Trip rig v. Duty rig

stonewall

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Okay, this is a dumbass question, but flightinfo seems to be the place for those.

I'm a pretty new airline pilot. I know I should, but I have zero clue what the hell "trip rig" or "duty rig" means. Up til now, I've been too lazy to ask and haven't really cared. However, since my airline (along with everyone else it seems) is in negotiations, I care now. Anyone care to explain it to me and tell me why one is more advantageous than the other?
 

Snoopy58

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The devil is all in the details, so to tell you that a term means "___" doesn't mean that's how it will be implemented in some particular contract or agreement. That said...

A rig will make a pairing pay at least some specified amount, even if the flying in it wouldn't pay that much. Examples from my carrier, but the idea can translate.

We have several rigs. Some are by the day, some by the trip. Each DAY of a trip will pay at least 5, even if it flies less. Each DAY will pay (0.74 x # of hours on duty that day), even if the flying in it is less than that. Each TRIP pays either the sum of the DAYS pay (each day being at the greater of 5, or .74 x hours, or flying performed), or 6.5 x (number of days in the pairing), or another rig, 1 per each hour (duty or not) from initial check-in to release at the end of the trip. So...

The scheduling computer has incentives to make productive days and trips for us, because we'll get paid at least 19.5 minimum for a 3-day... so they might as well put at least that much flying into a 3-day trip. Generally they do, sometimes, not. But either way I'll make that much. Same deal with each day.

We refer to the .74 / hour as "duty rig," and don't really refer to anything as "trip rig," though we could call the 1 per 3 hours that way. (We refer to it with an ackronym.)

What's the best thing to get out of negotiations? All depends... what numbers are being attached to the concepts under discussion? A really strong rig of one type can drive pairings to look like whatever best satisfies that rig, while a really weak rig can have no effect. If you have guarantees in one area but deficiencies in another, well, that'll drive what rig will be most advantageous for you.

Hope this helps; YMMV.
 

fletch717

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Trip rig and duty rig are tools unions use to keep management from scheduling crews inefficiently. Duty rig Example: for every 3 hours on duty you get 1 hour of flight pay. on duty 12 hours get 4 hours pay. This generally does not apply to reserve pilots. This keeps the company from scheduling one leg from ATL to JAX a 1 hour flight, sit in the airport 7 hours an fly one leg back. they can still do this but it will cost them 4 hours of pay so they don't.

Trip rig operates under the same principle only now it an average spread over the entire 4 day trip. Example: Check in 8:00 am monday finish 4:00 pm thursday this equals 80 hours away from base. using a 3 1/2 to 1 meaning for every 3 1/2 hours away the company must pay 1 hour of flight pay. The minimum pay for this 80 duty would be 22.8 hours. this keeps the company from scheduling 1 leg ATL to LAX sit 2 days and fly 1 leg back about 9 hours of flying total. If they do this they must pay the 22.8 hours trip rig
 

AlbieF15

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If you talk to a guy who has flown international without a duty or trip rig you will hear why these are so important. I cannot speak for them as I don't have all the facts, but I had an Atlas pilot once tell me about getting stuck overseas with nothing but per diem and a hotel being paid for several days--not optimum. Things may have changed there but the point is duty/trip rigs are (IMHO) even more important on a contract than the per hour pay rate. In fact, if we kept our current pay rates and tweaked the rigs a bit, we could all get a net pay raise while allowing our company to show it "held the line" on pay rates. For example, if a 275/hour captain is paid a min of 6 hours per day he grosses $1470. However, we could cap our salary at $210 an hour but get a 7 hour rig and get the same thing. Why does it matter? What looks better for us in the press, an overpaid pilot making 275/hour for only 6 hours work, or a guy who makes 210/hour working seven hours (and that's without a lunch break!). Just my opinion....lots of guys a lot smarter than me working on these kind of issues...
 

jtf

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Does anyone know if there is limit on what a company can pay per hour or day for nontaxable per diem? When my company starts negotiating I would like to get that maxed out- more for my pockets since it is non-taxable.
 

klhoard

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jtf said:
Does anyone know if there is limit on what a company can pay per hour or day for nontaxable per diem? When my company starts negotiating I would like to get that maxed out- more for my pockets since it is non-taxable.
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It is on the IRS web site and is different for each city and foreign location. . .
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PurpleTail

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jtf said:
Does anyone know if there is limit on what a company can pay per hour or day for nontaxable per diem? When my company starts negotiating I would like to get that maxed out- more for my pockets since it is non-taxable.

$42 max domestic, anything over is taxable.
 

