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10.11.19 – PBS Buddy Bidding Changes

Friday, October 11, 2019

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PBS Buddy Bidding Changes

For months now we have been working on changes to the buddy bidding logic, to be in line with how the logic should be working, rather than what had been implemented with the original PBS system and subsequently the JCBA PBS system.

You have previously received hotlines outlining how to work with the buddy bid logic that has been in place. This hotline will outline the changes to the logic. Please read carefully, since some of the items are no longer simply assumptions for the follower’s bid.

Also, keep in mind how PBS processes a buddy bid. The initiator is awarded first, based upon their pairings and line properties. Once the initiator’s award is completed, the final award becomes Layer 1 for the follower to then be processed as their award.

If not enough pairings have been bid by the initiator, then pairings from the “Pairing pool None” (PN) pairings will be assigned to the initiator which will then be added to the follower(s) Layer 1 pairing pool for possible awarding.

Changes to the awarding of Positions

PBS will now check the pairings not only for the positions the initiator bid but also for the position order.

This means when PBS is looking to award a pairing to the buddy group, it will only award the pairing if bid positions are available.

For example:
Let’s say you bid a sequence with positions 1, 6, 8 and there are two of you in the buddy group. PBS finds a sequence that has only position 1 and 4 available, it will no longer award the sequence to the initiator without first considering the position order bid. Once PBS finds a sequence with at least two out of the three positions bid it will award the initiator the first open position that has been bid and the follower the second open position.  

It is highly recommended to bid a consistent “Prefer Position Order” in all layers, to ensure no layers are skipped. This means when bidding different positions for the same sequences in later layers, they should be consistent with a previous position preference.

For example:
If the initiator in a group of two bids 
positions 2 and 4 in Layer 1, but only position 2 is available, the sequence would not be awarded since PBS has already determined that there are not two positions available that have been bid. 

If the initiator now bids position 4 and 6 in Layer 2 and only position 6 is available, the sequence would again not be awarded, for the same reason as above. However, if the initiator bids positions 2, 4 and 6 in Layer 2 PBS could have considered the sequence for an award.

The one change needed that has not been corrected is the ability for PBS to determine if a position that is open for the follower will require a speaker.

Let’s use the first example. Both Flight Attendants are non-speakers. The initiator bids positions 1, 6 and 8. PBS finds a sequence with open positions 6 and 8. It would award position 6 to the initiator, but at the time of the award to the initiator, PBS cannot currently determine that position 8 would require a speaker. When awarding the follower, PBS would deny the award to the follower due to the speaker requirement.

APFA continues to push for the logic change to fix this issue.

Changes to Target Credit Range (TCR) for Buddy Bids

In the past, PBS has been using a Target Credit Range (TCR) of 40-90 hours for the follower.

Going forward the followers TCR (in Layer 1) will be equal to the initiators accumulated TCR from the layer the award completed in, including a high time TCR of above 90 hrs.

This means if the initiator bids the following TCR:

L1        85 – 95
L2        80 – 95
L3        70 – 95

and PBS completed the award in Layer 3 with a range of 70 – 95, the followers TCR in Layer 1 will be 70 – 95.

The follower should also bid their own TCR in Layer 2-7 in case the award is not completed with the initiator’s bid from Layer 1.

If the Target Credit Range (TCR) for the initiator cannot be met and defaults to 70-90 hours, this will also be the TCR for the follower in Layer 1.

Changes to Waivers for Buddy Bidding

Waivers will no longer be automatically applied to the follower when awarding a line. If the initiator bids for waivers in Layer 1, then only those waivers bid will apply to the follower.

A follower may also add their own waivers in L1 to be considered for the award (if a follower has a carry-in trip that is different than the initiator and a 30/7 waiver may be needed to award a sequence, but the rest of the group does not want to apply the waiver).

The follower can also choose to bid waivers in Layer 2-7 in case the award is not completed with the initiator’s bid from Layer 1.

These are waivers like 30/7, 24/7 at layover, waive to minimum HBR, etc. It is important to consider all waivers, especially if either Flight Attendant could be affected by legalities from the previous month’s flying or has pre-planned activities.

Waive Carry Over Credit

Waive Carry Over Credit can be bid by the initiator to apply to the entire buddy group or separately by an individual follower to be processed with the buddy group award in layer one if so desired.

Equipment Qualification

PBS will now check equipment qualifications for the entire buddy group when checking for “buddy-able” positions based on the initiator’s bid and will no longer award a sequence unless all buddies have the equipment qualification.

Special Qualifications – Purser, Speaker, Purser/Speaker

It was previously recommended that the initiator should be the Flight Attendant with the special qualification.

With the new logic, it is recommended that the initiator should be the Fight Attendant not holding any kind of special qualification such as speaker, purser or purser/speaker.

For example:
In the event that there are only two positions left on a trip and both require a speaker qualification, if the initiator is qualified and the follower is not, the initiator would be awarded the trip and the follower would not, which breaks the buddy bid.  However, if the initiator is not qualified and the follower is qualified in the above situation the initiator would not be awarded the trip and neither would the follower.  

It is important to keep in mind the Prefer Position Order bid by the initiator, if one of the followers does have a special qualification in order to allow PBS to find specific “buddy-able” positions, that could be awarded to the special qualified follower. 

For example:
In a group of three buddy bidders, the initiator (non-speaker, non-purser), the next most senior Flight Attendant is a Speaker, the third is a non-speaker. The order of position bidding should be such that the 2nd position bid is an aisle, not a galley, to accommodate the qualification if needed.

A buddy bid could break if there is more than one speaker with the same language qualifications in the group, the Flight Attendants are forced into their language and there are not enough speaker positions on a sequence available to accommodate all speakers.

Additional Tips

    • It is not recommended for junior Flight Attendants with special qualifications that are commonly awarded PN pairings due to being forced, to buddy bid. An alternative would be to parallel bid.
    • Just as with the previous logic, the Flight Attendant with the least pre-planned absences/ activities should be the initiator.
    • The only properties used for a follower in Layer 1 should be the buddy bid acceptance, Waive Carry Over Credit (if so desired) and any waivers such as 30/7, 24/7, etc. There should be no other properties used, including the request for days off.
    • The follower should bid in Layers 2-7 with their own TCR, pairings and line properties as a back-up to the buddy bid.
    • If the follower has a standing bid, the same rules mentioned earlier for Layer 1 in the standing bid apply. As a reminder, Layer 1 should only include waivers in the standing bid. Pairing, line and days off properties can be bid in Layers 2-7.

In Unity,


Alin Boswell
Julie Hedrick
Linda Haertling

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