FlexJet Schedule

Redeye

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I've heard the schedule at Flexjet is lousy. Any Flexjetters out there willing to comment? Also, I have an interview coming up with them and would be much obliged for any input on the matter of working for the company. I'm not looking for interview gouge as much as what it is like there once hired.

Thanks from your brutha,
Redeye
 

flexlrpilot357

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The Flexjet schedule is based on the PBS (preferential bidding system), a computer system that takes into account the projected number of flight crews needed (demand), crewmember seniority, and a set of rules.

It's based on a 28 day month, and 15-19 days of work per month. 17 is standard. You're paid per day of work.

You bid your schedule on a computer interface. If you're senior, you pretty much get to write your own ticket and work whatever days you want to work (within the constraints of the system, such as max 7 days on, min 5 days on). If you are stuck with a 7-day rotation (very unpopular) you can opt to have a min 4-day off period after it. Otherwise, you're guaranteed 3 days off in a row unless you opt down to 2.

Lousy? No, I don't think so. It's not intuitive, so understanding the system is worthwhile. It's seniority-based, so the junior guys (per seat, per fleet) aren't going to get the holidays off most likely.

Who knows, the "leftovers" may be exactly what you want. I don't know what the "best" schedule is for you.

How many ways can you chop up 28 days with 15-19 days of work in 5-7 day periods?
 

Semore Butts

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357 is right on the money as far as the shcedule. Key phrase being "within the constraints of the system". I was very senior so I got what I wanted sometimes. In the old days you could bid 5 on 5 off 5 on 4 off 5 on 4 off. I haven't heard of that lately.
As far as working for Flex, If you go in there with your eyes open as to what your getting into, it's a great place to work. Great equipment, great pilots. The future may see a union, that would be great, but it will be a struggle.
Whatever the future holds for Flex always seems to be a big secret with whatever is going on "up top".
I got tired of it and went to Netjets.
 

vere76

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Whats there fax # for Hr department

Whats there fax # for Hr department
 

Redeye

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I've heard that some folks commute even though living in a gateway is required. Is it possible to commute with the way Flexjet runs things? And if they buy airline tickets to get you to your plane, why do they require living in one of only three cities? Seems like being near any airport with airline service should be adequate.
 

flexpilot

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Great aircraft, great pilots, but after that. forget about the schedule, the pay and the job. The place is a sewer trap. No upgrades, no crew bases, lousy hotels and all the turkey sandwiches you can eat. Remember, the management controls your food, hotel and schedule. With no union, they exercise control!
I worked at Flex and drank the koolaid for two years untill a good friend got me some help. Now at NetJets flying the CE-750 (X) and lovin' life. Recently upgraded for pay purposes to captain.
To answer your original question. No control over your schedule. You never know what you are going to get until 10 days prior to schedule release. Who can live like that? The only way I would take that job is to get experience and move on. Not a career job!
 

Semore Butts

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Hey I know who you are!!!!

When your right you are right! You'll get no argument from me! Well put. I got your voice message about the upgrade. I'll call you when I get a minute.
That pretty well says it. You are owned by management, and they are nothing but puppets for Montreal. (Hey you hoser!) I will always remember fondly the turkey and chicken sandwiches. It was always that way dude, remember. People used to come up on the ramp and ask how to apply at Flex, every rotation! Not any more!
I wouldn't count old "Flexy" out if..............
The pilots get together and form a union.
Other then that I'm sure that Flex will continue to deteriorate into a "Gollum like state", "Oh we are such a family at Flex", "Oh yes, my preeeeeccccciiiioooouuuusssss"!!!!
Let go of the riiiiiiinnnnnggggggg **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**it!!!!!
It really pisses me off because it is such a great group of people. What kills Flex is their F&*)(&* you, I've got mine attitude in management. Most of the first echelon management is good people just trying to hold on to their jobs. It's to bad to see such "former professionals" living in such a state.
Need a job? Go there! Need a career? Go there until you can find it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Semore Butts

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Retraction

Sorry, in my one sentence above I meant to say, "it wasn't always that way".
We used to stay at really nice hotels and recieved lots of hotel points. Since we went to the CLC card, we get very few points, and very seldom do we see the name "Hilton". It's usually whatever Comfort Inn they can find. Also I've noticed on my bills that they will run your hotel card but many of them don't give you any points.
I hope the union gets voted in at Flex. Otherwise, I'm sure the "value" of the Flexjet pilot will continue to deteriorate.
 

flexlrpilot357

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I see the boys are hard at work again, slamming Flex.

