Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

3.09.18 – (LAA/LUS) – PBS Bases – Before You Bid

APFA Hotline

PBS Bases- Before You Bid

  • Your Standing Bid
  • Reserve Bidding- Senior, Cusp, and Junior Bidding strategy
  • Training on your Schedule? Protect yourself with this information
  • What is a Persistent Property?
  • Vacation Low Priority
  • Red Eyes Defined
  • Bidding High Time (91-110 hours)
  • New FABRC Hours

Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself on these bidding topics. I know that information is power, but I also understand that too much of it can be overwhelming. You can either read the whole communication or simply click on whichever bullet points apply to your bidding needs to read that information.

In unity,

Alana Porter
APFA PBS Specialist

Your Standing Bid– When was the last time you checked your standing bid to make sure it is a good bid? 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. Any time the flying in your base changes, you should review your Standing Bid.

Reserve Bidding in PBS– Are you bidding or thinking about bidding Reserve? When bidding Reserve, it is important to take your base seniority into account when developing a strategy. If you are senior enough to hold a line your bidding strategy would be different than people junior to you who may be on the cusp or locked into reserve.

Senior enough to hold a line, but want Reserve:

  • Bid must off days, but make sure that you are following contractual reserve patterns. (No fewer than 3 days on duty, and no more than 6 days on duty. No fewer than 2 days off in a row, and no more than 8 days off in a row.)
  • In your last reserve layer, you must bid ONLY prefer off days. NO MUST OFF DAYS.

On the cusp of Line Holder and Reserve, but want a Line:

  • Bid very large pairing pools in your line holder layers.
  • Reduce the number of days off requested.
  • Add waivers in your later layers.
  • Only use Avoid Reserve and a wide Target Credit Range in your last Line Bidding Layer.In the subsequent layers bid reserve patterns consistent with the contractual patterns.
    • Note: Using avoid reserve will allow for ALL waivers to be applied to the bid to award any legal combination of pairings in open time. The avoid reserve property will also force PBS to shuffle the award in a last attempt to create a line. For information about Avoid Reserve, see pg.36 of the PBS Bidding Guide.

 

On the cusp of Line Holder and Reserve, but want Reserve:

  • Only bid reserve in all 7 layers.
  • In your first layer, designate all 12 must off days.
  • In later layers, start changing some of those must off days to prefer off days.
  • In your layer 7, only bid prefer off days. DO NOT BID ANY MUST OFF DAYS.

Too junior to hold a line, but would like to possibly hold a line as soon as possible:

  • Every month, bid avoid reserve and a TCR of 40-110 in layer 1 until you are on the cusp, then adjust your bidding strategy. This is a layer 1 wish bid. Be sure to only use avoid reserve if you would absolutely prefer a block instead of reserve. For information about Avoid Reserve, see pg.36 of the PBS Bidding Guide.
  • Layers 2-7, bid according to contractual reserve patterns reducing the number of must off bids in each layer.
  • If you suspect that you will have CN dates, be sure to only bid prefer off over those dates.

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 because training is considered part of your work block. 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- 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.
  • Reserve- Training days are counted towards your available days. Remember that you can have no fewer than 3 days available and no more than 6 days available to create a legal pattern.

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What is a Persistent Property? A persistent property is any property that, once you use it, applies to your entire bid. The only way to make it stop is to use the Clear Bid property.

The properties that are persistent are:

  • Maximize Credit
  • Maximize Premium Pay
  • Allow Multiple Pairings
  • Allow Co-Terminal Mix in a Work Block
  • Waive 24 hrs Rest in Domicile
  • Waive 35 hrs in 7 Days
  • Waive Minimum Domicile Rest
  • Avoid Reserve
  • Avoid Person
  • Buddy With
  • Waive Minimum Days Off

Here is an example from pg.40 of the PBS Bidding Guide:

In this example, even though the Flight Attendant didn’t bid to Waive Minimum Domicile Rest in layers 4-7, this property would still be used in those layers unless she uses the Clear Bid Property.

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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 is a PBS limitation to vacation low. It will only recognize someone as eligible for Vacation Low Priority if s(he) bids a TCR anywhere between 40-69 in layer 1. You may not bid for Reserve prior to any Line Bids if you are requesting Vacation Low. If you do not bid for low time in layer 1, PBS will not recognize your vacation low eligibility.

  • On a vacation month, do not bid for reserve unless you have completed all your line bidding layers.
  • Bid your Target Credit Range in increments of at least 5 credits starting at a minimum of 40 hours.
  • When bidding your Target Credit Range, do not bid more than 69 hours until a layer you have designated that you have stopped trying to get Vacation Low Priority.
  • Keep in mind your total credit will include your vacation credit as well as any carry in credit you have for the month.

Here is an example of a correct TCR bid for vacation low priority:

In this example, the Flight Attendant stepped the TCR up in each layer, paying attention to the Credit Value of his vacation, carry in credit and the trips he is bidding in each layer. By Layer 7, he decided to give up on Vacation Low Priority assuming that by this point, he couldn’t hold it. By bidding a TCR he knew he could hold, he may prevent the award from going LN. This may also protect him from getting PN pairings and can help manage the credit value awarded in the line.

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Red Eyes Defined-  Last September, both LAA and LUS Redeye pairings (sequences) were aligned. This was communicated by the the Company in August 2017.

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 pg.50 of thePBS 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.

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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 that 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)

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New FABRC Hours- The FABRC is now open 7 days a week! You can reach a Flight Attendant in the FABRC every day from 0800-2000 (Central Time)

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.

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