Why do lineholders need crash pads?
In our business, so many of our tenants give us notice that they will be leaving the pad the moment they get off reserve and are able to bid a line. There are several shortcomings to this strategy and some good arguments/reasons to maintain a pad as a lineholder.
First, if you are a bottom lineholder, your line bidding strength does not necessarily allow you to bid a commutable line. Our pricing structure is geared to the individual cities and the relative cost of hotels in that city. With that being said, generally speaking … 3 hotels or less equals the cost of the pad and having a pad is insurance against, weather cancellations, maintenance cancellations, or schedule changes due to FARs, and so on. Thus the crew pad becomes an insurance policy that linehlders hope to not or seldom use.
Secondly, we have lineholders who have been with us for years due to the fact that they can actually make money by maintaining a pad. For example, the average person without a guaranteed paid-for-place to stay will only bid on commutable pairings in an effort to avoid having the hassle of reserving and paying for hotel accommodations. By doing this, they often end up with commutable, but often less productive trips. For the average pilot, by bidding on more productive rather than have to worry about accommodations, pilots will find it to be far more financially rewarding in a calendar month; A much better trip can pay for the pad while making several times more than the cost of the pad.
In summary, having a guaranteed crash pad as a lineholder takes the worry out of unexpected changes in your schedule due to weather, mechanicals, FARs, and so on. Not to mention, it takes a element out of your bidding and allows you to bid on trips that are more productive and financially rewarding. These are just a few things to consider before automatically clicking on that cancel button for your pad the moment to can bid a line of flying.