The HR fax number is (972) 720 2473, I believe.

See my posts in previous threads to get the truth about Flexjet. In brief:

It's funny... when you try to dig out the truth behind the complaints, there usually is very little substance. Example: On the official company message board, people love to complain about the schedule, talking about how they are getting screwed, forced to work 7 on- 3 off, etc. When management responds with the facts, such as what their actual schedules have been, some of the most vocal are NOT working 7-3 at all, in fact, in most cases they're getting exactly or very close to exactly what they want.

"No control over your schedule"???

The people who are not getting the schedule they want are not senior (fair's fair, right?) or don't know how to bid (no excuse for that, really. Help's available). Plus, there are plenty of people who DO know how to bid, so the system must not be overly complicated. Something like 30% of the Lear 60 captains got EXACTLY what they bid last period. I'm sure the next 30% got some of what they bid, at least. Plus- adjustments have been made in response to crew feedback to make the system more "suitable" to our needs.

The worst hotel I stayed in during my last rotation was a Crowne Plaza. I think I did get my points, but if I didn't, and that's my worst complaint, then I think my furloughed buddies owe me a blanket party. Ironically enough, before CLC direct bill, people complained about the financial and workload burden of charging and keeping track of hotel receipts.

There are 3 crew bases, DFW, FLL, EWR, and somewhere in CA soon, most likely. People do commute in, ***there is no requirement to live in your gateway***, though you do have to be there when you're available for duty.

Redeye, your question is a point of contention. The current operating philosophy is to co-locate mx bases and pilot gateways. The idea is to cut down on airlining (and increase efficiency) by doing crew swaps in mx bases. I don't know what percentage of the time this happens, by my experience it's probably about 20-30%.

The other thing is, plans change so quickly sometimes, that airlining crews from widely diverse airports could cost time and take a lot of flexibility away from the planners. I know it doesn't make flightcrews happy, but we have to make money, right? Efficiency is very important in this business.

The pay isn't bad. I don't hear many people complain about pay, other than FOs. Upgrades have taken a while, though FOs have received a year of pay grace when their upgrades do come. (i.e., in 3rd year FO pay when you upgrade, you move to 2nd yr. captain pay instead of 1st. I'd gladly take more money, by the way.

Puppet of Montreal? Owned by management? I don't understand what that means. After all, you're allowed to leave the company. You're not forced to take French lessons. While you're an employee you're expected to be on the team and work hard. Break the rules and you may be punished (like anywhere else in the civilized world).

Maybe Semore thinks that he should be allowed to schedule his own trips without regard to what the owners want. Perhaps he has a sense of entitlement and thinks that his expectations should be met without the good of the company in mind. Maybe he deserves everything (six-figure pay, top seniority, choice of schedule, etc.) yesterday, over the people who have been at Flexjet for years. Maybe Semore is bitter because he was a "screwed" "victim" of some airline and he wasn't *supposed* to have to work at a (gasp!) non-121 company like Flexjet. Maybe Flexjet was unable to meet his emotional needs. I truly don't know, but I do hope (and doubt) he'll find happiness someday.

There's ample evidence in the pages of the Wall Street Journal to show the correlation between company financial performance and pilot job security to satisfy most reasonable folks out there. If saving a few bucks and staying at the Holiday instead of the Hilton means my paycheck keeps coming, count me in.

Read my comments (*mostly* factual or objective in nature) and read the (mostly childish) comments from Semore. Who sounds like a bitter 4th grader sucking on sour grapes? The guy who's previously admitted to being emotional about the issue:

quote: "Your right again, I guess I'm just blowing off steam because I'm so frustrated "

quote: "I left the military as an instructor, got screwed by my number one choice of major airline ( I think I just flew like crap, my buddies all say I got screwed by the system) Now no major will give me the time of day (this is pre-911 era).I'm an F.O. at a company that has not upgraded anybody in almost a year, with no upgrade in sight. I have applied to Avolar, and will accept a job if offered. "Ya rolls the dice, ya takes your chances!" "

...or the guy who (at least tries to) objectively list the pros and cons? (me)

You decide.
 
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Semore Butts

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Wow 357, you dug deep for that!

