What is PBS?

TheOneMarine

Well-Known Member
Ok, so I've been hearing a lot about it, tried to find info, but I I get is that its a scheduling tool to better streamline ops so places need less pilots. What does it stand for, and what is it exactly? Thanks!
 

moocowtex

Well-Known Member
Preferential Bidding System. In the old days, the airline would publish lines of time. They constructed the whole month, start to finish, showing which particular trips would be flown on which days. You would then bid on each of these in seniority order according to your preferences (days off, which layovers you liked, etc). With PBS, you now just submit your preferences, and they try to build a line of time to match up. Obviously, the more junior you are, the fewer of your preferences get honored, but thats PBS in a nutshell. To give all the ins and outs of it would take pages of typing.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
Olden days?? We still get lines here, paper bid packets, etc. And hopefully we will for a while yet, because I don't trust JO with PBS. Theres a few threads that were posted back in the olden days of JC about PBS too, if you wanna do a search :)
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
More or less a 'style' of bidding.

Man, this is going to sound like a sex-ed chat, but everyone's PBS is different. Some companies have PBS software that, with proper oversight and veto authority, can be used to give the pilot scheduling control and flexibility. Other companies use it to theoretically cut down staffing and work their pilots like mules under the excuse that "Wep, that's what that fancy box said! Get ta work!"

I've seen both.
 

MusketeerMan

Well-Known Member
Described as above. It works at some places, apparently not at others. Some on here will claim it's "the downfall" of the industry. I'm fairly happy with our PBS at RAH. We have good oversight from the pilots & union and when/if changes need to be made, they usually are.

I usually have between 20-30 requests in my monthly bid, so it has plenty of ways to build me a line I want. I bid from trip values, daily values, city pairings, layovers, specific trips, days off, etc.. There are countless ways to bid in the system. If it's not working for someone, there's a good chance they don't know how to bid.
 

higney85

Property of Scheduling
The ONLY way th PBS system works is with a major amount of language predetermined with PBS and with union involvement (or at least some pilot/non-management) otherwise mgmt will walk all over the pilot group. At Pinnacle this has been a big hurdle over the contract negotiations and can really hurt QOL if you are not senior in your bid seat or have pre-scheduled events in a given month (training or vacation).
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
The ONLY way th PBS system works is with a major amount of language predetermined with PBS and with union involvement (or at least some pilot/non-management) otherwise mgmt will walk all over the pilot group. At Pinnacle this has been a big hurdle over the contract negotiations and can really hurt QOL if you are not senior in your bid seat or have pre-scheduled events in a given month (training or vacation).
Hell, even if you're #1 in seniority, it's a crap shoot on getting what you bid for. Just ask JH. :)

Every bid period, we hear "How come someone junior got what I bid for?" Sometimes it's b/c someone screwed up their bid, sometimes it's b/c someone put in conflicting bids or bid for something that wasn't possible. Most of the time, it's PFM. Kinda like the time one random guy 3 from the bottom got a line while 25 people senior got reserve.
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
Hell, even if you're #1 in seniority, it's a crap shoot on getting what you bid for. Just ask JH. :)

Every bid period, we hear "How come someone junior got what I bid for?" Sometimes it's b/c someone screwed up their bid, sometimes it's b/c someone put in conflicting bids or bid for something that wasn't possible. Most of the time, it's PFM. Kinda like the time one random guy 3 from the bottom got a line while 25 people senior got reserve.
As much as that guy likes gadgets I'll bet he hasn't figured out PBS. :laff:
 

fly8slep

New Member
As it's been said, it works at airlines with good work rules, if not, then it's a great way for the company to screw you. At least with the paper form, you know you won't get anything less than what your seniority can hold and more importantly you will see the actual schedules. PBS is all a crapshoot even if you have good seniority.
 

higney85

Property of Scheduling
Hell, even if you're #1 in seniority, it's a crap shoot on getting what you bid for. Just ask JH. :)

Every bid period, we hear "How come someone junior got what I bid for?" Sometimes it's b/c someone screwed up their bid, sometimes it's b/c someone put in conflicting bids or bid for something that wasn't possible. Most of the time, it's PFM. Kinda like the time one random guy 3 from the bottom got a line while 25 people senior got reserve.

