one week on one off?

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one week on one off?

Postby Ace1731 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:00 am

I had recently done a tour on a super-liner here in San Jose and the LSA said that some of the operating crew worked one week and had one week off. is this highly unheard of? and if so would it be on the longer distance trains?
Last edited by Ace1731 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:31 am

Welcome, TCUstudent! I've moved this to the Amtrak forum, since their crew rules are specific to that railroad.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby shlustig » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:48 pm

Some Amtrak on-board personnel typically stay with the train consist for the entire run; could be 3 days each way, then 6 or 7 days off.

At one time, sleeping car porters worked CHI to NYP on the Lake Shore Limited, then to Fla and return to NYP, then back to cHI on the Lake Shore. One RT per week, then a week off.

Perhaps someone familiar with crew runs today could update us on assigned turns.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby DutchRailnut » Thu Mar 16, 2017 1:19 pm

and only the Engineer - Conductor - Assistant Conductor are operating crew, and are under Hours of Service law.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: one week on one off?

Postby amtrakhogger » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:26 pm

Those are On Board Service jobs, they have no hours of service and they work more like airline crews vs T&E. Off Corridor T&E can be either a 4,5,or 6 day cycle.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:00 pm

amtrakhogger wrote: they have no hours of service and they work more like airline crews vs T&E. .


Mr. Hogger lest there be confusion from your captioned statement, airline Flight Crews, both Officers and Attendants, are most definitely governed by Hours of Service. The only difference is that they complete their flight (I'd hate to think of the alternative) as opposed to "dying".
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby electricron » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:00 pm

amtrakhogger wrote:Those are On Board Service jobs, they have no hours of service and they work more like airline crews vs T&E. Off Corridor T&E can be either a 4,5,or 6 day cycle.

They are also away from their families for days on end regularly. I'm not aware of any civilian job in the world with that type of work schedule away from home that doesn't do the same similar on-off work cycle. Otherwise, no one would want to do them.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby Ace1731 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:48 pm

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Re: one week on one off?

Postby amtrakhogger » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:25 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:
amtrakhogger wrote: they have no hours of service and they work more like airline crews vs T&E. .


Mr. Hogger lest there be confusion from your captioned statement, airline Flight Crews, both Officers and Attendants, are most definitely governed by Hours of Service. The only difference is that they complete their flight (I'd hate to think of the alternative) as opposed to "dying".


I meant to say Amtrak On Board Service crews are not hours of Service. I only used Airline crews as a comparison and
Was not suggesting they were not hours of service.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:07 pm

Mr. Hogger, I believe the Forum will accept your clarification. I know I do.

Now what I'm waiting to see is some "Lorenzo" type airline CEO start staffing his flights with FAA Certified and under Hours of Service Attendants only to the extent needed (I believe it is 1 to 50 seats). Any others would be non-qualified "Servers" not subject to HOS and, for an overseas flight, turned with the aircraft. Not alert?; we'll kids, best be alert and smiling!!! Otherwise, guess what: you "Finito".
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby prr60 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:02 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Hogger, I believe the Forum will accept your clarification. I know I do.

Now what I'm waiting to see is some "Lorenzo" type airline CEO start staffing his flights with FAA Certified and under Hours of Service Attendants only to the extent needed (I believe it is 1 to 50 seats). Any others would be non-qualified "Servers" not subject to HOS and, for an overseas flight, turned with the aircraft. Not alert?; we'll kids, best be alert and smiling!!! Otherwise, guess what: you "Finito".

I doubt that there are many flights staffed over and above that required by the FAA (1:50 is correct). However, to paraphrase the old iPhone slogan, if an airline wants to staff a flight with some non-operating people, there's a reg for that.

Basically, any "non-F/A" personnel must be clearly identified as such by uniform, ID, or some other means. They can be used for duties such as such as serving beverages, conducting customer relations, or acting as translators. The non-F/A person's duties may not include the typical duties of the F/A. Non-F/A personnel may not operate any aircraft systems included galley equipment, HVAC, or the PA system. Just like passengers, they must remain seated on the ground and during take off and landing.

Bottom line: there is no great benefit for an airline to add any non-F/A personnel to a flight. If four flight attendants are required by regulation, and some crazy airline decides to put six on board, the extra two must be clearly identified and will be greatly limited in the services they can perform if the airline wants them to operate outside the normal requirements for operating personnel. Otherwise, all six are flight attendants and subject to all applicable regulations for operating personnel, included hours of service and rest.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby David Benton » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:20 am

And if one of the 4 qualified staff ring in sick, the plane sits on the ground waiting for a replacement, the 2 unqualified staff cannot fill in. I doubt it would save money after a few of those episodes.
Back to topic , I have often said I don't know how obs staff are supposed to be at their best, after up to a week on-board, ( admittedly with a nite or day in a hotel at the turnaround).
I wonder if the option of switching obs crews enroute has been seriously looked into, or if the current practice is simply a case of , that's how we have always done it.
Especially where new corridor operations have emerged, now may be the time to look into swapping crews en-route on some routes. Especially if even long distance train become more state funded, it may be a case of rewarding those states that cough up with crew bases, or conversely, no dining car etc through states that don't.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:27 am

Most interesting, Mr. Pittsburgher, that there is an FAR covering the use of non-certified "Attendants". That was something I was "not about to" ask an FA friend who is quite "militant pro-Union".

Regarding Mr. Benton's point (and to get this discussion out of the skies and back on the rails), there was one Amtrak run, the Three Rivers, that was staffed from a Pittsburgh OBS Base. Funny how once riding #41 during '03, I went to bed and there was one Attendant. Come morning, it was a "Where's Maria"? "She got off at Pittsburgh, I'm Patty, can I help you?". "But I never got to tip her". "Oh don't worry; we split 'em up".

The CP exchanged Dining Car crews at Winnipeg; who knows what VIA does with their taxpayer funded excursion train.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby AgentSkelly » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:53 am

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. Hogger, I believe the Forum will accept your clarification. I know I do.

Now what I'm waiting to see is some "Lorenzo" type airline CEO start staffing his flights with FAA Certified and under Hours of Service Attendants only to the extent needed (I believe it is 1 to 50 seats). Any others would be non-qualified "Servers" not subject to HOS and, for an overseas flight, turned with the aircraft. Not alert?; we'll kids, best be alert and smiling!!! Otherwise, guess what: you "Finito".


TWA in the 70s had a "Director of Customer Service" position on widebody flights that essentially was an upgraded purser position. http://twdcs.org/
My understanding union-wise, they were allowed by the flight attendants union as the purser position on had too many duties at the time on the widebody aircraft and they would let anyone in the company transfer to those positions. It ended in 1976 after a new union contract where things were readjusted and some of the duties were split between the purser and other attendants as a cost saving measure.
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Re: one week on one off?

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:07 am

Mr. Skelly, funny how the first time I flew overseas was 1971, on TWA and there was a Purser (two previous trips were "on the boat").

Nowadays I think all US airlines assign Purser duties to the First Attendant. Since that involves answering for any unreasonable shortages, it is my understanding that Attendants more Senior will avoid that position because whatever additional it pays is not worth being held accountable for something you are not directly responsible.
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