highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### Crew Bases: Probability

Hi all,

just wondering: when you are first hired by an airline, (for example AA) how do they place you at a domicile? in AA's case, they have quite a few domiciles, so would it be just a balance of crews at each? also, once hired, could they re-locate you to a different one? what if you want to commute from a city, how would you arrange that? also, if you are already living near a domicile, would they just put you there to save time? also, if you are placed at a domicile with no international ops, once your seniority better and you move up, how do you start a international route? same thing with an aircraft type not at your base?

i know, so many questions! thank you all in advance!!!!

highflyer
121

WNCrew
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):just wondering: when you are first hired by an airline, (for example AA) how do they place you at a domicile? in AA's case, they have quite a few domiciles, so would it be just a balance of crews at each? also, once hired, could they re-locate you to a different one? what if you want to commute from a city, how would you arrange that? also, if you are already living near a domicile, would they just put you there to save time? also, if you are placed at a domicile with no international ops, once your seniority better and you move up, how do you start a international route? same thing with an aircraft type not at your base?

Firstly you have to look at how the work-group as a whole is divided up. For instance, at United, ALL FA's are qualified on ALL aircraft so no matter where you are based you could effectively work on any type of aircraft. At American you are ONLY qualified on certain aircraft in regards to your base and also whether you fly domestic or international. (If you are from AA and I am wrong please correct me...this is what I know from friends at AA) SO, you're asking about AA....I would assume you would be Domestic out of training and then based depending on need. Here at WN we've been adding aircraft to Orlando so I know quite a few of the new class are going to Orlando.....staffing needs change based on routes, terminating aircraft etc.

In regards to transferring....yes generally you are allowed to transfer. I know at most airlines you have to stay in each base at least one month but you could change bases each month if you wanted to if the base had openings. I know at one or two carriers though you have to STAY in your initial base until your 6 months of probation is over; I want to say that's United or Continental but I'm not 100%. If the airline needs people at another base and doesn't get enough voluntary transfers then it CAN force-base you there but I wouldn't say that happens often.

If you live close to a base the airline doesn't care. It doesn't do anything for them...they put you where they need you. If you have to commute you just use your airline (and some people commute on other carriers, "offline" commuters....) but sometimes you don't get benefits on other carriers until you've been flying for a bit. Also airlines generally discourage commuting. Remember you're flying standby so you could get bumped. Some carriers have commuter policies in their contracts but you're usually not covered while you're new "on probation" and for some you're not covered when sitting reserve.

As for flying international that goes back to the first part of my post. If you have to "qualify" to fly International based on seniority then I would think you'd have to wait a while. Some people get ahead of the game by speaking a second language....others stay domestic for years. Then at places like United you fly a mix of everything in some bases. Each carrier has a different structure and hopefully you'll get responses from people who can give you more specific information for each carrier.

I fly for WN. We ONLY fly domestic and we have 7 bases, DAL,HOU,PHX,OAK,MDW,BWI, MCO and LAS (opening fall 2007). We're all qualified on everything and we all fly similar trips. Some bases have more productive flying than others but that's because of their location. People get based out of training depending on where there is a need. I was based in OAK out of training, waited 6 months for MDW.....but then after I got here people were coming into MDW right out of training....it's ever-changing.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

doug_or
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Everything is bid by senority. If you are a new hire that means they have open positions. Those positions are made available to current employees (those senior to you) first. Whatever is left over will then be bid on by the new hires, who will be awarded the positions in seniority order within the class (usualy determined by age or social security #). Policies vary by airline but they very rarely force move you. When they do they will generaly pay moving expenses. If you base doesn't have certain equipment or operations types then you can't bid for them, you must go to a base that has it. Commuting is something you do on your own using your non-rev benifits. Its free for most pilots due to jumpseat privledges, but the responsibility to get to work on time is yours, and you will be a standby passenger, so weather, maintance, and peak holidays loads can ruin you day.
When in doubt, one B pump off

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Thank you very much WNCrew and Doug_Or for your informative responces!!

