Reserve Guarantee.

Year Three. Month Seven. #SEA.

Airport standby never looked so good.
I'm tired.

I'm just a few "trips," or flight hours in layman speak, from hitting my monthly reserve guarantee and there's still more than a week left this month.

I just worked six days in a row. I got called in. I got tagged. I sat. I ran. I boarded. I landed. I did a surprise international turn. I overnighted, again. And finally, I went home.

And then I got called in again.

After everything, I got to be at home for forty-eight glorious hours. I slept. I stayed in my pajamas. I did some e-mails. I cooked my favorite foods. I cuddled with my cat.

Home is with this guy. And also here, on this beautiful island where I live.

Home is nice, but home is rare when you're in the airline industry, especially as a reserve flight attendant.

The only guarantee for reserves is their monthly baseline pay or monthly minimum. The rest is up to weather, mechanicals, scheduling and the crazy world of airport operations.

If you're new to the airline world, there's something you have to understand. And that something is reserve. Almost all airlines have some form of reserve, and whether that means "A" days, rotating reserve or one to ten years of not knowing where scheduling will be sending you, reserve is something you're going to have to deal with.

Wynn demonstrates how to survive reserve life at a regional airline.

At my former regional employer, I was only on reserve for about four months, and most of that was in an overstaffed base. What that meant was that I got to spend a wonderful late summer and early fall earning money for basically not working. I went to coffee shops all day. I slept in. I swam at the beach. I hung out with friends. I worked about twenty to forty hours a month. It was lovely.

After reserve, you'll eventually become a lineholder. While life with a set schedule is more predictable it is also slightly less leisurely. When I made the switch, I found that I actually had to work to be paid, instead of relying on a monthly guarantee of about seventy-five hours.

After two years I became adept at playing the schedule bidding game, managing to pick and choose my trips as well as getting most holidays off. It was a good life.

But it was time for a change.

#TFW you graduate from training at your dream airline.

So I started over at a new airline. A mainline airline. My dream airline.

And I'm back on reserve.

Reserve is different here. The operation is much, much bigger. Instead of being number forty-three in my base, I'm somewhere near the back of two thousand stews. There are several hundred of us on call, and reserve is serious business.

No more days at the beach. No more sitting at home on reserve. No more twenty to forty hours a month.

But it's okay.

It's good work. It's an amazing company. I'm staying busy, but it's okay.

Cabo? Maui? Orlando? ...Nope, just Anchorage. But we love it!

My crews are bigger, and different every trip. I meet more faces and hear more stories. There are more passengers to keep safe and larger planes to land in bigger, more exciting places.

When scheduling calls me, they aren't assigning me a triple overnight in Fresno, California. Now, I look forward to places like New York City, New Orleans and Maui.

Every day on reserve is a surprise, an adventure. I guess that's the only guarantee of reserve: that there are no guarantees.

It's an exciting world, this mainline reserve life.

Okay, actually this time it is Maui. I <3 Reserve Life!

Let's go places.

(I just don't know where yet!)


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