View Full Version : Carmen Rosters

24th Oct 2002, 18:35
I'd like to gather the opinion of fellow Ppruners about their roster system, especially those whose outfit uses the Carmen software. Mine has been at it for over three years now and there's still a lot of controversy about it.

Our Carmen rosters tend to do weird things that need to be manually corrected by our scheduling dept and so even weirder things are often produced. Is this also the case with yours?


24th Oct 2002, 20:07
Hope all you Aer Lingus pilots are reading this.

Anyone that thinks PBS is a total panacea for ***** rostering, take note.

Cap'n Crunch
24th Oct 2002, 21:02
We've been using Carmen PBS for a couple of months at the company where I work, and most people believe that the bidding interface is just a dummy :confused: to please the crowd. In other words, people aren't exactly getting their bids granted, to put it mildly. So far my experience with Carmen is far from satisfying.:mad:


Capt Pit Bull
25th Oct 2002, 08:49
This month:

No bids met.
Several Avoid bids violated.

Yet I am 59% satisifed. Apparently.


25th Oct 2002, 10:39
I have the occasional unlucky month, but generally I'm pretty satisfied.

If a particular weekend off is very important to me, I bid for that and nothing else. On the other hand, if I don't need any specific days off, I treat Carmen as a luxury and bid heavily for a style of tour or even one tour in particular. This works well for me.

However, it's when I try to mix days off with a 'lifestyle'-type bid that I have come unstuck.

Lapsus linguae
25th Oct 2002, 17:43
This system was a reason why easyJet crews were screwed during the summer ( one of many)

25th Oct 2002, 23:07
Many guys in Aer Lingus object to this system because they will be 'disadvantaged by their juniority'.

The good old socialist streak in the Irish psyche showing through again.

Pity we've wasted 4 years bull****ting about PBS instead of getting a practical monthly roster implemented, especially when PBS is likely to be a total and utter flop, as we see from the above comments.

26th Oct 2002, 12:31
BA Eurofleet LHR cabin crew ahve just received the first months roster with this new system.

Bedlam, the swap book has quadrupled in size with loads of feedback forms being sent in.

Scheduling will have their work cut out this month.

It seems to have worked back to front. Those that requested items didn/'t get them and those that didn't request did !!:confused: :confused: :confused:

26th Oct 2002, 18:49
If you just like doing your share of the work then this system doesn't work ! Why, because the few who continually bid for their favourite destinations or overnights only leave the less popular flights or destinations that the system automaticaly distribute amongst the rest. After a while you realise that you simply are not getting a far share of whats on offer. So just to get that fair share, youv'e got to go and bid for it which is a pain in the butt !

My philosophy is that we all should share the flights around so that we all get our share of the good and the not so good. If someones 'like' is your 'dislike' then fine the balance is maintained and everyone is happy, but it seems that doesn't happen very often.

To get a specific day off, providing you plan well ahead, it seems to work OK.

26th Oct 2002, 21:02
In other words....a simple monthly roster with a functional request system.

ALT crews could have a monthly roster in a matter of weeks (with all the bells and whistles you want) because it'll save Willy Wonka over a million bucks on his bottom line to get off this nonsensical PBS hook we're all hung up on.

But there's no reasoning with the PBS committee. It's become a holy cow now. To dare express doubt is tantamount to treason.

I'll wager it will all end in tears of dissapointment.

Then what?:rolleyes:

26th Oct 2002, 22:41
Echoing the reply given by Psr 777, true the Eurofleet rosters have just been generated with this so called 'fabulous scheduling system' .

The only thing good about it is how it benefits the company, by taking the crew up to their 52 hrs a week.

(Also many BA shorthaul flights are now working 1 crew down, to save money, - so if you wonder why it takes an hour to receive your drink on a LHR-GVA you know why):rolleyes:

If you look at the carmen site www.carmen.se (http://www.carmen.se) , you see how the whole thing is designed to maximize the use of transportation personnel , which is fine for some boffin to dream up in his cosy office in Gothenburg,
but in the real flying world leads to fatigue / disrupted flying programme.

My friend achieved 2.5% satisfaction on his NOV bid - brilliant technology - the old system at BA (which i believe was 2ndhand from KLM, did a perfectly good job in comparison - if it ain't broke, why fix it???
Some crew have 4 x 3 day trips, others have 14 there and backs and 7 available/standby days , most impressed.

It's interesting to see that some fellow crew are still getting bad rosters after using the sysytem for 3 years,It looks like Carmen have their work cutout at BA, I hope it came with a 12 mth guarantee.

The crew have been told to give the system ' 7 day working blocks ' to work with - - - - - Who the hell wants to do 7 day working weeks for the rest of their career ??!!!!