 Quoting WNCrew (Reply 1):Some people get ahead of the game by speaking a second language

WNCrew-this statement interests me a lot. Are you saying as a pilot for example, you could overide a bid by seniority if you spoke a second language, say french, and be placed on CDG route? how exactly does that work?

thanks!

highflyer
121

doug_or
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

It means nothing for a pilot, but as an F/A airlines may allow more junior people to get international trips if they speak the right foerign tongue. Not sure how it works, but perhaps there are a certain # of spots on various trips that can only be bid by languege qualified crewmembers?
When in doubt, one B pump off

WNCrew
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 3):WNCrew-this statement interests me a lot. Are you saying as a pilot for example, you could overide a bid by seniority if you spoke a second language, say french, and be placed on CDG route? how exactly does that work?

Well, I know I have several friends at CO who were all hired at the same time. Most of them are still on reserve...they don't have enough seniority to hold a line, but two of them are foreign lang. speakers so they are holding lines to the language destinations...ie French-CDG etc. You're technically NOT overiding the bid, you're sort of in a different category. Foreign destination flights are required (by the airline I assume) to have speakers on board so it's almost like you're in a different "virtual base".

DISCLAIMER: I don't want to lead anyone down the wrong path. This is just how I've understood it through friends at other carriers since the industry as a whole operates pretty similarly. I could be wrong on some points, OTHERS please correct me if I'm wrong.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

doug_or
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Just to clarify, you're talking about F/As, right?

I only mention it becuase highflyer mentioned pilots in his particular question.
When in doubt, one B pump off

WNCrew
Posts: 873
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:22 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

I'm so sorry guys, I should read more carefully. Now I've created all sorts of crap that you'll have to scroll past....

Sorry
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Limiting this to AA pilots (there are far too many variations by airline/crew positions out there)....

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):just wondering: when you are first hired by an airline, (for example AA) how do they place you at a domicile?

Open pilot positions are called "vacancies" and are filled by seniority bid. New hires will "bid" for known openings and will be trained on proper equipment to fill that vacancy.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter): in AA's case, they have quite a few domiciles, so would it be just a balance of crews at each?

No, a new hire pilot will fill remaining vacancies. There is no "balance" of crews, but rather a "requirement" at each base to fill the flying assigned.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):also, once hired, could they re-locate you to a different one?

Yes, but you have to bid and be awarded such assignment based upon your system seniority.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):what if you want to commute from a city, how would you arrange that?

You are on your own. Most pilots try to use recipical cockpit jumpseat agreements with other airlines (fewer folks competing for those seats).

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):also, if you are already living near a domicile, would they just put you there to save time?

No, you go where AA needs you based upon what your seniority will hold.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):also, if you are placed at a domicile with no international ops, once your seniority better and you move up, how do you start a international route?

You commute to wherever your crew base is (see above).

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter):same thing with an aircraft type not at your base?

Bid by seniority.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

doug_or
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting WNCrew (Reply 7):I'm so sorry guys, I should read more carefully. Now I've created all sorts of crap that you'll have to scroll past.... Sorry

No worries, I learned something and the first post didn't specify anyway. I was just making sure we were all on the same page.
When in doubt, one B pump off

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting WNCrew (Reply 7):I'm so sorry guys, I should read more carefully. Now I've created all sorts of crap that you'll have to scroll past....

no worries!

 Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 9):I was just making sure we were all on the same page.

Thanks Doug_Or!

great responces! So as a pilot, the whole language deal is out.....ouch!

highflyer
121

KingAirMan
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:33 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

A friend of mine going to American Eagle as a pilot, said you can pick your base . Is this true ? I asked him what type of Aircraft he was going to fly, actually more or less how this was selected, he said after the initial class, you bid your base, which in turn helps narrow down the a/c you will fly. Anyone have any info on who decided if you fly a Saab 340 or a ERJ, CRJ.? I know that ATR is based soley out of miami. Correct me if im wrong

kingairman

AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

For pilots it depends on what type of aircraft you're going to fly.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Thread starter): just wondering: when you are first hired by an airline, (for example AA) how do they place you at a domicile? in AA's case, they have quite a few domiciles, so would it be just a balance of crews at each? also, once hired, could they re-locate you to a different one? what if you want to commute from a city, how would you arrange that? also, if you are already living near a domicile, would they just put you there to save time? also, if you are placed at a domicile with no international ops, once you

