Mock Bidding with the New PBS and What to Expect – LUS
JCBA PBS Mock bidding is currently underway at the LUS bases. Many have been asking why they should even bother with mock bidding at LUS since we have been bidding in PBS for years. In short, there are many items in the JCBA PBS that are the same in the current version. However, there are some significant changes in a few areas that could have an impact on how you bid in the future. Let us be clear, there is no requirement for anyone to mock bid. This is designed to be another tool for you to learn the new JCBA PBS and how it could impact your bidding as we approach FOI in October.
Just as it is done currently, the Training Bidding System (TBS) will open the beginning of the month. If you are scheduled for CQ training or if it is your early or grace month, you can participate in mock bidding for TBS. This will have no impact on your current bid for CQ training.
One of the first items that is new to monthly bidding is the Lineholder/Reserve Designator (LRD) Tool. This will open from the 3rd of the month until the 7th and is your tool to either senior bump onto Reserve in a month that you were not scheduled to be on Reserve, or bid off Reserve in a month that you were scheduled to be on Reserve. In the current version of PBS, a Flight Attendant can bid on and off within their 7 layers. With Reserve rotation, attempting to bid on or off Reserve will need to happen prior to PBS opening using the LRD Tool. Reserve rotation is being applied in mock bidding. Depending on your seniority and what occurred in the first month of mock bidding, your projected status may have changed. This is a great opportunity to use LRD and practice how to change your status.
When opening PBS, your status for the following month will be displayed on the dashboard. Now that you know your status, either Lineholder or Reserve, it is time to begin mock bidding. You will notice that when viewing pairing details that all departure and arrival times are in station “local” time. This is a significant change from the current version of PBS which displays all times in home domicile (base) time. Unlike the other applications (ETB, TTS and ROTA) there is no way for the Flight Attendants to change the time in PBS to home base time.
The JCBA lays out the duty day, rest, and block time constraints with which pairings will be constructed. These parameters may be different than you find in the Redbook. Pairings are also built with crew compliment (4 person crews, 3 person crews, etc.), and therefore you will no longer have a separate “K” or chaser pairing. All of this culminates into a different type of pairing seen in PBS. The allocations department has used the current flying at each of the current PBS bases, and used the JCBA parameters to construct pairings that are constructed as they would be in JCBA PBS. For example, rather than a PHX 3 person crew flying a pairing and picking up a LODO in CLT to fly the required Spanish speaking portion, it will now be a 4 person PHX crew with the Spanish speaker built into the base crew compliment. Another example would be a pairing that mixes 319 and 321. The 3-person crew flies until they pick up the “K”, and then continue the pairing until the “K” drops to fly with another crew. Now, those flight segments would be divided into 3 person or 4 person pairings, so you will not see the same combination of flights in the same pairing. While these are not “live” pairings, they are an accurate representation of what the pairings will look like in October, for JCBA PBS.
One property that could potentially change is the “prefer/avoid aircraft”. In October, the LUS Flight Attendants will be moving from CATS to FOS and with that there will be a change as to how different aircraft types are labeled especially in PBS. The narrow body Airbus fleet is all grouped together under the 320 fleet header. APFA has asked the PBS team the ability to be able to split out the different Airbus narrow body aircraft (319/320/321) when bidding PBS.
Another significant change is that speakers (formerly known as LODO’s) will no longer be on a separate sequence but will be part of the crew compliment. Speakers will be able to bid for all positions, except for galley positions. As a speaker you may bid for galley, and if you are not needed for the required speaker count, on the pairing, you will be awarded it. But if you are needed for the required speaker count, you will not be able to hold a galley position. With the JCBA PBS if you are a speaker, you can also bid for the purser position. This could impact the positions that you have been traditionally holding in the current PBS. The current mock bidding is only allocating for 1 speaker per flight. The JCBA calls for “up to” one speaker per cabin, which could mean 2 speakers on the current LUS 330 fleet.There are significant changes to Reserve bidding in the new PBS. For those that are familiar with the current version, today there are “must offs and preferred offs”. In the new PBS all days bid off will be preferred off and are awarded cumulatively. There have also been changes to the assigning of CN days to make sure the holiday days off are not awarded to a Reserve junior to you.
There are a number of bidding strategies that each Flight Attendant can use to achieve the days off that are most important to you. If you have questions about possible bidding strategies, the FOI specialists can assist answering questions about the new Reserve bidding in PBS.
There are also 7 separate layers for bidding Reserve. This is to ensure when PBS processes if additional Lineholders can be awarded, those that were tentative and pulled onto Reserve, or Reserves who bid off and were unsuccessful, or the most junior reserves could utilize 7 layers of Lineholder and 7 layers of Reserve for a successful award.
Participation Rates/Default Bids/ Reason Reports
While mock bidding is a great learning tool there is no requirement for everyone to participate. This can have a significant impact on the final mock bidding awards and often will not reflect what you can ultimately hold during real life bidding. For those that choose not to participate in mock bidding a default bid will be used. The current default bid is 1,2,3,4 pairing length, maximize credit, TCR 75-85. Of course, there is no way any default bid can account for all the different variables that go into each Flight Attendant’s bid. That is one reason that with higher participation rates you will see final results closer to what you may actually hold. Below are the participation results for the July Mock bid.
The reason reports are changing and still a work in progress. One of the most significant changes is that you will now see “position withheld for speaker”. This is a result of the new speaker language in the JCBA as noted above. While positions may be available at your seniority, if all other positions are filled but have yet to satisfy the number of speakers needed it will hold those positions until it has reached the seniority of the speaker.
The JSIC will continue to publish the bid results and any information we receive that will help you to understand the JCBA PBS bidding system.
As with any changes there will be a number of individual questions. Feel free to stop by any FOI Navigation Center located in each crew base or contact the Flight Attendant Bidding Resource Center (FABRC) at 800-327-0117, option 5, 1.
PBS Mock Bidding Schedule – July & August 2018
***New 5-Day Bidding Window
Mock Bid #1 – Opens 10th of the Month & Closes 15th of the Month
Mock Bid #2 – Opens 19th of the Month & Closes 24th of the Month
All open and close times are Noon CDT
Mock Bid Links