27th Oct 2002, 08:05
Carmen certainly MAXIMISES what your company can get out of you!

I am currently in the middle of a 29 day period with just 6 days off!

BA FO LGW (737)

seat 0A
27th Oct 2002, 18:11
My company uses carmen for about 8 years now. It works fine, although ofcourse it all depends on what restrictions you put on it. (like always with computers).
For me, the days off are paramount, and the system scores farely well on that subject.

Good luck with it.

27th Oct 2002, 22:49
I've little interest in any response, or lack of it.
Par for the course from the 'strong silent types' of ALT.

I know they're all reading this (even though nobody in ALT ever reads PPRuNe...perish the thought). ;)

So...Juniority is what will keep next years...wha'?
From taking my wha'? :confused:

I think 'tis you who 'misunderstand'.

Now, do tell me, how a true PBS system works?

Wonderfully, of course.
All is rosy in the garden ever after.

I see.

Do the above posters (who have first hand experience) not know 'how it works'? They seem unhappy. Are they fools?

Yes, that must be right. Its their own fault.
They simply aren't 'working it' properly. Silly them. :rolleyes:

By the way....what is a true PBS system?

Is there such a thing as an untrue PBS system?
Cap'n Crunch up above seems to think so.

Are you certain that whatever Willy Wonka puts in place (reluctantly and under the cosh of the Labour Court directive) is sure to be a true PBS system? Or (***shudder***) perhaps an untrue one? :eek:

No I'm not a manager.
Are you a lemming?

28th Oct 2002, 19:11
I dunno,
I dunno if you're a manager, but you sure sound like one! What might be offered is a rolling 4-week roster that operates just like the system we have now but we get our work changed 3 weeks in advance rather than 3 days!

Roll on PBS!

(Edited for clarity)

29th Oct 2002, 00:38
And that won't happen with PBS?


Dream on.

PS. Rolling 4 week roster like we have now??:confused: WTF? :confused:

30th Oct 2002, 19:01
Dear idunno,
I'm not sure what your agenda is but some facts re the Aer Lingus pbs project:
There is no pilots pbs group/committee since last March or so, I know 'cos I was on it.
The 80+% of folks who replied to a survey ( admittedly nearly 2 years ago) did want a pbs type system.
Part of the back to work settlement after our sunny bank holiday off in June (Thanks ww!) was a pbs system for rostering, this was negotiated by the union committee -which has no ex pbs folks on it.

The company has now started to move on the matter as a result of this back to work agreement.
I am the Pilots union rep on this group and ONLY as far as choosing a supplier, it will then be purely an industrial issue -and somebody elses problem!

I would be VERY grateful for any reasoned, rational info from ANYONE on pbs systems.

Only a fool would think changing the rostering system will do away with the horrible duties but I reckon it will be hard to get much worse than the 10 day (subject to post publication change) so called system we have now.
Other companies don't abuse their pilots with quite so awful a rostering system so they certainly will have a different perspective on it coming from a monthly system.

The union has made it clear to the company that we will not be giving any productivity/rule changes for free or at all.
That is the factual situation.

If you really are in ALT and concerned why not contact me or somebody on the union? -its not hard to find us!!!

Like I said any help/info welcome!!!!

:confused: :confused: :confused:

31st Oct 2002, 20:53
Zabber, my sole agenda is to get people to wake up to the fact that this system is not a magic bullet. You've said it yourself, and so have the other contributors to this thread who already work under such systems.

I think you should be extremely careful about how much of yourself you invest in this venture because when it doesn't live up to their expectations they'll blame you. I've seen it happen before, and so have you. The pilots of ALT are generally a thankless bunch and rather unforgiving of the perceived shortcomings of those who actually muck in and try to change things. The most vocal are the ones who never do a toss themselves.

Congratulations for trying. I appreciate your efforts, but don't encourage the halfwits in their fantasies about how wonderful this will be. The splits are already showing over the seniority/ bidding priority ratio.

"The union has made it clear to the company that we will not be giving any productivity/rule changes for free or at all.
That is the factual situation."

I doubt thats possible, with the best will in the world.

31st Oct 2002, 22:25
Carmen has a number of options which the company can select, and a manual input facility. I have seen it in use in two companies: in the first, a sensible option was selected and the manual input was from a competant rostering manager; the second, the selected ludicrous option was manualy imputted by a well known idiot. The first worked a treat, the second could have brought down the company. But which one got a 250000 bonus?:confused:

3rd Nov 2002, 00:40
Hate to drag this up again, but the thread on ADOPT (the 'true PBS system') seems to be getting a thumbs down too!!!

....But I guess it'll all work out OK with the usual total commitment from ALT Flight OPS.

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