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barney captain
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UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:16 pm

I've always been fascinated with this routing from HNL to GUM via MAJ, KWA,TTK, PNI and TKK - and I would love to do it some day. Here's my question, which island do the flight crews stay on? The total flight time from HNL to GUM is over 10 hours, so I assume (unless they carry an augmented crew on a 737) that they have to swap crews at some point along the way. Do the FA's also swap?

Curious nerd wants to know..... :)
Southeast Of Disorder
 
ScottB
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:23 pm

The relevant article in Wikipedia (yeah, I know) states that the flight operates with 4 pilots to address duty time limitations; the flight attendants get an exception from the FAA. It claims to source a story from United Hub so I'll assume Wikipedia is credible in this case. The pilots switch off at MAJ -- HNL-MAJ is by far the longest leg.
 
TC957
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:40 pm

Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.
 
MavyWavyATR
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:45 pm

TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.


Sam Chui has a good trip report on that route.
 
Judge1310
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:47 pm

TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.


There are a few trip reports out there on YouTube regarding the Island Hopper Service. If you want an insider view, search for "Big Metal Bird Island Hopper" on YouTube.

And yes, the route is operated with an augmented flight deck crew and a mechanic is onboard as well for most of the route.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:49 pm

barney captain wrote:
I've always been fascinated with this routing from HNL to GUM via MAJ, KWA,TTK, PNI and TKK - and I would love to do it some day. Here's my question, which island do the flight crews stay on? The total flight time from HNL to GUM is over 10 hours, so I assume (unless they carry an augmented crew on a 737) that they have to swap crews at some point along the way. Do the FA's also swap?

Curious nerd wants to know..... :)


Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.
 
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barney captain
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 5:56 pm

jayunited wrote:
barney captain wrote:
I've always been fascinated with this routing from HNL to GUM via MAJ, KWA,TTK, PNI and TKK - and I would love to do it some day. Here's my question, which island do the flight crews stay on? The total flight time from HNL to GUM is over 10 hours, so I assume (unless they carry an augmented crew on a 737) that they have to swap crews at some point along the way. Do the FA's also swap?

Curious nerd wants to know..... :)


Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.



Very cool Jay - thanks!
Southeast Of Disorder
 
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braynfeeble
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:01 pm

https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/uniteds-micronesia-operations/

I'd love to not only fly that route but visit the islands one day!
♥☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨* ♥☆•*¨*•.¸¸¸.•*¨* •☆•*¨*
 
ContinentalEWR
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:20 pm

I've taken it once. It is a phenomenal experience (and a very long day of travel). My journey on this flight was post-merger, on a 737-800. From not being able to take photos on the stop that coincides with a US military installation to taking off from a runway that almost takes the length of the island, to the ability to see remote parts of the region (and the world) and see first hand what a lifeline this flight is to all those communities, is a very rewarding travel experience. I opted for this flight rather than the nonstop available at the time for just this reason.
 
CWL757
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:24 pm

MavyWavyATR wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.


Sam Chui has a good trip report on that route.

Sam Chui and good don't tend to go in the same sentence.
No doubt United paid for him to do it and therefore it will be completely biased as usual.
A319, A320, 738, 743, 744, 752, 772, 788, C150, E175, E190, F70, R22
 
jreeves96
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:25 pm

Jeb Brooks has a really good video on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1cON15 ... =JebBrooks
 
cschleic
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:37 pm

jreeves96 wrote:
Jeb Brooks has a really good video on it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1cON15 ... =JebBrooks


Ben Wang also has one linked on his blog....

https://benairblog.blogspot.com/2018/12 ... .html#more
 
Antarius
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:45 pm

jayunited wrote:
barney captain wrote:
I've always been fascinated with this routing from HNL to GUM via MAJ, KWA,TTK, PNI and TKK - and I would love to do it some day. Here's my question, which island do the flight crews stay on? The total flight time from HNL to GUM is over 10 hours, so I assume (unless they carry an augmented crew on a 737) that they have to swap crews at some point along the way. Do the FA's also swap?

Curious nerd wants to know..... :)


Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.


Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
mjba257
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:05 pm

Is that flight subsidized?
 
highflier92660
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:11 pm

And since it's always fun to post photos from back in the day, here is an Air Micronesia DC-6B (N90961) in Continental colors in Rota from June of 1968.

https://www.kpvcollection.com/kpv-21-li ... ental.html
 
MavyWavyATR
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:15 pm

mjba257 wrote:
Is that flight subsidized?


Don't think UA needs a subsidy for it since the cargo alone generates a good profit on the route.
 
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Acey559
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:17 pm

Antarius wrote:
jayunited wrote:
barney captain wrote:
I've always been fascinated with this routing from HNL to GUM via MAJ, KWA,TTK, PNI and TKK - and I would love to do it some day. Here's my question, which island do the flight crews stay on? The total flight time from HNL to GUM is over 10 hours, so I assume (unless they carry an augmented crew on a 737) that they have to swap crews at some point along the way. Do the FA's also swap?

Curious nerd wants to know..... :)


Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.


Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?


They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.
 
Antarius
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:32 pm

Acey559 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
jayunited wrote:

Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.


Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?


They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Thank you.
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:50 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.


There are a few trip reports out there on YouTube regarding the Island Hopper Service. If you want an insider view, search for "Big Metal Bird Island Hopper" on YouTube.

And yes, the route is operated with an augmented flight deck crew and a mechanic is onboard as well for most of the route.


I believe they carry some critical parts too onboard.
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:51 pm

Acey559 wrote:
Antarius wrote:
jayunited wrote:

Flight crews stay in HNL and GUM. The flight operates in both directions with a relief pilot (2 first class seats are blocked), the flight also operates with a mechanic and necessary tools to fix almost any situation that arises.


Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?


They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?
 
Newark727
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:52 pm

Are there still any flights like this in Alaska or northern Canada? Was the first comparison that came to mind.
 
deltairlines
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:59 pm

Newark727 wrote:
Are there still any flights like this in Alaska or northern Canada? Was the first comparison that came to mind.


Alaska has some multi-hop flights going between ANC and SEA. For example, AS66 is ANC-CDV-JNU-SEA, AS64 is ANC-JNU-PSG-WRG-KTN-SEA.
 
StinkyPinky
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:02 pm

I flew on the eastbound leg. It's a very senior trip, something like 30+ seniority to hold it, GUM based crews. Two first class seats are blocked and they have more recline and footrests than the other seats. The pilots swapped with the relief crew after the first and longest leg HNL-MAJ that was about 5.5 hours. The TVs are on a loop, so you never got to finish most movies and it would restart the same shows after take-off. There were two meal services in first for the 14 hours of trip time, with plenty of beverages and peanuts on the other legs.

Apparently now they have changed the routing so that the HNL-MAJ is a turn for HNL based crews and the GUM-MAJ is an out and back day trip for GUM based crews. On the GUM-HNL B772 flight back, 3 of the HNL based FAs had 50+ seniority.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:08 pm

catiii wrote:
Acey559 wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?


They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?


For pilots the island hopper is very senior, in the past we've had pilots give up their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper. Keep in mind prior to COVID United had a decent operation out of GUM, most of it had to be drawn down as a result of entry restrictions put in place. However I think UA will rebuild GUM in 2022 if restrictions are eased on many of the islands we served from GUM.
 
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InnsbruckFlyer
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:22 pm

CWL757 wrote:
MavyWavyATR wrote:
TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.


Sam Chui has a good trip report on that route.

Sam Chui and good don't tend to go in the same sentence.
No doubt United paid for him to do it and therefore it will be completely biased as usual.


The always-great and never-biased Simply Aviation also did a great report of the flight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLzQhj2uzOk
Last flown aircraft: DH8D OE-LGN < DH8D OE-LGI < E195 OE-LWE < DH8D OE-LGI < A320 D-AIUR < A320 D-AIZM < B738 PH-HZJ < B737 PH-XRD < B772 N766AN < B738 N855NN < B788 N45905 < A319 N808UA < A320 N482UA < B752 N19117
 
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barney captain
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:55 pm

StinkyPinky wrote:

Apparently now they have changed the routing so that the HNL-MAJ is a turn for HNL based crews and the GUM-MAJ is an out and back day trip for GUM based crews. On the GUM-HNL B772 flight back, 3 of the HNL based FAs had 50+ seniority.


