Real Answers from Real Pilots

Reserve... are you paid?

Hi guys,

Just a random shower-though question… do you get paid of reserve? This might be a dumb question to the more experienced guys but I’m all serious.

My understanding of being on reserve, is that you are given a schedule of “work” days and off days. Works days being that you must be available to fly if called upon. Say you’re given a schedule for a month, and you where never called. No one was sick, no one canceled etc. Do you still get paid? What if you get called on some days and don’t get called on others?

I understand that pilots get paid by the flight hour, but there aren’t any hours to be paid by if you don’t go flying, right?

I’m assuming you get paid regardless if you get called or not, but of course at a lower rate than if you where flying. Asking because I needed an official answer.

Warm regards,


At the airlines pilots get paid a minimum guarantee, at my airline it is 70 hours. If you do not fly at all, you still get paid the 70 hours. If you fly more, you get paid the higher amount. The highest a pilot can fly in a month is 100 hours, most of the time I fly around 85, but I have had reserve months where I did not fly and got paid the minimum guarantee of 70.


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If you take a look at my Dec schedule (in the Schedules category) you’ll see I was on Reserve in Dec. I flew 65hrs but Hawaiian’s min guarantee is 75hrs so I got paid for 75hrs.


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