It all depends on what type of aircraft you're going to fly. You will train for a few weeks at the company then transfer to your base. Relocation is all up to the employee, they don't care where you live you're going to have to be based where the aircraft type is based. For this reason many commute flights to get to work, commuting sucks unless the route you commute is served by many ailrines. There are pro and cons to commuting. You get to live where you want however commuting will take valuable time away from your personal life and sometimes you have to use your day off to commute to ensure that you get there in time for your duty. Most pilots that I've talked to say avoid commuting at all costs if you can.

 Quoting KingAirMan (Reply 11):A friend of mine going to American Eagle as a pilot, said you can pick your base . Is this true ? I asked him what type of Aircraft he was going to fly, actually more or less how this was selected, he said after the initial class, you bid your base, which in turn helps narrow down the a/c you will fly. Anyone have any info on who decided if you fly a Saab 340 or a ERJ, CRJ.? I know that ATR is based soley out of miami. Correct me if im wrong

It's true. AE has been desperate for pilots and as an incentive to bring in whatever they can find they have started to offer base prefferene to new hires before they start training. From what I've heard you can pretty much get any type of aircraft right now, yes any, they are that desperate. Chicago based ERJ seems very popular.

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 12):they don't care where you live you're going to have to be based where the aircraft type is based.

what if you are more senior and are rated on more than one of an airlines aircraft...could you end up flying all those types in one 4 day trip or is it one aircraft type per cycle?
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AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

common aircraft like a319/320 yes, 737/757 no.

jblake1
Posts: 262
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

what is a line? and what does "holding a line" mean?

AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 13):what if you are more senior and are rated on more than one of an airlines aircraft...could you end up flying all those types in one 4 day trip or is it one aircraft type per cycle?

At AA... NO. You are only "current" in one "type" at a time and only hold a "bid position" for a single "type" at any one time. Not all that long ago AA pilots could hold multi-bid positions, but that went away (costs \$\$\$ to maintain currency) not so recently.   Only "common" type ratings AA currently has are 767/757.

 Quoting Jblake1 (Reply 15):what is a line? and what does "holding a line" mean?

A "line" holder is someone who has a known schedule for the contractual month. Different than a "reserve" (non-line holder) pilot who only has a schedule of days on/off. i.e. I hold line #101 this month.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 14):could you end up flying all those types in one 4 day trip or is it one aircraft type per cycle?

 Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 14):common aircraft like a319/320 yes, 737/757 no.

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 16):You are only "current" in one "type" at a time and only hold a "bid position" for a single "type" at any one time.

(example) So for someone flying for AA based at BOS and rated on the 737, 757, 767, and 777, they can only fly the BOS-LHR flight if they choose to fly the 777 that month? (BOS-LHR is the only BOS 777 scheduled flight)
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AAR90
Posts: 3140
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting Highflyer9790 (Reply 17):(example) So for someone flying for AA based at BOS and rated on the 737, 757, 767, and 777, they can only fly the BOS-LHR flight if they choose to fly the 777 that month?

There is no monthly "choice." You bid (by seniority) for job vacancies usually once per month for openings 2-3 months from when you bid. Once you are awarded/assigned the job, that becomes your new bid status for a minimum of (I think) one year. You can only hold one bid status at a time, so IF the pilot in your example held BOS/777/I bid status, then he would fly only 777 trips that originate/end at BOS. He can NOT fly any other equipment until his bid status changes. The only pilots holding "multiple bid status" jobs at AA are TULE Test Pilots.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

doug_or
Posts: 3151
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting Highflyer9790 (Reply 17):(example) So for someone flying for AA based at BOS and rated on the 737, 757, 767, and 777, they can only fly the BOS-LHR flight if they choose to fly the 777 that month? (BOS-LHR is the only BOS 777 scheduled flight)

They would only be current on the 777. While type ratings do not expire, your currency on an aircraft does. No part 121 US airline I know of pays for their pilots to remain current on multiple aircraft.
When in doubt, one B pump off

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 18):You can only hold one bid status at a time, so IF the pilot in your example held BOS/777/I bid status, then he would fly only 777 trips that originate/end at BOS. He can NOT fly any other equipment until his bid status changes.

 Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 19):They would only be current on the 777. While type ratings do not expire, your currency on an aircraft does. No part 121 US airline I know of pays for their pilots to remain current on multiple aircraft.

So how long does a currency last? after this bid period, could you bid on another aircraft if you are current?

 Quoting Doug_Or (Reply 19):No part 121 US airline I know of pays for their pilots to remain current on multiple aircraft.

So if your currency experires, you can only bid one one aircraft??
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AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 20):So how long does a currency last?

To keep things simple use the following generalization: as long as you complete all of your airline's Recurrent Training on-schedule you will always remain "current" in that type aircraft for that airline.

 Quote:...after this bid period, could you bid on another aircraft if you are current?

Understand that we are speaking about two different subjects: JOB vacancies and monthly LINES of flying. At AA, pilots bid every month (normally 12-17th) for the following month's LINES of flying (your monthly work schedule). That has nothing to do with changing aircraft type. Changing equipment (777, 757/767, 737, A300, S80), crew base (LAX, DFW, MIA, etc.), division (international, domestic) and seat (CA, FO) are all filled via a JOB VACANCIES bid run that occurs 2-3 months PRIOR to the actual effective date of the change --gives time to complete necessary training, etc.

 Quote:So if your currency experires, you can only bid one one aircraft??

AA pilots are CONTRACTUALLY limited to a single bid status at any one time. IOW, you can only bid one aircraft at any one time no matter what your currency is. That is a CONTRACTUAL requirement. If your currency expires (rare, but it does happen) you will be required to return for recurrent training at AA's Flight Academy PRIOR to your NEXT FLIGHT (AA will automatically remove you from the trip).
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 21):To keep things simple use the following generalization: as long as you complete all of your airline's Recurrent Training on-schedule you will always remain "current" in that type aircraft for that airline.

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 21):Understand that we are speaking about two different subjects: JOB vacancies and monthly LINES of flying. At AA, pilots bid every month (normally 12-17th) for the following month's LINES of flying (your monthly work schedule). That has nothing to do with changing aircraft type. Changing equipment (777, 757/767, 737, A300, S80), crew base (LAX, DFW, MIA, etc.), division (international, domestic) and seat (CA, FO) are all filled via a JOB VACANCIES bid run that occurs 2-3 months PRIOR to the actual effective date of the change --gives time to complete necessary training, etc.

ah i didnt make that connection....so the only way to change lines of flying (i.e aircraft, int'l, base as mentioned above) is to wait for a vacancy, which is then filled by the seniority of the applicant?
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AAR90
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 22):ah i didnt make that connection....so the only way to change lines of flying (i.e aircraft, int'l, base as mentioned above) is to wait for a vacancy, which is then filled by the seniority of the applicant?

I think you've got it.    The last Job Vacancy run (first week of Feb?) was for an April 1st effective date. It listed known openings, planned displacements (fewer jobs at a crew base) and reminders on how to update your Standing Bid List --a computer file that has all of your preferences, displacement choices, etc. for how you want to handle any potenial change(s) to your job status.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 23):I think you've got it. The last Job Vacancy run (first week of Feb?) was for an April 1st effective date. It listed known openings, planned displacements (fewer jobs at a crew base) and reminders on how to update your Standing Bid List --a computer file that has all of your preferences, displacement choices, etc. for how you want to handle any potenial change(s) to your job status.

thanks a lot AAR90! so if you plan to move up the chain to bigger aircraft and int'l ops, switching bases is inevidible?
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AAR90
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 24):thanks a lot AAR90! so if you plan to move up the chain to bigger aircraft and int'l ops, switching bases is inevidible?

