As in the real-world, pilots never fly ad-hoc. They rarely will be able to fly a one leg trip and back again on a whim. On a monthly basis, pilots will bid out their trips. They may get the trips they want depending on seniority.

At Southwest Virtual, our mission of simulating the day-to-day operations of a line pilot closely aligns with simulating trips. This is at the heart of what we do. Pilots should endeavor to complete an entire trip on a minimum of an annual basis. You'll likely get to see airports and places that you would otherwise never visit. As a bonus, these trips are modeled from Southwest where possible, so they are a true look into "a day in the life." Let’s take a look into the rules and some definitions.

Layout of the trip:

Trip ID Trip Date Trip Day Trip Sequence Trip Originator AC Change Dead Head Equipment
Identifies the crew base and the trip length in days EG. MCO300 A 3 day trip from MCO The quarter and year that the trip was created in the system. Q1-18 Day that trip is to take place. Trips are 1-4 days Sequence that the trip is to be flown. Signifies the first flight of the day/ Cold and Dark status Need to change aircraft due to scheduling issues. Crew is not to fly leg due to FAA flight HR restrictions. They will sit jump seat or in the PAX cabin. B737-700

How to get started

Trip availability is determined by crew base assignment. Available trips are listed in the dispatch tab.

A practical approach

What if real-world commitments don't allow me to fly a day's worth of flights at once?

In the simulated environment, completing a trip may take a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months depending on how often one can fly.

  • Frequency of flights: On a typical 3 day trip, you may fly 9 or more flights. SWVA requires one flight every 30 days. One leg of a trip meets this requirement
  • For a pilot who flies once per month, a 3-day trip may take up to 9 months to complete
  • A pilot who tends to fly weekly may complete a trip in 9 weeks
  • A pilot who can fly multiple flights per day may be able to experience a trip "as real as it gets" and complete it in real-time
A Sample Schedule
Trip Day Trip Sequence Daily Weekly Monthly
1 1 Day 1 Week 1 Month 1
1 2 Day 1 Week 2 Month 2
1 3 Day 1 Week 3 Month 3