Lear70

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Remember, rigs are a "cumulative effect", meaning that if you have one type of rig and not the others, it behooves the company to schedule a different way and still "maximize pilot productivity" but "minimize your paycheck".

Only when you have several different types of rigs (say a combination of min day, duty rig (number of hours on duty = x number of hours of pay), trip rig (number of hours away from base = x number of hours of pay, etc), can you force the company to schedule effeciently and that's what you're shooting for - to work when you're at work so you can play when it's time to play. :)

Rigs can also be "look back" or "look forward" or "pay the greater of". There's so many different ways to skin a cat here it's hard to nail it down in one post. The easiest way to do it is to analyze one carrier's rigs and compare / contrast them against another carrier using a couple of sample schedules from pilots and an arbitrary wage of say $100 per hour for ease of computation and see what you get.

I wonder if anyone has ever done that... would be an interesting source for future negotiations of airlines, especially regionals trying to raise the bar and figure out where to start with rigs.
 

michael707767

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Here is my idea of a rig. The pilots can fly no more 15 days a month. Period. With a rule like that, I think your head would spin at how fast managements found ways to schedule you to fly 7-8 hours a day.
 

BluDevAv8r

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In a domestic operation you will find that there is one sure-fire way to increase productivity on a daily basis. The problem is...most pilots won't like it. How do we do that? Kill the trip mix. If your airline has a variety of 1 days, 2 days, 3 days, and 4 days, that trip mix is destroying your daily productivity and thus, depriving you of days off. If the airline were forced to schedule pure 4 day trips and nothing else, you would find that productivity would increase significantly. For most pilot groups however, the trip mix is worth the loss in days off per month for quality of life reasons. At XJT for example, we have a pretty varied trip mix and our daily productivity is roughly 5:15 on average. If we were willing to go to 4 day trips exclusively (we aren't by the way), our productivity would increase by roughly 1 hour per day. That is huge from a line construction standpoint.

As an aside, I will go out on a limb and say that I don't think you will find any small jet provider able to negotiate any form of hard daily rigs going forward. Mesaba was able to negotiate a 4 hour daily DPM but no trip/duty rigs. As someone said above, the key is to have the whole package...since sometimes one rig kicks in while other times the other rig kicks. You need the whole enchilada to really make it work. I don't see any small jet provider being able to do this going forward. At XJT, rigs were management's biggest "no" during negotiations.

-Neal
 

flap operator

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4 hr min day at Mesaba has been proven to be VERY lucrative. Everybody thought the 2 leg days and such would be gone as soon as the scheduling provisions were implemented. Not so... there are still 2 leg days or days that the 4 hr min day applies. Gone are the 9 hour 3 days or 10 hour 4 days, some trips are still built that way, but when the 4 hr min day kicks in, it makes it more worthwhile. That, combined with full cancelation pay, trip gntee and block or better make it pretty decent. I blocked about 75 hours in Feb due to mx and wx cancelations, but because of our contract provisions I credited over 90 hours. I've made so much more money with 4 hr min day... and it's look forward, not look back. A duty rig would have been nice, but you can't win 'em all. Maybe on the next contract.
FO
 

surplus1

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Rig = a ratio between hours of pay credit vs time spent at work.

Duty Rig = the ratio of hours paid to hours on duty.

Example: Minimum of 1 hour pay credit for each 2 hours on duty. 1:2

Trip Rig = the ratio of hours paid to hours away from base in a pairing.

Example: Minimum of 1 hour pay for each 3.5 hours away from base on a given assignment. 1:3.5

Minimum Day = ratio of hours paid for each calendar day at work irrespective of actual flying.

Example: Min guarateee = 5.0 hours pay credit for each day on any duty.


Note: Rigs can be calculated in a wide variety of ways, e.g., pay the greater of on a daily basis; look back over an entire bid period to achieve an "average" rig effect (not the best for pilots), etc. It depends on how your contract is written.

Example: A) With a "look back" minimum day of 4.0, one might fly 2 hours on one day, 4 hours on another day, 8 hours on a third day. At the end of the month, each day on duty must pay at least 4.0 hours on the average. B) The same 4.0 minimum day calculated on a "look forward" basis, would credit four hours for each day, plus credit actual hours on days with more than 4.0.

In "A" (look back) over a 30 day bid period with 20 days on duty (10 days of 4 hours flying each and 10 days of 3 hours flying each) The min day would pay a max credit of 80 hours for the month.

The same schedule with a "look forward" would pay 10 3-hour days riged to = 40 hours, plus 10 4-hour days totaling 40 hours. 40 + 40 = monthly pay of 80 hours credit for pay. Any day during that period that the pilot flew more than 4 hours actual would result in higher pay for the month.