That seems odd. HNL-MAJ-HNL would have a total flight time over 10hrs, the same as continuing the whole way.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
drmlnr1
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:10 pm

TC957 wrote:
Has anyone done this flight ? Would make for a good trip report.

Jeb Brooks has done it
Flying is relaxing!
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:59 pm

jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:
Acey559 wrote:

They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?


For pilots the island hopper is very senior, in the past we've had pilots give up their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper. Keep in mind prior to COVID United had a decent operation out of GUM, most of it had to be drawn down as a result of entry restrictions put in place. However I think UA will rebuild GUM in 2022 if restrictions are eased on many of the islands we served from GUM.


Who is giving Up a widebody captain seat to be a narrow body first officer? I can see downgrading from a widebody captain to a narrow body captain for quality of life, but no way to a narrow body first officer.
 
jayunited
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:30 pm

catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:

Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?


For pilots the island hopper is very senior, in the past we've had pilots give up their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper. Keep in mind prior to COVID United had a decent operation out of GUM, most of it had to be drawn down as a result of entry restrictions put in place. However I think UA will rebuild GUM in 2022 if restrictions are eased on many of the islands we served from GUM.


Who is giving Up a widebody captain seat to be a narrow body first officer? I can see downgrading from a widebody captain to a narrow body captain for quality of life, but no way to a narrow body first officer.


I'm guessing you've never taken the island hopper. For some pilots it isn't about the money it is about the love of flying and from what I've heard the island hopper and the mini hopper can be very challenging but also a joy to fly. I've heard pilots say the route reminds them of why they became a pilot to begin with. Prior to COVID there was a long list of senior widebody pilots waiting for a position any position to open up on the island hopper or the mini hopper. While it isn't normal the for a captain to give up the left seat for the right, you have to remember the island hopper isn't just any route.

And its isn't just the island hopper before I left ORD ramp there was a 744 captain I would see all the time flying ORD-PVG. He is probably retired now but I didn't see him for a while then one day there was a A320 narrowbody on my gate and who comes down the jet bridge stairs to do the pre-flight walk around the same captain I had been seeing for years flying 744s. He told me gave up his seat as a captain on the 744 to become a captain on the A320 so he could fly ORD-DCA-ORD-DCA-ORD turns and sleep in his own bed every night. For a time he loved the long haul travel now he appreciates being able to go home every night. The idea that pilots don't give up a widebody captain seat willingly once they get it is simply not true, and there are some who will at certain point in their career go back to to being a first officer, it does happen.
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:42 pm

jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:

For pilots the island hopper is very senior, in the past we've had pilots give up their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper Keep in mind prior to COVID United had a decent operation out of GUM, most of it had to be drawn down as a result of entry restrictions put in place. However I think UA will rebuild GUM in 2022 if restrictions are eased on many of the islands we served from GUM.


Who is giving Up a widebody captain seat to be a narrow body first officer? I can see downgrading from a widebody captain to a narrow body captain for quality of life, but no way to a narrow body first officer.


I'm guessing you've never taken the island hopper. For some pilots it isn't about the money it is about the love of flying and from what I've heard the island hopper and the mini hopper can be very challenging but also a joy to fly. I've heard pilots say the route reminds them of why they became a pilot to begin with. Prior to COVID there was a long list of senior widebody pilots waiting for a position any position to open up on the island hopper or the mini hopper. While it isn't normal the for a captain to give up the left seat for the right, you have to remember the island hopper isn't just any route.

And its isn't just the island hopper before I left ORD ramp there was a 744 captain I would see all the time flying ORD-PVG. He is probably retired now but I didn't see him for a while then one day there was a A320 narrowbody on my gate and who comes down the jet bridge stairs to do the pre-flight walk around the same captain I had been seeing for years flying 744s. He told me gave up his seat as a captain on the 744 to become a captain on the A320 so he could fly ORD-DCA-ORD-DCA-ORD turns and sleep in his own bed every night. For a time he loved the long haul travel now he appreciates being able to go home every night. The idea that pilots don't give up a widebody captain seat willingly once they get it is simply not true, and there are some who will at certain point in their career go back to to being a first officer, it does happen.