Not necessarily. I am a "worry-wart" commuter (did one year SAN-BNA on company paid passes) and will not commute again unless AA closes LAX (not likely). LAX has 777 international and 767/757 Domestic & International lines, but they run pretty senior compared to say.... MIA's International flying. All depends upon what you are willing to do and what/where AA has the flying.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 25):I am a "worry-wart" commuter (did one year SAN-BNA on company paid passes) and will not commute again unless AA closes LAX (not likely). LAX has 777 international and 767/757 Domestic & International lines, but they run pretty senior compared to say.... MIA's International flying. All depends upon what you are willing to do and what/where AA has the flying.

how does BOS stand as a crew base...lots of opportunities?
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AAR90
Posts: 3140
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 26):how does BOS stand as a crew base...lots of opportunities?

I think that depends upon your definition of "opportunities." BOS has been historically a senior base, but with a decent number of junior folks. Right now BOS has38 pilots in the 8k seniority range and only 8 in the 9k seniority range. By comparison, LGA has 27 in the 9k range and MIA has 15 in the 9k range. All that could change tomorrow, so who knows what will be available at whatever realistic date you are thinking about. Just part of the unknowns of this industry.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 27): BOS has been historically a senior base, but with a decent number of junior folks.

we've been talking about aircraft currencies, etc. Because BOS has every AA aircraft operated there (except the A300) does this mean if a junior is lucky enough to be based there he could technically never switch bases and go from 737 to 777 int'l ops in his career? likewise with other bases?

thanks!

highflyer
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AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 28):Because BOS has every AA aircraft operated there (except the A300) does this mean if a junior is lucky enough to be based there he could technically never switch bases and go from 737 to 777 int'l ops in his career? likewise with other bases?

BOS pilots only fly 777, 767/757, S80 acft. There is no AA pilot crew base that flys every AA acft.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 29):BOS pilots only fly 777, 767/757, S80 acft. There is no AA pilot crew base that flys every AA acft.

it just occured to me: could you stay based in BOS and move up only flying BOS based aircraft? or do you have to fly every aircraft in order to move up the aicraft chain? example, be based in BOS on the S80, and next (in time of course) go to the 757/767 and then 777 skipping the 737 and A300?

also, if you are a 777 int'l route holder, could you fly (based out of BOS) BOS-LHR-JFK layover JFK-LHR-BOS? or can you only have flights on the 777 that begin and end only in BOS?

highflyer
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AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 30):...could you stay based in BOS and move up only flying BOS based aircraft?

As long as your seniority will allow it... yes.

 Quote:...or do you have to fly every aircraft in order to move up the aicraft chain?

No _requirement_ to "move up" in equipment. At AA, the only required upgrade is to Captain. When your seniority number will hold CA position on the equipment you are currently flying at the base you are currently assigned, you will be forced to upgrade to CA, bid a different (higher seniority) position/base/equip, or.... retire.

 Quote:...be based in BOS on the S80, and next (in time of course) go to the 757/767 and then 777 skipping the 737 and A300?

Correct. Lots of pilots elect to remain at their current crew base and upgrade only when they have enough relative seniority in the new position to bid equivalent quality of lifestyle lines of flying they are currently doing.

 Quote:...if you are a 777 int'l route holder, could you fly (based out of BOS) BOS-LHR-JFK layover JFK-LHR-BOS? or can you only have flights on the 777 that begin and end only in BOS?

If legal, what you describe would be a BOS 2-day trip sequence. As a BOS based pilot, you will only fly trip sequences that begin/end in BOS. If needed to fly a trip sequence that originates in another base, AA will create a new trip sequence that begins/ends with a deadhead (for pay) to/from BOS.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 31):At AA, the only required upgrade is to Captain. When your seniority number will hold CA position on the equipment you are currently flying at the base you are currently assigned, you will be forced to upgrade to CA, bid a different (higher seniority) position/base/equip, or.... retire.

Who wouldn't want to upgrade to captain? i understand there may be a paycut depending on how many years you were an F/O, but i thought this would be a long awaited for thing...

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 31):Quote: ...be based in BOS on the S80, and next (in time of course) go to the 757/767 and then 777 skipping the 737 and A300? Correct. Lots of pilots elect to remain at their current crew base and upgrade only when they have enough relative seniority in the new position to bid equivalent quality of lifestyle lines of flying they are currently doing.

Wow. didn't know that!

