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2.26.21 – Primary Round of Annual Vacation Bidding Closes in 5 Days

Friday, February 26, 2021

Primary Round of Annual Vacation Bidding Closes in 5 Days

As a reminder, the Primary Round of bidding will close Wednesday, March 3rd at 1200 (CST).

  • Vacation is accrued monthly in the calendar year: January 1st through December 31st. The number of vacation days accrued is contractual, based on your years of active service.
  • The vacation fiscal year includes the May to April contractual months, from May 2 (beginning of May bid month) to May 1 (end of April bid month).
  • Vacation pay is based on your longevity at the time your vacation is taken. You can maximize the value of your vacation days by bidding for a period that occurs after your annual pay rate increase.


If you have any questions regarding your vacation accrual, please email for assistance.

Q1: My summary page in AVBA shows an accrual of 35 days and 6 max filler days. Does this mean I have a total of 41 vacation days?
A: No, you have a total of 35 days. The number of max filler days displayed on the summary page is based on your total days accrued.

Q2: What is a Filler Day and why would I want to designate Filler Days?
A: A Filler Day is an accrued vacation day that you decide to set aside during the annual vacation bid. You may set aside up to 20% (or a maximum of six (6) days) of your vacation days as Filler Days. These days are subtracted from your accrued vacation days. If you designate Filler Days during the annual vacation bid, you will bid to schedule the days during the monthly Filler Day bids throughout the year. You may want to utilize Filler Days to bid to have a holiday off that you cannot hold in the annual bid or to add one more day to an existing vacation block.

Q3: I am supposed to have carry-forward days. Why are they not included in my accrual total?
A: Carry-forward days from the prior fiscal year will not appear in your accrual until the secondary round for vacation bidding opens on March 9th.

Q4: Why would I use a descending date range?
A: A descending date range allows you to prioritize your bid starting with a later date going in reverse chronological order. For example, if you want to prioritize the end of December over the beginning of December for a seven (7) day block, you will enter 12/31/2021 as your start date and 12/02/2021 as your end date. The system would look at 12/31 going backwards for seven days, then 12/30 for seven (7) days, until it can award you a seven (7) day block.

Q5: Can I split my vacation as many times as I would like throughout the fiscal year?
A: A Flight Attendant must bid vacation in periods of four (4) or more consecutive days, provided that a Flight Attendant may bid one (1) block of either one (1), two (2) or three (3) consecutive days per year. There shall be no limit on the number of vacation days a Flight Attendant may bid in a month.

Q6: I am currently on an EVLOA, will be converting to an EVLOA, or balloted for an EVLOA-2. Do I participate in vacation bidding?
A: Yes. All EVLOA/EVLOA-2 Flight Attendants are encouraged to participate in the annual AVBA bidding process. This will provide Flight Attendants vacation in the event her/his EVLOA/EVLOA-2 is canceled. Any vacation not used because of your EVLOA/EVLOA-2 will be canceled and available for bidding upon return to work through the Monthly Rebid (MRB) Process. Vacation days not taken will carry forward to the next fiscal year (May 2022 – April 2023), and will be awarded/assigned during the annual vacation secondary bid period.

Q7: I am currently on an 8-month STLOA that ends on June 1, 2021. What happens to any awarded vacation that falls during my STLOA in the May 2021 bid month? 
A: Any vacation not used because of your STLOA will be canceled and available for bidding upon return to work through the Monthly Rebid (MRB) Process. Vacation days not taken will carry forward to the next fiscal year (May 2022 – April 2023), and will be awarded/assigned during the annual vacation secondary bid period.

Q8: What is the secondary round of vacation bidding?
A: The secondary round allows you to bid for any remaining vacation days not awarded in the primary round of vacation bidding. Additionally, any carry forward days are bid in the secondary round.

In the secondary round of bidding, you may only be awarded from the remaining dates available at your base. You will be awarded at your seniority until all your vacation days are awarded, or the system is unable to satisfy any more of your preferences. All vacation days will be awarded or assigned upon the completion of the secondary round of bidding.

Q9: I would like to try to hold vacation low priority in PBS. How should I bid my vacation days?
A: You must have at least seven (7) vacation days scheduled within a bid month to hold priority for a low time PBS award. These days do not need to be in a consecutive block to have priority for a low time (40-69 hours) line over those more senior to you who do not have seven (7) or more vacation days in the bid month.

Q10: What is a Vacation Extension (VEX) day?
A: A Flight Attendant who is scheduled for at least seven (7) consecutive vacation days may elect to place up to a total of four (4) days off (at sole discretion of the Flight Attendant) before, after, or split on either side of such vacation period. The VEX days will act as a pre-planned absence and will carry neither a value for pay nor credit. Such days off will be counted toward a Reserve’s scheduled Golden Days. Such block of four days, or portion thereof, may be extended into the next bid period. Such election shall be honored unless the PBS program cannot produce a solution honoring such election.

Q11: What happens if I cannot hold my vacation bid in the Primary and Secondary Rounds?
A: The assignment process uses the remaining vacation days not awarded in the primary or secondary award. The remaining days are assigned in seniority order according to the following logic:

  1. Reverse chronological order starting with December 31 through May 2, then
  2. Reverse chronological order starting with May 1 through January 1


Vacation days are assigned in blocks of seven (7) days. If you have less than seven (7) days remaining, or there are no seven (7) day blocks left, the assignment is made to the first block that matches the amount of your remaining days. However, based on availability during the assignment process, your remaining number of days may not be awarded as a single block.

Q12: I have been recalled from furlough. I did not elect to have my remaining scheduled and accrued vacation days paid out. How do I bid my unused vacation days and accrued 2020 vacation days?

A: If you did not elect to have your vacation paid out, you will see your accrued days from 2020 in the “Remaining Accrual” section. These days will be bid in the Primary Round of the vacation bid.

When the Secondary Round opens, you will see your unused vacation days which were originally scheduled between October 2020 and April 2021. These “Carry Forward Days” will be bid in the Secondary Round and will not be available for bidding during the Primary Round of vacation bidding.

Vacation Bidding Basics

The APFA National Contract & Scheduling Departments have created the following guide to walk you through the basics of vacation bidding.

Vacation Bidding Basics

The Flight Attendant Vacation User Guide contains detailed information on the annual vacation bid and award process. Due to the limited number of vacation buybacks awarded this year, you may want to bid more selections that you normally would bid. For general questions about vacation bidding, you may email an APFA Contract and Scheduling Rep. on duty at

In Solidarity,

Marti McMillan
APFA National Scheduling Chair

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

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


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