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Airport Workers Underpaid?  
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6570 posts, RR: 50
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2405 times:

This is a question that goes across the board. I'm not talking about just one airline. Do yall feel that airport CSA's, Rampers, Ops agents, etc., are underpaid? I can say from personal experience from being a CSA/Lead Agent/Ramp Agent/Ops Agent (a little bit of everything) over the past three and a half years that without question, yes, we are. Pilots always seem to be griping over pay, as do F/A's, but lemme tell ya, the front-line airport workers just seem to go along with the status quo, work hard, and accept the fact that the pay is dirt cheap regardless of the carrier....unless you have 10+ years of seniority, then it gets a little better, but still, nothing to write home about. It seems to me that airlines' should look at ways to improve the pay scale of CSA's, as they are extremely vital to the airline. After all, it is the first airline representative that the public makes contact with upon checking in for a flight. A good first impression must be made, and honestly, it's difficult at times to keep that smile on your face. Any opinions on the matter?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCpt Underpants From Canada, joined May 2001, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

Hey, if you can get more money, then go for it. I'm just not sure if you're going to be able to draw more blood from that stone. The trend across the board in the industry is lower pay, even for the pilots and FAs. Major airlines are trying to find creative ways to contract out their ground support, just to get around their union pay scales for ground staff.

User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6570 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2384 times:

I'm not just talking about in recent years, with the well publicized financial distress of the industry, but in years past as well. On the whole, airport staff tends to get the short end of the stick in the $$$ department, but I suppose that is true for any customer service-type job in the service industry. Look at hotel Front Desk Agents for an example.

User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2371 times:

When American Airlines went to American Eagle in Wichita, KS about 7 years ago, they advertised in the Wichita newspaper for ticket agents and ramp personnel at $5.50 per hour. During that same time, the airport McDonald's was advertising for jobs at $6.00.
I will let everyone come to their own conclusion.

By the way, the people that Eagle hired ended up had difficultly passing the drug test, had attendance problems at work, etc.
Most of the AA employees transferred out of ICT. Also, the worst AA employee became an Eagle supervisor and one of the "best" Eagle employees. That's what happens when the expectations are lowered.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13602 posts, RR: 61
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2350 times:
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For the most part, the vast majority of airline employees ARE woefully underpaid - but if you listen to the media, you'd assume employees are rolling on dough!  Insane

Unfortunately, it has become chic to bash airline employees as being overpaid, underworked whiners who drive their companies into bankruptcy when in reality, it's the CEOs who are willing to operate routes at a loss in exchange for not losing market share that are to blame.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineORDflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2346 times:

I think the pay is definitely low...when I was working at the airport we always joked that the fast food workers upstairs were making more than us, and in some cases it was true! For a student like me it wasn't as much of a big deal since I was in it mostly for the experience and love of aviation, but I certainly wouldn't have been able to raise a family on my wage.

User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2335 times:

underpaid? are you serious? of course we are! especially when we have to deal with the huge amounts of bullshit going around.



By the way, the people that Eagle hired ended up had difficultly passing the drug test, had attendance problems at work, etc.

well, you DO get what you pay for...



"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineMSPXJGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 150 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2287 times:

Well even taking that a step further, look at the regionals compared to the majors and the pay differential there.

With XJ, we always seem to be running from gate to gate, plane to plane, and a lot of the times are late. We get yelled at by a few crews that think they are gods and feel they deserve to be let down to the aircraft an hour and a half before the flight so they can drop off their bags. And we get paid about 10.00 an hour. (I think im like 10.60 working for two years)

On the Mainline, I admit they have more passengers, but they are only responsable for that one flight and usually have more than one person working a flight. They get paid more than we do and usually have better work rules than what us non-union employees make.

I'm not saying going union is the answer. I'm not saying that working for a major is better than working for a regional. I'm just kind of stating an opinion that i've seen working at a major hub for the red tail.


