UBID and June Awards
May 18, 2021
Over the course of the past few months, in the absence of the third-party applications we once used to bid our schedules, we have started to become familiar with UBid, United’s own new automated bid packet sorting, preferencing and bidding program, a software application designed to be used in assisting us during monthly schedule bidding. And, as we’ve become familiar with the program, we’ve also learned of its limitations, often as a result of a schedule award we may not have expected.
In giving credit where it’s due, the company has offered us a number of opportunities to learn about the program and how to use it through the offering of training seminars. Despite these efforts, we continue to hear from many of you that the program has inadequacies compared to previous bidding program options. Many of you have reported that you’ve provided feedback which hasn’t yielded the changes/improvements you might have expected. For example, the ability to sort by pairing credit in addition to the line value (credit) is still not available. In other instances, you’ve created a bid using certain criteria only to learn later in the process of bidding that more schedules meeting those criteria showed up unexpectedly and were not included in the original search results.
In the spirit of full disclosure, while some of these issues have a programmatic basis, some are simply the result of user error or lack of understanding of how the program is intended to work. We have some recommendations on an approach to identify how an unexpected result may have come to be.
If you received a line award and do not believe the award was accurate, take a moment to review the bid card you submitted and compare it to the line award. Common errors in bidding that lead to a mis-bid are:
- Manually entering a line and mixing up numbers (Data entry error)
- Loading various “sorts” from UBid in the wrong order
- Insufficient bidding: that is, not bidding enough lines (positions) to cover yourself and instead being awarded the first available line at your seniority
- Bidding for a position or line for which you are not qualified (LQ or IPQ)
While reviewing the processed bid award, a common question results when “invalid line bid” appears. This is often the result when bidding All Vacation Relief Lines in UBid. As was the case in June, the number of VRL schedules has been reduced by the lower vacation allocations assigned during the summer months. While UBid may create 100 VRL “slots”, when the company awards only 10 VRL schedules, those lines above 10 are “invalid line bids”. It should be understood, this is not an error of the bidding program because, in fact, your bid for all vacation relief lines (the 10) was considered as expected from the system.
As we continue to adapt to the UBid system we will likely become more comfortable with its capabilities and increase our utilization of this scheduling tool. UBid practice and assistance is still available for those who would like to improve their comfort level with the program. To access the program on CCS > Bidding > UBid Practice Only.
In the meantime, we encourage you to continue to provide feedback to the company on changes you would like to see in the UBid software. AFA will continue to advocate for Member driven changes to improve the overall functionality of the software. Working together, we will be successful in implementing the changes we seek.