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How Do You Become A Station Manager?  
User currently offlineRicardoFG From Spain, joined Feb 2005, 677 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 8186 times:

I was curious, how is it that station managers get there jobs? What steps do they have to follow. What areas of the airline are mandatory to know, is anything not so important? Is networking involved? Luck of the draw??

27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 8153 times:

All of the station managers that I know started at the bottom, either in customer service or as a ramp agent. Then they work their way up to Supervisor, Manager, assistant station manager, station manager. Somtimes the steps can be skipped over. For example, one of my managers here went from being a Manager of Ramp and Operations at a "mega" station to being the station manager at a smaller station. However, he had experience in multiple departments previously.


United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
User currently offlineAv8rphx From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 713 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 8133 times:

Kissing a** helps too.

User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 8073 times:

Quoting Av8rphx (Reply 2):
Kissing a** helps too.

True.

But seriously you have to usually start at the bottom. All the station managers I knew, started as customer service agents, then supervisors, they went from there to station manager as opportunities came around.



There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 8059 times:

Quoting Av8rphx (Reply 2):
Kissing a** helps too.

LOL

My first reaction was that you have to like brownnosing. You brownnose the customers and upper managment.

The only ones you don't brownnose are the employees, buit you get to brow beat them so it works out for you in the end.


User currently offlineQxq400 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 7999 times:

 kiss   puckerup   butthead  Need I say more.


Welcome baby Madison Renee
User currently offlineG-CIVP From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1287 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 7931 times:

Also speak the local language helps and rather than brown-nose, be personable!

User currently offlineFly727 From Mexico, joined Jul 2003, 1789 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 7890 times:

Kissing ass might help but so does hard work and dedication.

I am now an airline pilot and a lawyer but started my career in the aviation industry as a Lost and Found agent offloading heavy bags from the baggage belts and tracking lost or stolen bags.

A couple of months later I was upgraded to Customer Service Agent, then Supervisor, then Ground Security Coordinator (GSC) getting my very first training abroad. After two years I was invited to audit Ground and In-flight Services in Mexico and US for a major charter company while at the same time I was assigned, among other co-workers, to lead the Catering division of the company.

Then, finally I was selected to head the station in San Antonio Texas for the now defunct Allegro Airlines. I lived there a bit less than two years and enjoyed the experience to the max. I started my Private and Commecial while living there, came back to Mexico and just before starting to fly professionally I had the chance to be an Instructor giving initial and recurrent training to Customer Services Agents.

It's up to you., kiss some behind or do it the long, satisfactory way.

RM  Smile



There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
User currently offlineHPRamper From United States of America, joined May 2005, 3963 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 7873 times:

Works best if you start on ramp or CSA. Cross-training works wonders too so you can know all sides of the station's operation. It takes time, and although different airlines have different systems it's basically ramp/CSA to supervisor to station manager. Ramp lead/Operations also comes in between ramp and supervisor.

User currently offlinePRGLY From Czech Republic, joined Dec 2004, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 7824 times:

I became station manager after winning tender for this position. I was reservation manager before in other airline, but my university grade is airline operations and commerce, which helped me a lot, also knowledge of languages is helping. This year i completed 15th year in this position. Not bad to have job as your hobby. I enjoy every day (almost).


just fly - it is nice
User currently offlineThomsonfly From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 229 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 7802 times:

Hi
Im a turnaround manager for an airline (TCX), and in smaller bases the next stage up for me is service delivery manager (which is the base manager) and thats skipping the jobs 'below' my grade eg ground handling agent and/or airline cabin crew. In larger bases they have Airport managers and duty mangers just depends how big you want your pond to be..... so in all fairness it'd take alot of work and commitment but not far off title wise....

Mark


User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 7768 times:

Get as much experience in as many areas of the operation as possible, check-in, ticketing, lost and found baggage, dispatch, and even cargo if you can. All helps.

Some airlines now do a graduate scheme where you bypass the minor roles, and go straight in as a Duty Manager. I completely disagree with this as you do not know how things work when going straight in at that level, and don't appreciate alot of what is involved in the jobs below you.

Sadly at the airline I work for, they usually just recruit externally from people in similar roles in other airlines, so people from with-in very rarely get a chance to move up the ranks

 Sad



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineRicardoFG From Spain, joined Feb 2005, 677 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7584 times:

Thanks all! How important is operations (weight and balance) for the position?? I was told by many station managers that its very difficult to get a station manager position if you do not know weight and balance. Also, I work for a handling company, albeit major, still not an airline directly. Does this provide me with a better oppritunity where i am working with many different airlines, or does lets say working with AC provide me a better oppritunity to move up?? I think the handling company gives me more oppritunity (even though every day is a frustration). I am only 2 years in the industry, but what can I say, Im anxious!!

User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7577 times:

To be honest, a lot of Station Managers never had a college education, they just worked the way up from a cabin cleaner or ramp agent or CSA, and they have a tendency to fear college educated workers, so they often will promote an Illegal Alien Ramp Agent who hardly speaks english as a Duty Manager than agents who hold aviation management or other degrees. Its the hard reality if your talking about airport operations.


There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineDc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7577 times:

Basically working your way up through the ranks, show a lot of determination, be professional, and show strong signs of leadership. In 99.9% of cases the airline will require a masters degree at the very least for this type of position as well.

User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7550 times:

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 14):
In 99.9% of cases the airline will require a masters degree at the very least for this type of position as well.

City Manager or so, maybe yes

But for a Ground Handler or Airline Airport Station Manager, some dont even have college degrees. Its usually a "plus" basis.

You will most likely find a ramp agent with a masters degree than a Station Manager with one.



There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineCaptaink From Mexico, joined May 2001, 5108 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7531 times:

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 13):
so they often will promote an Illegal Alien Ramp Agent

I find that rather hard to believe. But yes working hard does help. Strangely to support the statements made here, none of the station managers I know are college educated. They however have been working a rather long time in the airline industry, and all started off as passenger services agents. So with time, they gain some rather invaluable experience and in some ways a college graduate would have to sell him/herself really well to convince the airline to hire them instead. Whats more, openings for positions withiin the airline are usually advertised within the airline and current staff are usually given preference.

Although a college education is always a good thing, the airline industry is a really unique industry, with each airline being unique in themselves. Sometimes a college degree does not take you too far.

By way FLY727, you give a new meaning to live life to the fullest. Slow down dude, you can't do everything. Or can you? ::D Congrats on your accomplishments though.

[Edited 2006-08-22 07:22:12]


There is something special about planes....
User currently offlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6411 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7515 times:

It really just depends on the airline. At Frontier, they had several levels...and those always had to be followed: CSA ---> Coordinator ---> Supervisor ---> City Manager.

You need to have at least several years of front line experience plus a working knowledge of budgets, strong leadership and organizational skills, plus a strong work ethic. It's more involved than one would think.

I've seen managers as young as 22, and as old as 75, so it really just depends on the individual, and what they hope to achieve.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7423 times:

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 14):
In 99.9% of cases the airline will require a masters degree at the very least for this type of position as well.

For Station Manager?! No. Certainly Not.

A college BA in buisness is perfered but not even required for Station Manager positions at UA. Of course since you start as Ramp or CS Supervisor and work your way to Station Manager getting your degree along the way is probably expected.

I don't think, if I remember correctly, UA looks for an MBA until you get to VP level unless its a highly specialized job like accounting or similar definatly NOT a requirment for Station Manager.


User currently offlineMalaysia From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 3316 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 7405 times:

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 18):

I don't think, if I remember correctly, UA looks for an MBA until you get to VP level unless its a highly specialized job like accounting or similar definatly NOT a requirment for Station Manager.

UAL has started looking for Ramp/CS Supervisors (not the leads, I mean the "supervisors") who have never been in a union cause they dont want union influences often.



There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
User currently offlineDc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7369 times:

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 18):
For Station Manager?! No. Certainly Not.

A college BA in buisness is perfered but not even required for Station Manager positions at UA. Of course since you start as Ramp or CS Supervisor and work your way to Station Manager getting your degree along the way is probably expected.

Guess it is an AA thing. When I check station manager openings in CDP, it always states Masters Degree Required.


User currently offlineSwissy From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 1734 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 7352 times:

Quoting RicardoFG (Reply 12):
Thanks all! How important is operations (weight and balance) for the position?? I was told by many station managers that its very difficult to get a station manager position if you do not know weight and balance. Also, I work for a handling company, albeit major, still not an airline directly. Does this provide me with a better oppritunity where i am working with many different airlines, or does lets say working with AC provide me a better oppritunity to move up?? I think the handling company gives me more oppritunity (even though every day is a frustration). I am only 2 years in the industry, but what can I say, Im anxious!!

Hi Ricardo, hope weather is good at YYZ!!!

It is not bad working for a ground handling company (old SA/GG) as it gives you a big spectrum of what goes on behind the doors with all these different airlines as no airline is like the other......... 2 years is not bad to start but I would try to get different positions within your current employer and try to get as much knowledge as possible (free education), a BA or something similar always helps, study a little labour laws, union.......
Always keep your ears open and see if a airline in YYZ has perhaps a entry level management position open................. and see what happens.

One last thing, never burn your bridges with your old/new employer if you want to move up the ladder................

Good luck

Cheers,


User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7322 times:

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 19):
UAL has started looking for Ramp/CS Supervisors (not the leads, I mean the "supervisors") who have never been in a union cause they dont want union influences often.

Of course! UAL doesn't really want people who can DO the job. It's much better to hire some unknown off the street so long as the compnay can control them.

Makes perfect sense to me!



(please note the sarcasm)


User currently offlineVgnAtl747 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1502 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7308 times:

All of the managers I know started at the bottom. Typical steps for OH would be Customer Service Agent, Customer Service Lead Agent, Customer Service Supervisor, Station Manager (of a small station).


Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
User currently offlineFrntman From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 209 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7221 times:

I would recommend getting as much experience in as many areas as possible. Having a front-line leadership position in several areas will help also. Maybe being a lead/supervisor on the ramp and then transferring to a similar position in a customer service role. Along the way become express an interest in learning the budgeting process at a local station level and know emergency procedures like the back of your hand.

Essentially, airlines like to promote from within as much as possible, but by doing so, they expect the person they promote to need minimal training for their new position. Most importantly, let it be known that you have an interest to learn all the facets of the station.


25 9252fly : Most station managers that I know have started at the bottom. That does not mean anyone can reach that level. The best ones have excellent people skil
26 SK736 : As well as having low living costs or very low salary expectations!
27 RampRat74 : Most of the supervisors I worked around came right from the Union leadership. That's what gets me. They are die-hard union guys in their first part o
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