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Southwest Crew Meals?

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
Question for SWA Guys/Gals. Do you ever get "crew meals" per se' or do you just get per diem?

What is your per diem rate?

Yeah they get crew meals. It's called the captain runs to Mcdonalds on the 20 min. turn and buys for the crew. Then they all choke it down in 5 min. (That's real healthy). They work those people like farm animals but they all smile and drink the Koolaid.
Answer to Question

Here are the specifics from the contract on per diem.
1. The Company will pay directly for any hotel room and local transportation required.

2. Per Diem will be calculated as follows:

a. Pilots on reserve will not be paid per diem unless they are called out to fly, in which event they will be paid under 2.b. below.
b. For a pairing from one (1) hour prior to scheduled departure time from domicile until one-half :)30) hour after either the pairing arrives in domicile, or the scheduled deadhead flight arrives in the appropriate domicile.
c. A pilot who is called out to fly other than on a reserve day will be paid per diem as applicable in 2.b., above.
d. A pilot required to be out of domicile in the performance of that pilot's duty (i.e., Check Airmen on duty out of town, and pilots training out of town) will receive per diem at the rate of seventeen (17) hours per day.

3. Per diem will be paid at the following hourly rates:

$2.15 an hour as of 1 Sept '99

4. Each pilot will receive the amount of per diem as stated in Paragraph 2. above except during vacation, if terminated, suspended or on leave of absence of any kind during the month, in which case per diem will be reduced accordingly.


We do not have crew meals. At most airports I have had sufficient time to get the required food I need to fly. For those who think we are worked too hard, yes we do work hard, I'm not ashamed of saying I do. It is a work ethic I hope my children immitate.

As for other comments, my thoughts,

Which philosophy would you want your child to be taught?

"Paid the most for working the least."

"An honest day's work for an honest day's pay."

I believe we can & will be paid more for our current contribution to SWA's profitability but bashing the company for not paying me enough when I knew what the contract was when I came here is a bit disingenious (but quite in line with normal aircrew whining). For my fellow aviators who advised me not to go to SWA but go to UAL, AA or DAL, I think I made the right decision but I won't criticize them for theirs. No pilot at SWA works "like farm animals", or any animals for that matter. We can all debate the level of "work" any commercial airline pilot does & I won't here.

I wish there was news on the horizon for all the poolies & folks waiting for interviews. My ancedotal evidence of full flights, the May results showing we filled the same number of seats in May '02 as we did in May '01 & other evidence is all good signs that hiring will begin later this summer IMHO. Thanks for your patience & loyalty to SWA.

Thanks also to the flightinfo.com folks for this web site!!!



Nice reply and thanks for all the info. I can tell you your post struck a nerve about the work ethic. One of the things I didn't like about UAL was the sitting around not doing squat. When I am away, I don't want to be sitting around in my hotel room making 3.5 to 1 duty rig, I want to be flying and earning my keep. I had one 5 day trip that had two 36 hour sits. Not my idea of working for a living. Yep, getting paid, but not turning one wheel toward company profit. I look at quality of life between my two companies, UAL and SWA. UAL working 18 easy days per month (yes I commute) or busting my hump for 13 to 14 days per and getting home a lot more. 4 to 5 days a month = 48 to 60 days more home per year. No question as to which to do. As for Mr Aviation he and his 13,500 civilian hours sound a little jealous to me.

Pass the koolaid and I'll see ya in Dallas this summer.

Hey Slug,

When you are 58 and still busting your a$$ you will wish you had gone to a real airline & not a commuter on steroids like SWA. The flying at SWA is a young mans game. Good luck...you are going to need it.

Mr Aviation is trying to become Flame Bait for all readers. He is to be disregarded like a wafer mistake on the radio.

That part about "flying and earning your keep" at SWA and "getting paid but not turning one wheel toward company profit" at UAL.......did you tell SWA that during the interview? If so I'm sure they really dug it....

Looks like you were on the Bus. Judging from the fact that you are furloughed, I can't imagine you were off of reserve for very long, if at all. Maybe they weren't using you much? How about after 9/11?

Especially after 9/11, I can tell you the average Guppy pilot on reserve at ORD busted their ass on a very frequent basis. I don't remember many "easy days" or IDs with multiple 36 hour layovers. I do remember getting many reassignment and "call the crew desk on arrival" ACARS messages, flying lots of IDs that had been chopped up all to hell, and flying with captains who said I was the third F/O they'd seen on the ID.

In any event, you appear to have been more suited to SWA than to UAL to begin with. Good luck at SWA. I'm afraid, however, that a contract battle with management could be in your future. Shades of UAL summer 2000? Unlikely, but be mindful that the days of "shining, happy employees", fun and games, and ODing on Kool-Aid are over.
Chase.... Great Info.... Thanks!!!

F/O It's not over until Mr. Ahole sings!!!!! I hope you get unfurloughed right quick!!!!
Hey, the question was answered

Crew meals? No

Per Diem? Yes....$2.15

Looks like the questions were answered.

"Let's all just simmer down now!"

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