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Three things Crew Tracker really hate!

Three things Crew Trackers really hate!   The Crew Tracker´s working life consists of plenty of surprises, and for dealing with them fast and efficient decision-making skills are necessary. What they technically call unforeseen circumstances happens every day and can create a lot of problems to the Airlines operations. Let's have a look at the easiest situations that Crew Trackers have to face but really hate:

1) Lack of Reservers

One of the simplest situations that can happen during a normal day is to run out of standbys. The worst thing is that this lack of resources is often linked to major disruption events such as storms, strikes or when the final of the World football Championship is ongoing.
A good planning process integrated with the Crew Operation process as well as a careful predictive analysis should avoid these situations. Unfortunately, events don´t follow statistics and it is quite common that the policy of airlines allow the Crew Tracker to contact crew members during their off days to ask for their willingness to work. The off day will then be rescheduled to another day or paid as overtime.
"Hello John we're in trouble. Would you give us a hand today? Would you like to fly on your day off?"
"Hello Michael, I would like to help you but I was wondering if you can help me as well with that early duty the day after tomorrow. In that case I would be really happy to help you out today!!" (Laughing..).
"You mean the next Sunday morning duty?" ("Why didn´t I accept that shift change that my dude proposed to me yesterday morning?") (Crying..).
Never ending story..


2) Reserves at the wrong place

Buy a pack of 25 pens at a special price and forget them at home instead of bring them to the office. This is the feeling a Crew Tracker has when he discovers to have standbys available but at the wrong home base.

"I must remember to report this distribution issue to the planning department for the next month". This is a task a Crew Tracker tends to postpone because it´s too far away  from the daily business management.

A possible approach to such kind of situations is:

     A) Complain with the planning department (but it doesn´t solve his current problem).
     B) Use positioning flights, use positioning flights and discover that no more positioning flights are available.
     C) Read the point 1).


3) Wrong time slot reserve

"It's too late for him…"
"It's too early for him…"
This type of reasoning is repeated dozens of times during the day from the Crew Tracker.
A good pre-assignment process (today for tomorrow) and again a well-integrated process between planning and operational management can help to address this problem.
Not the case? Then the only alternative is to go back and apply point 1)


Which other insane situation do you hate most? What are typical tasks or situations in which you really don´t feel comfortable? I am waiting your comments and point of views!

Tags: OCCAirlineIntegrationOperations ControlOpsAircraftCrewATCNetLineDelayCostsPaxPassengerNetLine/Ops ++NetLine/CrewNetLine/OpsCrew TrackingCrew ManagementRoster MaintenanceLufthansa Systems Blog
Emanuele Esposito
30. Jan 2016

About the author

I worked for a major European Airline from 2000 since 2015 covering several roles and responsibilities in the Crew Management Area and in the Operation Control Center. I joined Lufthansa Systems in 2015 and I am actually working as Product and Business Consultant trying to share and continuously improve the experience gained.
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