Real Answers from Real Pilots

July 16 RESERVE Schedule


Ok I haven’t been posting a schedule since I bid Reserve so there’s really nothing to show before hand. BUT it occurs to me some of you might want to see what a Reserve schedule looks like so here’s how last month turned out:

Jul 1: OFF
Jul 2: Resv- No call
Jul 3: HNL-LAX
Jul 4: LAX-HNL
Jul 5-Jul 15: OFF
Jul 16: HNL-KIX (Volunteered on Day off for Extra Pay)
Jul 17: KIX Overnight
Jul 18: KIX-HNL
Jul 19: HNL-LAS
Jul 20: LAS Overnight
Jul 21: LAS-HNL
Jul 22: HNL-LAS
Jul 23: LAS Overnight
Jul 24: LAS-HNL
Jul 25: Resv- No call
Jul 26: Resv- No call
Jul 27: Resv- No call
Jul 28: HNL-LAX
Jul 29: LAX Overnight
Jul 30: LAX-HNL
Jul 31: Resv- No call

At Hawaiian we’re guaranteed 12 days off on Reserve per month but as you can see I only worked 14 days the whole month. We have a 3hr call out but since there’s literally nowhere you can be on Oahu that’s more than an hour away from the airport you can pretty much do as like. This is why I bid Reserve :wink:

(Walt) #2

Thanks for your contributions… it is very helpful to receive insider’s views of the industry prior to making the huge commitment to pursue an aviation career.

I see some regionals put new hires on reserve. Does this typically mean these pilots are at risk of only receiving minimal hours each month filling in when other pilots call off?


Hey Walt,

Great question. The answer is yes but I wouldn’t call it “at risk” because that’s not always a bad thing. This actually a fairly complicated subject but I’ll try and break it down (somewhat generically) and hopefully it’ll make some sense (clarity isn’t always my strength).

Ok as a pilot you will either have be a “lineholder” (aka hold a line, bid-line, bid,etc) or be on reserve. All pilots will also have a minimum guarantee (typically around 75hrs). Now if you have a line that line will be a minimum of 75 hrs (to cover the guarantee) to a maximum just under 100hrs (the FAA legal limit). Now most pilots bid a line as soon as they can hold one seniority wise because they want to know where, when and with whom they’re flying. Reserve you may fly, you may not, you’ll go wherever is needed, with whoever whenever. Typically that will mean less desirable trips (redeyes, low “credit”, lousy overnights) with less desirable pilots hence the attraction to getting a line. This is worse if you commute because you need to be close to the airport and if you don’t fly you’ll need a place to stay (aka crashpad) which is an additional expense while you’re struggling as a new guy. This all sounds pretty bleak BUT there are exceptions depending on your personal sitch making reserve actually desirable.

Take me for example. I don’t commute, I live on Oahu, my company has a 3 hr callout for reserves (meaning I have 3 hrs to get to the airport) and there’s literally nowhere I can go on this rock that’s more than 3 hrs from HNL. So commuting not an issue (was the same when I was EWR based and lived in NY 30 min away). Now on the Airbus we go JFK, West Coast, Australia, Asia and the South Pacific. Now let’s talk lines again. As I said lines will vary from 75-100hrs (min being the 75) and there are any number of ways to get to those numbers. All trips have a “credit” value based on the projected flight time of the trip. On the Airbus they range from 12hrs for a West Coast trip (say HNL-LAX-HNL) to 22 hrs for a Beijing and back. Either way your gone 2-3 days but you can 4 PEKs, earn 88hrs of pay, work only 12 days and have 18/19 off OR you can do 7 LAXs, earn 88hrs, work 18 days and only have 12 off. Obviously the better lines have better value trips so your work less and get paid more. Now at my relatively low seniority I’d be doing the 7 LAXs, probably redeyes with min days off. I therefore bid for a Reserve line. Why? Well we’re properly staffed (meaning most trips are covered unless someone’s sick or something breaks), I’m guaranteed 75hrs of pay but typically only fly 40-50hrs. While I’m only guaranteed 12 days off I typically end up with 18-20. The icing on the cake is the will often call me for a trip on a guaranteed day off in which case I get paid for that ABOVE the 75hrs which usually brings me up to the 87-95hr mark in pay (again while only actually flying 50-60hrs). I’m pretty easy going so I don’t worry too much about who I’m flying with and most of our overnights are pretty good. In short Reserve is actually a really good deal for me.

I hope that makes sense?


(Arthur) #4

Not a bad looking schedule at all. I would love to eventually be where you are. I was stationed over in Kaneohe Bay from 2001-2005.