Welcome to BidPlus! You are doing yourself a HUGE favor by reviewing this article. BidPlus is very simple to use, but it is also very powerful. It is also an innovative design which means that you are not going to be able to guess your way through it very effectively. There are going to be features that, once you understand how they work, you are going to smack yourself in the forehead and say "Oh, I see now!". We have been doing this for over 30 years and we see it over and over. So please trust us! This article is designed to help you get up and running quickly, so let's jump right in.
Let's Begin.....At The Beginning!
You can start your account by going to www.bidplus.com and clicking the "Start My Free Account" button on our home page. The program will guide you through the process. Once you have created your account, you can login at www.bidplus.com by clicking the "Login" button, and then by entering your employee number and your BidPlus password.
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We have a Support Center available where you can access directly from inside the program. Once you log in, look to the bottom right and you will see a feature that looks like this:
When you click this feature, you are presented with a list of topic articles. The bottom item on the list says "Access Additional Help". Clicking there will take you to the Support Center Knowledge Base. Now just type in the topic that you're interested in learning about.
You can also click on the word 'Help' next to the "How do I...?" feature and that will engage a context-sensitive help feature for the screen you are on.
Your BidPlus Desktop - Let's Open A Bid Package!
After you login you will be on your BidPlus Desktop. This where you can open your bid package, see your credit total, purchase additional credits, monitor your referrals and access your profile. You will see that you have been provided 1 free credit for joining.
If you are using a computer, you will see that there are two windows on your desktop. If you are using a tablet, these windows may appear as list boxes. At the top of the window on the left it will say "New Bid Packages". This is where you will find your bid package for the current bid month whether it is the primary or the relief bid period. When the bid period is open, the appropriate bid packages will automatically be available to you in that window. To open a bid package, click to select the one that you want, and then click the button at the bottom middle of the desktop that says "Load Bid Package". Your bid package will begin to open. You are charged one credit for opening a bid package from this window. Just below where it says "New Bid Package" you will see two radio buttons. One says 'Play' and one says 'Work'. When you click 'Play' you will see a list of older bid packages that are there just to play with. You are not charged a credit for opening one of the bid packages from the 'Play' list, and the work you do in bid packages in the 'Play' list are never saved.
At the top of the window (or list) on the right-hand side is says "Previously Opened Bid Packages". This window contains any bid packages that you were working on, or are currently working on. As you do your bidding, your work is automatically saved. When you close your bid package to take a break from bidding, it will appear in this right-hand window. To open it again and pick up where you left off, you will open it from this right-hand window from now on. Your work has been saved for you. You are never charged a credit for opening your bid package from the right-hand window. Just below where it says "Previously Opened Bid Packages", you will see two list boxes. One presents a choice of Primary or Relief. This is how you determine which type of past bid package you want to see, and the other list box contains a list of years, allowing you to pull a past bid package from a previous year. Your open bid packages will remain in this window until your delete them. (There is a feature that allows you to import criteria from a previous bid package, so you might want to hang on to them if you bid something similar from month to month.)
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to open your bid package:
How Does BidPlus Work?
The first thing we need to do is build a good foundation. And that starts with understanding what BidPlus is and is not. BidPlus is a search program. It was designed by UA flight attendants for UA flight attendants. And it is designed to bid like a flight attendant. It is NOT designed to bid for you or think for you.
When you are sitting at your kitchen table doing your bids and you've got your bid package and your papers spread out, you don't start off by trying to re-arrange the entire bid package. That's not how we bid as a flight attendant. Instead, what we do is look (search) through the bid package and try and locate those lines that fit our criteria such as specific days off, or a particular layover location, or a check-in time, or a specific aircraft, or whatever it is that is important to us.
After we locate those lines that fit our criteria, we write them down on our scratch pad off to the side. Once we have found all of the lines we need, we then take the line numbers on that scratch pad and we re-arrange (sort) them into the order that we want to submit them to United, right? Well, BidPlus works the exact same way. First we search, then we sort.
How Do I Search For My Lines?
BidPlus allows you to search for just about any criteria that you can think of. The results of each search are displayed to you in about 1 second depending on your connection and the size of the bid package. Let's begin with a simple search of days on and off.
To select a specifc day off, click (or tap) the desired day once. That day will turn red and the program will immediately search for all of the lines that contain that day off. You can click as many days off as you like. Just keep in mind that each time you click an additional day off, or click again to return that day back to white, the program immediately initiates a search and displays the result. If the combination of days off that you have selected does not exist anywhere in the bid package, then the result of your search will be zero lines.