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 31):If legal, what you describe would be a BOS 2-day trip sequence. As a BOS based pilot, you will only fly trip sequences that begin/end in BOS. If needed to fly a trip sequence that originates in another base, AA will create a new trip sequence that begins/ends with a deadhead (for pay) to/from BOS.

Does this scenerio happen often? could it be the same with the 757/767, etc?

thanks!

highflyer
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AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Well it depends on the airline and the fleet. If you ailine only flys a 737 or an A320 then upgrade is a no brainer but if your airline has a complicated network like a legacy airline does, it may not be in your interest to upgrade because you'll have to either move or have a loss of quality of life. I'd say pay is relative, quality of life matters more in this business. Another reason wich may be less likely is that some airlines have pass or termination policies. Like Alaska, if you don't upgrade by your 3rd try, you're fired. If you fail the 2nd time, most likely you'd stay as an FO.

AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 32):Who wouldn't want to upgrade to captain? i understand there may be a paycut depending on how many years you were an F/O, but i thought this would be a long awaited for thing...

Primarily, those who do or know they will have difficulty. Although I did know a few very senior FOs who put off upgrading for as long as possible just so their ex-wives would not get increased alimony payments.

 Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 33):Another reason wich may be less likely is that some airlines have pass or termination policies. Like Alaska, if you don't upgrade by your 3rd try, you're fired. If you fail the 2nd time, most likely you'd stay as an FO.

I believe most ALPA carriers have this policy. AA policy is that it hires "Captains", not "pilots." You will not be offered a job if it is not forecast that you will upgrade to Captain prior to mandatory age retirement. Therefore; you WILL upgrade "in turn" or you WILL be retired. Additionally, there is only a very limited ability to "defer" a mandatory upgrade.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 32):Does this scenerio happen often? could it be the same with the 757/767, etc?

It happens more often now with the reduction in manpower. Fewer reserve pilots = more probability there will not be enough qualified & legal reserve pilots in any one crew base to fill an open trip at that crew base.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 34):AA policy is that it hires "Captains", not "pilots." You will not be offered a job if it is not forecast that you will upgrade to Captain prior to mandatory age retirement. Therefore; you WILL upgrade "in turn" or you WILL be retired.

Does that mean they will hire you until a reasonable age, or you have to be a captain coming from your former employer?

As a separate question- if you have a common type-rating on the 757/767, does this mean as you bid your schedule either a 757/767 could show up? are the 757/767 treated as "one aircraft" when you bid, or does seniority still come into play between the two?

thanks,

highflyer
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AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 34):AA policy is that it hires "Captains", not "pilots."

Wow, the initial training must be hard then.

AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting Highflyer9790 (Reply 35):Does that mean they will hire you until a reasonable age, or you have to be a captain coming from your former employer?

Primarily age. If, at the time the hire/no hire decision is being made, AA projections have you reaching age-60 prior to the projected upgrade to CA date, you will not be hired. That is an automatic decision. As is size (you must be capable of flying every seat in every projected AA cockpit). The more subjective parameters are based upon "potential Captain" rather than "potential pilot."

 Quote:As a separate question- if you have a common type-rating on the 757/767, does this mean as you bid your schedule either a 757/767 could show up? are the 757/767 treated as "one aircraft" when you bid, or does seniority still come into play between the two?

757/767 is a single "bid status" at AA.

 Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 36):Wow, the initial training must be hard then.

Nothing special during initial training.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

HAL
Posts: 1746
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2002 1:38 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

AAR90 has done a great job explaining how seniority works at a major airline, and how it affects everything you do there from bidding bases to aircraft to vacation. I thought I'd just throw in a few of the differences at a smaller airline - Hawaiian - where I work.

Since we only have two pilot bases at the moment - Honolulu and Seattle, we have fewer choices to make. We also have only two aircraft types, 767 and 717, with the 717 crews in HNL only. You can bid for 767 HNL, 767 SEA, or 717 HNL. Nobody flies both types of planes at the same time. If you want to switch, you have to wait for a vacancy bid, put your name in for what you want, and then fly whatever your seniority can hold. For us, even though the 767 pays more, the 717 is the more senior aircraft, because those pilots are home every night. They usually fly either a morning or afternoon/evening schedule, with the rest of the day free to go surfing. The guys who have lived in Hawaii most of their lives usually choose to fly interisland instead of worldwide. The 767 pilots get more variety in their flying, but may be on the road for several days in a row.

