Do pilots have the same crew?

I’ve always wondered if pilots will always have the same captain and first officer unless someone is sick does anybody know
Thanks and safe landings

@Heavydriver to the rescue!

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Is @heavydriver a real life pilot

I was watching this video earlier. One of the pilots was talking as if each flight had a new and different crew.



For the most part flight crews stay together for a trip pairing but can get split up if operational necessitaty calls for it.


OK thanks are you a real pilot

No, i use Google for most of my info


When my dad used to fly until 2012 in aerolíneas Argentinas they were random programed by a specific person. Of course old ranked captains could choose which to fly with.


They stay together for a trip. So it works on a bidding sorta system at most airlines. The people with most seniority get higher bidding choices, so they get to pick there trips according to there needs and lifestyle. Meanwhile, the lower ranking pilots get the overnight routes. The crews get placed together by scheduling for one trip, which usually lasts 3-4 days. So you would have the same first officer and Captain for 3-4 days and then the next trip would be different

Edit: Source=Airline Pilot Guy podcast

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Further to @Rodney_Buckland explanation above which is correct, (and I stress this is just a GENERAL explanation) the reason you often can get the same crew is because crew members are based at ‘hub airports’ (where they live usually - often they’ll commute though) If an airline has 1000 crew and 5 hubs, they might have 200 crew at each hub (this is just a random example, generally it’ll be uneven though, ie Delta has a lot more at their main Atlanta hub compared to others)

You will bid for and fly each of your ‘trips’ from your hub. Most senior captains / first officers may want regularity so they’ll bid on the same lines to fly. Therefore out of the 200 crew, as a general rule, there’d be about 100 captains and 100 first officers, so as a captain, you’ll be flying with one of those same 100 first officers each time. Due to the seniority part above, probably gets reduced down to the same 30 first officers bidding for and winning the trips the captain is.

Some airlines also allow a silent exclusion, where you can nominate a certain number of (usually up to 3) captains you do not wish to fly with, Without disclosing a reason. There are some critics to this system, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the unwanted captains are unsafe, could be personality differences, communication methods not suiting etc


@Moshe_Bleiwas what do you know about this?

I’d like to see your source for this info.

‘Normally’ - wrong

‘Most airlines’ - wrong

'Train pilots with the same crew ’ - wrong, new first officers after being trained / receiving their type rating don’t now suddenly fly lines together. They’ll go into a standby position or lowest bidder and fly with already established captains who they’ve never met before, let alone trained with

‘So they are used to each other’ - wrong, read the two posts directly above this

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Hey! Me too. *high five *

Google is are friend.

The never ending question answered. Thanks Google :)


So you guys dont bicker over this lets set this striaght.

First, different airlines operate their scheduling based on what’s most strategic for their operating model. Jetblue doesnt schedule crews the same as Emirates visa versa! Crews do have bases (crew hubs) that they have to report to. This is not essential with middle eastern carriers as theirs really only one HUB!

Crews will begin and end a trip pairing in their Base (domicile) unless they request to terminate somewhere different and permission from scheduling is granted (rare). Every month a crew member will bid on a series of schedules they would LIKE to fly for the month. The schedule tbey bid on doesnt have any assigned crew memebers on it. Both Captains and First officers bid on schedules however neither can see the others bid. Once the bidding window has closed schedules are awarded in seniority order. Seniority is determined by your date of hire with the company.

A pilot hired in 1995 will have higher seniority than a pilot hired in 1997. Once the schedules are published most airlines have a period where crew members can swap trips with each other for more favorable flight schedules or flying partners. After this period is done crews will fly the trips on their schedule with their assigned colleagues UNLESS a colleague gets:

A) Sick
B) reassigned by scheduling in domicile to cover another trip
C) on paid vacation during this time
D) is a union member performing union work on paid leave.

Trip pairings vary based on what equipment a crewmember flys. A E175 crew may have a 3 day trip pairong flying 23 hours in 3 days vs an Emirates A380 crew will have a 5 day pairing flying 16 hours with a 50 hour overnight (layover) somewhere.

With regards to training, new hires get assigned partners based on seniority within their new hire class. Every airline generates new hire seniority different thus i wont get into details. Those who have been with a company for more than a year normally bid for training the month prior much like they bud their schedules.

Now that this has been explained can we close this discussion @MishaCamp


But now people with uninformed opinions can’t comment and spread alternative facts oh no