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Old 01-10-2009, 09:12 AM   #1  
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Default Unofficial Guide to Delta PBS Bidding

Note 1 : NW pilots will soon get enough PBS info to choke a moose. This is by no means a complete guide.
Note 2 : I will type out some sample commands the computer uses to build your line. You do not need to memorize these commands (and I will most likely get them wrong). Bidding is all done by point and click and the computer builds the commands.

The best way to think about our PBS system is to imagine every rotation (pairing) that is available to your bid position for the month written on a playing card, and there is a giant spread of these playing cards on the table in front of you.

You can use commands like Prefer Off and Avoid to tell the computer to pick all the cards that meet your criteria up off the table and set them aside. For instance, you could say:

Prefer off Saturday

and the computer will pick up any cards that work on a Saturday and set them aside. You can also say:

Avoid Trips if Redeye

to make the computer set aside the all nighters.

After you have filtered out a bunch of cards, then you can tell the computer which of the cards that are left you would like to have. For instance you could say:

Award Trips if Layover in MIA, FLL, TPA

if you wanted to get some Florida layovers. (Yeah I know you guys love the cold weather).

These choices can be layered and get very complicated.

Award Trips if Layover in MIA, FLL, TPA if Trip Check In > 09:00 if Trip Length < 4

This would select out trips that sign in after 0900 that are 3 days or less that layover in those cities.

Most pilots will start their bid by putting in their prefer offs and avoids.

Prefer Off Saturday, Sunday
Avoid Trips if Layover in XXX
Avoid Trips if Redeye
Prefer Off February 1

and then they put in their Award Trips. The computer does each command in order and it stops as soon as you have a complete line. For instance, if you put

Award Trips if Trip Length > 1

if will look at all the trips left and build a line. It won't look at anything you have below. Most pilots put their more complicated (more restrictive) choices first and then get less picky as they move on. This way you can prioritize your preferences by layering them.

Award Trips if Trip Length = 3 If Trip Check in > 09:00
Award Trips if Trip Length = 3

You would rather have 3 day trips than later sign in times.

Denial mode.

If we go back to the card analogy, you have to remember that when pilots senior to you get awarded trips, then those cards are pulled out of the pot. More junior pilots can make their prefer offs and avoids so restrictive that the computer will not have enough cards left to build you a line. It will then start erasing the prefer offs and avoids until there are enough cards put back into the pot. This will make pilots layer their prefer offs. For instance around Christmas you could put:

Prefer off December 22-27
Prefer off December 24-26
Prefer off December 25

Unstacking

During holiday months, you have too many pilots trying to bid off for the same days. If there are too many trips stacked up on those days, then the computer will start by assigning junior pilots a trip on those days and then trying to build the rest of your schedule.

Common Mistakes

The most common mistake is not putting in enough Award Trips. Pilots don't have trouble saying what they don't want, but they often don't tell the computer exactly what they DO want. Only Award Trips commands actually give you trips.

Not having a plan B. If you are junior in category, you can try for those Caribbean turn on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, but you are not going to get them. It is good to put in your top choices, but you need to have enough choices for what you want if you don't get your first choice.
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:21 AM   #2  
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The good news is we used to use Classbid prior to Carman. When we went to Carman, they kept the interface mostly the same so I think just getting used to what is new on Classbid will be all there will be to it.

The reason NWA went to Carman (as I understand it) was it was the same company that was used to build the patterns (rotations), so it merged better.

I liked Class just fine, unstacking was not near as harsh as the dreded unfeasable.

Thanks alfa, this is great stuff. Thanks for taking the time.

Ferd
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:34 AM   #3  
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Heyas Ferd,

Agreed. Going back to CLASS will probably be the least traumatic switch of this whole deal. I still have my "Pilots Guilde to ClassBid" sitting on my bookshelf, next to my 727 books.

Nu
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:58 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuGuy View Post
Heyas Ferd,

Agreed. Going back to CLASS will probably be the least traumatic switch of this whole deal. I still have my "Pilots Guilde to ClassBid" sitting on my bookshelf, next to my 727 books.

Nu
LMAO........me too, along with at least one revision

Ferd
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:13 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NuGuy View Post
Heyas Ferd,

Agreed. Going back to CLASS will probably be the least traumatic switch of this whole deal. I still have my "Pilots Guilde to ClassBid" sitting on my bookshelf, next to my 727 books.

Nu
Ahhh, the old, orange B-727 manuals.... you won't see mine on ebay. I'm a sucker for the "old stuff."
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:02 PM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newKnow View Post
Ahhh, the old, orange B-727 manuals.... you won't see mine on ebay. I'm a sucker for the "old stuff."
Heyas NK,

Yea, I'm a packrat when it comes to stuff like that. I still have my collection of "On Course" flight ops magazines. Sometimes it's a tonic to look through them and think about better times.

Nu
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:35 PM   #7  
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Quote:
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Ahhh, the old, orange B-727 manuals.... you won't see mine on ebay. I'm a sucker for the "old stuff."
and I'm a sucker for the airplane! there are 3 FedEx 727's based in town, and one flies over the house every night around 10:15pm. First, the windows start rattling, then my wife looks at me and says "FedEx"? It will always be my first love... oops, I mean "she" will always be my first love....
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Old 01-11-2009, 12:51 PM   #8  
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It will always be my first love... oops, I mean "she" will always be my first love....
Heyas,

And who could forget old Jimmie M teaching 727 systems ground school to new hire FEs. He could make you feel stupid just by the way he looked at you.

Nu
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:30 AM   #9  
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Originally Posted by NuGuy View Post
Heyas,

And who could forget old Jimmie M teaching 727 systems ground school to new hire FEs. He could make you feel stupid just by the way he looked at you.

Nu
I don't miss ol Jimmy at all. The CBT computers have a better personality.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:13 AM   #10  
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In the past, I've always spent so much time on mil leave that I hadn't paid much attention to my bidding. I just put in a default bid listing my preferred days off and left it at that.

Now, however, I'm going to be spending more time in my DAL uniform than my military uniform. Can someone explain to me (or, better yet, tell me where to find it for myself?) how to input something like this?

Start Pairings
Prefer off days 1-5 July, else start reserve.

Start Reserve
Prefer off days 1-5 July, else go back to pairings.

Or vice versa. I checked the help guide in the PBS desktop, but perhaps reading comprehension isn't my thing.
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