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UPS Lifestyle

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Active member
Nov 25, 2001
Just curious if anyone with Brown can share some info on the typical new guy schedule. How much reserve, length of trips, and how are the days off usually grouped? How about commuting? I have heard positive things on it (especially compared to the other majors). Just dreaming...! Thanks.
I was going to respond sooner but have been busy. As far as the lifestyle goes at UPS, most but not all pilots, find a nitch that works for them. Weither it is flying nights week on week off out of their hometown (or nearby) on the 727/DC-8's/A-300-600F/b-757 or intra-Eourpe or intra-Asia on the 757/767/A-300-600F which would be one 12-13 day trip a pay period which is 28 days. Or long pac-rim flights on the Whale (747) and the MD-11) also one long 12-13 day trip. Or Second Day Air (DAY) flights on the 767. No matter what it is most pilots don't move Alot because there is no pay differential between Aircraft typs. Usually the Next Day Air flights (NIGHTS) will start at an out location such as Columbia SC. The flight would operate CAE-SDF(Louisville)-CAE and layover in CAE. The crew would do that for five nights on, nine nights off. (Usually a commercial ticket to the out station and back after the trip, Unless, you live nearby the out station and elect to drive, then they will pay you milage to drive. Some of the intra-Asia/Europe flights might have a company Deadhead or a commercial ticket to the start location of the trip and back. Usually the Pac Rim trips on the whale start in Louisville and end in Louisville so if you don't live there then it becomes your responsibility to get to work. Currently UPS has three Pilot Domiciles SDF, MIA and ONT. ONT and MIA are only B-757/767 bases. However, the A-300 may fly out of MIA soon.

Overall, I think as a commuter UPS works out great: the pay and retirment hopefully will get better . The health benifits are great the uniforms suck but are FREE! The growth is steady and strong, the equipment is great even if some of its old. The facilities are not near what Fedex has but will change. The company makes Alot of $$$$$.

Hope this helps
Now for the sixty-four thousand dollar question - can you get an interview without a letter of recommendation from a UPS pilot?
WHats wrong with the uniforms at UPS?

Are you asking because you think there's something wrong with them or because you like them?

Either way, they pay me pretty well to wear it, and for what I make, they could dress me in a pink toga...hmmm, that reminds me, I have a party to plan! :D
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As with every airline, your quality of life, pay and perks are directly related to your seniority number. Life sucks for folks at the bottom of the list and is pretty nice for folks near the top.

Typically, the new guy/gal will find themselves sitting reserve for 2 wks at a time. If you live in domicile that could work out in your favor, especially on the whale where crews have been know to go non-current. It's not called the "country club" fleet for nothing!<g> If you commute to work this is obviously "dead time" away from home and your loved ones. I've seen new hires get VTO lines with some decent trips with good time off. It's hit and miss. Bottom line, you get what's left after the senior folks pick through it. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not.

I live in domicile (always have) and generally fly the day trips which are out-n-back (turns). Down side is it's usually 3 weeks on and 1 wk off type of schedule. Up side is it's day flying and the displacement rate is high as they use these trips for training.

Vprof pretty much gave you the scoop on schedules so I won't rehash what he said. The thing I want to point out to the hopefuls out there is that UPS, along with FedEx, are extremely profitable companies with career employment security that can't be touched by any of the pax carriers. We fly a variety of aircraft with many being brand new widebody and/or heavy jets flying all around the world. You like international flying? We got it! You just want domestic (me)? We've got plenty of that! You want a mix? Your in luck! I also don't worry about my paycheck bouncing or being furloughed. 9/11 was barely a "hiccup" on UPS's bottom line and we're back to pre 9/11 levels. I also don't have to stand in endless security lines everytime I go to work or have to deal with attitudes of the traveling public. I've never had one box complain about the ride, lack of meals or ATC delays! You ever hear a UPS flight ask about the ride to ATC? Why? Because we don't care! I just care about the tailwinds. ;)

My overall point being is that no matter how junior you are here or what kind of schedules you can hold in the beginning, the up side far out way any negatives you might run into.
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If you bid European trips, can you live in Europe? How does commuting within Europe work, and what kind of schedules do they offer? And do these lines go senior? I would like to live in Rome. Thanks in advance for any info!

The European flying is very senior. Although, I have seen alot of the European trips on VTO(vacation, training, other)lines. I know we have turns from Italy to Colon Germany. I'm not sure which city in Italy.

On another note, I've been here 2 years and love it!! I live in domicile and bid reserve. I usually work 2 or 3 days out of 8(8 days on reserve and 6 days off). The pay and benifits are very good and getting better.

UPS Europe flying and commuting

I've been on the 727 for 12 years at UPS...commuted all but the first five months. I got hired at a good time, with a lot of upward movement, so only did one bid period on reserve. As a 727 guy...I like the same pay rate between fleets and the fact that I do less than 200 block hours a year. There is a place for every lifestyle at UPS....my lifestyle is "lazy"...and, with seniority, (been bypassing the left seat for 5 years) it works out pretty good.

I've done some Europe flying. We are only allowed to do some of our flying over there due to, I guess, politics. The local pilot unions don't really like seeing us. UPS uses subcontractors for some of our European flying....the big one is Star Air. I'll try to name off the cities that UPS crews layover/operate in: Stanstead, Oslo, Helsinki, Warsaw, Budapest, Valencia, Treviso (TSF...near Rome), and Madrid, with Cologne as a hub. We used to have Istanbul and Tel Aviv, will get them back when the region settles down...haha.

A person could live in Europe....I know of one Captain that does....but you wouldn't want to be on the 757/767 because those trips start in the US, fly to Europe on the 767, fly intra-Europe with a weekend layover on the 757, and back to the states in a 767. There is one Airbus in Europe now and it's rumored to be the fleet of choice to fly intra-Europe. They have to build those lines with commercial tickets (usually) to and from Louisville. Sometimes they manage to build them with company deadheads. Anyway....if you lived over there you could get paid for a lot of time at home. The Europe trips are 12 days on paper but that includes getting over and back and a weekend layover in Cologne.

For the most part...the good Europe flying with weekend layovers over there does go senior. Back when there were three 727's in Europe, you had to be in the top 25% of the list to get them as a regular line.

There is a contract amendment we will vote on in May. If it passes...there will be incentives to work more, which will impact hiring, I think. Personally, I don't think it will pass and the company will then be forced to think about hiring.

I haven't talked to any "new" F/E's....say the last three years....that got hired without a recommendation.

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