User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2226 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2205 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Ref: "You get what you pay for"

How many stories have you heard about ramper airline employees pilfering passenger bags but later found they in fact usually were contract 3rd party employees. Many seem to be paid below minimum wage which I don't understand (stateside wages). With no contract, minimum training, less supervision, no benefits, minimum hours, and no chance to climb a little higher other than the "supervisor" rating which usually means he's stuck it out a year versus a contracted, seniority climbing, thoroughly trained, pride filled (at first), non-rev traveling, 40 hour or time and a half worker. Who do you think will be most tempted by some simple bauble?

I've had my own company explain the "No Jewelry" rule by saying they did not want the passengers to see rampers wearing that because they did not want them wondering where they got it. (that was before applicants showed up with the ring in their nose)

Now lean times have made truly strange, and outright scary, bedfellows.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineRampero From Puerto Rico, joined Mar 2004, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2171 times:

Puerto Rico Ports Authority

Ramp inspectors salary per month = $ 1,200 too low.
Terminal Janitor = $ 1,800 too high
Runway grass cuter (tractor driver) = $ 1,850 too high

Rampero



"Ponce es Ponce" y lo demas es parking...
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3084 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2157 times:

wah wah cry me a freaking river. No one forced you to take the job. You knew how much it paid when you took it. If you do not like it quit. There is only so much a person can be expected to get paid when they have no post secondary schooling.

If you want to make more get educated.

It was a low paing but very cool job that made me go back to school. I realised that no matter how cool it may seam i wanted more from life. (the job was a professional ski patrol up at Lake Louise in Banff). Yes airplanes are cool but you still need to make enough to live.

Greasespot



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6816 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2150 times:

It's a free market economy. You can work for whomever you choose.

A generation ago, the airline agent job was held in high regard...in fact, having a college degree was, if not mandatory, highly recommended. The bar has been lowered since then, the pay rates have gone up, and since *most* of the airline front line positions are unionized, they have the advantage of having higher wages, better benefits, and flight bennies to boot.

Plus, with seniority comes higher pay. Topped out agents are making well over $20/hr US and with overtime, which again is usually readily available, agents are easily pulling down more than front line management annually.

There are days when agents and rampers can't be paid enough. There are also normal days when all they have to do is do their job, which isn't fundamentally hard.

I really don't have much sympathy for the cries of being "underpaid." Generally speaking--and I know there are exceptions depending on carrier, location, et al, but as a general rule--it just isn't true.


User currently offlineJAXpax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

I have a few questions on the topic:

1.) What kind of education does being an airline ramp/ticket worker require?
2.) How much more education does it require than, say, a retail customer services supervisor at Wal-Mart?
3.) How much more strenuous work are CSAs at the airport doing than their equivalent at Wal-Mart?
4.) How much do baggage handlers get paid in comparison to Wal-Mart night crew stock team?
5.) How much more necessary are airline CSAs to the operation of the business than employees at a retail store?


User currently offlineAMS From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2134 times:

In generally most beginning airport workers are underpaid. After working for several years for a company, you maybe able to a decent pay, However you will not become rich working at an airport!!


Regards,
AMS


User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1156 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2124 times:

Greasepot:

I don't believe it's quite as simple as "no-one forced you to take the job" (of course they didn't)and "you knew how much it paid when you took the job": (of course they did!) That much is a given and does not take away someones right to seek the opinions of others concerning pay and benefits within their profession.
Regardless of the state of the industry you are employed by you should not lose your right to fair pay and the airline industry has and does pay its airport/reservations staff poorly when compared to the levels of stress and reponsibility they are exposed to on a day to day basis. The key point is: Are airport workers fairly compensated according to these factors?.They are certainly infinately more skilled than the fast food workers who are often similarly paid and that is not fair, regardless of whether you knew what you were getting into or not.

That said there are obvious perks to the job, most noteably non-rev travel benefits that should be factored in and the job can be very rewarding. The airline I work for has very high hiring standards -many agents we recruit are educated to degree level and thus the caliber of staff is high. This is reflected in pay scales that are a lot better than most - especially the US regionals who seem to suffer particularly badly.

