VATSIM has published an important information note regarding the upcoming Cross The Pond 2020 – Eastbound event which will take place on November 14th.
The slot allocation was previously done using a booking system on a “first come, first served” basis. In the previous events, the slots would be gone in a matter of minutes, letting on the side of the road anybody who was not able to connect to the site at that time. In addition, the slot bookings sites where sometimes not accessible, making it even more difficult to grab a slot. It has also been considered unfair that depending on the time when the slot booking happened, some people living in certain time zones where advantaged.
In consequence, VATSIM has decided this year to introduce a lottery system for slot allocation. Upon slot booking opening, which will happen on October 28th at 2000Z, people will be given the choice between three most prefered city pairs as well as two most prefered departure times. The booking closure will happen on November 4th, which will give pilots plenty of times to poll in their options. The system will then randomize the selections and allocate slots accordingly. This means that not everyone will be served. Some routes pairing will probably have much more picks than others, leaving less chances to get them. Importantly, VATSIM added that people who polled in their preferences but who still have not be selected in the lottery will have priority bookings for the next events. No further details have been added in regards to the exact process.