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Working For Southwest: Benefits?  
User currently offline747buff From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 744 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

Hello,

Next fall or early next year, I have my sights on two airline jobs. I am thinking of either applying to be a rampie at Mesaba here at MSP, or since I want to get away from the cold and snow, applying to Southwest for aircraft appearance techinician in PHX. I know from reading on this board what benefits Mesaba gives, but what about WN flight benefits? I know you can fly for free on WN, but what deals on other airlines and int'l flights? What kind of agreements do they have for that? Thanks for any info.

-Andrew


At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAv8rPHX From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3634 times:

I cant speak for WN benefits,but here is a question you need to ask yourself,can you afford to move to PHX on an entry level airline employee's wages? Granted the cost of living in PHX isnt terribly expensive compared to other cities nationwide. Also,remember, WN is very selective about who they hire. They usually only hire about 3 percent of the people they interview. On the other side of things, We are always hiring at YV ,and our big brother HP is usually always hiring also.

User currently offlineSWAFA30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3591 times:

I know from reading on this board what benefits Mesaba gives, but what about WN flight benefits? I know you can fly for free on WN, but what deals on other airlines and int'l flights? What kind of agreements do they have for that? Thanks for any info.


Thumbing through the current edition of the SWA Interline Travel Guide....I count over 120 different agreements including all the various regional carriers operating under the banner of a larger carrier Quite a few of the more obscure airlines such as.... UC, 6Y, AT...are even on the list. I'm sure they are all fine carriers but the point is that the range of pass options available is pretty vast. We have a agreement in place to get you just about anywhere in the world.


[Edited 2004-05-22 05:37:12]

User currently offlineSwardu From United States of America, joined May 2004, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

There are the travel agreements that SWAFA30 spoke of, plus there are the local agreements at each individual airport...or whichever one you work at. Travel on Southwest is free for family or immediate family. You also have passes for you committed partner. You also have passes for buddies or friends in what we call "Pink Passes" that we get for perfect attendance every quarter (2 of them). You can give those to whomever you wish as long as they understand NRSA rules. I know that all airlines provide for 401k and all, and we also have profit sharing, which we've been able to enjoy for a number of years. We also have ESPP or Employee Stock Purchase Plan which we can purchase company stock payroll deduct at a 10% discount and turn in whenever we wish. Certain union groups also have stock options in place, which mine is good thru 2012, I believe. Uniforms for the most part are free.

User currently offline747buff From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3535 times:

"We are always hiring at YV ,and our big brother HP is usually always hiring also."

I actually considered HP, as they hire rampies in MSP on a regular basis, but I don't think it would be possible to live off of their wages.



At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
User currently offlineAv8rPHX From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

WN doesnt pay much more than HP. No airline pays decent unless you are in mgmt or been a pilot for 10+ years.

User currently offline747buff From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 744 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3501 times:

The WN position I am looking at starts at $10-11 an hour, from looking at their website, which seems alright for an entry level airline salary.


At Eastern, we earn our wings every day!
User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 38
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3461 times:

OK,

#1. We in MX call them red passes.  Big grin

#2. Av8rPHX, SWA mechanics are among the highest paid in the industry...



Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineSwardu From United States of America, joined May 2004, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3400 times:

Av8rPHX...Actually Southwest's people overall are some of the highest paid in the industry. Ramp/ops tops out at 24.75/hr after 10 yrs, CSA at 24.35/hr after 10 yrs, reservations 24.00/hr after 10 yrs, and the mechanics are some of the highest around. Actually in most cases we are paid equal to everyone else.

737doctor....we have some colorblind csa's who are from Nawth Cackalacky....lol  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineSWA TPA From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1560 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3329 times:


Those passes look pretty darn pink to me!  Smile  Smile  Smile


SWA TPA



I believe I can fly.....
User currently offlineSWAFA30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 3297 times:

Those passes look pretty darn pink to me!

SWA TPA...I was thinking the exact same thing. If our incentive passes aren't pink then neither is Pepto Bismol, Cotton Candy, or Bazooka Bubble Gum.


