In Final Merger Milestone, American Moves Flight Attendants to Preferential Bidding System

By Jesse Sokolow on 13 April 2019
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All flight attendants at American Airlines will be using a new system to bid for trips for the month of May, as the airline completes one last step in its merger. The new program is called the preferential bidding system, or PBS.

“When fully implemented, these new systems will provide you with greater flexibility and simplicity in organizing your monthly schedules through a user-friendly, web-based platform, accessible anywhere in the world through an internet connection,” the airline said in a memo to employees last year.

The airline moved smaller flight attendant bases onto PBS in a staged fashion and, for May flying, the final two bases, Miami and Dallas, will using the system.

PBS allows flight attendants to bid for specific flights each month using weighted preferences versus line bidding, the previous system,

The system has to take government regulations, the airline’s collective bargaining agreement, airline policies, and flight attendant seniority into consideration as well as flight time limitations, flight duty period limitations, rest and days-off requirements, and acclimatization after travel across multiple time zones when finalizing each flight attendant’s schedule.

Previously, flight attendants bid for trips one month at a time using by bidding for a “line,” which was a fixed schedule of trips and days off for the month. US Airways used a preferential bidding system but the airline moved former US Airways flight attendants onto the legacy American Airlines flight operating system last October in order to integrate the two workforces. Prior to the change, flight attendants were limited to their legacy airline’s aircraft.

American moved its two pilot groups to a single Flight Operating System in October of 2017.

The Fort Worth-based carrier had successfully merged all US Airways customer-facing operations with those of American Airlines by October 17, 2015 and it had obtained a single operating certificate from the FAA in April 2016.

The merger between the world’s third largest and fifth largest airlines was first announced in February 2013 and closed on December 9, 2013. The final US Airways flight took place on October 17, 2015.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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