Monday, July 12, 2021
Updated PBS Buddy Bidding Checklist
General Guidelines

▢  Have all “buddies” accepted?

▢  Check the final number of buddies in the group.

▢ The “initiator” is the first employee number listed and will have to submit the bid for the group. (PBS will base the award on the most junior Flight Attendant seniority in the group, regardless if they are the follower or initiator).

▢ If you want the best chance to be awarded everything together then the initiator should be the one with the least pre-assignments. The other option is the Initiator to be the Flight attendant with the most days of planned absences if the follower would like to be awarded trips during the initiator's planned absences. The follower would then input bids in L2-L7 to be awarded trips during that time frame. The Follower should also bid a TCR in L2.

▢  The initiator should be the Flight Attendant with no special qualifications or the fewest.

▢  1. Submit a bid starting with Layer 1.

▢  2. Bid a target credit range (TCR).

▢  3. L1 - Waive Carry-Over Credit – if so desired.

▢  4. L1 - Add any waivers (30/7, HBR, etc.) if preferred for the follower(s) and yourself (see a list of applicable waivers below).

▢  5. Bid enough positions for all buddies in the group (taking any Flight Attendants in your group with special qualifications into account for the positions). See changes to this in additional tips below.

▢  6. PBS awards the initiator sequences that have enough open positions for the followers, without regard to qualifications. If one of the open positions requires a qualification and the follower does not hold that qualification, the follower will not be awarded the sequence with the initiator.

▢  7. If the initiator bids for sequences that require purser, speaker or purser/speaker positions, and the follower(s) are not purser/speaker qualified, it could result in the follower(s) not being awarded all pairings with the initiator. 


▢  1. L1 - Waive Carry-Over Credit – if so desired 

▢  2. L1 - Add any waiver you need if the initiator has not done so already (30/7, HBR, etc. see a list of applicable waivers below)

▢  3. L2 – L7 - Bid a TCR

▢  4. L2 – L7 - Bid additional pairings / pairing properties / line properties / days off

▢  5. L2 – L7 - Bid positions

▢ 6. If your standing bid is used, make sure you remove any bids in L1 except for those properties noted above.

▢  7. L1 - Do not bid a TCR

▢  8. L1 - Do not bid pairings / pairing properties / line properties/ days off

▢  9. L1 - Do not bid positions

▢  10. Standing bid - Do not have anything in L1 except for items in the “DOs”
If the waivers listed below are selected by the initiator, they will also be applied to the follower.  If the initiator does not prefer them, the follower can independently select them in L1 or subsequent layers.

Waivers are no longer assumed for the follower. If not selected, they will not apply to the initiator OR the follower
  • Waive 24 hrs Rest in Domicile 
  • Waive 30 hrs in 7 Days 
  • Waive Minimum Domicile Rest 
  • Waive Carry-Over Credit 
  • Waive Minimum [11] Days Off 
  • Allow Multiple Pairings 
  • Allow Double-Ups 
  • Work Block Size (the default of six days will apply if not waived) 

Enhancements to PBS Buddy Bidding Logic

  1. Enhanced Logic: PBS will now check and only consider those pairings which have open positions, included in the Position Order bid by the initiator when awarding.
  • It is highly recommended for the initiator to bid a consistent Prefer Positions Order in all layers, and to ensure no layers are skipped, in order to achieve the best buddy bid award results together.
  1. Target Credit Range Change:
  • Enhanced Logic: The follower(s) Target Credit Range used in Layer 1 will be equal to the accumulated Target Credit Range from the initiator's awarded layer (including a high time TCR bid of above 90 hrs).

  • Keep in mind how PBS processes a buddy bid: the initiator is processed first, then her/his complete award is added to the follower's Layer 1 bid to then process their awards. For example, if the initiator is awarded from a layer where the default TCR of 70-90, the buddy follower(s) will also inherit the default TCR of 70-90.

  • This TCR change could result in some buddy groups not achieving a complete award together, especially in the event pre-planned activities/absences cause variations in Existing Credit.
  1. Waivers:
  • Enhanced Logic: Waivers will now only be applied to the follower(s) bid if the initiator bids for them in their Layer 1 bid, or if the follower bids additional waivers in their own Layer 1 bid.

  • It is important to consider all waivers necessary in order to receive the best buddy bid award results. In the event pre-planned activities or legalities are different for the buddy group, failure for the initiator or follower to bid the proper waivers could result in some buddy groups not achieving a complete award together.
  1. Additional Tips:
  • For a buddy group containing any special qualification Flight Attendants (i.e. Purser, Speaker) to have the best opportunity to be awarded a line together best practices should include the follower(s) being the Flight Attendant holding any special qualification. 

  • The initiator of the buddy group should be the Flight Attendant not holding any kind of special qualification.
  • If your buddy group includes a Flight Attendant with a special qualification (i.e. purser or speaker), the initiator should consider including the specific positions the Flight Attendant with the qualification may be required to be awarded in order to maintain the buddy bid (i.e. position 1 for Purser, or a non-galley position for a speaker.)

  • A buddy bid could break if both members of a buddy group have the same speaker qualifications and are forced to work speaker trips, and there are not enough “buddy-able” speaker pairings.

    • It is not recommended for junior Flight Attendants who hold a special qualification that are commonly awarded PN pairings in their special qualification to buddy bid. The best alternative would be to mirror bid with the Flight Attendant(s) you would like to fly with.

    • Just as with the previous version of the buddy bid logic, the Flight Attendant with the most pre-planned absences/activities should be the Initiator.

    • For all followers, the only bids that should be included in Layer 1 should be any additional waivers such as Waive Carry-Over Credit or Waive 30 hours in 7 Days.

    • Followers should continue bidding in layers 2-7 with their own TCR, additional pairings, and other bids as an individual backup to the buddy bid.

Please Note: As a follower, adding any additional pairing or line constraint bids in Layer 1 will likely result in an incomplete buddy award together.

The APFA Contract and Scheduling Desk is available at 817-540-0108, Monday through Friday from 0700 - 1900 (CDT) to answer questions. Our APFA Live Chat online is available from 1500 - 2300 (CDT), Monday through Friday. You may also use APFA Live Chat on Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, from 0900 - 1700 (CDT). The live chat link may be found on the home page of

In Solidarity,

Jeff Petersen
APFA National Contract Chair

Marti McMillan
APFA National Scheduling Chair

Renée Mayer
APFA JCBA Specialist

Alin Boswell
APFA PBS Specialist
About APFA: 
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) represents the 24,000+ Flight Attendants of American Airlines, an airline that consists of aviation professionals with a diverse history brought together from multiple airlines. From APFA’s inception in 1977, the Union has fiercely advocated for the Flight Attendant profession. Our Union has been at the forefront of the fight for workplace equality, legislative affairs, and worker’s rights.
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