Roster Night: Joy and Despair

Hello Again everyone. I had to post about the despair but very occasional joy of “Roster Night”….

In any other job getting your schedule is really not all that special, its like YAY I’m working 9-5 AGAIN. However to Crew getting our roster brings a huge amount of excitement. Where am I off to this month? Anywhere new? How many earlies? Any Standby? And most importantly, Have I got what I bid for? The answer to the last question is probably not..

I am based at London Heathrow however I commute from the North East of Scotland, via Edinburgh. I primarily bid (I shall explain in a later post) for long haul which suits commuting more as it gives better report times and I don’t have to stay down in London in hotels, which I would have to do if I had there and backs. So for me a successful roster is minimal short haul, minimal standby and plenty of Long haul plus as a bonus new destinations.

In my company we receive our rosters for the next month at 10pm 12 days before the start of said month. I say 10pm. If you manage to get on at 10pm, you have been exceedingly fortunate. You usually get on between 10:30 and 11:00. This is due to the fact that there are thousands of people trying to get on at once.

On roster night, there is a build up of a combination of nerves and excitement. So far I have had 17 Roster Nights and bar 2 I have been on the ground either in London (where I stayed for my first 11 months in the job), back home in Scotland or down route. I think that I have only received my roster once down route and that was in San Diego in January. For the other two I was flying home or out to a destination so had no way of checking. On the plus side didn’t have to wait long the following morning!

I will always remember my first roster night, July 22nd 2016. I was still in the middle of training, and having spent the night studying the business class service, 10 o clock had rather snuck up on me. I was totally unprepared. So I got the laptop, iPad and phone all logged on to try and see where my first month of flying was going to take me. It took me all of 20 minutes to get on and what a shock I got. My first flight was to Stavanger in Norway on a there and back, the day after training finished. The following day I had San Diego, California and then another San Diego. Some more amazing trips followed that but those two will always stick in my mind. It couldn’t have been better. Since then I have had good rosters, I have had terrible rosters and some that have made me want to cry. But every month I still look forward to 10pm on Roster Night.

On November 17th 2017, we received our December Rosters. This is the one where people, including myself, get properly nervous as it effects Christmas and New Year. Last year I was lucky enough to get our Singapore and Sydney Trip leaving Christmas Day and returning the second of January, which meant New Years Eve in Singapore and what a night that was. However this is a story for another day..

Anyway back on track..

So my Dad and I had 4 devices all trying to get on to the roster at 10pm. I got the first glimpse at 10:13pm.. I saw a 4 day block of Standby beginning on the 3rd of December. Not overly enthusiastic about that. Then I saw PEK, which is Beijing, China. I was so excited, a new destination on the Boeing 787-9 plus the opportunity to visit the Great Wall of China, something I have always wanted to see. Next up a training day for our new Airbus A320Neo Aircraft which are arriving in the New Year straight into a 3 day MCT, Muscat, Oman. Another new destination, I was beginning to think this is shaping up to be a brilliant roster. Then a 3 day ABV, which translates to Abuja, Nigeria. A trip I have not heard too many good things about, however its another New Destination for me! 3 in one roster!

This got us up to the 23rd of December, and we got logged out. I was not amused. Eventually we got back in, and my dreams had come true. Leaving Christmas day to.. CAPE TOWN, South Africa. I couldn’t believe it. Cape Town was my top bid as I wanted to take my Mum away with me. It is the one place I had always said that my Mum would properly love and now I have the opportunity to take her. Plus this means I have New Years Eve off, not sure about New Years Day yet though!

So December 2017 has shaped up to be incredible!