The Preferential Bidding System (PBS) is a method to allocate bid month pairings to crewmembers based on each crewmember's preferences without the conflict with his/her carry-in and pre-assigned activities. The result is the line specifically built for each crewmember; hence, sometimes its line is referred as a roster.
[For the crewmembers]
PBS improves the quality of life. It allows crewmembers to build their own lines. Crewmembers can express preferences for desired off days, desired pairings, attributes of the pairings, and characteristics of the line. The PBS then uses each crewmember requests and their pre-assignments (vacation, training, medical, military leave and carry-in pairings, etc.) plus their seniority to build their lines. In PBS, crewmembers can construct their work schedules around their personal lives, only limited by the available pairings at their seniorities.
Some junior crewmembers may wonder if using PBS is good for them. The answer is definitely yes. For example, a good PBS can almost guarantee the off day preferences of junior crewmembers be honored completely or partially as long as those off day preferences are not holidays or all weekends.
[For the company]
PBS creates the line solution for each crewmember in one process without the need of pre-built bid lines and the secondary process, such as trading awarded lines. It saves operation cost by eliminating the conflict between the pre-built bid lines with the existing carry-in and pre-assigned activities and by reducing the amount of reserve crewmembers needed, especially at the beginning of the bid month. In addition, due to the simplified process, it leaves extra time for crew planners to handle last minute schedule change.
[A win-win approach]
PBS improves the quality of life crewmembers, and provides a much more efficient operation process for the company. Using PBS is absolutely a win-win case.