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Flight Attendant Bidding System (FABS) Project Update

Date: February 12, 2020

Flight Attendant Bidding System (FABS) Project Update

(Exclusive to Vacation Relief Lines)

One United


As provided for in Section 7.D.1. and further detailed in LOA #12 of our Contract, Vacation Relief Lines (VRL) shall be constructed utilizing an automated Flight Attendant Bidding System, FABS.  Using this system, Flight Attendants awarded VRL shall be able to preference the schedule characteristics that she/he considers desirable.  These schedules will be constructed and awarded in seniority order.


During the negotiations that led to the JCBA, the Company and AFA agreed to implement a Flight Attendant Bidding System (FABS) for the bidding and awarding of Vacation Relief Lines (VRL); Letter of Agreement #12. The work required to implement FABS began in the second half of 2019 when vendors were interviewed to provide the system, and Jeppesen was selected for the project. Jeppesen is the same company that created the Reserve Preferencing program currently used by all reserves.


When FABS is implemented, planned for the last quarter of 2020, flight attendants who are awarded Vacation Relief Lines in the primary bid will no longer bid for pre-constructed Relief lines of flying in the secondary bid; but, will instead use FABS to input preferences for what they would like to fly. Preferences may include the type of flying (domestic, international, language), layover locations, high or low line value, work position, weekends off, to name a few. FABS will then create a Vacation Relief Line for each flight attendant based on their preferences and the pool of pairings available.


Development of the system began in January and will continue for the next few months. The Company and AFA are working on training materials to help flight attendants understand FABS and there will also be a FABS “practice environment” to allow Flight Attendants to use and feel comfortable with the system. Flight attendants will help refine the system through live testing planned for this summer. In the meantime, we anticipate surveying flight attendants who hold Vacation Relief Lines, starting with the March schedule, which will help gather more information on their bidding preferences. Survey results will help to create bid preferences that will be used in preliminary FABS testing this spring. Project updates will be communicated as progress is made and work moves forward.  


If you have additional questions about this provision of our Contract, please review the TA Questions & Answers (August 4, 2016) document that outlines additional details.

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