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8.09.18 – PBS Bases- Before You Bid

APFA Hotline




PBS Bases- Before You Bid

  • Red Book PBS Sunset
  • Training on Your Schedule? Read this!
  • LODO
  • Vacation Low Priority
  • FK Pairings
  • Bidding High Time (91-110 hours)
  • Disputing Your Award


Red Book PBS Sunset – “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” ~ Louis L’Amour

I chose to start this hotline with that quote to remind everyone at current LUS bases that our current systems are ending. Even though we have been working on these systems for many years now, we have many changes and new contract language coming. September is the last month that we will be working under the Red Book Contract. Special thanks to the Red Book Contract Negotiators and former JIRC members for all their hard work implementing and improving on the systems we are sunsetting. Please take this opportunity to learn and prepare for the new system enhancements, new systems, and new contract language. If you have questions about the JCBA, please contact our APFA Contract and Scheduling Reps at (817) 540-0108 and check out the JCBA Hot Topics and APFA Unity Pays Podcasts with the JSIC at

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Training on Your Schedule? – For Lineholders, 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. If you aren’t sure if your travel day will interfere with your strategy, call the FABRC. 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.

LOD/O Program – Currently, CATCREW is restricted to only recognizing one qualification. Once we transition to the JCBA PBS we will be on FOS, which recognizes multiple qualifications. At FOI, the LOD/O program goes away and the Speaker Program will begin for those who opted into the program. It is important to read the JCBA and start to familiarize yourself with the changes.

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.

FK pairings (A321) – To ensure a smooth transition for how our pairings will be constructed at FOI, all A321 pairings are pure A321 pairings and the FK position remains with the core crew the entire trip.

  • For September the FK position is still on its own pairing (sequence #) and will not be able to be bumped.
  • Bidding FK or “Chaser” pairings in the same layer as Core position pairings will still be considered equal.

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 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 checklist:

  • 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)

Disputing 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 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)
  • While your challenge is being reviewed, be patient. If you adjust your line on your own, it is possible that you may make yourself illegal for participating in ISAP pay protection procedures. It is best to wait for an answer from the PBS Admin team.
  • If you have not heard back within 5 days of your initial dispute, please send a message to

The FABRC is open 7 days a week. You can reach a Flight Attendant in the FABRC every day from 0600-2200 CT. Call 1-800-327-0117 option 5.

If you need to dispute your award after hours or if the wait time is too long, you may dispute your award on the FABRC’s voice mail. Leave a message with your 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 voicemails are timestamped and will serve as notification for your intent to dispute.

In Unity,

Alana Billingsley
APFA PBS Specialist

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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


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