User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 38
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3244 times:

I think that a bunch of testosterone driven mechanics have a problem calling them "pink passes". Red is much more masculine.  Big grin


Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineCmckeithen From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 617 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

Good luck on getting a job. I have been trying for 3yrs to get on at WN and have had no luck. I tried B6 got a phone call to attend an interview, did, and 2wks later got a letter in the mail saying that they could not extend a job offier at this time. Try again in a year. So I am thinking about giving up all together on a job at an airline.

CO Express is always hiring FA's but I cant relocate to any place but Houston at this time.

If any one has any tips on getting hired on at an airline or know of any CSA/FA openings at MSY, BTR, GPT, HOU, or IAH. I'd appreciate it.

[Edited 2004-05-22 22:58:48]

User currently offlineCainanUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2002, 551 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3199 times:

My sentiments exactly.....


I am glad to see that you have so much confidence that you think you wil get a job with WN. They are VERY picky. Good luck Matey. You will certainly need it!



Cainan Cornelius
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

Ok, as an ex-WN Aircraft Appearance Technician based in PHX, I got to anwser this topic:

1) Starting pay before AMFA came to town was $10.98 an hour. You will be starting out on graveyard shift. The day and swing shifts are for people with higher seniority.
2) SWA Appearance Techs in PHX treat the probationary employees like crap and they give them the hardest jobs expecially with the wax crew. The only fun part of the job is being assigned to the wash crew expecially in the summertime.
3) WN only hires 3% of all the applications they recieve in a year for ALL workgroups and they are very, very picky on who they hire. The wait time for a position in the Appearance department to open up is about a year and a half.
4) Costs of living here in AZ is RIDICULOUS expecially with the electric bills.
5) As an SWA Aircraft Appearance Technician, all you will do is clean, clean & CLEAN...you will not be allowed to touch a screwdriver or a wrench for any reason whatsoever on the aircraft or you will face the consequences which is not fun.... (Be sure to clean the hubcaps and the cockpit windows, they get into a very sensitive mood when you miss those things....)
6) Training is in DAL for one week. They will give you a hotel room and $100 in meal cash. Not much of a perk while you are in DAL.
7) The morning duties are NOT fun....the probationary employees usually do all the morning duties. Well if you get hired, I'll let you find this out for yourself...
8) Flight passes....you get unlimited flight passes for yourself, but the downside of it is if you want to fly 'off-line' (other airline travel), you have to apply for them thru DAL HQ and send the money with the application unlike the way the other airlines do it. You have to get supervisor signature for this. And for your parents, you have to fill out a pass signed by your supervisor and it generally expires in 3 months so its a task to get these passes issued.
9) Last thing...if you do get hired onto WN in this position, try not to be based in HOU. Thats the HARDEST place to even try to pass probation from what Ive heard. From what Ive heard the best place to be based is either in DAL or MDW.

Good luck if you get hired onto WN. Im not trying to bash WN for this or to scare you or anyone, this is only what I experenced with WN and it was hell for me. For other people, they have had different experences. The pay is good, but the treatment is a whole another story..... Just dont ask me to get into specifics cuz I could go all day with this.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineCmckeithen From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 617 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3138 times:

Well....I have applied for CSA and FA positions. And my experience in Customer Service is beyond 5yrs plus I have had several management courses in College. So I am not worried about anything. But I don't hold my hopes of ever getting into the airline industry. But I will keep trying cuz its my dream job.

User currently offlineTG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3109 times:

A question from a non-American..

Does "Aircraft Appearance Technician" = Cleaner?

If so, it'd have to be one of the most euphemistic job titles I've heard for a while! (similar to New Zealand's "sanitary technicians" - ie, trashmen!)  Laugh out loud



-
User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 38
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Does "Aircraft Appearance Technician" = Cleaner?

Yes it does. Nothing technical about it really...



Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineContinental From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5520 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3042 times:

I would like to work for Mesaba starting next summer, and work part-time throughout the school year in college. Since I have college paid for already, it'd just be some extra cash, and a lot of daytrips!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy It would be nice for my dad and I to go to Croatia for free, rather than paying thousands to go!

