Tuesday, March 25, 2008

You Get What You Pay For

This past winter, none of my trips seem to remain intact from the beginning to the end of the trip. An example of this was last week on the second day of my three day trip. After arriving in Washington National (DCA) from Des Monies (DSM), the captain and I were looking at the weather for are next leg to Madison (MSN). It had been snowing hard all day in MSN and the forecast predicted that this would continue all day with the ceiling and visibility right at approach minimums all day. In addition, braking action had been reported as poor and there was a direct crosswind to the landing runway at 17 kts gusting to 28 kts. After a discussion with the dispatcher the flight was cancelled due to the 15 kts crosswind limitation on contaminated runways.

At this point is where it gets interesting. The original trip was for us to go to MSN for the night and then the next day to Memphis (MEM), Nashville (BNA), and then to Minneapolis (MSP) to end the trip. With the weather being bad in MSN all day, the captain and I decided that I would be best if we were deadheaded to MEM and then we could pick up the rest of the trip the next morning. I proposed this to crew scheduling, but they had another plan. Scheduling wanted us to deadhead to Detroit (DTW) and then to MSN. I questioned them on this due to the weather in MSN being bad all day but they did not seem interested. So off we went to DTW.

Well after sitting in DTW for two hours, our MSN flight canceled (as predicted) and I had to call scheduling back to see what the new plan was. This time they got it figured out and told us to deadhead to MEM. When we got to the gate for MEM it appeared that the flight was already oversold. The gate agent did not seem too happy that she was going to have to buy more passengers off the flight. In the end, the gate agent did not get enough volunteers and passengers ended up getting bumped off the flight so the captain and I could go to MEM. This lack of planning by our scheduling department is starting to get a little old. It really doesn't seem right that paying passengers should get stuck in a snow storm in DTW for the night just to fix crew scheduling's mistakes. If the scheduler would have taken a step back and surveyed the entire situation and had us deadhead out of DCA in the first place it would have worked out better for everyone. But I guess you get what you pay for.

Getting Started

Well this is my first blog so here it goes! I have been reading blogs of other pilots for many years just to get an insight of what their jobs are like and to learn more about the industry. I thought that I could put my everyday experiences on here for those that are interested.

A little about myself. I am originally from Cincinnati, OH. I started flying when I was a sophomore in high school and ended up getting my private pilot certificate at the end of my junior year. After high school I went to a large aviation university somewhere northwest of Minneapolis. While in school I did a little bit of flight instructing and end up being hired by a regional airline to fly the CRJ-200 right before I graduated and started class soon after.

I have now been working for this regional for almost two years. I have have been preparing for the last few months for upgrade and hope to upgrade to captain this June. I hope this blog shares some insight with those interested in a career in aviation or for those that already fly for a living.