I have received some questions about my job as a flight attendant, so I have decided to start sharing more about it. It's a big part of my life after all.
Unfortunately, this month I am back on reserve, which in flight attendant lingo means "on call". When someone can't work their flight, because they are
hungover sick, you are the lucky one who gets to work for them. I had a real schedule for the past year and a half, but my airline lost some flights recently (I work for a regional). So...it's back to being at the beck and call of crew scheduling. I am going to tell you a little more about reserve, so you can understand why I hate it.
Reserve is a little different at each airline, but where I work the reserve flight attendants are usually scheduled 5 reserve days in a row, with 4 of these blocks in a month. Full-time reserves only get 10 days off each month. Luckily I am part-time, so I am only scheduled for 2 five-day blocks each month. Oh...and each of these days you are on call for 12 hours, unless you are assigned a trip. In that case you are released when the trip is finished. If you are assigned a 3 day trip, but you have 5 reserve days, you will be placed back on reserve for the remaining 2 days. Kind of confusing, I know.
You might think "Why is she complaining if she only has to work 10 days in the month?" Well, here is the problem: I can make the same amount of money working only 6 days when I'm not on reserve. It's not too shabby when I get paid to sit at home eating donuts and watching tv, but lately everyone has been getting called out every day.
Everything in the airline industry is based on seniority. A flight attendant who has been with the company for 5 months will be assigned a trip before the flight attendant who has been there for 3 years, unless the senior flight attendant prefers to be called first. I will be one of the most senior FA's on reserve this month, but everyone has been getting called...so it doesn't matter too much.
When on call you can forget about making any plans. We have 2 hours from the time we get called to the time we need to be checked in at the airport. It takes me an hour just to get from my house to the airport, park, take the shuttle, go through security and get checked in. I always have my bag packed the night before, so all I have to do is get dressed, brush my hair/teeth and throw on some makeup!
I absolutely love my job, but I hate being on-call! Hopefully I get my real schedule back soon. If you have any questions about reserve, ask away!
Also, here is my biggest accomplishment for the week...I caught a fish!