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October Bid Packages Available September 12, 2018 – New Bidding Tool Available

Date: September 12, 2018

September 12, 2018 marks the opening of bids for our October schedules – the first month where we will all be scheduled on a common scheduling platform and, as a result, where we will share the aisle in meeting the needs of the passengers entrusted to our care.

We understand that there are a number of questions concerning the first common bid package in terms of how it will be organized, how lines will appear and how crew complements will be organized at each of our respect Local Councils. In addition, another of the contract changes that affects when printed bids are required to be available becomes effective as of this month as well.  

Our primary bid period opens on the 12th calendar day of each month preceding the bid month at 0800 home domicile time. The bid period closes at 0800 home domicile time on the 17th calendar day of each month. Bid packages are required to be available electronically no later than the opening of the primary bid period each month. Paper copies will be available in the base not later than 3:00PM local time on the 14th calendar day of the month.

Given the magnitude of the change in the schedule development process, everyone is affected when it comes to the layout of the bid package, position bidding, language bases and Reserve.  

In an effort to address these changes, we are pleased to let you know of our efforts to assist you in this process and have worked to obtain additional bidding tools to assist in searching for line characteristics including layover information, number of days off, duty days, type of flying, etc.

In meeting this objective, we are grateful for the assistance of the staff at BidPlus. Working in partnership with these dedicated professionals – former Flight Attendants – we are pleased to let you know of the commitment that has gone into providing each United Flight Attendant with free access to BidPlus for a period of four (4) months to assist in the transition to the new bidding environment. This tool is fast, accurate and reliable. For this first month, however, it is expected there will be one exception. That is, when the company systems limit the technology as will be the case when uploading bids because of CCS limitations which will cause a bottleneck when uploading your bid choices. As the company has set up the bid screens in CCS, they may not be workable for an automated solution at this time. The bidding search capabilities of the program are running smoothly and accurately.  It’s the input of the bids that will be limited based on the limited ability of CCS to upload.  

BidPlus provides Flight Attendants with a free first month of service and a second month of free service provided you view one of the webinars to learn about the software available from their BidPlus website. In addition, and based on the BidPlus commitment to Flight Attendants, we have agreed upon a substantial discount during the following two months that will be paid for by AFA in support of our Members during the transition to the common scheduling platform. In addition and because of the limited uploading capability caused by CCS, BidPlus will be offering an additional free month.

We look forward to maintaining a very positive working relationship with BidPlus as we strengthen our collaborative relationship that we trust will benefit Flight Attendants via this bidding tool but also through a robust relationship with the CAUSE program. In addition, we look forward to the joint development of a recognition program for those Flight Attendants who are active in their local communities and that recognizes the individual spirit of community and volunteerism. 

In order to take advantage of this advanced bidding tool, follow these directions:

  • Go to www.bidplus.com
  • For FAQs, click the Help menu, and then choose FAQs
  • To create an account, click 'Start My Free Account'
  • You are directed to a registration form
  • Once that is complete, you will be on your new BidPlus desktop
  • There are 2 windows on the desktop. The one on the left toggles between the test drive (old) bids and current new bids.
  • To open a bid package, click once to select the bid package, and then click the Load Bid Package button at the bottom middle of the desktop.
  • The first time you open a bid package it will take you through a brief setup where you can choose your languages and set up your pay rates.
  • Once the configuration process is complete, your bid package will open. You will also be presented with a Quick Start video.
  • The quickest way to find help is to locate and click on the "How do I ....?" feature located throughout the program. It will give you direct access to the Support Center.

We strongly encourage you to make use of the Support Center. It contains a wide number of articles and videos that can be searched by topic or search word.  BidPlus will provide the necessary product support through their website and Support Center.  

To access the Support Center...
1) From the bidplus.com, click Help-->Support
2) From the Desktop, click the Support Center link on the right-hand side
3) From inside of the program, click the "How do I ..." link at the bottom right-hand side of the blue menu shade.

BidPlus will provide Flight Attendants with the ability to search the lines of flying for the characteristics she/he determines is her/his personal priority be it layover locations, duty days,  numbers of days off and so much more.  In addition, through this tool access to monthly schedules will be available as of the 12th of the month in an alternate electronic format.

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