We came out of bankruptcy a couple years ago, and during that process the company decided to close our other two pilot bases in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This was a case where the company made people move their base, if not where they lived, and not many people were happy. Those in the closed bases had to either relocate, or face the prospect of commuting (which most have chosen to do). Those in the surviving bases had the incoming pilots taking up spaces on the seniority list, and for instance, someone who had held a junior spot in Seattle before the closures wasn't senior enough to hold it after that time, and was forced to be based in Honolulu. And for about a hundred of us, we were faced with a furlough and having to look for other work. I was recalled last year, but lost three years of time when I could have been accruing seniority (and pay) at Hawaiian.

As far as upgrade goes, we have a little more relaxed policy than American (more of an island attitude, I guess). We can upgrade whenever we wish and our seniority allows, without being 'forced' to. Although we don't have a specific policy on failed upgrades, I know that if it got bad enough, one of our pilots would face some hard questioning if he or she couldn't do it after several tries. I think that happened once or twice when long-term flight engineers tried to upgrade to FO. Those days of 'non-flying' positions is gone now that we are rid of the DC-10's. But if a person wanted to, they could be an FO for the rest of their career (and some have), because they chose lifestyle over payscale. We do screen our pilot applicants as 'future Captains', but that does not stop us from hiring people in their 50's. Hawaiian has a very stable pilot group, and not as much growth as most other airlines. That means that we have an average upgrade time of 12 - 15 years from hire date to the Captain's seat. We know that a substantial fraction of our pilots will never upgrade, but alongside the flying ability (most important) we also hire for the type of people we wouldn't mind spending 10+ hours with in the cockpit. A little 'aloha spirit' goes a long way with us.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 37):757/767 is a single "bid status" at AA.

But routes are a bid based on seniority. for example, if you were BOS based and 757/767 rated, you probably wouldn't get a 767 BOS-CDG your first few times around, instead BOS-MCO on the 757 would be the junior route. any truth in that?

thanks AAR90 and HAL for you lengthy responses!

highflyer
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AAR90
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 39):But routes are a bid based on seniority. for example, if you were BOS based and 757/767 rated, you probably wouldn't get a 767 BOS-CDG your first few times around, instead BOS-MCO on the 757 would be the junior route. any truth in that?

All AA pilots hold a 4-part bid status: Base - Seat - Equipment - Division. All monthly trip awards are offered up for bid within each 4-part bid status. A 767 BOS-CDG trip would be in the INTernational Division --i.e. BOS/CA/767/I (for Boston, Captain, 767/757, International). IF you hold that same 4-part bid status for that month, you may bid for that trip. If you were BOS/CA/767/D, then you could not bid for that trip (even if you were international "qualified", you do not hold the international division bid status). The 757 BOS-MCO trip may or may not be listed within a line of international trip selections (there are limited numbers of domestic trips that may be combined into an international line of flying). Normally, it would be found with the domestic trips bid by those with the BOS/CA/767/D 4-part bid status.

For simplicity sake, the 757 is just another acft model within the same bid status. 767-200, 767-200ER, 767-300ER and 757 are all considered to be "767" for pilot job and trip selection criteria. Pay is slightly different for each type equipment, but the lines of flying and 4-part bid status (job) are all considered as just "767."
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 40): A 767 BOS-CDG trip would be in the INTernational Division --i.e. BOS/CA/767/I (for Boston, Captain, 767/757, International).

I would assume it is the same way for F/Os? Although i assume it would hard to answer, how long does it take on avergae at say AA to move to a different aircraft, or hold Int'l status?
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AAR90
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 41):I would assume it is the same way for F/Os?

Correct. Just change "CA" to "FO" in the 4-part bid status.

 Quote:Although i assume it would hard to answer, how long does it take on avergae at say AA to move to a different aircraft, or hold Int'l status?

