Riding the Couch.

March 9, 2009

I am sitting at the airport today, on the ever fun ‘ready reserve’. For those of you unfamiliar with this form of torture I will elaborate, and forever tarnish the glamourous image of a Flight Attendant.  

Every airline has reserve, each one with their own set of rules, guidelines and bullshit.  Since Flight Attendants are notorious for being the worst gossips, word gets around about how things are done at other carriers.  The general consensus is, my airline has the worst. 

There are two forms here, home reserve and ready reserve.  Home reserve means you are on call for 14 hours, generally starting in the wee early hours of the morning (insert Frank Sinatra song here) sometimes they give you plenty of notice, others only 2 hours, to get in uniform, out the door and to the airport. You can very easily be woken up with a phone call informing you to be at the airport in 2 hours. This is called a ‘call out’.

The second, more intense form is ready reserve, for which there are several terms, like ‘sitting ready’ or ‘ridding the couch’ in reference to the couches in the crew room. This is when you are told to be at the airport and sit, yes, just sit, for 8 hour shifts. You may or may not fly, it’s always a toss-up, and there is no rhyme or reason to how they figure it out. They (crew scheduling) claims there is a big picture that we can’t see where this all makes sense, but I doubt it. 

So right now I’m riding the couch, I’ve been here since 7:00 am. I slept for the first hour and half, and now am passing the time online. I know, you’re very jealous.

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