Account  |  Log In

11.09.17 – (LUS) – Holiday PBS Bidding Tips

Holiday PBS Bidding Tips  – LUS

In preparation for December PBS bidding, we would like to pass on some helpful information to assist you with your bid.

December is a month with an uneven distribution of flying. In December, the Company schedules more block hours in the last two weeks of the month. This results in more flying being awarded over the later portion of the month. Please keep this in mind when formulating your bidding strategy.

This year, the Holiday Bidding Guide has been incorporated into the PBS guide, which was updated on September 1, 2017, and can be found under the ‘Bidding’ tab on WINGS.  Please review the guide to assist you with bidding.

Bidding for Days Off

Bid for your days off in your earlier layers and then relax these bids as you move through the 7 layers. Layer 1 should contain your most desirable days off, relaxing those in layer 2 and subsequent layers. If days off are most important to you, the less restrictive properties you bid, the better.

Use caution when bidding the same day(s) off in every layer. Any pairing that is not bid for specifically that touches those selected days off will not be considered in your pairing pools. If you do not have enough pairings in your pools to build a line, you will be awarded pairings from outside your pairing pools. This may include any type of pairing on your requested days off.

As a lineholder, if there is a chance that, at your seniority, you will have required coverage over the holiday, relaxing your day off bids will provide a safeguard for you. Relaxing days off may allow PBS to award a more desirable trip that meets your pairing preferences rather than award a leftover trip that you deem undesirable.

Required Coverage

Required Coverage is applied to a date in a bid month where not enough Flight Attendants bid to fly on that particular date. PBS will allow as many Flight Attendants as possible to bid off on a particular date, but will reach a point where it has to force coverage because it cannot finish the award with the amount of pairings that remain in open time. Basically put, the trips have to be covered.

During the award process, PBS will look forward to calculate the number of duty periods on each day that have not been covered and compare that number with the remaining Flight Attendants who are legal to cover these pairings. If PBS reaches layer 7 and your pairing pools do not include enough pairings that touch required coverage dates, PBS will be forced to award outside your layers and assign a pairing without regard for your pairing or line preferences.

All required coverage dates are considered equal. PBS will try to use each Flight Attendant that is assigned CN (Coverage Needed) dates on as many coverage dates as possible. Pairings that are awarded may not touch every required coverage date because all legalities must be honored.

Honored legalities include 24 hrs rest in Domicile and 35 hrs in 7 Days, and could result in a less senior Flight Attendant being assigned a day off on a holiday in order to satisfy the most coverage dates. The best rule of thumb is to bid, in your later layers, pairings that you would prefer to fly over the period that you may not be able to hold off. If after bidding in earlier layers to not fly, you have at least given the system your choices of desirable options to choose from.

Pairing Shuffle

PBS will try to accomplish your bid and provide the greatest satisfaction possible based on your bid and your pairing pools. It will avoid assigning you an undesirable pairing that you did not bid for by automatically utilizing the pairing shuffle feature. The following is an explanation on how the pairing shuffle works during the award process:

    1. If the system cannot complete your award by layer 7, before going outside of your seven layers, pairings will be awarded from any of the pairings within your pairing pools. In other words, pairings from an earlier layer may not be awarded so that pairings from a later layer may be awarded. This shuffle process is so that PBS will award the pairings in your pairing pools to prevent a PN pairing from being assigned.


  1. If the system is unable to complete your line using any combination of pairings from within your pairing pools, PN (Pairing None) pairing(s) will be awarded.

*NOTE: If the shuffle occurs, PBS will award a completed line from the earliest layer possible.

Coverage Needed (CN) Days in December – 2016

The following charts outline the December 2016 CN dates for affected Flight Attendants at their respective seniority dates as a reference ONLY. Actual CN dates and affected seniorities for the December 2017 bid award are not known until PBS begins processing. When reading the charts, please keep in mind that the CN dates are in YY/MM/DD format.

For example:

A CLT based Flight Attendant with a seniority date that falls between 4/1/1996 and 2/10/1997 held CN dates on December 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2016.

A CLT based Flight Attendant with a seniority date that falls between 2/10/1997 and 9/29/1999 held CN dates on December 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 31st.

For those Flight Attendants with multiple CN dates, please keep in mind that trips/reserve days may not have been assigned on each day coverage was required due to legalities (i.e., 24/7).





December Flight Attendant Pairing Work Days Comparison 2016/2017

Additionally, the Company has provided the 2016/2017 Pairing Work Days and we thought you might find this additional information helpful.

In the graphs found in the link above, the blue line represents the pairing workdays per day for December 2016, and the red line represents the pairing workdays per day for December 2017. This graph illustrates the increase in flying towards the end of the month that should be taken into consideration as you bid.


1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Phone Reps
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

2Q22 EC Meeting

July 28 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

2022 Fall BOD Meeting

October 25 - October 27