FWIW after reading the entire PBS manual and talking to the guys who run the system (the 2 CA's) and 18 months of using the system I have figured out how to get what I want but I keep my prefs rather general and have a pretty good schedule every month. Only kink I have right now is months when you have vacation or training- your schedule goes down the drain regardless of seniority. New contract language addresses the multiple "prescheduled events" pretty well. Time will tell when we can actually use it!


PBS is GREAT by design but if its brought in under forceful terms from mgmt its for THEIR advantage, not for both sides. It can work to reduce company staff needs AND the pilot's QOL, but only with proper protections and cooperation from both sides.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
FWIW after reading the entire PBS manual and talking to the guys who run the system (the 2 CA's) and 18 months of using the system I have figured out how to get what I want but I keep my prefs rather general and have a pretty good schedule every month. Only kink I have right now is months when you have vacation or training- your schedule goes down the drain regardless of seniority. New contract language addresses the multiple "prescheduled events" pretty well. Time will tell when we can actually use it!
I guess my point is, you shouldn't need a PhD in PBS to make it work for you. When I was an FO, I was getting killer schedules since I knew how to think like the PBS analyzer. New guy off the street is gonna get so confused in the first 6 months, it'll take another 6 to figure out what he was doing wrong in the first place. That PBS "manual" doesn't really do much other than explain what the terms mean. It should be renamed a "PBS Glossary" since it's not REALLY a manual.

It was my understanding from what Scott said that you can only have one prescheduled event a month. So, that would mean ground school for recurrent and your sim for recurrent would be in different months. So, if I was pretty saavy, I could schedule my two weeks of vacation on consecutive months around the time I was due for recurrent. Well, they can't bump my vacation for training, so if I did vacation on my recurrent month, they could schedule my sim or recurrent in my "grace" month. Then I bid vacation for the month after that. Oops, sim has to be pushed another month....and I'm dequaled. It's not a perfect system, but I can see the company screwing people over even with what we've got. I'm gonna need to see the rest of this PBS agreement before I get excited over anything. Specifically reserve rules. They shouldn't be able to just assign you RR anytime they want like they can now. My reserve schedule this month looks like they just made a Yahtzee roll and went with it.
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
I guess my point is, you shouldn't need a PhD in PBS to make it work for you. When I was an FO, I was getting killer schedules since I knew how to think like the PBS analyzer. New guy off the street is gonna get so confused in the first 6 months, it'll take another 6 to figure out what he was doing wrong in the first place. That PBS "manual" doesn't really do much other than explain what the terms mean. It should be renamed a "PBS Glossary" since it's not REALLY a manual.

It was my understanding from what Scott said that you can only have one prescheduled event a month. So, that would mean ground school for recurrent and your sim for recurrent would be in different months. So, if I was pretty saavy, I could schedule my two weeks of vacation on consecutive months around the time I was due for recurrent. Well, they can't bump my vacation for training, so if I did vacation on my recurrent month, they could schedule my sim or recurrent in my "grace" month. Then I bid vacation for the month after that. Oops, sim has to be pushed another month....and I'm dequaled. It's not a perfect system, but I can see the company screwing people over even with what we've got. I'm gonna need to see the rest of this PBS agreement before I get excited over anything. Specifically reserve rules. They shouldn't be able to just assign you RR anytime they want like they can now. My reserve schedule this month looks like they just made a Yahtzee roll and went with it.
dang dude..... if you know how to work the PBS, and you're way senior..... share the love! Please?
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
dang dude..... if you know how to work the PBS, and you're way senior..... share the love! Please?
Tell me what you want and shoot me what you're using as bid preferences. I'll take a look. Since you're not a MEM CA senior to me, I got no problem helping out. :)
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
Tell me what you want and shoot me what you're using as bid preferences. I'll take a look. Since you're not a MEM CA senior to me, I got no problem helping out. :)
I don't know if I can be helped though. I am pretty sure that when you're on the bubble, you can't really bid anything. I can barely hold a CDO, and I think that in order to not lose it, you can't really request days off. I don't know what I want since I don't know what I can get.

