Please remember to check your status prior to bidding in PBS. Your information can be found on the PBS Dashboard (FAPortal.aa.com > Monthly Bids > PBS Base > PBS) on the 10th calendar day of every month at Noon (DFW Time).
Bidding Reserve in PBS
For bidding reserve off days, you start by clicking on the Reserve Tab on the navigation bar. The large calendar on the left side will show the number of reserves which are needed each day according to planning’s calculation. Speaker reserves will see a different number than non-speakers for each day.
The Days off Tab is for Lineholders only. If you accidentally bid for reserve days off in this tab, your bid will not be processed.
PBS allows you to build your reserve line by requesting your most important days off first and build upon them while following contractual requirements:
- Reserves receive 12 days off per month
- A period of days off must have no fewer than two (2) and no more than eight (8) days off
- A period of reserve days must have no fewer than three (3) and no more than six (6) days on
- Additionally, PBS will look back at the last 6 days of your previous month to avoid a seven-day legality (24/7)
How does PBS process your bid?
When PBS reaches your seniority, before even reading your bid, it creates all legal, possible solutions (reserve patterns) that you could be awarded. The system considers all planned absences, carry-over days, and the last 6 days from the previous month.
Prioritize which days off are most important to you and bid those days off in the first few layers. All days off in a single layer are considered equal so it is best to start small and with the most important first.
During the award process, PBS will continue awarding the days off you can hold layer by layer, as long as the combination makes a legal pattern (see above rules). At each layer, the system eliminates the possible solutions that don’t meet the criteria of the award that is being built until finally arriving at a legal solution.
Suzie is looking for several specific days off: the 4th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 19th, 20th and 30th.
PBS will start out with all the patterns Suzie is legal for.
Suzie has a 3-day trip at the end of the previous month. PBS would only select Reserve patterns that have days off in the beginning of the month and patterns that start with 3 days of reserve. Remember, a minimum of 3 days on reserve are required, but any reserve line that would start with 4 days or more would create a 7-day legality and therefore are not considered based on this example.
The most important day off for Suzie is the 4th; she bids this day in layer 1. Next, she bids the 11th, 12th and 20th in layer 2. In layer 3 has the 10th, 19th and 30th.
PBS reads the requests in Layer 1. It now looks at all the lines that are available and selects all patterns that have the 4th off. It would keep these patterns in her pool and discard all others, then move on to layer 2.
From layer 2 PBS is able to award the 11th and 12th or the 20th, but not all 3 days, since all are of equal importance, the goal is to award as many days off from each layer as possible, PBS would award the 11th and 12th.
Now all patterns that have the 4th, 11th and 12th remain in the pool and all others are discarded.
From layer 3 PBS can award the 10th and 19th or the 30th. Once again, the goal is to award the most days from each layer. Suzie will be awarded the 10th and 19th. Again, PBS would keep only those patterns in the pool that have the days already awarded. In Suzie’s case the 4th, 11th, 12th, 10th and 19th.
Note: All days off requested and awarded are cumulative. If you bid for days off in a layer there is no need to continue to bid for the same days off in subsequent layers.
PBS continues this process layer by layer until a complete reserve pattern can be awarded.
The important thing to remember is to start out with those days that are the most important to you. If Suzie would have requested all the above days in layer 1, PBS sees all days as equal and her award could have excluded the 4th, which was the most important day off to her.
Make use of those 7 layers to stagger your requests in order of importance. Realize, that your requests can set a pattern. For example, if you request single days off and it can be awarded to you, the day before or after will have to be a day off as well since the minimum is two days off.
Use the calendar in PBS and count out the days in-between and around your days off to not block your requests by asking for infeasible patterns. And as always, bid to your seniority and make use of the available resources.