month for a junior reserve pilot.

  1. Off
  2. Off
  3. Off
  4. Off
  5. Long call reserve - did not fly
  6. ORF-RDU (deadhead from home)
  7. RDU-DEN, deadhead back to ORF
  8. Off
  9. Off
  10. Off
  11. ORF-IAH (deadhead), IAH-MEM
  12. All day in MEM
  13. MEM-IAH
  15. SNA-SFO, deadhead back to ORF
  16. Off
  17. Off
  18. Off
  19. Off
  20. short call reserve - did not fly
  22. EWR-MTJ
  23. MTJ-EWR
  24. short call reserve - did not fly
  25. Off
  26. Off
  27. EWR-MTJ (deadhead), MTJ-EWR
  28. short call reserve - did not fly
  30. All day in BDL
  31. BDL-IAD, IAD-AUS, AUS-IAH, IAH-TUL (deadhead)
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Hey Chris,

Is it possible to swap flights with pilots or days or reserve days? And can you pick up a flight from a pilot who wants off? In other words flexible trading etc…




There is some ability to trade days and trips, but it can be rather limited. People tend not to do it much as there are FAA time limitations that factor into trading and we all work pretty hard, so there is not a big desire to fly on days off.


Hi Chris,

I know SNA has very short runways compared to most other international airports you all fly into. Does this get tricky at all?


Yes. The short runway can lead to weight restrictions for departures and when it rains and breaking action is reduced, issues landing there.

It is not one of my favorite airports to fly into. I find it absurd that the FAA has not forced them to lengthen their runway.


Just one of the unfortunate ramifications of being near a residential area. Orange County residents are “squeaky wheels”. Noise abatement is a big deal there so I don’t ever see the FAA lengthening the runway.

Ironically, a longer runway would lead to reduced power settings and thus quieter takeoffs.

As an aside, the local airport authority controls runway lengths, not the FAA.

How’d you like BDL? It’s my home airport and I consider it to be very good, just curious about outside opinions.


I will be honest, it didn’t really stand out in my mind one way or the other, which is a good thing. I had flown there before when I worked for ExpressJet, but it had been a long time.

I did find a good Mexican food place downtown.


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Chris I know this is an older post, but I’m curious on how you like MEM. I fly in and out of there every couple of months going to Mississippi as North Mississippi is lacking in airports and airlines that fly into there. Do you fly into MEM a lot with your company? Anyways, stay safe while there as is a top crime area in the USA last I heard.


I fly there a fair amount, but would not say that it is one of my regular cities. Memphis is okay, not one of my favorites, but is okay.


Good BBQ!


Yes guys great BBQ there. I’m sure you’ve been to all the places I’d recommend. You’ve been there also Adam? Does Hawaii Airlines fly into there? Also didn’t mean to deter from the board, not sure if regular talk is allowed. If not I apologize, it wanting to break any rules.

Hawaiian does not but I was at ExpressJet for 10 years and we flew EVERYWHERE in the continental US, Canada and Mexico!


Regular talk is absolutely allowed and encouraged.

Chris, older thread but curious. To piggyback on OP, similar question. But instead of trading with those who have a day off, is it ever feasible to trade flights?

Everyone gets their schedule and the Catholic pilot has to work Christmas, the Jewish pilot has to work Saturday, another pilot has to go to a wedding, so they trade shifts? Are there so many moving parts to that that it’s never feasible or does it happen?


I suppose that could happen, but there are a lot of moving parts and it is not that easy to just trade with other pilots. It happens, but not that often. Remember that there are FAA rules that govern how much a pilot can fly, so trading a trip might interfere with those rest requirements or maximum duty periods.

Bear in mind that most pilots want Christmas off and almost everybody wants weekends off as well. You will be hard to pressed to find a pilot that is willing to work a weekend and give up his time with his family so you can attend a wedding.

The great part about bidding schedules is that seniority ranks things and there are no company favorites that always seem to get their requested days off. This is the reason that many pilots chose to remain a First Officer for some time instead of upgrading to Captain at the first possible opportunity, they like the flexibility and purchasing power that increased seniority offers.


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Most pilot bidding systems have an area where you can “post” trips for trade. The problem is it precludes you from getting any kind of premium pay because you’re not helping the company (vs trading for something in opentime). I do have some good friends who I can reach out to if I really need something but that works both ways so you have to be careful and use it judiciously.


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Pilots never seem to have an enough money. So sometimes if you really need to get rid of something or trade a bad trip for a better one or with different days off, you can put money on it. You’ll see it in open time with a note, “trade only” or “trade plus $200 Venmo” or “pick up, $400 Venmo”. It’s totally not sponsored or monitored by the company, just handled between pilots. However, it can help facilitate trades that some pilots typically wouldn’t take.

For example, if you need a Saturday off and your trip is Thursday to Sunday most of the time no one will want to trade with you and give up their weekend. But if they could get a little extra cash and have no plans that weekend, maybe they will trade.


Interesting, I have never heard of pilots paying other pilots to pick up trips before. I think our union would go nuts over that one.