Not "hard" but damn near impossible. Too many pilots, too many bases, too many bid status', too many..... variables. The job vacancy program is a relatively simple program. Inpute the known job vacancies and then start with pilot seniority #1 and see if there is anything on his list he wants that is open. Anytime the program makes an assignment, that opens a new job vacancy, so the program goes back to #1 seniority pilot and starts again. Keep "looping" until all jobs are filled. With around 10k pilots, that'll be an awful lot of job vacancies that were not originally "planned." One just keeps his "Preference List" updated and then.... hope for the best.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

Maybe i should have started a different thread for this question, but this thread is very imformaive...

as i was looking at payscales www.airlinepilotcentral.com i noticed that with some airlines, the first year salaries from FO to CA are the same across the board.

example: AA (all \$ per flight hour)

first year FO all aircraft: \$35
first year CA all aircraft: \$35

what if a 6 year FO is making \$97 on the 738 and then takes his CA bid. he goes as a first year CA making \$35. that is a HUGE pay cut. if you have a life, that obvisouly would be devasting. so i guess my question is: is it as bad as the math is? and why would an airline have the same 1 year rates across the board?

thanks
highflyer
121

AAR90
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

First look at your years of service... i.e. a new hire pilot is in year 1. Next look at equipment & position... i.e. all equipment, Captain pay is \$35/hr and all equipment, FO pay is \$35/hr. First year at AA is a flat salary... you're on probation.
Hint: There are no first year CA's at AA.

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 43):a 6 year FO

He would remain a 6 year.... CA (if he upgraded).
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting AAR90 (Reply 44):He would remain a 6 year.... CA (if he upgraded).

ooo i get it! so the only way there could be a s year CA is if a FO upgraded in his 2nd year? (which wouldnt happen    )
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HAL
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 45):ooo i get it! so the only way there could be a s year CA is if a FO upgraded in his 2nd year? (which wouldnt happen )

If you meant a 1st year captain, no, a 1st year Captain is someone who is flying as a captain and was hired less than 12 months ago. If a FO upgraded in his second year, he would get 2nd year Captain's pay. Pay is based on years of service first, then which position you hold. 1st (or 3rd or 12th or 25th) year pay is just that, based on how long you've been with the company. Then you look at the pay chart for your seat (FO or Capt) and the equipment you're on to determine exactly how much your hourly wage is.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 45):ooo i get it! so the only way there could be a s year CA is if a FO upgraded in his 2nd year? (which wouldnt happen )

 Quoting HAL (Reply 46):If you meant a 1st year captain, no, a 1st year Captain is someone who is flying as a captain and was hired less than 12 months ago. If a FO upgraded in his second year, he would get 2nd year Captain's pay. Pay is based on years of service first, then which position you hold. 1st (or 3rd or 12th or 25th) year pay is just that, based on how long you've been with the company. Then you look at the pay chart for your seat (FO or Capt) and the equipment you're on to determine exactly how much your hourly wage is.

Sorry for the typo i meant: so the only way there could be a 2nd year CA is if a FO upgraded in his 2nd year? yup i understand it now

also, if you upgraded from a 737 FO to CA, would your next logical upgrade be to FO of the next biggest aircraft at your base? (when the time came of course) i also know that you could do that in reverse as i understand it?
121

HAL
Posts: 1746
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### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HighFlyer9790 (Reply 47):also, if you upgraded from a 737 FO to CA, would your next logical upgrade be to FO of the next biggest aircraft at your base? (when the time came of course) i also know that you could do that in reverse as i understand it?

Once you get to the airlines, you'll see that there really isn't any 'normal' or 'logical' progression that everyone follows. People bid for what they want. You may go 737 FO to 737 CA, then you may like the position and stay there for your career. Or you may go from 737 CA to 767 FO if you can get based where you live so you don't have to commute. Or you may go 737 FO to 767 FO to 747 FO and not upgrade for 15 or 20 years. Or... (you get my drift). It all depends on what makes you happy. Remember, we're pilots. Never apply logic to what we do.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.

highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

### RE: Crew Bases: Probability

 Quoting HAL (Reply 48):It all depends on what makes you happy. Remember, we're pilots. Never apply logic to what we do.

thanks HAL for the response!

another question! how many bid periods in a year? 12 or 13? for some reason i thought i heard somewhere 13....
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