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A Review of Reserve Pool Minimum Levels

Date: July 7, 2020

MEC Reserve Committee

The “Minimum Level” (LVL) shown in the Reserve pool is defined as the minimum number of Reserves the company has determined to be necessary for each operational day at a given base or sub-base once all known open assignments have been covered. Generally, these numbers will be set highest on the first and last several days of the bid month, as well as around any holidays. Throughout the rest of the month, numbers are generally set the lowest on weekdays, while weekend days see levels set slightly higher.

From month to month, these numbers can fluctuate based on the amount of flying assigned to the base or sub-base, along with considerations for typical weather patterns, holidays, etc. For example, levels may be set higher in summer months to match the increased flight schedule and thunderstorm activity, then lower in the fall and winter months when the flight schedule decreases.

With the significant reduction to United’s flight schedule over the past few months due to the reduced demand for air travel in the wake of COVID-19, we have seen the minimum Reserve levels set significantly lower than what has been historical levels. As United builds back the flight schedule gradually to meet rising demand, it is reasonable to expect that the minimum Reserve levels will likewise increase. Such was the case for the July bid month when compared to June. Using the ORD-FA base as an example, the minimum Reserve level was set at 35 for the end of June. At the beginning of July, the level rose to 80, corresponding to the amount of flying assigned to the base, which had doubled from the previous month, as a direct result of United’s building back our airline’s schedule.

If you have additional questions regarding the minimum Reserve levels that have been set at your base or if you note levels that seem to be significantly out of sync with the amount of scheduled flying, expected weather, etc., please contact your Local Council Reserve Committee for assistance in researching the issues driving the changes you see.

Refer to the MEC Reserve Committee page on www.unitedafa.org for additional information.

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