Thursday, November 10, 2022
December PBS Bidding Tips and Reminders
Holiday bidding always presents unique challenges. We want to review some PBS basics as you prepare to bid for your December schedule. In this hotline, click on the links below to navigate directly to the topic of interest.
- Target Credit Range and Required Minimums
- Distribution of Open Time (Half Month Logic)
- Holiday Award Logic
- PBS Coverage Needed Dates from December 2021
One of the biggest pain points at all bases over the last year has been the required minimum hours in PBS awards. Flight Attendants are extremely frustrated at being forced to cover so many hours. We continue to push the company to lower Reserve numbers, increase Lineholders, and improve trip construction.
Adjusted Target Credit Range with a Minimum Line Value
All bases have recently seen a required minimum line value of at least 70 hours, sometimes starting with the most senior Flight Attendant in the base. In many cases, a second minimum line value of 78 hours or more has been triggered for more junior Flight Attendants. When a minimum restriction is established at a particular seniority, it will impact every Flight Attendant from that seniority on down. The only exceptions are those who qualify for and are awarded a vacation low line.
Required minimums are triggered based on a combination of bidding behavior and the hours remaining to be awarded. The minimum is established by looking at the trips left to be awarded and the number of Flight Attendants yet to be processed for an award.
Once PBS applies a required minimum line value, your TCR will be adjusted in LAYER 1.
Example 1: Required Minimum Line Value – 70 hours
When a Flight Attendant is bidding a low TCR (between 40 and 69 hours) in layer 1, but at their seniority has a required minimum line value of 70 hours, the system will adjust as follows:
With a required minimum line value of 70 hours, PBS will first attempt to complete the line with a TCR of 70-75 hours. If the line cannot be completed within that 70-75 hour adjustment, PBS will then use a range of 70-90 hours to complete the award.
Example 2: Required Minimum Line Value – 78 hours
When a Flight Attendant is bidding a low TCR (between 40 and 69 hours) in layer 1, but at their seniority has a required minimum line value of 78 hours, the system will adjust as follows:
However, if a Flight Attendant bids a TCR with a range of at least 5 hours above the required minimum, PBS will not automatically adjust the layer 1 TCR*:
Many Flight Attendants question why the TCR is adjusted in Layer 1 in the above scenarios, versus going through all the layers first to see if a Flight Attendant has bid a higher TCR in a later layer.
PBS will adjust the TCR in layer 1 because PBS already knows that the Flight Attendant has the required minimum starting in layer 1 and if there are enough trips in layer 1 to build a line, the award can be accomplished without having to go to later layers. Please remember, PBS is programmed to complete your award in the highest (earliest) layer possible.
For a more detailed explanation of Target Credit Range, click on the following link for additional information: PBS Target Credit Range – Minimum/Maximum Credit
The open time distribution logic (half month logic) can be triggered when there is an uneven distribution of flying in the month and/or Flight Attendant bidding behavior. It is usually only applied in holiday months because we often see increased flying in the last half of the month.
Since most Flight Attendants bid to maximize their time off around the holiday, the logic spreads out the open time throughout the month. PBS applies half month logic rather than allowing too much open time to be concentrated around the holiday.
If the half month logic is used, the number of hours awarded at the beginning of the month may be limited at a specific seniority. For example, depending on the open time for the second half of the month, there may be a limit of 35 hours awarded in the first half of the month.
When bidding in holiday months, you may consider how this logic could affect you if you bid high time and use certain waivers. Most of your hours could be awarded in the second half of the month.
Holiday months often have multiple Coverage Needed (CN) dates imposed due to required staffing and bidding behavior. If you are held to multiple coverage days, PBS will attempt to award a line ensuring you are scheduled to work all the CN dates. If a legal line cannot be built that covers all coverage dates, PBS will then use the holiday award logic and ensure designated holiday dates are given priority for coverage. If you are subject to coverage needed on designated holiday days, you will only be awarded those days off if you have a planned absence(s) creating an illegal line (e.g. SA days and/or training the six days surrounding the designated holiday).
For Reserve bidding, we often see Flight Attendants bidding all their days off in their first layer. It is important to remember that all day off bids in a layer are considered equal. Therefore, it is recommended you only bid the most desired day off in your first layer. If PBS can award you the day off, it will. Keep in mind, if you request two days off in a layer and the system can only award one or the other, you may not be awarded the holiday off in order to be awarded the other requested day off. PBS does not prioritize days off within a layer. Please ensure that you are bidding reserve days off under the reserve tab only.
Coverage Needed (CN) is a term applied to a day in a bid month when not enough Flight Attendants bid in PBS to fly on that day. PBS will allow as many Flight Attendants to be off on a particular day as possible, whether it is a holiday or not. However, PBS will reach a point where it has to start forcing coverage because it cannot finish the award process with the number of pairings that remain in open time or Reserve availability days.
The CN dates for December 2021 are provided below. We wanted to provide a “look back” for Flight Attendants to use when deciding on a strategy for bidding. The seniority numbers are a relative guide for each base in determining where the dates began. The days are listed as YYMMDD. We hope you find the following data helpful.
How do I read the Coverage Needed charts?
When there are CN dates for either Lineholders or Reserves in a base, the report below gives the seniority number of the most senior person given the day as coverage needed with the date listed to the right. Every Flight Attendant junior to that Flight Attendant has that CN day, and each additional CN day is listed to the right. The chart progresses as more dates are added, displaying the seniority number of the most senior Flight Attendant required for the additional CN day(s).
In the example below (highlighted in RED), a DCA Lineholder with seniority 24265 has five (5) CN days: December 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. The days are displayed YYMMDD:
December 2021 Coverage Needed Dates
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