Switching domicile

I know this may vary at different airlines, however, when one switches domiciles ( say this is a more senior base), are they usually put on reserve at first due to their seniority compared to others at that specific domicile? If so, is it possible for one to avoid being put on reserve by waiting to gain more seniority at that airline before switching bases?


Yes, no, maybe? There are many variables that effect the answer to your question.

First question is why did you switch domiciles? If it was by choice then I have to assume you did it because getting to that domicile was a priority and you did it as soon as you could regardless of your “relative seniority” at that base. In that case you might have to be on Reserve. If it wasn’t that great a priority then yes you could wait until your relative seniority was high enough so you wouldn’t have to sit Reserve.

Problem comes if it wasn’t voluntary. Maybe your airline closes a base, opens a new base or they have a “displacement” bid and you’re forced out of your base into another. If that’s the case then you have no say when you go.

Finally what’s so bad about Reserve? Reserve isn’t ideal if you don’t live at your domicile but if you do it can be a good thing. I’ve always lived in base and I often bid Reserve. I get a better schedule, more days off and often better trips than I could old with my own seniority.

Whether that’s true or not for you will depend on your airline, where you live and what kind of Reserve rules you have but don’t knock it till you try it.



The second option is exactly the way to avoid being on reserve when you switch bases. Your seniority goes with you, so simply wait until you have enough seniority at the desired base, then make the switch.