KPDX
Topic Author
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How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:30 am

Ok, this may come across as bizaare, but I got this question in my head today.

How is a crew assigned to a certain plane? Do they pick a tailnumber? Do they just recieve a schedule with which aircraft they are flying?

How often do crew switch aircraft? (namely Captains, and F/O's)

Does it vary by the airline? If so, does anyone have a general answer perhaps?

Thanks!  
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jetmatt777
Crew
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:04 am

From my understanding, crew will bid out a schedule a few months in advance. This schedule will have all of their flights (trips) for a month or two. Those flights are then theirs.

Specific tailnumbers are assigned about 3 days before each flight, and it is not crew specific. (Only talking about one aircraft series, not the entire fleet). But those tailnumbers normally get changed the day of the flights as mechanical breakdowns and delayed or cancelled flights affect it.

The tailnumbers are also normally not assigned to one crew. A crew may fly 2-3 or even more different airplanes in a given duty day.

So, in a nutshell, the crew will get assigned their flights, and aircraft will get assigned their flights. It's not crews getting assigned aircraft which in turn get assigned flights.
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EMBQA
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:09 am

Quoting KPDX (Thread starter):
How is a crew assigned to a certain plane? Do they pick a tailnumber? Do they just recieve a schedule with which aircraft they are flying?

No, No and No.....

You bid the trip that best works with your personal life. You don't bid on or get a specific tail number....most all times a tail number is not assigned a trip until hours before departure.

Let's use Southwest. This is made up routing, but it will give you a rough idea. You would bid....(trip starts) BNA-AUS-DAL-SAT-LAX-LAS-DAL-SEA-OAK-LAS-BNA (trip over) This trip would take a few days. Senior crews look to bid trips that pay more, or offer better times at home...junior crews...well, get the scraps. Back when I worked at an airline a senior Capt at our base would always bid BGR-BOS-DCA-BOS-BGR.. Why..? He'd do the 6am departure and be back in BGR on the lake fishing by 2pm...!!
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YYZRWY23
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:38 pm

Quoting KPDX (Thread starter):
How is a crew assigned to a certain plane?

The planes are scheduled sectors for the day, and the crew(s) pick the plane up according to their schedule. For example, in December, I flew EWR-TPA on CO on a 738. After the flight, I spoke with the FO for a while (the whole 30 minute turn) in the cockpit. I asked him about commonality of the different 737's, and he said they are qualified to fly them all, and that on this particular day, he had flown the 735, 739, and the 738. I asked him how this works, and he said that each aircraft was assigned where it would go each day, then the crews met up with the plane according to the sked. For example, he flew the 735 into EWR, picked up the 738 for EWR-TPA and for TPA-IAH.

Quoting KPDX (Thread starter):
How often do crew switch aircraft?

As much as their sked that day dictates. The FO I mentioned above had switched aircraft 3 times that day. Some may fly the same aircraft for 5 sectors in one day, and some may switch 5 times.

YYZRWY23
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KPDX
Topic Author
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:15 am

Wow! I was way off. Thanks guys!  
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:17 pm

Also any given jet may be routed thru a given city for specific maint that that station does even including a wash.
 
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zeke
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:23 pm

They only ever seem to assign aircraft to me that do good landings......
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PGNCS
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:17 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 6):
They only ever seem to assign aircraft to me that do good landings......

Well that must be nice! I seem to get all the other ones!  
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: How Are Aircraft Assigned To Crew?

Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:03 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 6):
They only ever seem to assign aircraft to me that do good landings......

So YOU'RE the guy!

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