The duty rig guarantees, for each duty period, that the pay credit will never be less (1:2) than 1 hours pay for each two hours on duty. If the actual ratio turns out to be 1.5:2, the pilot is paid the actual which is higher than the "rig".

Usually the "trip rig" never applies unless the ratio of pay credits to hours away from base is greater than both the "duty rig' and the "min day", individiually.

Example- You are scheduled for a 3-day trip (58 hours TAFB). 1st day you are on duty for 12 hours and you fly 7 hours actual. Actual is higher than the duty rig and you are credited with 7 hours. 2nd day you are on duty for 12 hours but you only fly 2 hours actual. Duty rig pays 6 hours 3rd day you are on duty for 4 hours but you only fly 1 hour actual home. Duty rig is higher and pays 2.0. Your pay for the trip is as follows.

Without the rigs you get paid 7.0 + 2.0 + 1.0 = 10 hours actual.

With the Duty Rig only you get: Day 1 = 7.0 hours (actual), Day 2 = 6.0 hours (rig), Day 3 = 2.0 (rig) . Total for the trip = 7 + 6 + 2 = 15 hours credit due to the duty rig.

Min Day - Day 1 = 7.0 (actual), Day 2 = 4.0. Day 3 = 4.0. Total for trip 15.0

Total TAFB for the 3 days was Day 1/24 + Day 2/24 + Day 3/10 = 58 hours. The trip rig pays 1 hour for each 3.5 hours. 58/3.5 = 16.57 hours credit for the trip.

In this example you are paid by the trip rig, which is the greater of the other 3. This trip is "unproductive" as you spend most of your time sitting in the hotel doing nothing on days 2 & 3. On day 2 and 3 the company should have scheduled you for no less than 5 hours actual flying each. Had they done so, none of the rigs would apply.

As others have stated, a combination of all 3 is usually required to produce "productive" scheduling. If you can only achieve 1 of the 3 rigs contractually, go for the min day & make sure its a look forward and not less than 4.0 hours.

The company retains the flexibility to schedule as it chooses but pays a financial penalty if it does not schedule efficiently. The pilot is guaranteed a minimum compensation for each "schedule" produced by the company.

The concept is pretty simple. If I am available to the company for work, it is the company's responsibility to use me effectively. Whether they do or not, I am guaranteed a minimum compensation for each time period of my availability.

Rigs level the palying field and make "flying" compatible with other types of work. Eight hours on the job as and IT will result in 8 hours pay. It doesn't matter if you actually fix computers for 8 hours or only for 4 hours each day. The company decides what work you will do.

Since pilots wages are based on "flight hours" only, without a Rig, the pilot is paid nothing at all even though he is "at work" and available to fly. That's not reasonable. Rigs iron out the difference.

Companies resist rigs because they would like you to be available 24/7 but to only pay you when you are actually in the air. They should not be permitted to exploit employees in that fashion.

If the company chooses to keep you hanging around the airport with nothing to do, or sitting in a hotel a thousand miles from home with nothing to do, that should not be your problem. It is their problem. Rigs encourage them to solve it.

I hope I got the math right.
 

chase

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The terms here aren't necessarily specific to SWA....the abbreviation "TFP" stands for Trips for Pay....this is the method that SWA equates pay, not an hourly rate....1 trip equals 55 minutes. Hope this helps.


The Current Rig Structure
Duty Hour Ratio (DHR
)

​
For every hour on duty, pay is guaranteed to be at least 0.74 Trips For Pay

(TFP).

​
It encourages the computer to write shorter duty days by the application of

a cost penalty for excessive ground time as opposed to flight time.

Trip Hour Ratio (THR)
​
For every three (3) hours away from base, the pairing will pay at least one

TFP.

​
This rig encourages the computer to write shorter pairings and or write

shorter days by applying a penalty for
excess time away from base

calculated from check in to release
.

Duty Period Minimum (DPM)
​
Each single day pays at least 5.0 TFP.

​
This rig protects you from having a substantially poor paying day coupled

with one or more productive days. It encourages DPOS to build
a more

productive duty day by ensuring that each day pays at least 5.0 TFP
. It

also will cause DPOS to write a longer duty day unless used in conjunction

with DHR and THR.

Pairing Minimum Pay (PMP) or Average Daily Guarantee (ADG)
​
The average day in any given pairing should pay at least 6.5 TFP.

​
This rig guarantees a minimum of 6.5 TFP for each day worked. It

encourages DPOS to build
more productive pairings. It will also cause

longer days unless used as part of complete rig package.

 
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