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Working The Ramp In ATL  
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

I spent this morning/early afternoon working the ramp in ATL, and let me tell you, I loved every second of it. Never mind the fact that it was probably 20 degrees (which obviously isn't as cold as it gets but it's cold when you forgot to pack a heavy coat).

I haven't really done any pure ramp work since '02 (albeit at a much smaller airport), but the planes that my airline uses are similar in layout to the ones I used to work, so, it all came back to me. All the crew members were friendly and helpful, and all the flights I helped with got out on time or early, which is the only way to start the day.

I'm not going to mention the name of the airline I work for, but if some of you have figured out what it is (i'm sure most of you have), I just have to say that it is a GREAT company. This airline is going places let me tell you. It just feels exciting being here. I haven't felt that much excitement since I got on with F9 back in the day.

It just feels great working for an airline again. And working for one that will always have a presence in my home town is a big plus.

PS - Once again, to the airlines that as of yet have not returned to MSY (you know who are), y'all are missing out on a HUGE p.r oppurtunity. It's not everyday that an airline can claim to be part of the rebirth of a city. I guess some airlines don't care for that sort of thing.

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3704 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4251 times:
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Welcome to the Tran. Did the regular ATL rampers bail as soon as they saw newbies coming to help them?


Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineN160LH From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

Yeah Yeah... I said the same thing when I started working the DL ramp at DFW in 2000. And to this day I still stand by DL (not to get into a airline comparison... Because I might loose that argument right now...), but working on the ramp in ATL sucks. Granted that TRAN has a much smaller operation than the mother does in ATL, so the things that drove me crazy, most likely will not effect you (i.e. trying to find bag carts, freight carts, LD-2, having to drive from T to E just to drive back to T again, and hell I still have nightmares about looking for transporters, finding a computer that works, and trying to guard my tug... At all times!). Here is some free advise about SHITlanta, avoid driving on the spine (I had-to-of almost died driving a tug on the spine a dozen times), avoid DL's international bagroom... Its just depressing down there (yes, Tran folk have to go down there from time to time), and any of the food courts (there is not a good place to eat or a place that is good for you to eat at in that airport). Oh, and can we get an update about how much you love working the TRAN ramp after about a month of working those 17's and 37's without beltloaders... HAHA.. I remembered the first time I saw a FL flight being worked without beltloaders.... all at once I understood FL's high turn over rate...

I also miss working on the Ramp... Just not in ATL...!

N160LH



"I do alright up in the air, its down on the ground that I tend to mess up..."
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4162 times:

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
Oh, and can we get an update about how much you love working the TRAN ramp after about a month of working those 17's and 37's without beltloaders... HAHA.. I remembered the first time I saw a FL flight being worked without beltloaders.... all at once I understood FL's high turn over rate...

They don't use belt loaders for the 717's. Really not that big of a deal IMO. It's just a little more work, which I'm guessing a lot of the "turnover" folks are afraid of. Sure it'd be nice but you can live without it. I used to load NW DC-9-30/40/50's without a belt loader...pretty much the same thing. All the 737's I saw today (about 6 if I can recall) were loaded with belt loaders.

I'm down in MSY so I won't be in ATL for very long. It was a good experience getting to see first hand how a hub operation works from the ground level.


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
so the things that drove me crazy, most likely will not effect you (i.e. trying to find bag carts, freight carts, LD-2, having to drive from T to E just to drive back to T again, and hell I still have nightmares about looking for transporters, finding a computer that works, and trying to guard my tug... At all times!).

Ah, brings back memories of my time on International Ramp, fun times, despite what you mentioned. Trying to find pallet loaders, or and LD carts was a pain in the rear, especially if you have to go over to Cargo just to find one and you need 4. And you do have to guard that tug, especially if you have a quick one, those things will disappear faster than a pair of rims at a P. Diddy concert.

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
avoid driving on the spine

Oh yea!

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
avoid DL's international bagroom... Its just depressing down there

Not the kind of place I would find fun, but they do stay dry and warm down there. But from what I have seen, thats where they stick the folks that can't handle the ramp or can't get flights out on time. Let them sort bags.

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
Granted that TRAN has a much smaller operation than the mother does in ATL

They have nothing that can even compare to what DL has in ATL.

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
Oh, and can we get an update about how much you love working the TRAN ramp after about a month of working those 17's and 37's without beltloaders... HAHA.. I remembered the first time I saw a FL flight being worked without beltloaders.... all at once I understood FL's high turn over rate...

