Currently, I am enjoying some extra time at home with my family. The timing of this extended break could not have been better. Between you and me, I was getting a little worn out traveling back and forth to San Francisco so frequently. I now feel rested and ready to go back for one of my last blocks of reserve.
Yes, you read that correctly: my last blocks of reserve. Last night, the March schedules were published and I am off reserve! My schedule certainly isn’t going to win any quality of life awards. But, beggars cannot be choosers, right? I have made the transition to junior line-holder. I basically received the trips the pilots ahead of me did not want. But, for so many reasons, any schedule is better than reserve.
I can now anticipate which nights I will need a hotel room in San Francisco and plan accordingly. My hotel bills will drop dramatically. I can also notify friends in various cities that I plan to visit on certain dates.
When I’m in San Francisco, I am no longer tied to my cell-phone. When I’m finished working, I can commute home on my own time without asking someone permission to be “released.”
Holding a real schedule also allows me to participate in trip trading. I can submit requests to trade my trips with unassigned ones, or trade with other pilots.
I will fly more hours in March. Therefore, my pay will go up. Since most of my time away from home will be flying, my meals will be covered by per-diem.
It has been a long time since I’ve “held a line” at an airline. Before getting furloughed from United, I was forced back to reserve for the last nine months of employment. There, I went from mid line-holder, to junior line-holder, to senior reserve, to junior reserve, then furloughed. Month after month, I could feel the rungs of the ladder breaking on the way down. With only four months of reserve, I am climbing faster here than I fell at United. Nice to be on the way up again.
Weight Loss Challenge
So far, the weight loss challenge is a success. All five of us are losing weight and getting in better shape. I have lost more weight than I expected over the first two weeks of the challenge. If we continue on this pace, I think we’ve got as good a chance as any team to win. But, with 52 teams in the competition, I’m sure the numbers will be close! Two and a half months left to go.
As I was finishing up this post, I received a text message from a member of my new-hire class and weight loss team:
This is the best I’ve felt in a while… Losing weight, getting in shape and FINALLY holding a line does the body & mind well!! 🙂
Thanks Andy. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Here are some random photos I haven’t worked into any other post: