As old as it makes us feel, BidPlus has been around longer than many of our clients have been alive. The program you see today had its beginnings in a dinner conversation in 1986 between Skip Jourdan, a United Flight Attendant, and John Barnewall, a programmer married to a United Flight Attendant. In 1986 home computers and terms like “point and click” were brand new, so our work was cut out for us. But, we’ve always liked challenges.
To begin with, there were as yet no digitized bid packages. So we’d travel to Stapleton Airport, pick up the Denver bid package, and painstakingly enter the information ourselves over several large pots of coffee. We’d take turns, one reading, one typing—every check-in and arrival time, every city, every aircraft type, etc.—for 16 straight hours. Yes, it was mind numbing; and yes, we somehow remained friends through the process.
Since personal computers were a rarity, we had to connect people to our computers. We’d rent a limo to pick flight attendants up from the airport, drive them over to bid, and then take them back. With that unique opportunity, we could physically see how everyone bid. We asked lots of questions. But mostly, we listened.
Virtually every feature you see in the program today was the result of another flight attendant’s suggestion somewhere up the line. As those who have been with us since the beginning will testify (yes, we still have a large number of very faithful customers from those early days), our tagline for years was “made by Flight Attendants, for Flight Attendants.” We’re proud of that philosophy, and it remains true to this day.
As a result of those early challenges, questions, and most of all … suggestions, we created a version of BidPlus that was so unique in its logic that it was awarded a U.S. Patent. We remain the only bidding program able to boast of this accomplishment.
Now people could move away from the scourge of sorting (the basis of every other bid program to this day). Sorting programs force you to prioritize (weight) all of your selection criteria, which produces wildly unpredictable results. The first few lines often look great, but further selections can deteriorate on a dime, producing lines that can border on the horrific. More to the point, this isn’t how people actually bid. Most people have some set of criteria that are ALL must-haves. If these requirements can’t be found, then it’s on to a completely different set of must-haves. What’s needed is the ability to create bids within bids. Voila, BidPlus.
Please enjoy what we hope you will come to think of as “your BidPlus.” We feel a profound sense of obligation when we hear, “I don’t know what I’d do without my BidPlus!” Please let us know how we can better serve your needs. There’s a pretty good chance you’ll see your suggestion come to life in an upgrade. You’ll then be a part of a proud tradition and connected to the hundreds of other Flight Attendants who have made the program what it is today.
Thank you, we appreciate the opportunity to serve you, and as always … happy bidding!