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Crew Scheduler Interview  
User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 592 posts, RR: 2
Posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 9795 times:

Hello all,

I received a phone call from United Airlines HR regarding an interview for Crew Scheduling taking place early in January 2012.

I am very excited about returning to the airline industry, and am very hopeful on getting a job offer upon completion of the interview.

That being said, can anyone provide guidance or resources that will allow me to get a head-start on studying appropriate, accurate and up to date materials not only for the interview (so I can be familiar with the topics discussed), but, to be better prepared for training come the 30th of January.

Thank you all very much for your help, and, wish me luck!


12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineairtran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3714 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 9775 times:
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The only thing that you can easily get a hold of is a FAR/AIM to study crew duty requirements and limitations. That being said, the pilots and f/a's at UA have their own contractual requirements that must be met as well.

Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlinecvg2lga From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 645 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 9579 times:

Best of luck 777ord!



They don't call em' emergencies anymore. They call em' Patronies.
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1605 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 1 week ago) and read 9546 times:

Get a flight attendant Barbie and a Pilot Ken doll. Practice bending them over.

Kidding aside, hope the interview goes your way!

User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 5257 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 9514 times:

Wake your wife / significant other up at three in the morning and tell her to take out the garbage.

If you can do that you'll make a great scheduler.

The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2880 posts, RR: 49
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 9458 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 4):

Wake your wife / significant other up at three in the morning and tell her to take out the garbage.

If you can do that you'll make a great scheduler.

Oooh boy, you made my day Max Q!   

User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9448 times:

View the job as a customer service position.

User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1605 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9424 times:

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 6):
View the job as a customer service position.

Exactly. Have no personality and scream at the customers.  

User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7074 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9331 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting 777ord (Thread starter):

LOL, 777, as you will come to learn, the crews do not like scheduling!! It's weird because my mother is an 18 year scheduler with DL, my dad is a soon to be retired CAL captain and my brother is a captain with ASA. I get all sorts of stories from both sides...

With that being said, good luck to you on your interview! Just know that it is a very "by the book" job. There is no give or wiggle room like say being a gate agent so keep that in mind when they ask you certain interview questions.

What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineAirxliban From Lebanon, joined Oct 2003, 4520 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 9133 times:

Are you going to be doing scheduling in the planned roster environment or the active roster environment? I would assume crew scheduler = planned environerment. Management of the active roster (disruptions, delays, operational changes etc) is the responsibility of Crew Control.

Based on my experience doing crew scheduling interviews for (which may or may not have anything to do with United's interview process) I'd suggest the following:

1) Know your regulations (already mentioned above by airtran737)

Know what the relevant regulatory framework is as well as some of the major rules- I don't know what it is in America - in the UK and other countries it's CAP371, in the EU its EU-OPS. Be aware that the regulatory framework is just one piece of the puzzle and that more flexible rules are often negotiation by the airline's pilot union or cabin union (are you doing flight deck or cabin crew or both)?

Some questions I usually ask to make sure the interviewee has some clue about the regulations are:

What is the maximum FDP (of course this depends on start time, sectors etc but there is a maximum)
What is the definition of a day off and what is the definition of a local night?
What is minimum rest?
How many days off are required in a roster period?
How do you determine the legal minimum number of cabin crew required (for cabin crew - not relevant for pilots)

2) Know what the job entails

Be able to answer basic questions about roster production. How do you know that you've produced a good roster? What KPIs should you look for? Is bidding used? How do you know if you have enough crew within each type of crew group?

3) Know the IT systems

What software is used to produce the pairings and rosters? Is there a different system used to manage the live roster?

Crew Control is a bit of a different job, but questions that I'd ask for crew control would include something about making a last minute crewing decision e.g. at briefing time, one of the pilots for a flight calls in sick and you have no reserves. what do you do and how do you get the flight to go out on time?

Hope that helps

User currently offlinecharlienorth From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1145 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8987 times:

Lot's of advive here...at this you don't need to know the FAR's or the Contract..you'll learn those, what places look for jobs like this are how you handle situations, like angry crew members, un cooperative co-workers, they're not looking for a hero they want to see how your thought process is. Good Luck

User currently offlinefaxiTMA From Iceland, joined Jan 2009, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8897 times:

I currently work as a crew controller, so I'm working with an active roster but not as a crew planner like the position you're applying for. However I hope you'll find these points useful.

1. Human skills. Crew planning/control is a HIGHLY unappreciated job, crewplanners/controllers are probably one of the most disliked people in the airline business by the crews and some will think you're on a personal crusade agains them   So good human skills are essential to keep a good relationship with the crews, you are indeed working in the same company, towards a common goal.

2. Creativity. Some schedules call for creative pairings. Pairings is what you would also call trips, and can be everything from one round-trip to many legs, starting and ending at the crewmembers' base. Your job would be to create (and assign) pairings that get the most flight hours out of each crewmember: Maximum duty periods, minimum rest (no wonder we're not popular  )Try to avoid alot of deadhead or excess hotel time, that costs money.
To know your limits in scheduling, you will be required to read and understand to fullest extent the pilots and f/a contracts regarding flight time limitations and crew-rests. If you have any experience in reading and interpreting law-texts, that would bevery useful

3. General aviation knowledge. Of course you'll learn more as you get on the job, but to be familiar with rules regarding pilots annual checks, typeratings and licenses, cabin crew training and recency, diffrence between aircraft types etc. will give you a definite edge.

4. Good computer skills. The computer programs used in crewplanning are not highly complex, but they are, lets say, different   If you learn to use the system properly and take full advantage of them, you'll make an excellent planner. So being able to quickly adapt to new computer programs is a plus.

5. Co-operation with other crewplanners. United has probably many planners, working on different bases and different crews (some will handle pilots, other cabin). As a crew planner, you have to be able to work closely together to keep the show on the road.

Good luck on you interview

User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 592 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 8664 times:


Thank you so very much for your insight, and humor. I actually just received my itinerary from UA for the interview and am excited.

I am familar with FAR's and airline ops and anticipate a good learning curve for the new material. But, nothing that cannot be handled.

Definitely some great pointers you all mentioned.

thank you again! I'll report back after the interview!


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