Being a reserve flight attendant means that I can be called at anytime and need to report to the airport within 3 hours. I bet a lot of you are wondering how that works with having a 16 month old son. Well it’s not easy but thankfully I have a lot of family support! Here’s how I plan to survive my September reserve month:
Schedule: this month I’m available to the company every Friday-Monday which means I have every Tuesday-Thursday off. I bid for this schedule intentionally so I could minimize number of days we’d need a babysitter. More weekdays off; prioritize weekend flying.
Bidding for specific assignments: so this one is most important because the day prior I have the choice to input bids for specific trips I want based on what’s available. These trips are usually open due to someone calling in sick, being removed from the trip for any number of reasons, or maybe there was a flight crew legality or weather which made the original crew be reassigned. I prioritize this because 1. I feel like I have a little bit more control over my schedule. 2. I know what my next day trip will be because I chose to work it. 3. It eliminates scheduling calling me in the middle of the night. These trips are given to FA’s in seniority order so I may not get the specific trip but I always try this option first.
Standby duty: if I can’t get a specific trip than I bid for airport standby as my secondary option. This is where I show up at the airport and hangout for 6 hours. During that time if there is any crew issues and someone isn’t able to make the flight than I’d be used to replace that FA. You’re usually assigned a flight within 30 minutes to departure time. So standbys are used as a very last resort. I chose this because it’s less likely to actually get assigned a trip. Again, I bid for this option the day prior to a reserve day so I know what I’m doing. This way I can figure out and make arrangements for babysitting.
Remain on call: this is my last option (hopefully option 1 and 2 work so I never have to use this) but this is basically where I’m at home going about my day and scheduling can call me for a trip within 3 hours once I’m notified. I hate this option because I never know when I’m going to get a call. I could be grocery shopping and I’d need to stop and head to the airport. This option is especially hard with babysitting. Family members babysit when my husband and I can’t be home so I always feel bad asking them to stop their plans to help watch the baby. Its like they’re on reserve too! On days where I’m just waiting around I usually go to a family members house so it’s easier on them. No driving necessary for them. I try to make it as easy and convenient as possible (even if that means it’s more inconvenient for me).
That’s my intended plan on sieving this months reserve. If all goes right I’m hoping we won’t have to rely on babysitters. Stay tuned for updates as to how my plan is working out!