Has PBS ever...

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
Has PBS ever in all of history ever made more efficient lines/pairings

or

is it no matter what software you throw at it = GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)

or

???
 

broncoav8r

Well-Known Member
Has PBS ever in all of history ever made more efficient lines/pairings

or

is it no matter what software you throw at it = GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)

or

???
Well PBS doesn't make efficient pairings...the pairing optimizer does.

People think PBS is what ruined their schedule, which is almost never true. Crappily built trips ruined your schedule. Bad contract language regarding PBS Credit ruined your schedule.

About the only thing that could ruin your schedule once you get to the PBS step, not reading the instructions on how to bid.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
Has PBS ever in all of history ever made more efficient lines/pairings
Two different things going on here...

Preferential Bidding Systems (in general) have nothing to do with pairing construction. That's generally "the optimizer". You can use the same optimizer for line bidding or a PBS setup. The quality of your individual pairings will be a direct result of that, regardless of how they end up on your schedule.

Past the pairing construction phase, PBS is as good as you make it be. And that depends on two things: the rules that apply, and how well you know the system when you build your bid preferences.

The rules are things like max stack heights, buffers, the value of a pre know absence, and how much open time can left over at the end. A system that is really bad for pilots would have high stack heights (meaning more senior pilots can get trips forced on them), low buffers, less than (min guarantee/max work days) value for a pre known absence, and a legal zero open time solution. Set (contractual) good rules, and things will be much better.

Also you need to know your seniority bidding power. If you only request stuff you can't hold, you're going to have a bad time. If you request within what you can hold (both trips and days off) you'll get a line that is closer to what you actually wanted than you could probably get with paper lines.

The biggest downside obviously is the lack of ability to conflict bid.
 

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
Well PBS doesn't make efficient pairings...the pairing optimizer does.

People think PBS is what ruined their schedule, which is almost never true. Crappily built trips ruined your schedule. Bad contract language regarding PBS Credit ruined your schedule.

About the only thing that could ruin your schedule once you get to the PBS step, not reading the instructions on how to bid.
Ok... so can the pairing optimizer make significantly better pairings or is it still GIGO ? (RE - 15hr 4 days)
 

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
In other words at Brand X the rumor on the horizon is PBS is coming. People seem to think that is going to make everything suddenly magical and great through the pairing optimizer and subsequent bidding. Enough people are buying this garbage to believe that giving up a major QoL provision in our contract might be worth while.
 

broncoav8r

Well-Known Member
Ok... so can the pairing optimizer make significantly better pairings or is it still GIGO ? (RE - 15hr 4 days)
A lot of that depends on settings again too. Staffing, deadheads, forced system restrictions (certain stations only served by a certain base for qualification issues, restricted layovers or perceived operational reliability...), and the actual flight schedule govern this (generally can't make commutable trips if all the flights leave base between 6-10am and return to base after 7pm). There are a TON of levels that can be pulled. Usually the company's main target is to reduce the Credit-to-Block ratio to as small a number as possible (meanwhile our goal is to have the largest credit to block ratio)

In other words at Brand X the rumor on the horizon is PBS is coming. People seem to think that is going to make everything suddenly magical and great through the pairing optimizer and subsequent bidding. Enough people are buying this garbage to believe that giving up a major QoL provision in our contract might be worth while.
ahhh no don't do that. The company is already getting something.

PBS is only as effective as 1) puzzle pieces it can use to build a schedule (trips) and 2) the contractual language (mainly pre-assigned credit values) that govern it.

PBS set up correctly isn't garbage. The problem is people hear the stories from peers of how they "got screwed" when 1) they usually did it to themselves and 2) the people who negotiated the LOA or CBA language around PBS didn't know PBS.

Finally, what @BobDDuck said about seniority bidding power is completely accurate. You have to know that 1)a bid at 80% seniority isn't (and shouldn't) be the same as a bid at 20%. Junior bidders will benefit from simpler bids, while senior bidders have to have more complicated bids because they have to give more input since the system has more flexibility (number of trips available). You also have to understand what certain bids "cost". It will take a hell of a lot more bidding capital than you think to bid for commutability, and each thing you add to it on top of that (days off, layovers, etc) will cause that cost to increase exponentially.
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
In other words at Brand X the rumor on the horizon is PBS is coming. People seem to think that is going to make everything suddenly magical and great through the pairing optimizer and subsequent bidding. Enough people are buying this garbage to believe that giving up a major QoL provision in our contract might be worth while.
If this is PSA, keep in mind, SAP works fine with PBS. The need to SAP will be lower as the more senior guys will have already gotten pretty much exactly what they wanted already. Where pbs will hurt SAP is that it will greatly reduce the amount of open time available to rebuild your schedule with.