Yea, talk about what you are risking with a bunch of newbies just to save $9 bucks on a beltloader. I used to think that FL was only bad in one city, but then I saw it was the same in a second, then a third, then a fourth. By the time I visited the fifth station, I had made up my mind, they put the "fly" in "fly by night operation."(thanks Budweiser).


OttoPylit


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 4):
They have nothing that can even compare to what DL has in ATL

Not even close, but having 27 gates (with 5 more to come) is nothing to sneeze at.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 4):
I used to think that FL was only bad in one city, but then I saw it was the same in a second, then a third, then a fourth. By the time I visited the fifth station, I had made up my mind, they put the "fly" in "fly by night operation."(thanks Budweiser

Well, we're all entitled to our opinions. I'm guessing you're not an AirTran fan.

Re: the 717 belt loading. Seriosuly, it's not that bad. The bins are low on those planes, and the bag carts are usually only like five feet away. That's three steps. Not too far. Whoever can't load a 717 without a belt loader is lazy.


User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

I know nothing about ground ops.... so you guys have no system sorting out who gets tugs, where, how? You just grab whichever one you see?

User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3988 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 5):
I'm guessing you're not an AirTran fan.

Nope.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 5):
The bins are low on those planes, and the bag carts are usually only like five feet away.

Thats not the point, the point is(and I know what I'm talking about here), you pull the bags up along the side and length of the plane, forward to backward. If your carts are squirrelling or if you are off just a few inches(come on, we know the rampers will get it as close as they can to the plane), you have a plane that will not go out for a couple of days and you just gave the maintenance guys more work to do.

Quoting MarshalN (Reply 6):
I know nothing about ground ops.... so you guys have no system sorting out who gets tugs, where, how? You just grab whichever one you see?

Well, at my airline, your not supposed to take somethig that isn't assigned to your gate or whatever. But lets say you have 10 tugs sitting outside a breakroom, with guys coming and going. Well, if you have a tug outside and its well known that its a good tug(fast, powerful, whatever), someone may steal your tug, leaving you with their crappy tug, or better yet, someone who is too lazy to walk back down to their gate on the concourse just steals a tug and uses it as their own golf cart to get them where they need to go. The worst that can happen is you come to take it back, but by that time, they have already gotten where they need to go and don't need it anymore. And its very childish to go crying to a supervisor that so-and-so stole my tug and won't give it back or anything like that. The best thing is to get revenge. Wait for them to park a tug to go pee and steal theirs, or temporarily disable it, so when they come out, they are dumbfounded why it won't start, until they hook the motor back up to the cables.


OttoPylit


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3975 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 7):
If your carts are squirrelling or if you are off just a few inches(come on, we know the rampers will get it as close as they can to the plane), you have a plane that will not go out for a couple of days and you just gave the maintenance guys more work to do.

Of course that would happen if you don't do your job correctly. But the crews are trained to stay four feet away from the planes with all GSE. Every airline has careless employees unfortunately. Heck, at NWA, we had several instances where people ran belt loaders into the side of planes. Incidents happen everywhere. The trick is to do the job as you are trained and they won't happen very often.


User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 8):
But the crews are trained to stay four feet away from the planes with all GSE. Every airline has careless employees unfortunately. Heck, at NWA, we had several instances where people ran belt loaders into the side of planes. Incidents happen everywhere. The trick is to do the job as you are trained and they won't happen very often.

Say's you. I happen to know someone who will remain nameless who was employed by Airtran. Nothing was mentioned of that during training, it was in fact, said that a beltload should always be used. And when that person got back to his station, the training was to pull the carts closer and closer so no walking was done wiht the bags. It was eventually until that person was good enough to drive the carts along the side of a DC-9 and 717 where the tops of the bag carts were about 2 inches away from the skin of the plane. Not safe at all, and all part of the training from "experienced ramp crews."



OttoPylit


User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3951 times:

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
avoid driving on the spine

Well I thought I knew most of the goings on at my home airport but apparently not. What is the Spine? Pardon my ignorance.

Quoting N160LH (Reply 2):
avoid DL's international bagroom... Its just depressing down there

Why so? I'm guessing some exotic locations but you're stuck in ATL?



"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineOttoPylit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3925 times:

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
What is the Spine? Pardon my ignorance.

