Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

9.10.15 – (LUS) – JIRC Weekly Update – Vacation Low Priority, High/Low Balance,Bidding Tips


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Thursday, September 10, 2015 – LUS


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JIRC Weekly Update

  • Vacation Low Priority
  • High/Low Balance
  • Bidding Tips for the Changes

PBS Logic Change

In the September bid for October schedule, two major changes to the award process are being implemented. With the merger, the continual changes in procedures, policies and day-to-day activities have been difficult and challenging. This change to PBS was necessary to achieve the contractual language and intent. So, while our goal is to create a steady and consistent scheduling process and to avoid constantly changing so that the Flight Attendants can find some normality, these two Logic changes were necessary and unavoidable. BUT the results should, based on the test runs we have been able to review, produce a much more desirable award for a larger portion of each base. 

Coming up on the holidays is always a stressful time and the benefit to implementing these changes before we get into the holiday months is that it will lower or reduce the amount of Flight Attendants that are forced to a higher credit range than before. This, coupled with the increase in 1 and 2-day pairings, should greatly improve the overall satisfaction with the Line awards.
Lets look at what the changes are and then look at some bidding strategies.

Vacation Low Priority

Vacation Low will no longer be a guarantee but will instead be a Priority, as the contract is written. 

The Vacation Low can only work correctly with the implementation of the High/Low balance which gives the system the ability to know when it must stop awarding Low because there are not enough people willing to fly High time to create a balance with those who want Low time.

High/Low Balance

This change revolves around the system balancing Low and High time flyers. Reading roughly an hour-for-hour between Low and High creates the balance. 

For example:

  • Mary is the #1 seniority and bids for 40-50 hours. She is awarded 45:00 total hours. 45:00 is a total of 25 hrs below the default range. 
  • Bob is #2 seniority and bids for 100-110. He is awarded 107:00 total hours. 107:00 is a total of 17 hrs above the default range.
  • Jane is #3 seniority and bids for 90-100. She is awarded 98:00 total hours. 98:00 is a total of 8 hrs above the default range.

Bob and Jane together have been awarded 25 hrs total above the default range, which balances out Mary’s 25 hrs below the default range. A balance has been achieved.

As PBS works down the seniority list, it can only award as much low as can be covered by those who bid to fly high. When there are no more high time bidders, it can no longer award any low and all the remaining Flight Attendants will be awarded within the 70-90 default range. 

Bidding Strategies

When bidding for Low time but unsure if your seniority can hold low, with or without 7+ days of Vacation in the month, below is the recommended strategy:

For this example, we will say that the Line Average for this bidders base is 79:00 hours. The recommendation is to include the Line Average plus 5 hours in Layer 7 to ensure that PBS does not have to go outside of your layers to complete your bid.

With the Logic changes, far more people will be awarded Lines that fall within the 70-90 default range, though most will be closer to the Line Average versus being forced up to the highest end of that. Because more people will be awarded in the 70-90 range, it will be essential to include that in your bid by the last layer.

Bidding Help

If you have questions or need help bidding, the Trainers in the Crew rooms are available every day the bid is open and the FARC (480)693-8232 to answer questions and help you devise a bidding strategy.

Work Block Size versus Waive 24/7 in Domicile

How do I work more than 6 days in a row?

The default work block size is 6 calendar days with 1 day off. In order to work more than 6 calendar days, you need to tell PBS how many days you want to work in a row. You can do that 2 ways. First, you can use Work Block Size. By putting in, for example, 7 days min and 9 days max, that tells PBS you want to fly at least 7 calendar days and up to 9 calendar days in a row.

You can also use Waive 24 hours rest in domicile. This property will tell PBS you want to use your FAR 24 hours rest in a Pairing instead of in Domicile. If you are flying TI Pairings with at least 24 hours rest from Release to Report, you can continue to fly more than 6 calendar days of back-to-back Pairings. This Waiver also tells PBS you want to work more than 6 days in a row, even if you do not have the 24 hours off in the Pairing but have it in between Pairings from Release to Report.

Being Added to the Facebook Page

If you have not been added to the Tips from the JIRC Facebook page and would like to be, please email JIRC3@apfa.org with the Subject Line “Add to Facebook” and we will send you an invitation.

In Solidarity,

Laura Albert – PHL and DCA
Scott Barnes – PHX and the FARC (Flight Attendant Resource Center)
Emily Arner-Brown – CLT

About the JIRC:
The Joint Implementation Resolution Committee (JIRC) is a committee that was created by the current contract (the Redbook) to oversee the implementation of PBS.

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