Pairing Brief

Feature Set: 
Improved Organization
  • Your complete Pairing Briefing on one page
  • Emailed to you the night before your pairing
  • Includes: complete sectors details, duty time limitations, weather for all layover stations, complete hotel layover information, hotel perks and discounts, currency exchange, expenses, and much more
  • One of the most popular tools at Crewsware

Pairing Brief

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!

A.N. - Thursday, June 30, 2016