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11.10.16 – PBS Extension LOA/December PBS Bidding/PIT Satellite/The Elephant in the Room

Thursday, November 10, 2016

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  • PBS Extension LOA
  • December PBS Bidding Reminders
  • PIT Satellite Reminders
  • December Line Averages and Reserve Numbers
  • The Elephant in the Room

PBS Extension LOA

The Company approached Chuck Ransdale, APFA Contract Chair, to ask for a two day extension. The LOA and the revised timeline was then sent to the LUS Base Presidents for review on November 3rd, shortly before 7:30pm.  We were provided the opportunity to discuss this amongst ourselves, and ask any clarifying questions, which we all did. 

Knowing the importance of a holiday month and given the alternative, and after consulting with my team in PHL including former PBS Specialist and local BCR Sara Corrigan, I agreed to the extension, should it be necessary.  

It is no secret what we all endured last December. We have had no glitches or major issues with PBS for the last eleven months, and none are anticipated for this year.  However, the Company is expecting a very high volume of bids entered, as Flight Attendants will be bidding differently this year to ensure they protect themselves. In a normal bid month, each large base can take up to 20 hours to process and validate the awards. Should there be any problems, including a longer than normal bid run to to high volume of bids, we need to be able to have the time to work with the Company to resolve them prior to the bid award and ETB opening.  The integrity of the awards has to be the primary focus for our membership.

If anyone has any questions or would like to discuss this further,  please contact me directly.  

December PBS Bidding Reminders

One of the biggest issues with last year’s December bid was the amount of flying that originates after the 15th of the month. The flying schedule for December has always been bottom heavy, with less flying the first two weeks of the month, and almost double the flying the last two weeks. Keep in mind many senior people have vacation between the 15-31st.  In our old world they could bid any line and the trips during their vacation would just drop out into open time. PBS does not allow the conflict bidding, so they will have to bid all their flying up to their vacation, and after their vacation.  

Please keep this in mind when bidding. The Company will have PBS specialists in the crew rooms for the December bidding; we highly recommend working with a PBS trainer when bidding.

PIT Satellite Reminders

The Satellite flying has been a huge success, and we all know how senior those trips have been bid.  Twenty of the twenty-eight trips out of PIT for December depart the 14th-31st. Please keep in mind many of those Flight Attendants that bid and fly these trips could have vacation during last two weeks of December. Their vacation will prohibit them from bidding those trips. 

We all know the trips have to be covered, and if you are not a PIT commuter and you do not want to run the risk of having one of those trips put into your line, please consult a PBS trainer for options. PBS trainers will be available in the B crew room from 8am-5pm, and the A crew room hours will be 11am-5pm.

December Line Averages and Reserve Numbers

On Tuesday, the monthly allocations call with American Airlines occurred. This call covers the operations within each base, and provides the Union an opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns on the scheduling operations. Vice President Brian Morgan and Base Council Rep Sara Corrigan participate on these calls each month.

Shortly before the call the Company provides the Union the numbers planned for the December reserve headcount as well as the line average.  The projected line average was set in PHL for 80.5 with a projected reserve number of 608. This is a reduction of five reserves over last December.  

Needless to say, this did not go over well with both Brian and Sara as well as with the other LUS representatives on the call. Everyone expressed to the Company and Directors of Crew Planning that were on the call that once again these numbers are completely over-inflated, and need to be reviewed and reduced. The Company agreed they would review the numbers again, and advise us of any potential reductions. 

APFA National President Bob Ross also approached the Company about reducing the line averages and reserve numbers and the Company did agree to a reduction in each base. PHL will have a line average of 79.6 and a reserve number of 582.  We continued to push back but the Company was not willing to reduce these numbers any further.  

The Elephant in the Room

We are all frustrated and concerned about the lack of flying that is available in PHL. We are now into the off- season of our transatlantic flying, which reduces the flying even more. We all need to be respectful of our co-workers, and we recognize everyone has bills to pay and should have an opportunity to bid trips at their seniority as well as pick them up via ISAP/ETB on a level playing field. The beauty of PBS is it allows you to bid only the amount of hours you want to work, and in doing so provides more flying for others and can provide a line for someone who may otherwise have been on reserve.  

The holidays add additional stress to our lives, but so does not being able to hold or pick up enough time to financially be able to care for our families. I am asking that during this holiday season and beyond we all consider our co-workers and be respectful of the bidding process and share the wealth fairly. 

In Unity and Solidarity,

Kim Kaswinkel
APFA PHL Base President 

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