- This tool will more than pay for your subscription – Guaranteed!
- A very effective way to what meals or expenses you were not paid
- Quickly displays all the information to make a quick and easy claim
- This tool will recover your money!
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When I think about how Crewsware has made my life at Air Canada easier, the toughest question to answer is "where to start?'. I don't know that there's an aspect of the site that I don't use on a regular basis.
For starters, I simply could not bid every month if it weren't for the amazing pairing filters at our disposal. With all the published pairings organized only by check-in time (and not by day, date, or anything else), finding pairings to bid for would be next to impossible. Having the ability to use Crewsware's filters allows me to choose the days I want to work, then identify the best pairings for those days. As a commuter, being able to filter pairings by date, number of days, check-in/check-out time, productivity, and layover destination/length (among others) is crucial to the way I bid. I'd say that my schedule satisfaction has been far above average on the Embraer, and I can attribute that directly to the tools that Crewsware has to offer.
After the bid closes, I routinely have not only my family, but also our Nanny, constantly asking what my (and their) schedule is going to be for the following month. Being able to generate a user-friendly copy of the schedule with the Award Builder as soon as it is released on PBS is a huge asset, as it allows me to share my schedule with those concerned parties a few days before Air Canada makes our schedule available in a similar format.
Once a month starts, Crewsware just keeps on giving. The Pairing Briefs generated the day before a pairing starts are a huge help. Being able to gather all the relevant information in one place is extremely useful. I download it onto my phone, so that it's available offline (especially useful in regions where I don't have data). This gives me access to everything I need -- phone numbers for hotel AND transportation companies, pick-up times, hotel discounts, etc...all in one place! This, combined with the "Who's In Town" feature, gives us all the tools we need to make every layover better.
The "My Layover" section is a great tool as well...having one place that we can use to learn about great new spots to eat/drink/run/visit/avoid in every layover destination is fantastic. I've discovered some of my favourite spots by following recommendations, and have been able to share some of my own discoveries the same way. I've lost track of the number of times that I've heard colleagues say that they enjoyed trying one of the spots I wrote about -- it's a great feeling!
Being pilots, we know we have a reputation for not liking being separated from our money. ;) The same goes for not being paid money that is owed to us! This is yet another example of where Crewsware shines. The Expense Tracker is extremely effective in finding all the missed per diems that would otherwise go unclaimed. One expense claim per year can EASILY cover the far more than the cost of your Crewsware subscription, not to mention having the form automatically filled out for you. Score one for the lazy (or smart) folks among us. :)
I also really enjoy having a look at the Position Planner every now and then. Seeing as how I was hired at a slightly later age than most, it gives me an idea of where I can expect to be as my career progresses, which is nice because I know I won't be retiring after a decade in the left seat of the 777. Knowing roughly how far up the seniority list I can expect to progress before my retirement is a great asset, and helps me have a rough plan of how to use my course rights going forward.
I haven't even touched on what many people see as the most important (and useful) tool on Crewsware, and that's the Electronic Logbook (eLog). I am one of those throwback pilots who still carry a little red logbook with me, and fill it out on every leg. Call me crazy (and delusional), but there's part of me who thinks that maybe one day my grandchildren will find Grandpa's logbooks, and find them interesting. The looks I get from the majority of people I fly with are priceless. Most of them laugh, and say "Umm...I haven't made a single logbook entry since I came to Air Canada, thanks to Crewsware." If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that, I'd be able to pay for Crewsware for the rest of my career. ;) Clearly, it must be an impressive tool.
In the last year, many of my former colleagues from Jazz have joined Air Canada. When they ask about what's different at Air Canada, one of my first answers is usually that their work life is about to get far better/easier, thanks to Crewsware. After a couple of minutes extolling the virtues of the site, they inevitably ask where/when they can sign up. It's just that good.
As I've said in many emails to Dave over the past few years, I am extremely grateful for the work he puts into the site, as it truly is an indispensable tool in making our careers easier. The fact that Dave is always available to answer any queries, and is constantly listening to (and implementing) suggestions to make Crewsware better, is the icing on the cake.
Keep up the great work, Dave, and thanks again!
Last year Crewsware helped me claim over $700 in unpaid expenses! That pays for a lot of yearly crewsware subscriptions.
Crewsware has helped me both financially and time management.Financially because of the expense (over $1,000 since I started using it).Time management because of the pairing filters.I like to "Power fly" and the efficiency filter does the rest for me.
