Cabin Crew Courses

Flight Attendant terminology, ‘What’s your schedule like?’

“What is a cabin crew schedule like?” Flight attendants have to answer this question more often than they would love to.  The question actually sets the thought process ticking, and the usual answer may be, “ah…it is…actually…little complicated.” This is so because it may be a little tricky to explain the schedule to a common person. That is why we have chosen this topic for you to clarify the question a little bit for your better understanding.

It is a little difficult to understand how a flight attendant gets to choose his or her schedule. For it, you need to understand the process of bidding a bit.  So, initially, let us learn some terminology to understand what is ‘bid’ and what is ‘bidding’.

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Word Bank—

  • Bids— The prospective monthly off and working days which a cabin crew gets to choose.
  • Bidding— the process of picking a schedule by a flight attendant.
  • Line[s]— It is knowing where, when, and which days a flight attendant has to fly.
  • Reserve— A process through which every flight attendant goes through. It means a cabin crew is on-call on some days in a month. There is no flexibility in Reserve though some airlines try to make reserve less than usual.
  • Schedule— a flight attendant has to work as per monthly blocks. Generally, middle of the month is the time when bids are submitted. They are awarded in one week or so.
  • Call-out— When flight attendants are called off on reserve and send to work.
  • Build-Up— A kind of line created in open time out of ‘the leftover’ trips.
  • Pick Up— Adding trips or hours. Usually done to help cabin crews drop other trips.
  • Drop— Cancelling a scheduled trip.


These will be oft repeated terms that you would have to choose if you start the daily schedule of a flight attendant.  

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