Several factors come into play regarding awarding and assignment of sequences, standby and RAP’s.
ROTA processes in the following order:
- Award sequences
- Award standby
- Assign sequences
- Assign standby
- Award/assign RAPs
ROTA separates Flight Attendants into days of Reserve availability, groupings; some may refer to these as “buckets”. Each Flight Attendant is placed either into a 1, 2, 3 or 4+ day grouping. Current programming allows 5 and 6-day groupings, but that is being changed since there are so few 5 and 6-day sequences in the system they will be included in the 4-day grouping. After the groupings are established the Flight Attendants are then sorted by their seniority.
Groupings may be open or closed based on the number of available reserves and the number of open sequences. If there are more available Flight Attendants than sequences in a grouping then it is considered open. If the number of available Flight Attendants is equal to or less than the number of sequences in a grouping then it is considered closed.
Sequences and standby are awarded, in seniority order. At the time of processing, if the grouping the reserve belongs to is considered closed, the Flight Attendant would be awarded or assigned a sequence available within their grouping.
* An exception to this is that a Flight Attendant in a closed group may select a sequence outside of their grouping if its an IPD sequence, a pure NIPD sequence or a 1-day sequence greater than 8+59 hours block time.
It is important to note that a grouping could start out closed and open up during the ROTA processing and vice versa. Your grouping, when ROTA begins processing, may start out closed, but as ROTA processes, a Flight Attendant from another open group may be awarded a sequence from your group that could trigger it to now become an open group. This would allow the next Flight Attendant to be processed to pick up a sequence outside their grouping.
A question that is often asked is how are speakers processed in ROTA? It maybe easiest to think of speakers as being in their own ROTA processing as they may be held out from assignments to ultimately cover open sequences that require speakers. A non-speaker Flight Attendant may be assigned a sequence prior to a more junior speaker Flight Attendant even when they appear to be in the same grouping.
What is the purpose of the groupings?
The ultimate purpose of the groupings is to identify how many days a Flight Attendant is available and if fewer Flight Attendants are available for that grouping, it would not assign a more junior Flight Attendant into their Flex Days off when a more senior Flight Attendant could have been assigned that sequence without being assigned into their Flex(s) Days off.
For example, the most senior Flight Attendant is available for 3 days and a more junior Flight Attendant is only available for 1 day. If there are more 3-day sequences available than 3-day Flight Attendants, the grouping would be considered closed and the senior Flight Attendant would be awarded or assigned a 3-day instead of a 1-day sequence. The goal is to avoid a more junior Flight Attendant being assigned a 3-day into their flex days while a more senior Flight Attendant is awarded a 1-day sequence but still available for several more days.
In the same example, had there been more 3-day Flight Attendants available than 3-day sequences, the grouping would be considered open and the senior Flight Attendants would be able to be awarded a sequence outside their grouping for fewer days then they are available and it wouldn’t cause the more junior flight attendant to be assigned into their flex days off.