Bottom line: Many airline staff ARE undervalued and underpaid - it would seem particularly so in the states and I think these people have a right to seek recognition for the skills they posess.

Regards,

SevenHeavy



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlineUAL777CONTRAIL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2110 times:

JAXPAX,
You are one of the people who probably feel Airport ops people are overpaid. Why in the world would you compare wal-mart to airlines? There is a big difference. What kind of education? What does that have to do with it? A guy with his own business of doing tile work makes more than an airline employee but doesn't require a college education.

back to the topic, I think lead agents need to be paid more, they are for a lack of better terms babysitting adults, and dealing with ALL the irates.


UAL 777 CONTRAIL


User currently offlineJAXpax From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2102 times:

UAL777CONTRAIL:

Did I say I feel they are overpaid? I simply asked for a comparsion to comperable positions in another field.

I feel that most employees of the actual airport operations department are underpaid, as those positions require a college education and industry experience. I used Wal-Mart in my questions as most airlines seem to think experience working at Wal-Mart is suitable and comperable when applying for a CSA job.


User currently offlineWbmech From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Of course we are underpaid. Do most professions work 24 hrs a day 365 days a year? What is a long holiday weekend? Who else goes through a ten year background check by the company, US Customs as well as a fingerprint check by the FBI, on a regular basis, not to mention the Pre-Employment drug and random drug and alcohol tests just to get to your first day of work. Now still get grilled going through security everyday just to get to work. What about the countless hours of training and federal certification needed to be hired then additional company training to work on an aircraft. Now add in a broken airplane in -10 degree weather or in 110 degree weather with snow, rain or ice added in, who is out there while the pax are nice and comfy in the terminal. Or repairing a plane with 300 pax on board in as little time as possible and affixing your signature to the logbook which makes you legally responsible for the fix because if you didn't dot the i's or cross the t's correctly it could mean your license and or your job, never mind the actual work you perform which could mean life or death to those pax or the next set of pax or more. Make a mistake at a dealership they customer comes back and complains. Make a mistake at an airline the pax families come back and sue and send you to jail. Now isn't all the wage cuts and layoffs and outsourcing to the lowest bidder worth it now, just so you can pay less than a Greyhound bus to get where you are going. I could go on and on about this but I do enjoy what I do, but it irks me to see the expectations of the general public when Legacy airlines who invested their time and money developing the air transportation system just so the Lcc's can come in and undercut the hard work already performed run the Legacy carriers out of business. By the way, in the long run you get what you pay for.

User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2064 times:

You really don't need a post-secondary education to fly a plane (look at the hiring scheme 20 years ago) , yet pilots are probably the highest paid airline employees. A college education was probably initially used to reduce the application-reading workload of recruiters. Anyone can fly, it is only a matter of the very expensive training.

I do think that level of education should determine salary, but I also think that pay should be at least what a person can survive on. How could airline executives take their multi-million dollar year's-end bonuses when they are fully aware that many of their employees can't afford to feed their families by working a single shift? I think people who break their backs every day in the hot sun or cold weather should get a wage that is fair. No near or below minimum wage offers, no one can live on those salaries.

My two cents.






"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3084 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2018 times:

Sorry it is that simple. This next statement will get me yelled at but rampers is an unskilled job on par with fast food workers. It does not take alot of skill to pump water...empty shitters push back airplanes and throw bags on an airplane. Yeah there are shitty conditions. *shrugs* but there are shitty conditions everywhere.

I look to the old canadian and Air Canada where you had ramp rats making the same as AME's who are signing out the log books.

Greasespot



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineFreshlove1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1995 times:

I have a few questions on the topic:

1.) What kind of education does being an airline ramp/ticket worker require?
2.) How much more education does it require than, say, a retail customer services supervisor at Wal-Mart?
3.) How much more strenuous work are CSAs at the airport doing than their equivalent at Wal-Mart?
4.) How much do baggage handlers get paid in comparison to Wal-Mart night crew stock team?
5.) How much more necessary are airline CSAs to the operation of the business than employees at a retail store?