No, I have flown it. And I question your claim that pilots are giving up 777 or 787 CA seats to be an FO on the 737. Like I said, I’ve know many pilots who go from a wide body CA to a narrowbody CA for QOL. But love of flying or not, no one is giving up “their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper” and downgrading to a narrowbody FO from a wide body CA as you claim.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:08 am

catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:

Who is giving Up a widebody captain seat to be a narrow body first officer? I can see downgrading from a widebody captain to a narrow body captain for quality of life, but no way to a narrow body first officer.


I'm guessing you've never taken the island hopper. For some pilots it isn't about the money it is about the love of flying and from what I've heard the island hopper and the mini hopper can be very challenging but also a joy to fly. I've heard pilots say the route reminds them of why they became a pilot to begin with. Prior to COVID there was a long list of senior widebody pilots waiting for a position any position to open up on the island hopper or the mini hopper. While it isn't normal the for a captain to give up the left seat for the right, you have to remember the island hopper isn't just any route.

And its isn't just the island hopper before I left ORD ramp there was a 744 captain I would see all the time flying ORD-PVG. He is probably retired now but I didn't see him for a while then one day there was a A320 narrowbody on my gate and who comes down the jet bridge stairs to do the pre-flight walk around the same captain I had been seeing for years flying 744s. He told me gave up his seat as a captain on the 744 to become a captain on the A320 so he could fly ORD-DCA-ORD-DCA-ORD turns and sleep in his own bed every night. For a time he loved the long haul travel now he appreciates being able to go home every night. The idea that pilots don't give up a widebody captain seat willingly once they get it is simply not true, and there are some who will at certain point in their career go back to to being a first officer, it does happen.


No, I have flown it. And I question your claim that pilots are giving up 777 or 787 CA seats to be an FO on the 737. Like I said, I’ve know many pilots who go from a wide body CA to a narrowbody CA for QOL. But love of flying or not, no one is giving up “their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper” and downgrading to a narrowbody FO from a wide body CA as you claim.


If you've worked several decades for a major and have enough money for retirement already, doing some less "glamorous" flying that you really enjoy for a few years is perfectly reasonable. And it happens.

I haven't quite seen the island hopper scenario but I've seen several similar cases. People who re-enlist in their fifties to fly business jets for the air force. Others go back to GA to instruct. It happens.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Acey559
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:22 am

catiii wrote:
Acey559 wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Do crews get specifically selected for this? Do they bid? Or is it a rotation?


They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?


I think it’s fairly senior but I know pre-COVID I could have held GUM and I’m pretty junior. I would have been second or third from the bottom, but if I wanted to go now I highly doubt I could hold it. But I haven’t checked in a while.

The thing with GUM is that people don’t really just bid GUM because you feel like it. It’s apparently an incredibly difficult commute from the mainland even if you live on the West Coast with plenty of options to get to Hawaii. So you either have to live there or accept a difficult commute, but commuting is obviously common in this profession and there are plenty of other crazy commutes out there. GUM is extremely expensive too. We get a pay override but I hear it’s still significant. On top of it all there are the challenges of living within a different culture. Some people take to it easily and some find it difficult. Obviously just depends on the person. They do (or did, pre-COVID) some pretty cool flying out of GUM so I can see the appeal if you can handle the logistics of living there or commuting there.
 
Antarius
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:35 am

Starlionblue wrote:
catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:

I'm guessing you've never taken the island hopper. For some pilots it isn't about the money it is about the love of flying and from what I've heard the island hopper and the mini hopper can be very challenging but also a joy to fly. I've heard pilots say the route reminds them of why they became a pilot to begin with. Prior to COVID there was a long list of senior widebody pilots waiting for a position any position to open up on the island hopper or the mini hopper. While it isn't normal the for a captain to give up the left seat for the right, you have to remember the island hopper isn't just any route.

And its isn't just the island hopper before I left ORD ramp there was a 744 captain I would see all the time flying ORD-PVG. He is probably retired now but I didn't see him for a while then one day there was a A320 narrowbody on my gate and who comes down the jet bridge stairs to do the pre-flight walk around the same captain I had been seeing for years flying 744s. He told me gave up his seat as a captain on the 744 to become a captain on the A320 so he could fly ORD-DCA-ORD-DCA-ORD turns and sleep in his own bed every night. For a time he loved the long haul travel now he appreciates being able to go home every night. The idea that pilots don't give up a widebody captain seat willingly once they get it is simply not true, and there are some who will at certain point in their career go back to to being a first officer, it does happen.