In general, pilots just hate change.
 

Autothrust Blue

"...I know bait when I see it..."
If this is PSA, keep in mind, SAP works fine with PBS. The need to SAP will be lower as the more senior guys will have already gotten pretty much exactly what they wanted already. Where pbs will hurt SAP is that it will greatly reduce the amount of open time available to rebuild your schedule with.

In general, pilots just hate change.
I was worried there would be a lot less liquidity post-PBS but everyone around here just drops whatever they want anyway and swaps to their hearts' content.
 

Autothrust Blue

"...I know bait when I see it..."
In other words at Brand X the rumor on the horizon is PBS is coming. People seem to think that is going to make everything suddenly magical and great through the pairing optimizer and subsequent bidding. Enough people are buying this garbage to believe that giving up a major QoL provision in our contract might be worth while.

Make sure that you guys get something for this. Money, a red-green-drop-mostly-whatever system, money, money, money, money, etc.
 

ClearedForOption

French Computer Programmer and Systems Monitor
PBS benefits Management. Say it again. Management. Something like a 10-15% reduction in block hours over a given time period. (Month/Year) This results in less staffing needs for a given pilot group. Less pilots = less seniority progression, etc. So it's a big give and take when negotiating PBS. Bob covered the overview. Management will try and sell the ancillary benefits to your pilot group through rhetoric to maximize their cost savings, it is up to your Subject Matter Experts and the collective experience your group can tap into from all the pitfalls faced from all the airlines to be able to break down the good and the bad and get rules in place that control pairing construction and how the awards are processed. Along with monetary/contractual concessions that meet your needs - additional vacation hours/periods, no middle seat deadheads, whatever your group desires... QOL (read $) benefits to your group that offset those huge savings Management is about to reap with the introduction of a PBS.

It can be good for both sides, with the right negotiations strategy.
 
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BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
It can be good for both sides, with the right negotiations strategy.
Most of the data I've seen recently shows that post 117, the savings are substantially lower due to potential rolling conflicts, especially with a line to reserve month to month transition.

I know alpa did some polling a few years ago if pilot groups who used pbs and less than 10% of the respondents would consider going back to paper lines. I think that as contract language surrounding PBS has matured, and the protections have gotten better, there is way less distaste for it than before.
 

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
unpopular opinion *GASP* I actually side with the company on the fact of conflict bids make life a pain. For that reason alone I can see PBS being a better option so that we need less pilots on reserve. After all, I do want my company to be successful since they sign my check.

It seems that a lot of pilots believe that - as I previously stated - that we are magically going to have super efficient lines and everything will be butterflies and rainbows. I didn't fall off the turnip truck and I was born at night but it wasn't last night. Bob guessed right with PSA. People are considering giving up SAP. SAP is great. Probably better than sliced bread.

I believe that people are doing their best, but as noted above the collective experience of the group dwindles daily. Combine that with the misinformation being spread around about PBS and its pairing optimizer suddenly eliminating 15hr 4 days.... ugh....

I'm extremely adamant about trip and duty rigs but I feel like I'm one of the few that gets how important those would be to have. With the recent pay raises given out of the good of their hearts I just don't see money being on the table. To earn my vote I'm thinking - SAP untouched, 4hr min day no carveout, 1:2 Duty Rig >12hrs = 1:1 Duty Rig and Trip Rig of 1:3.8 for line holders and 1:4.2 for reserve along with a significant increase in flow and 100% DH (I wouldn't care about DH but we don't jokingly call ourselves Positive Space Airlines for nuthin') and last but not least some tweaking on the premium pay numbers(currently <75hrs = 100%, 75 to 85 hours = 125%, >85 = 150% - only on those hours over the thresholds). I mean I guess, I don't know it is a Regional after all - asking for too much ? risk of Comair'ing our selves ?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
I believe that people are doing their best, but as noted above the collective experience of the group dwindles daily. Combine that with the misinformation being spread around about PBS and its pairing optimizer suddenly eliminating 15hr 4 days.... ugh....
I met your NC chairman a few weeks ago. Smart guy, and knows what he doesn't know. The issue he (and the rest of your group) faces is that the flights that have to be covered don't lead to efficient pairings, even with a rockstar optimizer. Just the nature of regional flying, especially on the east coast where airports are all 100 miles apart.

