I guess it all depends on the carrier.
I am a UAL furloughee. I am a "new hire" for a cargo airline that is based out of IAD
, and the company pays to commercial me from my home (southern WI
) to pick up a trip--could be anywhere in the world. Basic schedule is 18 on 12 off (days, that is).
Recent example. I flew commercial from Milwaukee to Fairbanks, Alaska. Overnighted in Fairbanks. Picked up an extra trip that went from Fairbanks (Eilson), Elemendorf, to Mountain Home--plane (DC-10F)had come from a Japan rotation (Kadena-Yokota-Eilson). We met the off-coming crew at the Captain Bartlett Inn--they were going to commercial to HNL
the next day for another Pacific rotation.
Got 9 hours rest in Mountain Home. We then flew the plane empty to IAD
for a check. Trip ended and I commercialed home again waiting for next phone call.
In our case, company does not want idle aircraft or crews. Time is money.
On international flights, company pays for business class. Domestic, it is a different story. In my example above, it was all UAL Economy Plus--didn't have enough miles to make it up front--LOL!