Real Answers from Real Pilots

A Scheduling Q:

How easy is it to stack your trips and build 5-7+ consecutive days off without taking actual vacation time? As an extreme example, is it possible to fly the first 16 days of the month, and be off the last 14?

Sorry if this has been asked before.

-David

Hello David,

It is of course possible but scheduling, like everything else at the airlines, is based on seniority. You get your requested days off only if they are available and no one senior to you requested them as well.

I know of a few crewmembers that commute from overseas (One CA from the Caribbean, an FA from Italy, and even an FO from Beijing). They are able to set their schedules just like you described, but they are bidding at pretty high seniority.

Yarden

David,

Actually, it can be rather hard to stack your trips like you describe as there are FAA scheduling limitations that in many cases prevent flying more than six days in a row, plus there are oftentimes contractual limitations that prevent this.

Occasionally I will get a week or so off, but generally my days off come in blocks of three or four days and I am pretty senior on the 737.

Chris

David,

As the others have said it’s all about seniority. I routinely get 10 days off in a row with no issue and I’m relatively low seniority on the Airbus,

Adam

Not sure if you heard of this but do you guys have trip trading?

Melek,

Heard of it? My entire life is BASED on it! I am the King of the Trip Trade! As far as I’m concerned there’s ALWAYS a better trip out there (more credit, better crew, better overnight etc). I even pay to get text notifications anytime a new trip pops up. With some skill, talent and luck you can turn a bad schedule into a good one! LOVE LOVE LOVE me some trip trading! :slight_smile:

Adam

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Melek,

Yes we have trip trading. And yes, some people call me the “Wizard”. :wink:

I, like Adam, believe there is always room to improve your schedule and I modify it quite a bit over the course of the month.

Yarden

Well King is better than Wizard now isn’t it? :slight_smile:

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