You know the middle of the airport where the subway runs through? That is considered the spine, as in the spine of the airport keeping everything together. It makes it easier to seperate the airport into different categories if you work there. Instead of saying, "Hey, go to the Delta Direct phones over in the middle of A Concourse and get Jerry to call me" you can say, "Go to A Spine and tell Jerry to call me." Or instead of telling a coworker, the only decent coffeeshop in ATL is the one on B Spine, which would differentiate it from another coffeeshop of the same name further down B Concourse.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 10):
Why so? I'm guessing some exotic locations but you're stuck in ATL?

Dark, windowless, fans blowing but your still inhaling tug exhaust fumes, and hearing nothing but tugs running, bag belts running, and cart's slamming into concrete poles while trying to make a turn that just didn't work. And knowing your stuck in ATL while those folks are going to GIG doesn't help either. LOL



OttoPylit


User currently offlineZone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1035 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 4):

They have nothing that can even compare to what DL has in ATL.

Very few places in the world can compare to what DL has in ATL for that matter.



/// U N I T E D
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3904 times:
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MSY...if you're gonna be in town for a while then IM me and we'll get the locals together and buy you whatever you drink.

Glad you're staying busy, and hope you get home before too long.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineDeltaGator From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6341 posts, RR: 13
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3886 times:

Thanks OttoPylit. I had a hunch the spine was exactly what you said but I just wanted to make sure. I'll be sure to check out the coffee shop you reference when I get back home on Sunday. Hopefully it is better than some of the swill I find in te Crown Room (I know, boo fricking hoo!)


"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
User currently offlineWDBRR From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 610 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3841 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 5):
Not even close, but having 27 gates (with 5 more to come) is nothing to sneeze at.

where are the 5 gates in ATL comming from, I thought DL grabbed every available gate there.


User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6558 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3807 times:

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 15):
Not even close, but having 27 gates (with 5 more to come) is nothing to sneeze at.

I am fairly positive the new gates are coming from terminal D, but don't hold me to that.


User currently offlineLitz From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3732 times:
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Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 7):
Well, at my airline, your not supposed to take somethig that isn't assigned to your gate or whatever. But lets say you have 10 tugs sitting outside a breakroom, with guys coming and going. Well, if you have a tug outside and its well known that its a good tug(fast, powerful, whatever), someone may steal your tug, leaving you with their crappy tug

Sounds like a good case to buy a boot, so you can boot the tires when you park the tug ... nobody will steal THAT tug ...

Or just install a quick disconnect on the battery cable ...

 Smile

BTW, it's not just aviation ... railroaders have been known to do the same thing. If this locomotive has A/C, and that one does not, engineers have been known to pull a switcharoo before heading out, woe be to whoever's farther down the seniority ladder (or simply arrives later) ...  Smile

- litz


User currently offlineN160LH From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3633 times:

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 11):
And knowing your stuck in ATL while those folks are going to GIG doesn't help either. LOL

God that is so true....!

I think the gates that FL is getting are on the end of D South...

N160LH



"I do alright up in the air, its down on the ground that I tend to mess up..."
User currently offlineJumbojet From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

Quoting MSYtristar (Thread starter):
PS - Once again, to the airlines that as of yet have not returned to MSY (you know who are), y'all are missing out on a HUGE p.r oppurtunity. It's not everyday that an airline can claim to be part of the rebirth of a city. I guess some airlines don't care for that sort of thing.

what airline are you talking about? the other Atlanta based carrier is currently running 5 flights a day to and from MSY.


User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3541 times:

Quoting N160LH (Reply 18):
I think the gates that FL is getting are on the end of D South...

They're already using all of the "common use" gates on D South, and with HP moving in with US very soon, the only other airline that uses those besides AirTran will be Hooters Air for their couple of flights a week. Well the Indy Air gate may become available pretty soon as well...

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 11):
Or instead of telling a coworker, the only decent coffeeshop in ATL is the one on B Spine, which would differentiate it from another coffeeshop of the same name further down B Concourse.

If you want to call Seattle's Best decent coffee, then go ahead.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 7):
Well, at my airline, your not supposed to take somethig that isn't assigned to your gate or whatever.

When I worked @ FL and EV, it didn't matter it the tug had your gate numbers or zone number on there, folks would take it.

Quoting DL021 (Reply 13):
MSY...if you're gonna be in town for a while then IM me and we'll get the locals together and buy you whatever you drink.

Potentially pencil me in if such a thing occurs.


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