Thursday, August 1, 2013

Base Changes: Unsure what the Future Holds

Rob's company is opening several new airline bases.  This is a good thing, I'm sure, but it opens up a great deal of instability in the short term.  The company must staff the new bases, and they don't have a ready source of new hires, so that staff will come from current pilots who are based elsewhere.

We have been lucky so far.  Rob spent a month based in Newark when he started. He immediately put in a trade request and was able to transfer to Chicago.  This makes our lives so much more liveable.  His commute to work is just one 40 minute flight.  I almost don't remember what Newark was like.  But, I am about to find out:  with the new base openings, he got a transfer to Newark.

Starting next month, Rob will have to have a "crash pad".  Sounds fun, right?  Not so much.  For a fair price, he will rent a bed and use of a kitchen essentially. The official crash pads are run like dorms with strict rules and regs regarding visitors, drinking and cleanliness.  It is my hope that he won't be spending any time there at all, but since he is still flying on reserve, chances are good that he will spend some nights there.  Here's the way it will likely work:  he will fly to Newark the night before he has to work, and sleep at the crash pad.  The next morning, hopefully he will have an assignment and will spend the next 4 days flying, on the last of which he will make his way home...if he gets done early enough to make a flight home.  If he doesn't, that means another night in Newark and flying home on his day off.

We are both hopeful that he will have enough seniority to hold a line in Newark very soon.  This may make the cross-country commute more doable.  He will know what he is flying, and when, instead of being on-call for his work days. He will also be able to drop trips that don't work well with his commuting schedule.  If he's a line holder, he may not have to do as much commuting on his days off.  This means more time at home: something commercial airline pilots hold dear.

I found another great blog about life with a pilot. This woman has many more years of experience at this than I do and I'm sure she and her pilot have rolled with lots of major job changes.  Enjoy!

Anyway, I am trying to be optimistic.  We will get through it.

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