No, I have flown it. And I question your claim that pilots are giving up 777 or 787 CA seats to be an FO on the 737. Like I said, I’ve know many pilots who go from a wide body CA to a narrowbody CA for QOL. But love of flying or not, no one is giving up “their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper” and downgrading to a narrowbody FO from a wide body CA as you claim.


If you've worked several decades for a major and have enough money for retirement already, doing some less "glamorous" flying that you really enjoy for a few years is perfectly reasonable. And it happens.

I haven't quite seen the island hopper scenario but I've seen several similar cases. People who re-enlist in their fifties to fly business jets for the air force. Others go back to GA to instruct. It happens.


Agreed. I know a few who have gotten tired of the jetlag and dropped ULH widebody flying for shorthaul.

To each their own.
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:32 am

Antarius wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
catiii wrote:

No, I have flown it. And I question your claim that pilots are giving up 777 or 787 CA seats to be an FO on the 737. Like I said, I’ve know many pilots who go from a wide body CA to a narrowbody CA for QOL. But love of flying or not, no one is giving up “their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper” and downgrading to a narrowbody FO from a wide body CA as you claim.


If you've worked several decades for a major and have enough money for retirement already, doing some less "glamorous" flying that you really enjoy for a few years is perfectly reasonable. And it happens.

I haven't quite seen the island hopper scenario but I've seen several similar cases. People who re-enlist in their fifties to fly business jets for the air force. Others go back to GA to instruct. It happens.


Agreed. I know a few who have gotten tired of the jetlag and dropped ULH widebody flying for shorthaul.

To each their own.


And again, how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.
 
catiii
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Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:35 am

Starlionblue wrote:
catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:

I'm guessing you've never taken the island hopper. For some pilots it isn't about the money it is about the love of flying and from what I've heard the island hopper and the mini hopper can be very challenging but also a joy to fly. I've heard pilots say the route reminds them of why they became a pilot to begin with. Prior to COVID there was a long list of senior widebody pilots waiting for a position any position to open up on the island hopper or the mini hopper. While it isn't normal the for a captain to give up the left seat for the right, you have to remember the island hopper isn't just any route.

And its isn't just the island hopper before I left ORD ramp there was a 744 captain I would see all the time flying ORD-PVG. He is probably retired now but I didn't see him for a while then one day there was a A320 narrowbody on my gate and who comes down the jet bridge stairs to do the pre-flight walk around the same captain I had been seeing for years flying 744s. He told me gave up his seat as a captain on the 744 to become a captain on the A320 so he could fly ORD-DCA-ORD-DCA-ORD turns and sleep in his own bed every night. For a time he loved the long haul travel now he appreciates being able to go home every night. The idea that pilots don't give up a widebody captain seat willingly once they get it is simply not true, and there are some who will at certain point in their career go back to to being a first officer, it does happen.


No, I have flown it. And I question your claim that pilots are giving up 777 or 787 CA seats to be an FO on the 737. Like I said, I’ve know many pilots who go from a wide body CA to a narrowbody CA for QOL. But love of flying or not, no one is giving up “their captain seats on 777 and 787 to take the first officer or captain seat on the island hopper or the mini hopper” and downgrading to a narrowbody FO from a wide body CA as you claim.


If you've worked several decades for a major and have enough money for retirement already, doing some less "glamorous" flying that you really enjoy for a few years is perfectly reasonable. And it happens.

I haven't quite seen the island hopper scenario but I've seen several similar cases. People who re-enlist in their fifties to fly business jets for the air force. Others go back to GA to instruct. It happens.


You missed the point. Entirely.

The poster claimed pilots at UA were bidding out of widebody CA seats to narrowbody FO seats to go fly out of Guam. That’s impossible to believe.
 
Antarius
Posts: 3414
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:39 am

catiii wrote:
Antarius wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

If you've worked several decades for a major and have enough money for retirement already, doing some less "glamorous" flying that you really enjoy for a few years is perfectly reasonable. And it happens.

I haven't quite seen the island hopper scenario but I've seen several similar cases. People who re-enlist in their fifties to fly business jets for the air force. Others go back to GA to instruct. It happens.


