Definition of 'reserve schedule'


I hate Teterboro
Nov 28, 2001
Total Time
I see this pretty frequently on the job boards (usually for a regional): "A new hire can expect a reserve schedule with a paid guarantee of 72 flight hours a month...."

What's it mean to be on reserve at a regional? When I worked around corporate av it usually meant my friends got stuck with pagers five days a week.
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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time
I can't speak for other airlines, but we're mostly the same. At ASA, reserve is basically "on call." a typical month will be 5 on, 2 off, but there is a block of 4 consecutive, unmoveable days tucked in there, for a total of 10 days off. The 6 "soft" days off are changeable, and they often change them.

Periods run 15 hours, so if you go on call at 5 am, you're off call at 8pm; 6am to 9pm, etc., with midnight being the latest, even if it is not 15 hours total. The exception is "nap" reserve, where you are on call at 6pm, 7pm or 8pm until midnight for the graveyard shift.

Reserve pilots at ASA are paid 75 hour minimum monthly guarantee, plus what we call "underblock" or "premium." Say you fly a 2-hour leg in 1:50, you will be paid an extra 10 minutes on top of guarantee. Same goes for overblock if you fly more than 75 hours in a month. I spent years on reserve after 9/11, but broke guarantee (more that 75 hours) only twice. I hear that's not the norm anymore.

Per diem is the only other way to build the paycheck. It's $1.50 per hour at ASA for every hour from duty-in to duty-out for a given trip. Gone 5 days for 90 hours? That's $135 added to the check. Per diem is untaxed if you require a hotel during the trip, and taxed if you end up back in domicile the same day you start.

It ain't a lot of fun for the social life. A lot of people are scarred from the experience, so expect some smartass and amusing answers here. I'm looking forward to them myself.
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