Wow man, you really dug deep in my posts for that info. Good job. You are correct I am very bitter about things that have happened to me in recent history.
But we are talking Flex right? I was one of the big advocators that said that the direct billing was gonna get us screwed as far as points, and it did.
The worst hotel you stayed in last rotation was the Crowne Plaza? Well where else did you stay last rotation I'm curious?
Did they actually change the pay for the F.O.'s going to Cpt? Or is that still in discussion.
How many Cpt's have upgraded since August 1st? How many for the rest of the year?
When I refer to "Puppets of Montreal" I refer to the fact that Flexjet in itself has no actual ability to change anything regarding the way the company is run. All major decisions come from "Up north".
Of course I don't expect to make my own schedule. I just saw the system bo from biddiing lines to the primary concern being the demand. You know as well as I do that everybody got 7 day lines after that, that was a huge issue for alot of people. I never once called in sick to avaoid a seven day line like many.
Fourth grader sucking on sour grapes? Your killing me! Ouch that one really hurt 357. I guess I'm a lousey SOB to because I was told I would upgrade in 8 to 10 months and after 2 years I hadn't, 2000 pilots by 2004. I went from staying in Hiltons to Comfort Inns, I didn't get a bonus when that was presented as part of the financial package. I'm sure there are other points as well.
Well you can go back and tell all your buddies at the Princeton, (Or wherever they are now) that you put me in my place, and that you smoked me on every issue.
I'm just tired of you saying that everything you say is fact, and everybody else's not. I guess time will tell.
I just don't have time to go back and trace everything that has been said over the last year. Things have changed alot even in that time. Opinions have changed. But one thing hasn't, there are some great people at Flexjet.
I just couldn't live with the "You just blindly do what I say, I know whats best for you, you don't need to know anything above the flight line mentality".
Just because you relentlesly pour the coolaide, doesn't mean it tastes good. Is that that new "sour grapes" flavor?
Your right about one thing for sure, I must be an idiot for wasting this much time talking about Flex when I'm gone...gone.. gone.... Take care, good luck, and 357, when are we gonna have that beer?
 

flexlrpilot357

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Seek professional help

Points, Semore? You're still hung up on hotel points?

Yes, the FO pay is final. Don't have any numbers on upgrades but I know there are several going on right now.

Re: Montreal, you must be privy to something I don't know about the Dallas-Montreal axis... I doubt they micro-manage everything in Dallas... even if they are involved, so what? Flexjet is a unit of Bombardier, so Bombardier has an interest in what happens here. How is that bad?

Basing schedules on demand is bad? No, it's not. It's much smarter than a flat schedule. It is a more efficient way to use crews. Sorry, I'm not apologizing for that. The company has got to make money, PBS works, end of story. People DO get what they want, there are some people here who've never worked 7 days under PBS. Despite all of the bitching to the contrary, that is fact. PBS works for the crews.

Sorry the company "screwed" you by not upgrading you. That's just part of the huge conspiracy against you, you know. You should see what the world has planned for you next!

The bonus is not a guarantee, and was not presented as such. It's based on the company's performance. You know that. It's like how you were never guaranteed an airline job. Did you know that?

I maintain that the hotels we stay in are acceptable. Yeah, there are fewer Hiltons. So what?

Sorry upper mgmt. didn't see fit to include you on any of the major decisions. Unfortunately, that's common to many corporations around the world. It's called "management". That's right, businesses aren't democracies! You may recognize the concept from your days in the military, if not the cockpit. Someone's gotta be in charge, making decisions. Do I sense problems with authority?

Pretty much everything I say IS documentable fact. Don't like that, do you? It's much easier for you to stomache the "I didn't get what I deserved/I'm oppressed by the man" theory, isn't it? Sorry about your luck. Hope it improves.
 

vixin

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357,

"PBS works, end of story. People DO get what they want, there are some people here who've never worked 7 days under PBS. Despite all of the bitching to the contrary, that is fact. PBS works for the crews. "

357 did you read the survey on PBS? It may work, however, the majority of the crews are NOT happy with it! Most would like to see it eliminated or have a reduced role in their schedules. The few you mention about not having 7 and still bitching are speaking for all the rest that do have the 7 day schedules. Which by the way is the majority. But I do like the positive management tactics in attacking those that post on the Blue Belly. That is so unprofessional and poor management skill. Thats one reason I do not post their. According to one we should be happy we even have a job. While most of us are happy to be working we still would like to see the improvements PROMISED soooooo long ago. Where is the fulfilment 357? How many do you think will stay after the economy improves? What have they done for the better? Heck we still have captains and fo's leaving in these difficult times.
 
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flexlrpilot357

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So you're saying PBS works, people are getting what they bid for, but they aren't happy with it. I don't know how to respond to that. That truly doesn't make any sense at all. Are they bidding for things they don't like on purpose?

