Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:51 am

Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 9:57 pm

This is a question I have for Customer Service Agents/Ground Crew working for airlines all over the world.

I started my career at Menzies/Ogden as a CSA outsourced to KLM, in a KLM uniform. After a year or so, KLM started to do self-handling and I was recruited by them, so I now work for KLM.

The job is basically the same. We also handle third party airlines, such as CO, PY and later this year DL and RG.

My question is: Do you rather work for an airline or a ground handler and why?

Here is how I see it:

- At KLM I enjoy more non-rev benefits as do my close relatives on multiple airlines (Interline Agreement). At Menzies I only got one ticket a year (ID90) for myself and only on KLM, because that was the only flight I did.

- At Menzies you enjoyed the perk of working at different Menzies station in the world. I worked at HKG when Chek Lap Kok opened in 1998 to assist KL/NW agents. Also worked in SXM, CCS and in AMS.

- At a ground handler you also have the perk of handling a lot more airlines than at an airline, so you get around more in other words.

What's your opinion?

The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:11 am

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 10:13 pm

I would rather work for an airline as opposed to a third party ground handler. From what I've seen the pay is generally a little more with one airline than it is at a third party (depending on whether or not they are covered by a CBA). Also the travel benefits seem to be much better at an airline rather than what you may or may not get from a third party.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:11 am

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 10:17 pm

Well maybe i share my experience...

when i started, we used to wear a neutral uniform and acted just as a ground handler....

now things changed as Swiss Int. Air Lines gave all the responsibility to swissport, even the ticketing, this is a very new and unique agreement in the world... people how are dedicated to work for swiss are now wearing their uniform...
i welcome this, as people recognize you on ground immediately as "swiss staff", the cooperation with the crew is better as they think you are one of them... and furthermore as you mentioned we enjoy better benefits especially in stand-by tkts....

but actually i just read some news that KLM did such a thing now with swissport and will be the second airline after swiss, giving full responsibilty to their ground handler...

Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:31 am

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 10:25 pm

I enjoyed my stint at both for different reasons.
Ground handler I got to work with 17 different Airlines and learned 17 different ways to do the same thing. It was also alot more fun and the people were easier to get along with..No arrogance. AT the Airline I got better pay and felt a sense of job security I did not at the handler. The benefits were also better at the airline.

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 10:35 pm

I'd much rather work for an airline as well, the benefits are better, and you can also move around different bases your airline flys to if you so pleased. However if your main thing is to experience as many different airlines as possible, then ground handling would be the way to go. I do know people that work for ground handlers that love it.
Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 3:26 am

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Tue May 18, 2004 10:50 pm

Most major airlines offer ground handling to other carriers, therefore it is possible to work full-time with a major airline and work several carriers.
Posts: 800
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 10:51 am

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Wed May 19, 2004 3:09 am

- Supersonic78

You are right indeed. KLM and Swissport did close a five year agreement in which Swissport will handle KLM, KLM cityhopper and KLM Cargo at over 60 stations all over the world. This also includes my station, but luckily only cargo as Swissport only has a cargo facility in Aruba and no passenger service facility.
And what you said about the cooperation with the flight crew I also agree with. They indeed consider you as one of them.

When I handle anything else than KLM, you are kind of the outsider.

The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:15 pm

RE: Ground Handler Or Airline?

Thu May 20, 2004 3:57 am

Having worked for Gatwick Handling now Aviance and Servisair/Globeground
I can honestly say that I prefer working for an Airline.
Whilst at Gatwick we handled several large carriers ....VS,GA,HM,BA...etc
you would work damn hard and learn several different systems DCS,SHARES and Codeco to name a few! And what thanks did we ever get! NONE
Most airlines would blame anything that went wrong on us at the handling Agent.
We never got to enjoy flight concessions! Although I did get to go on an educational on NORTHWEST to DTW.
Working for CX at LHR is FAB!! We know the product inside out and Customer Service is at the highest level.
I also get to go to HKG on regular training sessions!!!
So thumbs up for Airline!!

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