Agreed. I know a few who have gotten tired of the jetlag and dropped ULH widebody flying for shorthaul.

To each their own.


And again, how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.


Usually you don't have to because the NB fleet is much larger than the WB one. But if a BA 777 captain wanted to fly BA 1 (LCY-JFK), they'd have to take whatever spot is open.

I don't see any reason for someone to lie about this.
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:42 am

Acey559 wrote:
catiii wrote:
Acey559 wrote:

They bid it. We still have a crew base on GUM so it’s part of their regular bids every month.


Does GUM go pretty senior as a base?


I think it’s fairly senior but I know pre-COVID I could have held GUM and I’m pretty junior. I would have been second or third from the bottom, but if I wanted to go now I highly doubt I could hold it. But I haven’t checked in a while.

The thing with GUM is that people don’t really just bid GUM because you feel like it. It’s apparently an incredibly difficult commute from the mainland even if you live on the West Coast with plenty of options to get to Hawaii. So you either have to live there or accept a difficult commute, but commuting is obviously common in this profession and there are plenty of other crazy commutes out there. GUM is extremely expensive too. We get a pay override but I hear it’s still significant. On top of it all there are the challenges of living within a different culture. Some people take to it easily and some find it difficult. Obviously just depends on the person. They do (or did, pre-COVID) some pretty cool flying out of GUM so I can see the appeal if you can handle the logistics of living there or commuting there.


I always wondered about it. Sounds like a flying club. I figured it would go fairly senior because a) the flying was fun and b) the lines were pretty efficient each month. Is GUM just the 737 or do they have 764 or 777 time in the base too?
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:48 am

Antarius wrote:
catiii wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Agreed. I know a few who have gotten tired of the jetlag and dropped ULH widebody flying for shorthaul.

To each their own.


And again, how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.


Usually you don't have to because the NB fleet is much larger than the WB one. But if a BA 777 captain wanted to fly BA 1 (LCY-JFK), they'd have to take whatever spot is open.

I don't see any reason for someone to lie about this.


Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).
 
Antarius
Posts: 3414
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:54 am

catiii wrote:
Antarius wrote:
catiii wrote:

And again, how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.


Usually you don't have to because the NB fleet is much larger than the WB one. But if a BA 777 captain wanted to fly BA 1 (LCY-JFK), they'd have to take whatever spot is open.

I don't see any reason for someone to lie about this.


Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).


I'm giving an example of a limited route with BA 1, not saying that it's the specific route. The problem with your declarative statement is that it takes a single example to prove you wrong.

Given that I know of far more insane (monetarily) career choices than a 45% pay cut, it's certainly possible.
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
jayunited
Posts: 3310
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 12:37 pm

catiii wrote:
Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).



Your entire argument centers around money, no one would voluntarily give up 45% of their pay. All I can say is if you ever get the chance take the island hopper once this pandemic is over, perhaps then you will understand why there are senior pilots willing to give up widebody flying to pilot a 737. Take a few moments click the link and read the article and look at the video (big metal bird) in its entirety. The captain who was profiled in the CNN report isn't alone he wasn't the first and he surely won't be the last captain to voluntarily give up widebody flying to pilot a 737 on the island hopper. Like I said before for some pilots at a certain point in their career isn't isn't about money or piloting widebodies on long haul routes. For some pilots they get to a point in their career where they just want to get back to the joy of flying and the island hopper is one of the few routes United has that give pilots that opportunity and there are plenty of senior widebody United pilots just waiting for their chance to fly this route as a pilot. In the big metal bird video the one pilot points out flying the island hopper can at time be compared to being a bush pilot in Alaska.

You keep making the argument it doesn't happen, it's impossible, it doesn't pass the smell test, I'm sorry but you are wrong it does happen.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/paci ... index.html
https://c-suitenetwork.com/tv/shows/big-metal-bird/
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7242
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:00 pm

For some tediophobes like me, it’s not all about the money
 
e38
Posts: 808
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:38 pm

catiii wrote:
how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.


While I agree it would be very unusual for a pilot to do this--transition from a widebody captain position to a narrowbody first officer--it certainly would not be out of the question to do so.

