Coordinating the schedules of more than 5,000 crewmembers on a daily basis and helping to keep 1,800 flights on schedule are just a few of the responsibilities of people like Tawnya Howard, a SkyWest Airlines crew scheduler.
Check out what else she had to say about this unique job.
What is your favorite part about being a crew scheduler?
I like that this job is not the same thing every day; there is always a new challenge or a new situation to deal with, so it fully engages your mind in trying to get everything pieced together.
What is something most people wouldn’t know about crew scheduling?
It is a normal office job but it doesn’t have normal office hours, which makes it ideal for travelling or just having some great family time.
Why is crew scheduling such an important part of the SkyWest operation?
While flight attendants and pilots are often the face of our operation, Crew Support is the glue behind the scenes. It is our job to make sure that the aircraft has a captain and first officer as well as flight attendants; if we don’t have those crewmembers the flight can’t depart.
We also field the calls for crewmembers who can’t come to work due to being sick or missing their commuting flight, and then it is our responsibility to find someone to take their place.
Why do you enjoy working at SkyWest on the Crew Support team?
The people that I work with are amazing! We really have a good time together.
We also have a really great schedule working four, 10-hour shifts, so we always have three days off together every week. We can also swap and trade days (within department and company policy guidelines). If you do it right you can get a nice 12-day vacation or break, which works out perfectly if you are using the flight benefits!
What would you say to someone who is interested in working in crew scheduling?
If you like to be challenged at work, do puzzles, piece together schedules and flying, then this is for you. It is also a great job if you have never worked in the airline industry before because you learn about a lot of different departments, answer all sorts of questions, work closely with Flight Operations, InFlight, Dispatch, Training, and Payroll to name a few, and you really just have a chance to dip your fingers in a little bit of everything. It makes the day go fast and it’s very fun to learn everything.
What qualities would be good for someone who is interested in being a crew scheduler?
You need to be able to multi-task and be creative in the way you problem solve. Often we are trying to cover a flight when we don’t really have any reserves available for it. Due to this, creativity is key. You also need to be willing to ask questions, as well as be willing to continue to learn no matter how long you have been here.