“Rosters are out!”
As a cabin crew member, you will hear this sentence towards the end of each month.
You will either hear “YESSS, I am so happy, I got what I wanted. I have Mauritius, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Athens and they gave me five days off before my leave.” Or you will hear this “OMG, No way. I got four turnarounds. I am flying with this „horrible“ purser, I have to do this „shitty“ layover. I have to swap (change) this flight.”
All cabin crew are excited and anxious when they are opening the rosters. Maybe it sounds silly to you and you are asking why?
Well, they all want to get their favourite destinations, days off on certain days, leave days to go home or to go for vacation.
So what is the roster? Imagine the roster like a schedule that you will get for example on 20th of each month and you will know exactly:
– where you are flying
– what time is your departure to a destination and arrival to the specific destination
– flight time
– flight number and dates
– the list of all crew, including pilots
– layover duration
– depending on the company, you might see languages spoken by the crew, the weather and information about the destination, specific instructions, …
So you can actually plan your life for a month when you get the schedule = roster.
Below are the examples that are used by the majority of airlines.
Every month you can bid (request) to get certain flights in your upcoming roster. Will you get all requested flights? I would say, yes and/or no. If you do not like your roster, then you can try to swap (change) the flights for other ones. You can get short or ultra-long flights from the beginning of your flying career.
You can advertise the unwanted flights on the crew portal and hope someone will send you a great flight or you can also search for the flights you wish to have and send the requests to the specific crew. Before you send it to the crew, the system has to analyze all the legalities or criteria, for instance, languages spoken, minimum rest legalities… Sometimes you can spend hours before you get what you want. Sometimes you swap in a few seconds or you might not even get the flights. All airlines will explain to their new cabin crew everything about the rosters, so they know how to read them and how to understand all those abbreviations.
In Emirates, you will also get reserve months approximately every 7 months. What does the reserve month mean? RSV will be written in your whole roster and you will be assigned duty when the company needs you. The flight will be given to you one or more days in advance or you will be directly called from the standby day. You will be working either in your grade or one grade higher or lower. For example, if you are a business class crew you can be called to work in the economy class or first class without experience.
You will come across two types of standby days:
Home Standby – you are waiting at home for approximately 6 hours – 8 hours and you must be reachable by phone.
Airport Standby – you are waiting 4 hours at Emirates Headquarters – you must be packed for all possible weather conditions.
So here we have it. I hope you have a better understanding of the roster. If you have any comments, feel free to post them below. 🙂