As a newly hired pilot who has 25 years previous aviation career, i can appreciate the full extent of the one stop shop of crewsware. Everything is there from blocs to seniority awareness to layovers information. But the 2 really ultimate best features as new guy are the expense tracker (from which i already identified missing expenses) and the pairing filter. The Expense Tracker is really a visual summary of the somewhat complex at time contract. Right out of line indoc, i could rapidly understand what my expenses should be. The Pairing Filter enabled me to efficiently produce a tailored monthly bid by seeing all the important options available of every pairing in no time. The net result is that my first 4 months achieved terrific results in securing balanced personal life, productive flying and opening decent window for family vacation (even if i don't have vacation this year! I'm going to SFO for 6 days starting tomorrow, Thanks Dave!). In this trip i'll start to correlate and use the hotels, restaurants, comment from others contained in the layover section to further improve my vacation experience.
I can fully appreciate the B787 RP position without months of tryouts with the computer interface which can be a hit or miss.
I historically created some excel sheets to do that but that was a lot of work to maintain. You saved me all that time and i highly recommend the crewsware investment.
In summary, being able to have a quasi warranty of days off stretch one months ahead by seeing everything in the filter page and producing an intelligent bid request is so much more convenient than going through 80 pdf pages of pairings then try to make partly blind bid missing all the goods. This is the big hit for me!
Long life Crewsware.
More recently, I have found discovered a lot more use from the Crewsware site than in years past. As a junior guy, I haven't held high expectations as to how my block has been built. Previously, just having a block was all I needed to be happy. Then as I crawled up the list a little on the 320, I have discovered some great tools within Crewsware.
Firstly, since day one on crewsware, the Expense and Pay Tracker has been the most useful tool, always finding me much more unpaid expenses than the cost of the service. It is easy to use, well laid out and can be submitted with nothing more than printing, having the identical layout of the company form!
More recently I have been using the pairing tools to try to build something appealing in a block. I used to find it daunting looking through the pairing reports on PBS. To the point that I would not bother with the hassle. Then I discovered the Award Builder and associated filters on Crewsware. As previously stated, my expectations were not high in a block, and I am always working a 16 day month. So I decided to try to make those 16 days’ work for me. I started filtering the pairings into layover lengths in cities I wanted to spend time in, whether for the appeal of city or the fact that I could catch up with friends there. Then I could further filter the pairings looking at where I did/didn't want to go on that pairing before or after those longer layovers. In the last year I have spent more days 'working', waterskiing at a friends cottage near Calgary, than i did locally on days off. I see friends more 'working' than I do off and most live all across the country. I was bidding pairings in cities that I could rent mountain bikes while training for a big mountain biking holiday last fall and sometimes these spots were found on the 'my layover' section of the site with comments from other users.
Now once on those pairings, the pairing brief is far superior to the report link version and having all the van pickup times, layover amenities, inclusions, discounts, weather etc in your pocket is great.
Recently though I was released from my position freeze, and while still pay frozen, I had the ability to move equipment. I have wanted to do overseas since being hired but really hoped if I had to do it as an RP, I could do it while on flat salary. The Position Planner has been integral to this end and I am now making the move to the 777 based on the information obtained from Crewsware. Being able to see the difference between the Air Canada pay rates and what guys/girls are actually bringing home based on actual pay summaries was very valuable to me to justify choosing the 777 over the 787 and also justifying the move from the 320FO to 777RP. I am looking forward to looking at the pairings that my seniority can hold and exploring the world literally in this new position. It is also great to take a look at what I might be able to hold in the future and where I would potentially sit on that equipment.
The list is long Dave and your site is well thought out, laid out and informative. From the tools listed, to others such as logbook, calendars, which my wife loves, I get great use out of it and am happy to pass on my experiences with it.
P.S. I have to add this final comment in. I had written this email but not sent it yet and this morning found another beauty in the crewsware arsenal. Last night I operated the red eye back from YEG and realized when I got the plane that I had left my laptop at the hotel. Naturally this happened on my last pairing on the 320 and I will not be heading back any time soon to be able to pick it up. A call to the hotel confirmed they had found it and would hold it. As soon as I got back to YYZ, I logged into crewsware and pulled up the 'who's in town' list for YEG, found a YYZ crew member I knew, a quick email has been sent, and my laptop will be enroute to me in 24 hours! Thanks again!