What is Reserve or Ready Reserve?
If you currently work for an airline, you were probably introduced to the reserve and ready reserve schedules. It is very important for airlines to have flight crews on reserve and or ready reserve to cover any flights that don't have a crew for one reason or another.
A reserve schedule is something that you can bid on a month a head of time. Usually, those flight attendants on the bottom of the seniority list will end up with a reserve line schedule whether they like it or not. Every once in a while, flight attendants who can hold a line will also bid on a reserve schedule, but this does not happen often.
The reserve line schedule will have the days and the time that you will be on reserve for the month. That means on the days and times noted on your reserve schedule, you can be called and given one or two hours to get to the airport for a duty in. This is called short call. While on reserve you must have a phone at all times to call scheduling back within an hour or sometimes less. Scheduling will sometimes schedule you ahead of time and give you a trip on your reserve days a few days in advance.
Your reserve schedule may also include some ready reserve at the airport. Ready reserve is when a flight crew is available for a flight or trip at the airport. It is good for an airline to have crews on standby as ready reserve at the airport in case they have to staff a flight within a short period of time. It helps the airlines avoid some delays and the passengers don't have to wait.
Most flight attendants on reserve will have one or two ready reserve days at the airport each month. Sometimes, this is better than being short called for a flight and have to rush to get to work. If you don't get used during the hours you are on ready reserve at the airport, you will be released to go home.