As your new APFA PBS Specialist, I am taking an active role in evaluating the PBS bids and awards for each base. Every month, I will be communicating important information to help you when you create your bid strategy. Information is power, but sometimes it can be overload. That’s why I am designing this hotline in a way that you won’t need to read the whole thing. (unless you want to). Instead, you can click the links in the bullet points to go directly to the information that interests you. If you have any questions about applying this information in your PBS bid, please contact the FABRC.
APFA PBS Specialist
Your Standing Bid– If you are one of those people who lets your Standing Bid ride every month, or if you just haven’t looked at it in a while. It is time to clean it up! Call the FABRC! They can look over your standing bid, and make sure it is good. There are many Flight Attendants who are letting bad standing bids run every month, not knowing that they are bad bids. Some Standing Bids are so old, some of the property values aren’t valid anymore.
Training effects on your monthly bid– For line holders, all training is consuming days off from your monthly schedule. This can affect your bid in many ways. A few of the most commonly overlooked ways are:
- Work Block Size– Although training takes up your days off, it can have effects on your work block size. If you have 2 days of training (for example CQ or Elevate Training for commuters or for out of base assignments) you may need to relax your work block size requirements depending on the pairing lengths that you are bidding. Remember by L7, you want to have your Line Properties and Pairing Properties as relaxed as they can be to still achieve an award.
- Target Credit Range (TCR)– If you are bidding for high time, you may need to use your Waive Minimum Days Off property. This can be found in the Days off tab. Don’t forget the other waivers you will need for your award. Waive 35/7, Waive 24/7, Allow Double Ups etc. If you have any questions about which waivers to apply to your bid, call the FABRC to discuss your needs. If your award goes LN, you may be held to the 70-90 average TCR instead of the high line of flying you desire.
- TI Pairings- If you are bidding for TI Pairings you may need to use the Waive Minimum Days Off waiver to fit a full line of TI flying as well as the required days for training.
Vacation Low Priority- There are many Flight Attendants with vacation coming up who would like to bid to take advantage of Vacation Low Priority. Remember, to qualify for Vacation Low Priority, you must have 7 or more days of vacation in the bid month. Unfortunately, there have been many cases where a Flight Attendant would have been eligible, but bid incorrectly.
- Bid your Target Credit Range in increments of at least 5 credits starting at 40 hours.
- Keep in mind your total credit will include your vacation credit as well as any carry in credit you have for the month.
- When bidding your Target Credit Range, remember that Low Time is 40-69 hours. The moment you bid higher than 69 hours in your Target Credit Range, you are no longer being considered for Vacation Low Priority.
- Here is an example of a correct TCR bid for vacation low priority:
In this example, this Flight Attendant stepped the TCR up in each layer, paying attention to the Credit Value of their vacation, carry in credit, and the trips they are bidding in each layer. By Layer 7, they decided to give up on Vacation Low Priority assuming that by this point, they couldn’t hold it. By bidding a TCR they knew they could hold, they may prevent their award from going LN. This may also protect them from getting PN pairings and can help manage the credit value they are awarded in their line.
A letter of agreement dated August 20, 2017 served to clarify the language in Section 11.K.1. As of the September bid period, Redeye duty periods are defined as any duty touching 0100 through 0101 home base time (HBT). This letter of agreement does not change the language in 11.K.2.
When bidding Regular pairings, it is important to keep this new definition in mind. There are now trips in the regular pairing pool that were once considered Redeyes. To remove these pairings from your pairing pools, using the “View Pairing Set” button on your layer tab. Refer to page 50 of the PBS Bidding Guide for more information.
Conversely, if you want to fly trips that depart the west coast later in the evening (example: LAS-PHL departing 0245 EST), these are no longer categorized as red eyes, and therefore will not populate in a PBS search when you enter “Prefer Pairing Type: Redeye”. These trips will populate in PBS under a search for a regular pairing type.
As always, make sure you review your pairing set under the layer tab before finishing your bid. Contact the FABRC for further assistance.
Bidding High Time (91-110 hours)- There are many flight attendants with bidding errors that are keeping them from getting awarded high time when their seniority would allow for it. Refer to the PBS Bidding Guide and contact the FABRC if you have questions bidding.
*Remember: If you are flying a high line of TI pairings, you may need to waive your minimum days off to fit enough flying into your schedule.
If you are a high time flyer, I recommend you use the following check list:
- Bid a Target Credit Range in all layers. If you leave your TCR blank, PBS uses the default of 70-90.
- Make sure that your TCR allows enough of a credit window (minimum of 5 hours) to be awarded the types of pairings you are requesting in each layer.
- Use all contractual waivers that would be required to get your desired award. Check what you are bidding to see if you need any of the following:
- Waive 35 hours in 7 days
- Waive 24 hours rest in domicile
- Waive Minimum Domicile Rest
- Allow Multiple Pairings
- Allow Multiple Pairings on Date
- Allow Double-Up on Date
- Waive Minimum Days Off (this waiver is in the Days Off Tab)
Did you know that if you have a question for the FABRC outside of their hours, you can call and leave a voicemail? If you leave a voicemail with your question, CATCREW number or your 6-digit employee number (you can use either your AA ID or your US Airways badge number), and a return phone number, the FABRC will return your call the next day.
This is very important to keep in mind during the award dispute period. The voicemails are timestamped and will serve as notification for your intent to dispute.