Keep in mind that a pilot that does this will probably be bidding #1 or #2 in the category for that base. That means he/she will get every schedule desired--every trip, every flight, every day on/day off. Also, that pilot will get every vacation day desired, every training schedule requested, perhaps first opportunity to drop or add trips, if processed in seniority order--basically, that pilot will have CONTROL over almost EVERYTHING associated with work. That's not a bad position to be in!

And, if the pilot happens to be a commuter, as suggested in a post above, the opportunity to set up the monthly schedule so as to only commute one time per month.

Sometimes quality of life issues override pay benefits, and this could possibly be a situation that allows for that.

e38
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7242
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:01 pm

Off topic, a bit. I have a friend retired as an FO at FDX. Number 1 in his category, I asked when he intended to upgrade, “just as soon as I’m the number 1 captain”. His wife had a very lucrative business which didn’t hurt.
 
Judge1310
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:55 pm

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:58 pm

catiii wrote:
Antarius wrote:
catiii wrote:

And again, how many have bid back from being a captain to an FO as the poster claimed?

No one I’m betting.


Usually you don't have to because the NB fleet is much larger than the WB one. But if a BA 777 captain wanted to fly BA 1 (LCY-JFK), they'd have to take whatever spot is open.

I don't see any reason for someone to lie about this.


Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).


catiii are you even a pilot? Or even one for UA? If you are kudos to you and your focus on only money and in which seat you're sat. If not, then you don't realise that for some aviators, not everything is necessarily about the money. Some guys and gals truly *love* to fly and appreciate their QOL (Quality of Life). There are some folks who, although they can bid for and hold an upgrade/upgauge, choose to stay on certain equipment/routes because they can hold exactly what they want. One thing about this business is that if you can dictate when and how you want to work, that is truly the best way to live/work. Granted, getting WB or left seat pay is great, but for some it may not be their "raison d'etre" in this business.

And I personally know someone who left the 756 on the mainland to be based in and go fly the 737 in GUM. He went for QOL. :)
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:05 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
catiii wrote:
Antarius wrote:

Usually you don't have to because the NB fleet is much larger than the WB one. But if a BA 777 captain wanted to fly BA 1 (LCY-JFK), they'd have to take whatever spot is open.

I don't see any reason for someone to lie about this.


Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).


catiii are you even a pilot? Or even one for UA? If you are kudos to you and your focus on only money and in which seat you're sat. If not, then you don't realise that for some aviators, not everything is necessarily about the money. Some guys and gals truly *love* to fly and appreciate their QOL (Quality of Life). There are some folks who, although they can bid for and hold an upgrade/upgauge, choose to stay on certain equipment/routes because they can hold exactly what they want. One thing about this business is that if you can dictate when and how you want to work, that is truly the best way to live/work. Granted, getting WB or left seat pay is great, but for some it may not be their "raison d'etre" in this business.

And I personally know someone who left the 756 on the mainland to be based in and go fly the 737 in GUM. He went for QOL. :)


I am. Are you? In a 30 year career I have never seen a pilot voluntarily bid out of a widebody CA to a narrowbody FO.
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:07 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
catiii wrote:

Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).


catiii are you even a pilot? Or even one for UA? If you are kudos to you and your focus on only money and in which seat you're sat. If not, then you don't realise that for some aviators, not everything is necessarily about the money. Some guys and gals truly *love* to fly and appreciate their QOL (Quality of Life). There are some folks who, although they can bid for and hold an upgrade/upgauge, choose to stay on certain equipment/routes because they can hold exactly what they want. One thing about this business is that if you can dictate when and how you want to work, that is truly the best way to live/work. Granted, getting WB or left seat pay is great, but for some it may not be their "raison d'etre" in this business.

And I personally know someone who left the 756 on the mainland to be based in and go fly the 737 in GUM. He went for QOL. :)


He was a widebody 756 CA who went to go fly the 737 as an FO?

I am a pilot. Are you? In a 25 year career I have never seen a pilot voluntarily bid out of a widebody CA to a narrowbody FO.
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:12 pm

jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:
Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).



