The puzzles behind airline crew scheduling

A traveler saw two flight attendants dashing through a crowded airport at the busiest time of the day. "Why are they running as if their lives depended it," asked the traveller to the person to his right. The person replied, "They just finished a shift and hope to start the next one in time. Sometimes those schedules can be brutal."
As a traveller have you ever wondered what happens to the flight crew once you off-board a flight? Where do they go after their shift? How many back-to-back shifts are they allowed to do? Do they make their schedules or is it something given to them? How do they get back home if they are in a different city and it's their last shift?
These and many more are questions put into consideration in order to understand a-day-in-the-life of a crew member.

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The chicken nuggets incident

A customer walks into their favorite fast food restaurant and ordered some chicken nuggets. The employee at the register informed the customer that they were out of nuggets. "Why can't a staff run to the nearest grocery store to get some frozen chicken for the nuggets," asked the customer. The employee smiles and politely replied, "That's not how it works!"
As consumers, we are unaware of the complex systems that get our goods to us. What looked like a simple chicken nuggets request has layers of intricate and timed coordination that requires all players involved—in the supply-chain—to bring on their A-game.

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