Hello there!

In this article, I want to talk to you about stand by shifts. What are they and what you should expect when you see than on your duty roster? Everything you need to know is covered here.

What is a stand by shift?

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In case of unforeseen circumstances when, for example, a crew member get suddenly sick or someone cannot operate a flight due to maximum duty hour limitations, the crew scheduling will call one of the crew members on stand by, for example, to replace another crew member. Both flight deck crew and cabin crew have stand by shifts. Additionally, my airline doesn't have a so-called airport stand bys which is why I won't talk about that in this article.

How does it work?

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The person who got called must be in the briefing room uniform on and bags packed within x hour(s) after the crew scheduling has called you. For example, in the airline I work for, we must report ourselves for duty within one (1) hour from a call from the crew scheduling.

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Most of us come straight from home but if someone lives far and is unable to come within one hour, they might spend their stand by at our airline's office. My stand by is 8 hours, however, it varies among the companies.

What to expect?

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You won't always get a call but when you do, you should be prepared as you can end up anywhere. Sometimes they call you to operate just a turnaround (from your home base to destination X and back) and sometimes they can give you a layover (you will spend a night at the destination). Adaptability is an important skill when working as a cabin crew – you'll never know where you go and what's gonna happen.

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There are pros and cons when being on stand by. Some people like and others dislike it. If you don't get a call, you'll basically get a day off, you just can't go anywhere in case they call you. On the other hand, this is the time when many of us are, for example, cleaning our homes when we finally have time for it.

Thanks for reading my article, I hope this clarified the topic!