Your entire argument centers around money, no one would voluntarily give up 45% of their pay. All I can say is if you ever get the chance take the island hopper once this pandemic is over, perhaps then you will understand why there are senior pilots willing to give up widebody flying to pilot a 737. Take a few moments click the link and read the article and look at the video (big metal bird) in its entirety. The captain who was profiled in the CNN report isn't alone he wasn't the first and he surely won't be the last captain to voluntarily give up widebody flying to pilot a 737 on the island hopper. Like I said before for some pilots at a certain point in their career isn't isn't about money or piloting widebodies on long haul routes. For some pilots they get to a point in their career where they just want to get back to the joy of flying and the island hopper is one of the few routes United has that give pilots that opportunity and there are plenty of senior widebody United pilots just waiting for their chance to fly this route as a pilot. In the big metal bird video the one pilot points out flying the island hopper can at time be compared to being a bush pilot in Alaska.

You keep making the argument it doesn't happen, it's impossible, it doesn't pass the smell test, I'm sorry but you are wrong it does happen.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/paci ... index.html
https://c-suitenetwork.com/tv/shows/big-metal-bird/


And, again, your post said that 777 and 787 CAs are voluntarily bidding to fly it as an FO. Not as a CA. You do understand the difference?

The 45% is roughly the delta between a 12 year widebody CA and a 12 year narrowbody FO by my math.
 
Judge1310
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:55 pm

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:24 pm

Okay catii so, clearly, we know where your focus(foci) lies(lie). You. however, don't speak for the rest of the flight officer group.
 
catiii
Posts: 3795
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:18 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:32 pm

Judge1310 wrote:
Okay catii so, clearly, we know where your focus(foci) lies(lie). You. however, don't speak for the rest of the flight officer group.


Why who do you fly for that you’re speaking for “the flight officer group?”

Facts are facts. No one is voluntarily giving up being a wide body captain to be a narrowbody FO.
 
jayunited
Posts: 3310
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

Re: UA 155 Island Hopper Question

Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:38 pm

catiii wrote:
jayunited wrote:
catiii wrote:
Doesn’t pass the smell test that someone is taking around a 45% pay cut at UA as a 777 or 787 CA to go fly the 737 in Guam as an FO. Sorry.

And show me all the BA guys coming off the 777 as a CA to fly a narrowbody 320 as an FO (putting aside the fact that the LCY service doesn’t exist anymore).



Your entire argument centers around money, no one would voluntarily give up 45% of their pay. All I can say is if you ever get the chance take the island hopper once this pandemic is over, perhaps then you will understand why there are senior pilots willing to give up widebody flying to pilot a 737. Take a few moments click the link and read the article and look at the video (big metal bird) in its entirety. The captain who was profiled in the CNN report isn't alone he wasn't the first and he surely won't be the last captain to voluntarily give up widebody flying to pilot a 737 on the island hopper. Like I said before for some pilots at a certain point in their career isn't isn't about money or piloting widebodies on long haul routes. For some pilots they get to a point in their career where they just want to get back to the joy of flying and the island hopper is one of the few routes United has that give pilots that opportunity and there are plenty of senior widebody United pilots just waiting for their chance to fly this route as a pilot. In the big metal bird video the one pilot points out flying the island hopper can at time be compared to being a bush pilot in Alaska.

You keep making the argument it doesn't happen, it's impossible, it doesn't pass the smell test, I'm sorry but you are wrong it does happen.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/paci ... index.html
https://c-suitenetwork.com/tv/shows/big-metal-bird/


And, again, your post said that 777 and 787 CAs are voluntarily bidding to fly it as an FO. Not as a CA. You do understand the difference?

The 45% is roughly the delta between a 12 year widebody CA and a 12 year narrowbody FO by my math.


The personal attacks always start the moment someone is proven wrong instead of having a slice of humble pie you break out the personal attacks, very classy of you.

Of course I understand the difference don't try to turn things around on me just because I proved you wrong. You entire argument centers around pilots don't give up widebody to fly narrowbody and that simply isn't true. And United has has captains step down voluntarily to first officer so they could fly the island hopper. You continue to make absolute statements that something like this doesn't happen when in fact it does.

I don't work for Delta I don't know if Delta has a route that can compare to the island hopper or the mini hopper. Perhaps you should clarify your statement to say this doesn't happen at Delta. However, it does happen here at United and there is a list of senior widebody pilots waiting for their chance to jump on the island hopper and if the only seat available is the first officer seat there have been pilots who are near retirement who have given up their left seat on a widebody to be a first officer on the island hopper..

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