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5.15.20 – PBS: Generic vs. Specific/Prefer vs. Avoid Aircraft

Friday, May 15, 2020

Generic vs. Specific Bidding

We frequently receive the question on whether to combine specific and generic properties in the same layer or not. As a general rule, it is not advisable to combine bidding specific pairings with generic properties in the same layer, but there are circumstances when it can be used.

The important thing to remember is that when PBS processes your bid it will view all pairings within a single layer as equal.

By adding specific sequences and generic properties for PBS to consider pairings in the same layer, you are telling PBS I am equally ok with any of these trips. Below you will find some examples of bidding these selections and we hope it will help clarify how PBS is viewing your selection during the award process.

As a good rule, if you have questions about what pairings are in your pairing pool, always check your layer tab and the “View Pairing Set”. This will show you all the pairings in your pairing pool by layer. If this does not reflect your bidding strategy, then you can remove individual pairings or adjust your properties accordingly.

Let’s first look at generic bidding. As you know, electing preferences under pairing type are considered generic. Combining different generic properties can narrow the pairings pulled into your pairing pool.

For example:
Bidding IPD in a layer will pull in all trips that are considered IPD – originating all days

Bidding IPD in conjunction with a layover would pull in only IPD trips laying over in that city into your pairing pool– originating all days.

Bidding IPD in conjunction with multiple layovers selected would pull in all IPD trips with layovers in the selected city into your pairing pool– originating all days.

As a reminder, bidding days off will remove any pairings that touch those days off, thereby reducing the number of pairings in your pairing pool.

Let’s take a look at what happens when specific sequences are bid.

For example:
Bidding 3 specific trips in a layer would pull in those three trips and your pairing pool would contain only those three trips (times however many positions are bid) in this example 12 pairings are in layer 1 (3 trips x 4 Positions).

Now let’s add a generic property.

Bidding IPD would also pull in all trips that are considered IPD (times the number of positions) – now the pairing pool changed to 1023.

If the flight attendant only wanted those 3 specific trips to be considered, the addition of the IPD property negated that desire.

A common generic property used is Aircraft type. By selecting a preference for an aircraft all sequences that contain a working leg on the selected aircraft would be added to the pool and could exponentially increase the pairing pool!


Combining Generic & Specific Scenario

There is a scenario where generic and specific selections can be combined.

For example:
Bidding IPD with a layover – let’s say CDG – all trips to CDG would be pulled into the pairing pool – this is the main desire of the flight attendant.

But there are some LHR trips that the flight attendant would also like to consider, just not all of them. The Flight Attendant could bid specific pairings and those would be added to the pairing pool of CDG layovers. PBS would now look at the pool of CDG trips with a few selected LHR trips as all being equal within the same layer.

Prefer/Avoid Aircraft Bidding

The Prefer/Avoid Aircraft preference in PBS will offer you a greater number of aircraft specific options.

Example: If a Flight Attendant wishes to select pairings that have 319 legs, they may now select Prefer Aircraft: 319.

When using Prefer Aircraft to select a specific aircraft, it will show only pairings that have the selected aircraft as a working leg. This could be a pairing purely with the selected aircraft or could be a mixed pairing that has only a single working leg on that aircraft. Oppositely, using Avoid Aircraft will remove all pairings that operate the selected aircraft from the layers pairing pool even if the aircraft is only used on a single working leg. When using this preference, it will be important to review your pairing pools to make sure that those pairings reflect your Prefer/Avoid preference.

In either Prefer or Avoid preference, deadheads are not included in this property.

The complete list of aircraft for which you can select within the prefer/avoid bid preference is:

  • 319
  • 320
  • 321
  • 321-NEO
  • 737
  • 737-MAX
  • 777-300
  • 777-200
  • 787-8
  • 787-9

At this time, you will notice that the aircraft types are not named in a way that is consistent with your bid packet or other apps. Further enhancements will be forthcoming.

IMPORTANT: This is a significant change within the preferences of this property. If you had a “Prefer Aircraft” or “Avoid Aircraft” preference in your Standing Bid, those preferences have been deleted. You will need to update your Standing Bid tab with the new “Prefer Aircraft” or “Avoid Aircraft” preferences in your Standing Bid if this was part of your Standing Bid.

In Unity,

Brian Walsh
APFA National Contract Chair

Linda Haertling
APFA National Scheduling Chair

Alin Boswell
APFA Joint Scheduling Implementation Committee

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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


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