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7.10.18 – (LUS) – PBS Bases – Before You Bid

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PBS Bases- Before You Bid

  • Check your Standing Bid
  • Changes to the Chaser Position (FK) and Changes to A320 Family Aircraft Staffing
  • Accumulation of Target Credit Range
  • Training on Your Schedule? Read this!
  • Vacation Low Priority
  • FABRC Hours & Reminders


Check your Standing Bid – Summer travel is in full swing! The flying at your base could have changed since you created your Standing Bid. Check to make sure your standing bid is still beneficial to you with all the changes. If you haven’t touched your Standing Bid in a while, it is time to clean it up. 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.

Return to topChanges to the Chaser Position (FK) and Changes to A320 Family Aircraft Staffing – Beginning with trips originating Aug. 27 through Sept. 30, the Company is adjusting how sequences (pairings) will be built.They will no longer mix Airbus A321 flying with A319/A320 flying in the same sequence. If you use the Property Prefer Aircraft Type or Avoid Aircraft Type in your monthly bid or in your Standing Bid I recommend that you to click on View Pairing Set from your Layer tab to verify the pairings you want to bid are being included in your layers.

Using the Avoid Aircraft property with the parameter 321 will only avoid the pure A321 pairings, but since this bid month will continue to have mixed A319/320/321 pairings through August 27, you will need continue to Avoid 32X in the same layer as Avoid 321 if you do not want to work on the A321 at all.

The chaser/K position will remain on the A321 with a separate sequence number. However, it will stay with the other three flight attendants on the A321 for the entire trip. Like today, since the chaser position will remain on a separate sequence number, they may not bump anyone else from their position; conversely the chaser cannot be bumped from their position. If the crew agrees to voluntarily swap positions, this can be done by contacting Crew Scheduling.

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Accumulation of Target Credit Range – When it comes to bidding, it is important to fully understand how Line Properties work to build your schedule. In my opinion, the most important Line Property is Target Credit Range. It’s important to know how it works. You want to bid a proper Target Credit Range, which is one that works with what your seniority can hold as well as what types of trips you are bidding. Not bidding a proper Target Credit Range is common for awards that go LN. LN means layer null, which basically means it couldn’t finish your line by layer 7.

Target Credit Range (TCR) is a cumulative property. This means that this property is not layer specific. The Target Credit Range (TCR) Property remembers what your low and high parameters were from previous layers. When you don’t bid a TCR a default of 70-90 is used for that layer.

Look at this example from page 30 of the Current LUS PBS Guide:

In Layer 1 – the bid is 40-50

The accumulation of Target Credit Range in Layer 1 is 40-50

In Layer 2 – the bid is 50-60

The accumulation of Target Credit Range in Layer 2 is 40-60

There is an exception, if your seniority has a minimum or maximum line value, that value will become the floor or ceiling for your TCR.

For example, if I bid a TCR of 70-85 but at my seniority I am required to have a minimum of 78 hours, PBS will consider my Target Credit Range to be 78-85.
It is also important to understand that if you do not bid a Target Credit Range, or accidentally leave a layer out when bidding Target Credit Range, accumulation stops at that layer and uses a default bid of 70-90. Accumulation will start again in the next layer that there is a Target Credit Range bid.

One common error I see people make on their bids is shown in an example on pg 31 of the Current LUS PBS Guide:

Some Flight Attendants bid specific trips, or TI in their Layer 1 and do not put in a TCR thinking that they will try for as many of their layer 1 pairings as they can hold. Unfortunately, if for any reason PBS must go to another layer to complete their award, it will consider the accumulation of Target Credit Range up to 90.

The solution to this, unfortunately, will cost a Layer.