User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 38
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3028 times:

Airframe,

Yes probation does suck. I had other mechanics mess with me on my very first night. But normally, once your co-workers see that you are capable, they leave you alone. The ones that are constantly screwed with are the ones that are are screw-ups themselves. I can understand the "method to the madness" since once someone makes probation, the union protects their ass no matter how bad they are or how much they screw off. If your experience was different, you have my sympathy, but I think that overall the process has a way of weeding out the bad ones.

Also, there is no reason for a cleaner to touch a plane with a screwdriver or a wrench...unless they are working in the apprentice program.



Patrick Bateman is my hero.
User currently offlineSprxflyswa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 597 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

First, swardu: Ramp folks top out at an even $24 after 11 years.

Second, AirframeAS: Most of our interline pass agreement tickets are payroll deducted. There are very few where you send $$ in with the pass request. I believe the one with Sun Country is one.
As for passes for parents, I don't know where you came up with the 3 month deal, but it is a bit inaccurate. We do have the "red verification letter" form, but they are good for 6 months (and I have yet to ever have anyone ask to see one!) and the passes to fly one are good Apr-Oct-Apr. And as for a hassle to get signed, I have never had any problem, with or without a rubber stamp.






User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2917 times:

As for passes for parents, I don't know where you came up with the 3 month deal, but it is a bit inaccurate.

I think I didnt explain this very well....your parents have UNLIMITED space available passes. The verification cards are updated once every 3-6 months and MUST have supervisor signature on the cards. It was a hassle for me to get the required signature but I dont know about the other employees.

Yes probation does suck. I had other mechanics mess with me on my very first night. But normally, once your co-workers see that you are capable, they leave you alone.

I dont want people feeling sorry for me because it really doesnt matter to me anymore...life goes on. But anyway, I have been razzed and messed with every single night for 3 consecutive months I was at WN. I was a very miserable man at WN. I had like a week to go to pass probation but they got rid of me for dumb reasons. At the end, Im glad I didnt pass probation because I think I would still feel miserable and uncomfortable at WN.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineAv8trxx From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 657 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2864 times:

"I know from reading on this board what benefits Mesaba gives, but what about WN flight benefits? I know you can fly for free on WN, but what deals on other airlines and int'l flights? What kind of agreements do they have for that?"

Many SWA stations have what is called an "over the counter agreement" with other airlines in that city. We give them passes and they return the favor. For instance, while other SWA employees without such an agreement would have to go to the Pass Bureau to get interline rate passes on other carriers, my station got free passes (many on an umlimited basis) on: Continental, US Airways, Delta, America West, Skywest, Northwest, American Eagle, Alaska, & Aero Mexico. Others were a service charge, but better than PB tickets. British was $50 each way. These agreements are the best. Each citys station manager negotiates them, so they vary by station.

The free employee only medical coverage is great, as are the online unlimited free passes. The 401K is good and the profit sharing is wonderful! Yes, they do get profitsharing but you must stay 5 years and get 'vested' to take it with you. I'd recommend being a ramper in a city where the cost of living is managable. It's more fun than being a cleaner!


User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5109 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

WOW, from these posts, you guys are making feel like I should never leave this job. I must say it is a nice industry, especially with the flying perks. If I have to get another job, it should pay me enough to cover the amount flying I do. But, the only downside of this industry for me is the shifts. I HATE to wake up at 4am. I HATE IT, HATE IT.


There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2774 times:

But, the only downside of this industry for me is the shifts. I HATE to wake up at 4am. I HATE IT, HATE IT.

Thats what classification/company seniority does to you. The lower the seniority, the crappy the shifts you get. Its a part of life in the aviation industry. I have a deaf friend who still works at HP and he tries to pry his way out of the shifts he does not want only because he has a son and can't afford a babysitter. Its a long story but if you ask your boss to change your bid, thats not very cool and not fair to the other employees. Once you get your bid, you have to accept what you get and just work the shift until the next bidding session. In this industry....seniority is EVERYTHING!!! If one prys his way out of a bid and does get the shift he desires without going thru the bidding process again to be fair, then whats the point to having seniority??



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
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