Commuting to Reserve

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
You'd think after hanging around here for 10+ years I'd know the answer to this one, but I'm kind of fuzzy on the details.

I know that commuting to reserve is a special kind of hell and should be avoided like the plague, but lets say you have to anyway.

Do you guys pay for crash pads out of pocket? Does the airline help with any of that cost? Do you get a hotel instead - do you guys get huge discounts on hotel rooms as flight crew? Just curious. I know there's a difference between long call (6 hours? 12 hours?) and short call (one hour?) and I do wonder what kind of difference that makes....
 

poser765

Well-Known Member
Some regionals are contractually paying for commuter hotels.
they are, but they really are designed for line holders. Most of the carriers only offer a handful of rooms per month. My employer gives us four. Is that enough for a reserve? Probably not, depending on how busy the reserves are.

Op don’t plan on financial help from the company. They assume you live in base. Your options are pretty limited... get a crash pad, or pay for hotels.

Paying for hotels CAN be a viable option if your going to flying a lot with many overnights. It’s a gamble, though. Some months you’ll spend more on hotels then you’d spend on a crash pad. Other months less. That’s with a good crew rate at a hotel.

I actually bought a van and just crashed there the last year I was on reserve. Was it ideal? No, but it did save me about $250 a month though.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
they are, but they really are designed for line holders. Most of the carriers only offer a handful of rooms per month. My employer gives us four. Is that enough for a reserve? Probably not, depending on how busy the reserves are.

Op don’t plan on financial help from the company. They assume you live in base. Your options are pretty limited... get a crash pad, or pay for hotels.

Paying for hotels CAN be a viable option if your going to flying a lot with many overnights. It’s a gamble, though. Some months you’ll spend more on hotels then you’d spend on a crash pad. Other months less. That’s with a good crew rate at a hotel.

I actually bought a van and just crashed there the last year I was on reserve. Was it ideal? No, but it did save me about $250 a month though.
What kind of crew rates do you get in hotels? I've been told the discounts were significant but not sure what they are.
 

bike21

9-5 Ruins Lives
What kind of crew rates do you get in hotels? I've been told the discounts were significant but not sure what they are.
Depends on the city. ATL or DTW? Less than $60 out the door can be had. LAX or NYC? Good luck with anything less than $120 and actually Priceline works better than most crew rates for those cities. I have had luck with Airbnb too, but getting there can add up costs via Uber/Lyft if you can't easily use public transport.

As others have said, a crashpad is ideal for lengthy times on reserve if you aren't getting used much. I commuted to reserve for years but had the good fortune that it was to a city that I had friends from college and was able to couch surf. So if you can score something like that it is immensely helpful obviously. Otherwise try to work your arse off and not sit around on reserve if you can help it. With staffing these days at the regionals, I can't imagine one sits on reserve for very long or gets away without working a ton.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
I know there's a difference between long call (6 hours? 12 hours?) and short call (one hour?) and I do wonder what kind of difference that makes....
This will vary by company. But as an example mine has long call at 12 hours and short call between 1:45 and 2:30 depending on base. Long calls are limited to 15% of reserve pilots and go more senior.
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
Oooh! Ooh! Pick me! Pick me! I have opinions on this topic.

The most miserable people, predictably, I talked to on the phone as a SAPA rep were commuting to reserve at SkyWest. This experience informed my moving to domicile...which has worked out great, but in not-altogether-expected or predictable ways.

You'd think after hanging around here for 10+ years I'd know the answer to this one, but I'm kind of fuzzy on the details.

I know that commuting to reserve is a special kind of hell and should be avoided like the plague, but lets say you have to anyway.
It can be. It need not be this way, but it is.

Do you guys pay for crash pads out of pocket?
Yes.
Does the airline help with any of that cost?
You must be new here.
Do you get a hotel instead - do you guys get huge discounts on hotel rooms as flight crew?
Back in the bad old days, the Red Roof DFW was like $37 out the door. It was clean, reasonably secure, and had coffee at all hours of the morning, and Denny's is over yonder, there; worked great.

