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Old 7th Oct 2014, 23:25
  #791 (permalink)  
binsleepen
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: England
Posts: 342
Skyrocket10,

Just remember you will likely be at the bottom of any long haul list for around 7yrs+. In that time, aside leave, you will have little to likely no control over days off (working every Xmas!), leave allocation or destinations. As a junior pilot in reserve band 1 you will also do more standby than the majority of the fleet for the first 5yrs. These things may seem trivial now, but give it a few years and see if you feel the same.
2/3rds of the bottom 50 or so F/Os on the 747 have only 0 or 1 Xmas point and many F/Os have only 2 or 3 points all the way to the top of the list.

Leave/DFW points acrew on a rolling 4 year basis. i.e. each week of leave you get has an associated number of points depending on its popularity (6 points to the least popular > 1 point to the most popular). Leave is allocated first to those with the most points gained over the previous 4 years and then working down the points list to those with the least points. As has already been said everybody wants different things so even with a few points you may still get some of the weeks you want in the first years.

I agree that under the Pre-August old bidding system junior guys did a lot more reserve. Since August however I have bid for reserve every month, as my points said I should, and never got it. This may be that now reserve guarantees a block of days off with no chance of allocation. So it seems to me that reserve is now a more popular bidding choice for the more senior bods. This may just be a temporary situation.

Every blind line on the 747 has a seeded trip. This means that each blind line has a reasonable trip pre allocated to it i.e a CPT, SFO, LAS, PHX. These are 4 day 3 crew trips with at least 2 days off afterwards.

There is the risk though, as you point out, that you may start on the 747 but as the fleet shrinks be directed to the Airbus 320. This has happened to a few guys on the 767 and they were rightly very p****d off. So buyer beware. They did though go from the bottom of the 767 to 100 off the bottom of the 320 list which gives them a much greater control of days off etc, and they now get to fly with mixed fleet.

The grass for a junior bod at BA is not bright green but I don't think it is as brown as you make out. Particularly if you are trying to get back to the UK or your present company is not that financially stable.

Regards
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