Wedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6094 posts, RR: 5 Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8351 times:
No damage to airplane, but carelessness. When will AS management get their head out of their butts??? Menzies is just not working in SEA.
Baggage handlers' latest gaffe: Dog tossed aboard jet
By Cheryl Phillips
Seattle Times staff reporter
Jace, a 40-pound border collie, was bound for a dog competition in Florida.
Saturday night, just a day after Alaska Airlines increased its monitoring of ramp operations at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, a baggage worker threw a crate containing a border collie into the cargo hold of a plane instead of using a conveyor belt.
The dog's owner, Lisa Ross of Woodinville, was watching from inside the terminal around 11 p.m. when a ramp worker picked up the crate holding her 40-pound dog, Jace, tipped it at a 45-degree angle and then heaved it over his head into the jet.
The baggage worker is an employee of Menzies Aviation, an Alaska contractor blamed for damaging two Alaska Airlines jets on the ground at Sea-Tac in the past three weeks. As a result of those earlier incidents, Menzies said it was flying 25 supervisors to Seattle to work alongside Menzies' local workers to improve the operation. Also, Alaska said Friday it was assigning six extra Alaska Airlines employees to supervise ramp operations for each shift.
But Ross saw no supervisors.
"My dog was basically being slammed from level to 45 degrees and projected into the plane," Ross said. "It was just horrifying to see."
The worker then walked to Ross' other dog, an Australian shepherd named Tucker, and tried to lift his crate but couldn't, Ross said. Workers used a belt loader for the 50-pound dog, according to Ross and an Alaska incident report.
Ross complained to an Alaska gate agent, who went down to the tarmac and spoke with the workers. They admitted throwing a dog but said it was a different one, Ross said. She noted that she uses brightly colored crates so she can spot her dogs when she flies. She also puts cards with the dogs' pictures on each crate to make sure workers know what they are moving.
After Ross complained, her dogs were unloaded and she postponed her flight until today. She had been on her way to a dog competition in Florida. She's now taking only Tucker because she thinks he's too heavy to be thrown.
While Alaska has increased its supervision of Menzies employees, the six Alaska employees on duty each shift must cover 26 gates, said Amanda Tobin, an Alaska spokeswoman.
Tobin said the airline is investigating the incident and has communicated its concern to senior managers at Menzies. The airline transports more than 35,000 pets a year, she said.
A Menzies employee in the company's Seattle office referred all questions to a London-based Menzies spokesman. Phone calls to that spokesman were not returned.
This week, four senior executives with Menzies are leading a 90-day review of the contractor's operations at Sea-Tac. In May, Alaska said it would save $13.7 million a year by outsourcing the Sea-Tac baggage work to Menzies.
An Alaska supervisor told Ross that the airline would pay for any veterinarian bills, according to the Alaska incident report. "I do not know why the ramp agents didn't use a belt loader when boarding the first dog except they must of [sic] been in a hurry," the supervisor wrote in the report.
Ross said Jace was shaking and panting and afraid to go back into his crate when she unloaded him, but he seems to be uninjured. Her concern now is how well he will travel in the future, she said.
PlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 6269 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8257 times:
It'll be interesting to see when and if Alaska management loses their will. At what point do they kill the Menzies deal and try something else? Who are the other contractors that do ramp work like this?
I doubt AS will go back to it's own staff, at least not yet. That would be a bitter pill to take, though so is the current local media blitzkrieg. Someone up at headquarters must be absolutely pissed right now. I wouldn't be surprised if a few chairs have gone airborne.
Next Trip: SEA-ORD-DSM on United/OMA-DEN-SEA on Southwest
LGA777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1149 posts, RR: 18
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8213 times:
This is another classic example of outsourcing in the airline industry. With the various incidents and associated publicity in the press which is probably huge in the SEA area, I wonder what the dollar figure in lost revenue does to the bottom line of how much AS is actually saving by outsourcing the SEA ramp ?
Gift4tbone From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 616 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8154 times:
Ok, so they have a contract with the menzies, right? What is the cancellation clause? Anyone know this? I'm sure right about now, some AS higher-ups, are looking at the cost of replacing the menzies Vs. the cost of keeping them.
Is there any other ramp agent companies besides the Menzies? Becuase they are the only one I know of.
HPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4633 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 8128 times:
ATS immediately comes to mind, they work a good percentage of the airlines at PDX, currently all CO, AA...and DL and HA beginning next month. They also work in cargo with Airborne, and maybe UPS but don't quote me on that one. Since I've worked here I'm not aware of any incidents this bad. I know a lot of the ATS employees personally and they are very responsible, capable people.
Lincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7981 times:
Quoting Gift4tbone (Reply 6): Ok, so they have a contract with the menzies, right? What is the cancellation clause?
Knowing nothing about the Alaska contract in particular, and having no legal eduction, I can't speak definitively, but as someone who enjoys reading contracts (and then the lawsuits that arise from those contracts)... It likely depends on who drafted the contract.
If Menzies drafted the contract, there is probably little wiggle room and/or a very high "cancellation" penalty, however, any ambiguity in the contract would be construed against the drafter and for the other party, so if all of the "i"s aren't dotted or "t"s crossed, AS may have some wiggle room.
If Alaska drafted the contract, I would suspect that there is at least one of the following potential escapes:
- Loss of Good Will/Irreperable Harm to Reputation/Detrimental acts - Some contracts (and this would be a great one) include specific provisions, including in some cases an escape, if the actions of one party are detrimental to the other or cause harm to the other's reputation or good will.
- Material breach -- Depending on what, exactly, AS is contracting Menzies for (and if there are any kind of service level gaurntees, etc. included) it could be argued that Menzies is not providing the services pursuant to the terms of the contract and therefore Alaska could/should be released from its obligations under the contract.
I suspect that Alaska is losing patientce and that this "90 day review" is a component of the contract and serves to put Menzies on notice that Alaska is not satisfied with their performance under the contract and gives Menzies the opportunity to improve before further adverse action is taken.
But again -- I'm not a lawyer, I have no legal education and could be going off into orbit-- anyone who knows better, please correct me.
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
AirlineAddict From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7962 times:
Damaging aircraft and causing loss of good will could be grounds for "gross negligence" which usually is enough cause to terminate if not sue for damages (but I'm no lawyer, just an aviation entusiast).
Swissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1749 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 7959 times:
That is why you leave your pet home..................
Incident has nothing to do with out sourcing guys, there are many ramp employees witch do not care or very little how to handle animals, they are everywhere.
I know they get paid very little (makes me cry) ( joke), just because you get paid 7 hr. gives you the right to abuse animals...... pretty sad........
I am sure AS will fix the problems as fast as they can.
Contracts usually have a 60 to 90 day cancellation period but if reason is sever enough it could be terminated immediately.