I had one of those CAs when I told him I was off to VX, and what he thought of LCCs, his reply was he didn't spend 8 yrs at 9E and be a checkairman to end up at a place like Virgin, Spirit, or jetBlue.
No bad karma thing though, he made it to Delta through the SSP.
Well, as with any airline reserves act as a surge accumulator. They fill gaps in the schedule. Unlike other airlines, WN uses reserves to cover open time that they don’t want to pay premium for.
Then they gamble that they won’t need those reserves for things like sick calls or winter storms. When those events happen pilots already flying are rerouted or junior manned into additional flying, which is almost always at time and a half or double time. It can be lucrative, but also infuriating.
So I can see it from both sides. As a company, an asset sitting at home from December until May getting paid to play XBox is inefficient. As a pilot, I want to get paid as much as possible for as little work as possible. But as a pilot who has been furloughed a bunch of times, I want the company to be as lean as possible. So I’m torn.
When I was on reserve I commuted, so I was happy to fly because it meant not paying for a hotel. If I lived in base at this airline I’d hate reserve, except for in the summer since reserves are contractually protected from being junior manned.
Bottom line, if someone is considering WN as a potential career, forget everything you know about how Airlines run, because they play from their own sheet of music and it’s very rarely similar to other Airlines - for better and sometimes for worse.