To select a specific day on, click (or tap) once just above the desired day. That day will turn blue and the program will immediately search for all of the lines that contain that day on. You can click as many days on as you like. Just keep in mind that each time you click an additional day on, or click again to return that day back to white, the program immediately initiates a search and displays the result. If the combination of days off that you have selected does not exist anywhere in the bid package, then the result of your search will be zero lines.
To quickly select days on and off, you may use the "Select all..." drop box and choose, for example, "All weekends off" or "All Wednesdays on".
You are able to select any combination of days on and off that you wish. Just remember that the combination that you select must actually exist in the bid package. Otherwise, the result of your search will be zero.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to search for days on and off:
How Do I Add Additional Criteria?
You are also able to combine your criteria any way you like. Just keep in mind that in order for a line to be selected, **IT MUST FIT YOUR CRITERIA EXACTLY**! The results of each search are absolute. That means it doesn't just get close, or try to think for you, or suggest something. What you ask for either exists, or it doesn't . Period. A line must contain ALL of the criteria that you have entered in order for it to qualify to be selected.
Let's use the example of searching for 2 day trips. When you select a criterion, you are presented with a criteria statement that says "I want [ALL] of my line to have 2 day trips". The term "ALL" means 100%. By entering this statement you are directing the program to search for all of the lines that contain ALL, or 100%, 2 day trips. That means that every pairing in the line MUST be a 2 day trip in order for a line to qualify to be selected.
You are able to combine any criterion with any other criterion without exception and customize your search until you have found exactly the combination that you satisfied with. However, you must be careful not to combine criterion that cannot possibly both exist in the same line. For example, if one of your criterion statements says "I want [ALL] of my line to have 2 day trips", and then choose another criterion at the same time that says "I want [ALL] of my line to have 3 day trips.", well, that is an impossible request complete because there are no lines that contain 100% 2 day trips and 100% 3 day trips at the same time. So the result of such a combination of criteria would be zero.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to do a basic search:
It is recommended, at least initially until you develop your own strategies, that you pay particularly close attention to the criteria that is most important to you as you enter them one at a time. This way you can better understand the effect of each criterion as it is entered. The number of lines selected is directly influenced on the criteria that you have entered. You are able to change, add and delete criteria all you like and play “what-if” games all within the same bank until you have the right combination of criteria producing what you consider to be an adequate number of lines.
You can then add a new Bank and create another combination of criteria to select more lines for this second Bank. One suggestion is to use the ‘Clone’ feature. When you click the Clone button, a new Bank is created. It will contain the exact same combination of criterion that you used in the previous Bank. However, the results for the selected lines will be zero. That is due to the fact that all of the lines that fit that particular combination of criterion have already been selected into the previous Bank. There are no more. In order to select additional lines into this Bank, you will need to change and loosen up one or more of the criterion that you have entered.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to combine your criteria and use the 'Clone' feature:
Arranging Lines In A Bank
Once you have selected lines into a bank, you are able to sort them into one of over 15 different arrangements. To the left of the Banks is the Line Sorting feature. Click the top list box and select the option that you would like to sort the lines in the active Bank by.
The second list box is optional. It is used to break any ties and further sort the lines in the Bank. For example if use the first list to sort by Days Off, there may be several lines that have same number of days off. You can then further sort those lines, for example, by paycheck. So, say there are 4 lines that all have 19 days off, then they will be further sorted by paycheck most to least.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to automatically arrange (sort) the lines in your banks:
You are also able to manually edit the lines in a bank.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to manually edit the lines in your banks:
Time to head to the Bid Card
To navigate to the Bid Card, use the Mode Select list box, and then choose Bid Card. The Bid Card is where you make your final edits to your bids, add reserve lines (if you didn't already do that previously in the Bidding Program screen) and add RLF. This is also where you do your position bidding. You able add, delete and arrange the lines in your bid card until you have them in the exact order that you would like to submit them as your final bid to CCS.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how to edit your Bid Card:
The position bidding part of the process is a bit more involved. To see the entire article on position bidding, click here.
Click the video below to watch a demonstration on how the Position Bidding feature works:
So there you have it! This should be enough to get you off to a pretty good start. We have a whole Support Center full of articles and videos to help you better understand the amazing power in BidPlus that you now have at your fingertips. And don't forget to check for the next webinar coming to a computer near you!