Just curious. I know there's a difference between long call (6 hours? 12 hours?) and short call (one hour?) and I do wonder what kind of difference that makes....
LCR is or can be commuter's reserve (12 hours). We have seven (?) days of conversion to short call. Short call is 120 min.
 

trafficinsight

Well-Known Member
Maybe I'm just not seeing it but... Why is commuting to reserve any different than commuting to, say, a 4 day? I did both when I was new and they felt pretty much the same to me...?

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
Maybe I'm just not seeing it but... Why is commuting to reserve any different than commuting to, say, a 4 day? I did both when I was new and they felt pretty much the same to me...?

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
Feast or famine...you either really work or really don't on reserve, I've found.

And rolling out to go sit in a pad for four days, eh.
 

Yakob

The Most Depressing Person
they are, but they really are designed for line holders. Most of the carriers only offer a handful of rooms per month. My employer gives us four. Is that enough for a reserve? Probably not, depending on how busy the reserves are.
Not sure about your employer, but while my company also gives 4 per month, the rule is they can only be used the night before a block of reserve days or the night after, but not for nights between consecutive reserve days. So they aren't very useful at all for reservists.

You'd think after hanging around here for 10+ years I'd know the answer to this one, but I'm kind of fuzzy on the details.

I know that commuting to reserve is a special kind of hell and should be avoided like the plague, but lets say you have to anyway.

Do you guys pay for crash pads out of pocket? Does the airline help with any of that cost? Do you get a hotel instead - do you guys get huge discounts on hotel rooms as flight crew? Just curious. I know there's a difference between long call (6 hours? 12 hours?) and short call (one hour?) and I do wonder what kind of difference that makes....
Crash pads or hotels and other commuting expenses are paid out of pocket. As mentioned some hotels do have crew rates. However hotels tend to fill up fast, especially if there is a weather event or a lot of delays and cancellations, so you can't always count on being able to find a room. In my base (EWR), crash pads generally start at $250/ month. Commuting to reserve is unpleasant enough I moved here to avoid it; and even though the EWR area is insanely expensive a crash pad would have eaten up much of the cost of living difference with Wisconsin.

My understanding Long call is usually at least a 10-hour callout (at some companies it might be more per the contract), so you get the 10 hours minimum rest required by 14 CFR part 117 after notification and before reporting. However my company doesn't use it, so I'm not too familiar with long call reserve.

At my company, short call reserve is a 2-hour callout, but that is rarely used as well.

Another type of reserve is Airport Standby Reserve, which is what my employer uses the vast majority of the time. This requires you to be present at the airport for the entire reserve shift (usually 8 hours at my company) and to be at the plane within 20 minutes if called. However we have some of the worst reserve rules in the industry; my understanding is many airlines don't use it at all.

My company is usually understaffed and most reservists are quite busy, and so spend a fair number of nights at an outstation. As a result I know a number of pilots here have avoided getting a crashpad and just get hotel rooms or sleep in the crew room if they are stuck in base for the night.

Maybe I'm just not seeing it but... Why is commuting to reserve any different than commuting to, say, a 4 day? I did both when I was new and they felt pretty much the same to me...?

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
Probably because with commuting to a 4-day, you'd most likely be in outstations each night with a hotel room. Also there's the issue that you usually don't get as many days off each month when on reserve.
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
Another type of reserve is Airport Standby Reserve, which is what my employer uses the vast majority of the time. This requires you to be present at the airport for the entire reserve shift (usually 8 hours at my company) and to be at the plane within 20 minutes if called. However we have some of the worst reserve rules in the industry; my understanding is many airlines don't use it at all.
Ugh.

Of course, we have the ready system we have because we don't have call for release or (real) reroute language.

"Which of the following poop sammiches do you want?"
 

poser765

Well-Known Member
Did you park it down by the river...? :D

lol it would be funnier if it wasn’t the first thing literally everyone says when I tell them.
Not sure about your employer, but while my company also gives 4 per month, the rule is they can only be used the night before a block of reserve days or the night after, but not for nights between consecutive reserve days. So they aren't very useful at all for reservists.
jesus, that sucks hard. We can use them without exception as long as the stay coincides with at least one day scheduled for duty.
 
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