9.23.15 – JIRC Weekly Update – PBS, Specific Pairing Bids, DCA Co-Terminal Airport Property,VEX,Vacation

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Wednesday – September 23, 2015

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  • PBS Award and the Logic Change
  • What are “Specific Pairing” bids?
  • Checking your Bid
  • DCA Co-terminal Airport Property
  • VEX Submission Window
  • Vacation Bidding


PBS Awards and the Logic Change

After the first award with the new Hi/Low Balance and the VAC Low Priority being implemented, there are a few topics that should be focused on to help in future bidding but overall the results were substantially better for a large majority of each of the bases: 

The Availability of Low Lines

Prior to PBS, there were NO LOW lines built. ALL lines were built between 70-90 hours. The only way to achieve a lower time was to drop pairings. Being able to request a lower line when bidding is a luxury but not a guarantee or even a priority.

In particular this month in CLT and PHX, no one outside of those who held 7+ days of vacation in October were awarded a Low Line. There were not enough people bidding for High Time to allow anyone else to bid Low without vacation so the rest of the seniority list was awarded between 70-90 hours. In PHL and DCA there were Low Lines awarded outside of VAC Low.

With this logic change that follows the contractual language and intent, if you are in a base with fewer High Time flyers, there is a strong possibility that everyone may be awarded the default range of 70-90 hours just as prior to PBS.

The benefit, though, is that more people were awarded less time than they have been awarded in the past few months, which should allow far more trading to happen through ISAP and ETB.

Bidding Tips for All Seniorities

Speaking in general terms, across all bases, here are a few things to keep in mind as we move forward in bidding with the new logic changes:

Top 25% most senior with no vacation

Depending on the month and the number of people who bid for VAC Low and the balance by those bidding for High Time, there may not be any Low Lines able to be awarded without 7+ days of vacation. It is highly recommended that you include more bids than in the past to ensure that if you are required to be awarded 70:00 hours, PBS has enough to choose from to avoid going outside your layers. The increase in 1 and 2-day pairings could greatly increase your ability to “fill in” with 5-10 more hours that may be easy to drop.

Middle 50% of the base seniority with no vacation

Bidding for Low Time is always an option but it is highly recommended that your bid include the default range in an earlier layer instead of only at the end, for example:

Layer 1 – TCR 40-55
Layer 2 – TCR 40-69
Layer 3 – TCR 40-72
Layer 4 – TCR 40-75
Layer 5 – TCR 40-80
Layer 6 – TCR 40-82
Layer 7 – TCR 40-87

This is only an example of a strategy you may use to keep your award at the lowest end of the default 70-90 range as possible. This is dependent on your actual seniority and your base.

Most junior 25% of the base seniority with no vacation 

In a base like PHL, the more junior FAs may have a better chance of being able to hold lower line averages than before but it is important for all junior FA’s to be the least restrictive and realistic about what they can hold. This is the group most likely to be awarded over the Line average so it would be recommended that your bid includes the Lne Average + 5 hours to ensure that PBS has enough “wiggle” room to find pairings that add up. It is also important to include as many pairings in your pairing pools as possible to allow PBS enough choices to honor your Line preferences.

Specific Bids

What is a Specific Property? 

A Specific Property is any Pairing Property that is an “On Date” Property. All these Properties include the words “On Date”. Here is the list of  “On Date” Properties:

Pairing ID On Date
Pairing Length On Date
Layover at City On Date
Report Between On Date
Release Between On Date  

All of the rest of the Pairing Properties are Generic and cannot be used in the same layer with the Specific Pairing Properties (with the exception of Prefer Position Order).

Why can’t I mix Specific and Generic Properties?

Mixing these 2 types of properties will add all the specific pairings and all the generic properties in a layer. Once PBS awards, all of those properties become equal in each layer. You may have only 5 specific Pairing ID’s that you want to be awarded, but adding generic properties can add hundreds or even thousands of pairings to each layer. PBS then just chooses among all those pairings, giving you random pairings.

Checking your Bid

Every month, after inputting your bid, go to the Layer Tab on PBS and look at your 7 layers. If you bid 5 specific Pairing ID’s in a layer and there are more pairings in that layer than 5, then you bid a generic property in that layer also.  You need to look through the pairing pools for a generic property in that layer.

Example 1:

5 specific pairing bids with no additional properties equals 15 individual positions in the Layer 1 Pairing Pool.

Example 2: 

5 specific pairing bids plus Prefer Pairing Type-Regular brings 5400 individual positions into the Layer 1 Pairing Pool. The Prefer Pairing Type may or may not describe the specific pairings but it will bring in ANY additional pairings that do fit the description.

DCA Co-Terminal Property

Co-Terminal Airport is a generic property that describes any pairing beside Redeyes and ODAN’s that operate out of the selected base. Mixing this property with specific bids, as defined above, will expand your pairing pool.

November VEX Submission

If you have 7 or more consecutive days of vacation in November and would like to take advantage of up to 4 VEX days (Vacation EXtension days) you may submit the VEX form anytime between September 19th and September 30th.

Allow 24 hours after submission of the VEX form. VEX Days will be displayed in Catcrew and in MySchedule on the Crewportal. Any questions about VEX days can be directed to the FARC (480) 693-8232).

Vacation Bidding Remains Opens

Vacation bidding for 2016-2017 opened September 15 and will remain open until October 15 at 1800 PHX/2100 EDT. Bidding is done through Catcrew option 14.  

During the next year, which is a transition year as we move to a fiscal year for bidding that aligns with Legacy American Airlines, you will be bidding your accrued vacation over a 16 month period: January 2016 through April 2017.

If you have any questions about vacation bidding, contact the Vacation Department:

(480) 693-1936
(480) 693-1913
(480) 693-5374

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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