Here are some answers

1) I believe you need atleast a highschool diploma or a vo-tech graduation certificate and you must be 18 years of age and have a drivers license.
2) Not much more but there are probably a lot more little things that you need to remember while working for an airline, you can make a mistake at Wal-Mart and it may not be fatal but if you make a mistake at an airline it may be disastrous.
3) I would say that the airline industry, especially from the CSA's point is very stressful, especially during irregular ops with 200 people on a flight and having to reaccomadate them all. I can't say that I have ever seen anything like that at Wal-Mart.
4) depends on how long you are there and for what airline you are working for, not all airline payscales are the same.
5) I would say about the same. If you look at some retail stores they have the auto check out lines where you do it yourself instead of an employee doing it for you. Same with the airlines, KIOSKS are kind of the same thing, the only thing you need the CSA for when using one of those is to tag the bag or to ask them for help if something goes wrong, but otherwise you can do it all yourself and get on your way if you are not checking bags.

But to answer your question I believe that some of an airlines workers are underpaid. I especially believe that YV/ZV employees get the shaft from Johnny O. I can't believe he can go to bed at night thinking he it treating them fairly.

[Edited 2004-09-05 04:22:22]

User currently offlineAv8rPHX From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1974 times:

But to answer your question I believe that some of an airlines workers are underpaid. I especially believe that YV/ZV employees get the shaft from Johnny O. I can't believe he can go to bed at night thinking he it treating them fairly.

He probably rides one of his 15 motorcycles all day making him tired so he can sleep at night. Things have gotten bad enough for me to the point where I stay in PHX 3 days a week (when i work) and commute to MSP for 3 days and run my folks restaurant for better pay just so I can stay ahead of my bills.


User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

It was a low paing but very cool job that made me go back to school. I realised that no matter how cool it may seam i wanted more from life. (the job was a professional ski patrol up at Lake Louise in Banff). Yes airplanes are cool but you still need to make enough to live----Greasespot.


Greasespot,
i think you need to go back to school......paing=paying seam=seem...




bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1951 times:

msytristar,
good thread......any one in here that is connected to a airline is going to argue that we are underpaid.....we are...but i like our current attack on wages and benefits to what my neighbors went thru 2-3 years ago....
neighbors across the street and on one side of me worked for gateway. they were rolling in cash...litterally....albeit working 2nd or 3rd shift...but a monkey could have done their job as well....the next thing you know their jobs are moving to bangalore and they are unemployed......only difference with us is...our jobs can not move to bangalore but there are workers out there that will work for wages that are paid in bangalore.......the sad part is most rampers can not go out and get a job that pays as well as a airline job...i know it and most of us know it.....btw...my next door neighbor is now working construction(framing)for 11.00/hr.......ouch



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineUAL777CONTRAIL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1919 times:

jaxpax,
It is more the smart ass way it was posted. I cant remember the last time a night shelf stalker has a coffee machine blow up on him. Or maybe the slurpee machine in the food court got hijacked. Or when the cart lady outside had to help 100+ people because the cart had a flat tire. See the list of silly responses can go on all night, wanna ask another stupid question. By the way, we do make a good living, and you will NEVER hear me complain.

UAL 777 CONTRAIL


25 Post contains images Greasespot : Guess I have been using computers for to long. I just assume they catch all the mistakes and sometimes do not proof read after the spell check Greases
26 Post contains images NightFlier : I agree and disagree. I agree that working the ramp and being a CSR and ticket angent doesn't require a college degree but does require a person with
27 Dacman : Greasespot, My, my aren't we full of ourselves, and you one of those underpaid mechanics that we hear about all the time, are you in management traini
28 Smcmac32msn : How many stories have you heard about ramper airline employees pilfering passenger bags but later found they in fact usually were contract 3rd party e
29 Greasespot : Ok I just read the whole thread again and yah know what Dacman was right. I deserved the slapping he gave me over it. My attack was unjustified. I can
30 AERoc : Are we under paid? YES, but then again that's the way the airline is saving money. Making the AA personnel that just takes bags off the plane and puts
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