Avoid Work on Sun before 17:00 Desire Sat Off Desire Fri Off Avoid Work on Thu after 12:00 Desire Weekends Off
This is what I put in there based on a CDO line I had been given. I figured that having these parameters seemed to be the least likely to screw up. I could be way off though, since it's literally a crapshoot for me.
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
I'll say it. . .

It's a way for a company to screw it's pilot group.

With certain exceptions - Delta ALPA.
 

higney85

Property of Scheduling
I guess my point is, you shouldn't need a PhD in PBS to make it work for you. When I was an FO, I was getting killer schedules since I knew how to think like the PBS analyzer. New guy off the street is gonna get so confused in the first 6 months, it'll take another 6 to figure out what he was doing wrong in the first place. That PBS "manual" doesn't really do much other than explain what the terms mean. It should be renamed a "PBS Glossary" since it's not REALLY a manual.

It was my understanding from what Scott said that you can only have one prescheduled event a month. So, that would mean ground school for recurrent and your sim for recurrent would be in different months. So, if I was pretty saavy, I could schedule my two weeks of vacation on consecutive months around the time I was due for recurrent. Well, they can't bump my vacation for training, so if I did vacation on my recurrent month, they could schedule my sim or recurrent in my "grace" month. Then I bid vacation for the month after that. Oops, sim has to be pushed another month....and I'm dequaled. It's not a perfect system, but I can see the company screwing people over even with what we've got. I'm gonna need to see the rest of this PBS agreement before I get excited over anything. Specifically reserve rules. They shouldn't be able to just assign you RR anytime they want like they can now. My reserve schedule this month looks like they just made a Yahtzee roll and went with it.
I am sure this vacation idea is some of the "language" that still needs to be hammered out. I doubt there is a way (and understandably so) that the company will allow you to bid vacation to the point of dequaling. Heck, even at purple tail there are folks who have to go in beyond their schedule to stay current when they use all their vacation to cover up 6 week blocks from work. Nothing like the "draft trip" phone calls to keep current.... That would only be a prank call at 9E..

Here is my bid that works (removed weekends for nov/dec due to holidays and training).

LOW- Avoid deadheads
LOW- Avoid sits > 3 hours
MED- Desire days off
MED- Avoid work on saturdays
MED- Avoid work on Sundays
HIGH- (reserved for whatever specific days off I need in a certain month)

It has been 6+ months since I have not got what I asked for. If you get too picky (like 3 day trips tues-thurs each week) your schedule can go down the toilet quickly if you have 30/7 issues due to the trips or there are not enough 3 days at your seniority to fulfill your requests. If you leave your bid open you get what you want. My bid gives me weekends, days off, and efficient trips. Works for me at least! I bid in the 35-45 (#)range depending on TDY's for reference.
 

SpiceWeasel

Tre Kronor
I am sure this vacation idea is some of the "language" that still needs to be hammered out. I doubt there is a way (and understandably so) that the company will allow you to bid vacation to the point of dequaling. Heck, even at purple tail there are folks who have to go in beyond their schedule to stay current when they use all their vacation to cover up 6 week blocks from work. Nothing like the "draft trip" phone calls to keep current.... That would only be a prank call at 9E..

Here is my bid that works (removed weekends for nov/dec due to holidays and training).

LOW- Avoid deadheads
LOW- Avoid sits > 3 hours
MED- Desire days off
MED- Avoid work on saturdays
MED- Avoid work on Sundays
HIGH- (reserved for whatever specific days off I need in a certain month)

It has been 6+ months since I have not got what I asked for. If you get too picky (like 3 day trips tues-thurs each week) your schedule can go down the toilet quickly if you have 30/7 issues due to the trips or there are not enough 3 days at your seniority to fulfill your requests. If you leave your bid open you get what you want. My bid gives me weekends, days off, and efficient trips. Works for me at least! I bid in the 35-45 (#)range depending on TDY's for reference.
So I shouldn't be playing with points? Just do "auto-bid"? Also, when I do finally (if ever) achieve FO seniority high enough to have trips, how can I get high credit lines the easiest (75+), without being "inefficient" or losing days off.

How many days off should a guy with 1 year expect? 10 is what I'd assume.
 
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