What is it like flying the line?

Hard solid lines versus reserve lines.

Once you get hired as a flight attendant and finish your training, you will probably end up being on reserve. Airlines like to have a certain number of flight attendants on reserve to cover for any make up flights or another flight attendant's flight if they can't make it or have called in sick.

Each month, a bid packet is created and in it is a list of trips put together in a form of lines. For example, one line might have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off and a four day starting on Thursday all the way to Sunday. The line might have the same trip four times for that month. This would mean for the entire month, you are off the same days of the week and work the four day trip the same days of the week.

While on reserve, there will also be a certain number of reserve lines for bids. Most new hires will end up with a reserve line and for some airlines; a flight attendant might be on reserve for a year before holding solid line. The reserve lines are made up the same as the solid lines. It will show your days off and the days you are on reserve for the entire month.

When bidding on a line, seniority is everything. When you are at the bottom of the seniority, you will have one of the worst lines which might be a bunch of left over trips and days off all over the place or you may be on reserve. But as you gain seniority, you will be able to hold a better line with more consistent days off and trips and even better trips.

For each line, there are solid days off, typically called golden days off. These days off mean that no matter what scheduling cannot move these days and put trips on them. It allows you to plan whatever you want on those days and have a piece of mind knowing that they will not change. Any other day off on your line is always subject to change at any time.