Crew layovers

Old Apr 2, 21, 12:30 pm
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Crew layovers

Something that's always interested me is how much layover time BA crew get when they reach destination?

Is it as simple as arrive at JFK 8pm and then fly out the next night or do they get more time? I also assume it depends on the sector length?
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Old Apr 2, 21, 12:59 pm
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There are three elements to this:
  1. Flight Time Limitations, which provide the legal minimum rest allowed. This is affected by duty length, in flight rest, number of sectors, and acclimatisation (ie. adjusting to time zone differences). https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-ind...and-resources/
  2. Union agreements, which will usually exceed legal minimum requirements.
  3. Schedule, which sometimes results in some rather nice extended layovers (pre-covid at BACF we had some trips which resulted in entire days off down route which is fairly unusual for short haul!). Ideally of course any airline will want to minimise layover time without generating fatigue reports.

Last edited by EJetter; Apr 2, 21 at 2:25 pm
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Old Apr 2, 21, 1:01 pm
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I’m sure crew and others will give a more detailed answer but - it depends!

I think the general trend is to maximum utilisation so, yes, in general on longhaul for East Coast USA it is 1 night and West Coast 2 nights. However, don’t forget (for example) New York used to have a dayflight back to the UK so I guess some crew would stay for 2 nights to bring that back.

On other routes, it might depend on how often that destination is served, or even how often it is served by a particular aircraft - for e.g. whilst the Middle East is generally one local night, I’ve heard of Muscat in normal times getting multiple nights for some crew - I think it may be if, say, destination served by a mix of 788 and 789. On other occasions crew might simply position back as passengers or be supernumerary - ie a 788 with 10 crew because the outbound was a 789 or whatever. Hopefully that is broadly accurate!
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Old Apr 2, 21, 1:35 pm
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Would be interesting if any BA/ex BA staff could confirm how generous(or otherwise) layovers were in the 70s/80s? i

Used to hear about QF serving some destinations once per week and they could spend all week by the pool in a nice hotel.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 1:40 pm
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Just to cover off night stops on short haul - contrary to what most people believe, the last flight out of London to a European destination for a night stop is not crewed by the same crew the following morning in the first flight back into London due to the regulations outlined in the first response above. In normal times when a destination (say Amsterdam as an example) had multiple flights a day, the night stopping crew would typical fly a late morning or early afternoon flight out and rest up for the night. They would then take the first flight back in the morning to Heathrow while the crew who flew the last outbound from Heathrow the previous evening would take over the lunch time flight back to London, swapping with the outbound overnighting crew.

Hopefully that makes sense!!

Pilot37
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Old Apr 2, 21, 1:40 pm
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all the above serves as an accurate description.

there are also odd anomalies with trips that have a shuttle attached, such as the Nassau/Grand Cayman trip; as instead of flying back to London when the next crew arrives, we would operate a turnaround trip to Cayman and stay another couple of nights in the Bahamas - thus creating quite a long trip, sometimes up to a week. As you can imagine, these trips were highly sought after via our crew bidding system
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Old Apr 2, 21, 1:46 pm
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Back in those day there were no long range flights so the duty days were 12.00 maximum, so no extra days off were given for any long duties.
If a destination was served daily we would get around 24 hours off but very few places were so there were some fantastic trips with up to 7 full days off.
Destinations with 7 days off were Mauritius and Columbo, Auckland had either 3 or 4 days off and the Caribbean had some good trips.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Pilot37 View Post
Just to cover off night stops on short haul - contrary to what most people believe, the last flight out of London to a European destination for a night stop is not crewed by the same crew the following morning in the first flight back into London due to the regulations outlined in the first response above. In normal times when a destination (say Amsterdam as an example) had multiple flights a day, the night stopping crew would typical fly a late morning or early afternoon flight out and rest up for the night. They would then take the first flight back in the morning to Heathrow while the crew who flew the last outbound from Heathrow the previous evening would take over the lunch time flight back to London, swapping with the outbound overnighting crew.

Hopefully that makes sense!!

Pilot37
Not quite true, there are "split duties" where the crew will get to spend some time resting down route but not enough to count as rest for FTL purposes, so it becomes one continuous duty.

For example from an old roster of mine:

Report LCY 19:05Z
Arrive at ORY hotel 22:15Z/23:15L
Pick up ORY hotel 05:15Z/16:15L
Check out LCY 08:25Z

Some crew love them because you effectively you get most of day one and most of day two off; personally I'm not a fan as I just want to go to bed again as soon as I get home!
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Old Apr 2, 21, 2:29 pm
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I posed this in another thread earlier this year but here's a roster from the early 90's when Australasia was considered more than just Sydney. 3 week trips are long gone these days.

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Old Apr 2, 21, 2:58 pm
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That is a typical 21 day roster with to visits to AKL, one via BNE and one via PER.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 3:34 pm
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How would the current Manchester flights work, for example? The latest departure from LHR is 1530 arriving 1635. The first departure from MAN is 0700.

Would the same crew work that? There seems to be sufficient rest?
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Old Apr 2, 21, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by LancashireFlyer View Post
How would the current Manchester flights work, for example? The latest departure from LHR is 1530 arriving 1635. The first departure from MAN is 0700.

Would the same crew work that? There seems to be sufficient rest?
I reckon so, but there’s not as much rest as you think. Remember that the crew won’t be off the aircraft straight away, have to travel to the hotel, then go back to the terminal the following morning well before departure. There’s probably 12 and a bit clear hours “rest” in that shift.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by flight125 View Post
I reckon so, but there’s not as much rest as you think. Remember that the crew won’t be off the aircraft straight away, have to travel to the hotel, then go back to the terminal the following morning well before departure. There’s probably 12 and a bit clear hours “rest” in that shift.
Yes, that will be plenty: the regulations require the opportunity for eight hours of sleep (in addition to an hour for physiological needs plus at least an hour for travel to and from the hotel).
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Old Apr 2, 21, 9:27 pm
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Very OT, but my first thought was how much money FR, U2, Wizz save by never having crew layovers and always flying back to the base (but still offering sensible options; I know 6.30 am departure from STN is not convenient but makes sense).

Funny enough there are low costs that definitely do crew layovers, e.g. JQ, WS, WN, B6.
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Old Apr 3, 21, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
Very OT, but my first thought was how much money FR, U2, Wizz save by never having crew layovers and always flying back to the base (but still offering sensible options; I know 6.30 am departure from STN is not convenient but makes sense).

Funny enough there are low costs that definitely do crew layovers, e.g. JQ, WS, WN, B6.
Surely this gives BA competitive advantage.

Who wants to go from Luton at 6am when you can go from Heathrow at 4pm for £30 more?
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