If this is your strategy, and you need to leave your Layer 1 TCR blank, then in Layer 2 you would bid the Clear Bid Line Property. The Clear Bid Property is explained on pg. 34 of the Current LUS PBS Guide. This property first initiates a shuffle of your awarded pairings to attempt an award at that Layer. Then it throws out all bids and accumulation from previous Layers, including waivers. The reason why this strategy ‘costs a Layer’ is because now in the layer you use clear bids, you will need to rebid the pairings you bid in your Layer 1. This will allow the accumulation stop, but also allow those pairings to be considered in your new TCR. This is something I consider to be a very advanced bidding strategy. If you are thinking about doing this, I suggest that you read the PBS Guide about this property. Never use a property if you do not fully understand how it functions in your bid.

Target Credit Range Accumulation can affect high time flyers as well.

For example:

In the example above, this high time flyer left their Layer 7 Target credit range blank. This means that PBS is no longer considering a high time award above 90, but it also makes their floor as low as 70 hours.

If PBS needed to go to Layer 7 for any reason, this Flight Attendant would most likely not receive an award they wanted.
The solution for this scenario would be to open their Layer 7 Target Credit Range further, or to extend their Target Credit Range they bid in Layer 6 to Layer 7 as well.
When you bid a Target Credit Range it is also important to consider what you are asking for in your bid, and whether it is possible to reach that Target Credit Range with what you are bidding.
My ‘go-to’ example for this is a Flight Attendant who was upset that they always got LN awards. They only bid to fly 4day trips. They put in a Target Credit Range of 70-75 in all layers.
Since 4-day trips are a minimum of 20 credits, it is not possible to hold 70-75 hours of 4-days. This Flight Attendant needed to change the Target Credit Range or start bidding for 2-day and 3-day trips in their later layers to bring them to the Target Credit Range they are requesting.
This can also be tricky when you are requesting specific days off on the Calendar or when asking for minimum number of days off between work blocks. You need to make sure that you are leaving yourself enough room on the calendar to be assigned trips you can hold up to the Target Credit Range you are requesting.

If you haven’t read through the PBS Guide in a while, I recommend reviewing the information about the properties you use the most.

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Training on your schedule? – 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:

  • If you have been assigned a travel day with your training, but don’t need it, you may want to consider having it removed. The travel days can conflict with trips that you wish to bid for. To have your travel date removed, contact the Training Support Desk as soon as possible, before the bid closes.
  • Work Block Size- Although training takes up your days off, it can have effects on your work block size. 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 in 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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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 they bid a TCR anywhere between 40-69 in their 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 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 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.

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FABRC Hours- The FABRC is open 7 days a week. You can reach a Flight Attendant in the FABRC every day from 0800-2000 CT. Call 1-800-327-0117 option 5

Starting July 14th, they will be open from 0600-2200 CT- 7 days a week!!

If you don’t understand your award- The only way to dispute your award is to contact the FABRC. You are required to contact them by 12:00 PHX on the 23rd, unless you are on vacation. In that case, you must dispute your award within 24 hours of your return to work. Even though emotions can run high, remain professional. The calls are being answered by your fellow Flight Attendants who want to ensure the contract is being followed and the system is awarding properly.

  • Do as much research as you can prior to contacting the FABRC.
  • If you are not sure why you were not awarded a pairing:When you call the FABRC, tell them why you feel you were mis-awarded. While discussing your award with the FABRC, if you still believe your award is incorrect, simply request that they escalate your award challenge. The PBS Admin team and/or AOS will review your bid and award. I will monitor the progress of your award challenge.
    • Check that the proper waivers were bid in that layer to allow the pairing to be awarded
    • ​If you are attempting a double up, check that the pairing honors double up requirements such as duty day limitations
    • Ensure the proper target credit range was used
    • Verify that you bid a prefer position order for the pairing (for example it is common that a Flight Attendant bid K Position Pairings, but failed to include FK in their Prefer Position Preference)
  • When you call the FABRC, tell them why you feel you were mis-awarded. While discussing your award with the FABRC, if you still believe your award is incorrect, simply request that they escalate your award challenge. The PBS Admin team and/or AOS will review your bid and award. I will monitor the progress of your award challenge.

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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