Seven days on: The majority of people do *NOT* have 7 day lines in BP8. I know because I checked! In the master schedule I saw, about 30% of the captains had 1 seven day "on" period within BP8, and that number rises to about 40% when you include the people working 7 days over the BP7-BP8 transition.

About 11% of the FOs have 1 seven day "on" period. Nobody had more than 1 seven day "on" period. So please don't tell me everyone is working 7 day lines all the time. They're not. That's a lie.

Don't confuse the amount of days you have to work, or how busy you are at work with PBS - that's not PBS. That's another issue altogether. I would welcome being guaranteed 17 days of pay and only having to work 15, or some other scheme to reward seniority.

Also, don't confuse the managers replying to fact-less Bluebelly posts with facts and numbers as "attacking" crewmembers, either. That's not attacking, that's using the truth. If that's wrong, we're in big trouble.

It doesn't do us any good, it doesn't make Flexjet any better, if all the REAL issues are clouded with emotion and fiction. To make this a better place to work, the facts have to be known and dealt with. Do you expect management to make business responses based on emotional, fact-devoid letters from angry crewmembers? That would hurt us all in the long run.

People will always leave Flexjet, fact of life. By the way, people leave Netjets too.
 

tdvalve

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"People will always leave Flexjet, fact of life. By the way, people leave Netjets too."


How many ex-Netjets pilots are flying for Flexjet?
 

flexlrpilot357

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Who knows? At least one!

So what? If some people have left for Netjets because they think it's a better opportunity, well, I hope they're right. Maybe the grass is greener for them.

I'm just talking about what the truth is... I didn't know this was Netjets vs. Flexjet!
 
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vixin

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Yes the pbs works per the company needs and thats it. While this is not wrong. They need to find what works on both sides of the fence. However, BP08 has been an improvement I will give you that. We will have to see how long it last. Dont mislead people by saying with this one bid period the majority arent working 7 days in a row. It is one bid period.

I never said everyone in my previous post I was speaking of the majority. And how do you explain the PBS survey? If your claim of so many are happy with PBS. Granted that was done prior to BP08.

I do not mind working. I enjoy the work and it is better then sitting in a hotel. I would also welcome the reward of seniority for less days worked and the same pay. That is a great idea!!

The managers need to be more tactful with their responses then they have been lately. Maybe they should leave their emotions out of the equation also. People will stop using the BB if they are going to be put down or be attacked by others. While I do welcome a good debate a slight amount of tact is needed.

Also, they shouldnt think that we are all fact-devoid and just angry. Most of us have very relevent points and concerns with the company. Its just to bad that they do not keep us better informed.

I must say I do agree with a lot that you say 357. But their are always two sides to every story. Things that make you happy at flex may not make everyone happy. And the bigger we get the more diverse we are going to have to be.

V
p.s. 357 are you sure you do not want to be a politician?
 

flexlrpilot357

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Vixin,

PBS works for company needs and flightcrew needs. I'm sorry, but that is a fact. I consistently get whatever I bid for, and I am not #1 in my fleet, and I know several people who have had the same experience.

You are right, PBS is more successful as we learn how to use it and as it is tweaked with rules that fit our needs.

I don't know how to explain the PBS Survey. I don't know why people would be unhappy with PBS if it gives them what they want, and I do know that people are getting what they want. The top 30% of LR-60 captains got exactly what they want. It really doesn't make any sense to me.

Maybe the managers could improve... maybe we could all improve. Honestly though, I can't think of a better way to respond to the kind of bogus complaints they get than with facts and statistics. That would stop people from complaining about bogus stuff, and allow the real issues to come to the top.

For instance: Complaining about having to work 7/3 when history shows that he has NOT EVER worked 7/3 is utterly ridiculous. IT does not lead to solutions. That is a waste of time and is dishonest.

How are the managers going to change things for the better when they can't understand what the real issues are because people are making bogus complaints!?

You are right, there are relevant concerns all the time, which should be addressed. I won't argue that point one bit, I doubt anyone would. I will add that, in spite of what people like to say, management has been responsive, i.e. the 4 day after 7 option.

Vixin, we do agree quite a bit. I'm not going to say that Flexjet is perfect. I'm not going to sit by why people say it's awful. I am going to point out the truth however. Understanding the true pros and cons are the only way the place is going to improve.

Politics? Ha! Who wants the truth in politics??
 

Redeye

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Great dialog, everybody. Thanks. Would any of you care to describe a day in the life of a Flexjetter? Could make for some interesting fodder for the interview.

Thanks again for your enthusiastic and thoughtful replies.
 
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