Instead of specific wants (which can lead to disappointment later on when you don't get them) start trying to balance the More Money, More Time Off equation. Remember that with PBS, credit is king as far as getting days off goes. To get a line (at least if you are above the unstack percentage, you just need to hit the monthly min credit number.

Something like a high trip rig is nice, bit can you accomplish the same thing with a min day? Or the other way around? What about months with training or vacation? If your gurentee is 75 hours and you get 12 days off min, a 4 hour per day vacation or training credit means you won't hit 75 hours in a month of just that. What's more important in the mmmto equation? If it's money, you waive days off and work more. If it's time off you take less than 75 for min guarantee.

One thing I told your nc chair was that it's much easier to negotiate like things (ie: things that relate to pbs) at the same time. For example... this is a good time to go after 100% DH (although to be fair we should have got it in 2012) as there is a ton of deadheading and that directly effects your credit build.
 

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
I know these conversations outside a "town hall" are taboo and showing your playing hand is not generally a good idea. I appreciate the feedback, its nice to hear from people that have been around the block a few times and make sure my feet are still on the ground.

I'm for all three if you missed it - min day, duty and trip rig.

I think min day without carveouts is a harder sell. I've flown many lines that ended early in the morning with an oustation to hub and done. Likewise - I've also flown the hub to oustation and done on day one before.

IMHO, having had owned my own business before I never had a problem paying for someone to work. Min day is asking to be paid for not working in some cases - whereas Rigs are all about paying someone for actually being at work/working. 1:2 Duty Rig >12hrs = 1:1 Duty Rig would be on Par with OO and Trip Rig of 1:3.8 for line holders and 1:4.2 for reserve puts us on Par with YX if I remember right.

End of the day, increase flow and getting to mainline earlier is the best pay increase you can have. I still wouldn't trade SAP for that though.
 

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
I know these conversations outside a "town hall" are taboo and showing your playing hand is not generally a good idea. I appreciate the feedback, its nice to hear from people that have been around the block a few times and make sure my feet are still on the ground.

I'm for all three if you missed it - min day, duty and trip rig.

I think min day without carveouts is a harder sell. I've flown many lines that ended early in the morning with an oustation to hub and done. Likewise - I've also flown the hub to oustation and done on day one before.

IMHO, having had owned my own business before I never had a problem paying for someone to work. Min day is asking to be paid for not working in some cases - whereas Rigs are all about paying someone for actually being at work/working. 1:2 Duty Rig >12hrs = 1:1 Duty Rig would be on Par with OO and Trip Rig of 1:3.8 for line holders and 1:4.2 for reserve puts us on Par with YX if I remember right.

End of the day, increase flow and getting to mainline earlier is the best pay increase you can have. I still wouldn't trade SAP for that though.
Min day is a simpler fix. Rigs would cost the company more and hold their feet to the fire with efficiencies that simply may not be possible due to aforementioned issues with the flying that AA gives us. I see the company as less likely to entertain rigs as they are a true min day with no carve-outs.

PBS doesn’t have to be bad. There is a lot of misinformation being spread by a few pilots at PSA. The overwhelming majority of pilots I’ve spoken with who have utilized both PBS and line bidding prefer PBS. But it has to have strong contractual language to support it and in my opinion should be ran by ALPA. And PBS doesn’t mean that the SAP is going away. SAP is a huge recruiting tool for PSA as much as it is a QOL tool for the pilots.
 

This is My Screen Name

Well-Known Member
End of the day its six of one half dozen of the other. Logically, paying someone to work rather than paying someone not to work (1 leg day, vacay, sick) makes more sense as we have proven time and time again with the holiday pay. When they pay, people work.
 
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