Not surprising there are several issues with Open Time…
It will not be surprising to most if not all of you that AFA and Alaska Airlines management are working on several issues with Open Time. The reality is that our new OT system is built into an antiquated trading program (Maestro/eMaestro) that has been dying a slow death for years and probably should have been replaced a long time ago. To make matters worse, the system can barely handle the number of users we have today. Unfortunately we’re stuck with eMaestro until the successor trading system, Jeppesen Crew Tracking Enterprise (JCTE), is implemented in late 2016.
Mitigation steps taken to prevent another crash on October 15th for November Open Time
In order to minimize the possibility that eMaestro will crash again this coming October 15th for November Open Time, the parties have agreed to several mitigation steps. Shortly before 2 pm Pacific Time—around 1:40 pm—eMaestro will be “bounced,” which basically means the system will be rebooted and everybody will be kicked off for approximately five minutes. Nobody is particularly happy about this, but we believe being logged out for five minutes in order to ‘clean’ the system is a minimally acceptable if it prevents the half hour crash that occurred this past month. The parties are also looking at increasing the virtual CPU allocation (i.e. processing power) and possibly the number of licenses (i.e. connections) for eMaestro.
Bidding alert: Out of Domicile trading and Seattle Open Time being moved in November for December Open Time
Starting in November for December Open Time, trading for Seattle will be moved from 2 pm PT on November 15th to 9 am on November 16th. This will likely greatly reduce the strain on the system by spreading out the server and connection load over two days rather than concentrating it on one. Out of domicile trading will be moved 24 hours later to the same regularly scheduled time but on November 18th rather than the 17th. This change will be tested for OT in November for December trading and in December for January trading at a minimum. Now that bids are open, please bid accordingly with these new dates and times in mind—AFA sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience!
Net 40 TFP Calculator
There is no net 40 TFP calculator presently, so you will need to keep track of that yourself for now. AFA finds this extremely frustrating and is diligently working toward a solution with management.
“TX” coding error
The “TX” code outlined in Section 12.F [Open Time Trial] was not programmed in the system properly. This is resulting in more “TO” trips than originally intended, which is both good and bad. On the plus side, all TO-coded trips may be downtraded based on the day of departure only even if the day is limited whereas TX-coded trips can be traded only day for day. On the negative side, all TO-coded trips count toward the Threshold Sequence Number (TSN) and therefore the closing of Open Time. Excess TO trips makes it more difficult to reopen a day once it is limited. The parties intend to have eMaestro reprogrammed with the originally agreed-upon rules.
The DD, CP and TO codes that count towards the TSN and that also indicate a trip may be downtraded based only on the day of departure are not currently displaying in eMaestro. This is also an oversight that is being corrected as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can still view the codes by logging into the World of Inflight –> My Schedule –> Open Time. The relevant codes are listed in the third column on the left under “Grp.” If the field is blank, that means the trip is coded something other than DD, CP or TO (e.g. TX, UB, CB, ML, SL, etc.) and the trip can be traded only day for day if the day of departure is limited in OT.
Going forward AFA has insisted and management has agreed that we will be more intimately involved with the programming process. Additionally, AFA will test the system prior to rollout. Once we receive an update on the estimated time to implement the fixes, we will communicate those with you.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Palmer, Yvette Gesch, Lisa Pinkston, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn, Sandra Morrow and Stephen Couckuyt