MSYtristar
Topic Author
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Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:07 pm

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?
 
Cpt Underpants
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:13 pm

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.
 
MSYtristar
Topic Author
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:21 pm

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.
 
citationjet
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 10:47 pm

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 avatar
EA CO AS
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:17 pm

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

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
ordflyer
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:24 pm

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.
 
cancidas
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:44 pm

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."
 
MSPXJGuy
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sat Sep 04, 2004 5:27 am

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.
 
m404
Posts: 1875
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:43 pm

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sat Sep 04, 2004 7:48 pm

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
 
Rampero
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 7:03 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sat Sep 04, 2004 11:45 pm

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...
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:06 am

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?"
 
slider
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:15 am

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.
 
JAXpax
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004 9:52 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:18 am

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?
 
AMS
Posts: 1620
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:31 am

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
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:30 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:53 am

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.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:05 am

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
 
JAXpax
Posts: 463
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:14 am

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.
 
wbmech
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2004 12:02 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:00 am

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.
 
flybyguy
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:52 pm

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:36 am

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
 
greasespot
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:35 am

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?"
 
freshlove1
Posts: 1245
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 1:38 pm

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:50 am

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]
 
av8rphx
Posts: 683
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RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:32 am

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.
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:39 am

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:)
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:51 am

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:)
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:34 pm

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
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:32 pm

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 Smile

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?"
 
NightFlier
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:44 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Sun Sep 05, 2004 11:23 pm

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 some sort of descent intelligence. I feel that the people classified as Ramp Rats, CSR's, Ticket Agents are underpaid, I don't think airlines and FBOs need to pay these employees $100.000 dollars a year but a decent paycheck will do. For example where I work out of 30 employees there are only 6 full time employees because the rest have a second job. The managers are always complaing they cannot find anybody to work and they have 30 people to choose from ?. The answer is simple pay people more money because in the end we need some form of laborers who can make a descent living, if everyone becomes lawyers and doctors where going to be in big trouble because then there is going to be nobody to load the baggage, dump the lavs, take the tickets, fuel the planes, and do all the other good things that the well educated don't want to do.  Big thumbs up
Airplanes are only as good as the people who fly&fix them.
 
dacman
Posts: 380
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2000 9:22 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:10 am

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 training by chance?

Before I saw your profile, I thought you were someone who had no idea what went on at the airport and what the frontline folks have to put up with sometimes, man was I wrong. A fellow airline employee and you are talking this way, obviously you have some other issues to deal with. Do you still work for an airline or did you get laid off (sorry if you did) but don't take your anger out on the Ramp agents, CSA's, or Ops agents.

I myself work for an airline, and folks with your attitude don't last long with my company. I will agree that some of the folks on the ramp or in customer service aren't the brightest stars in the sky, but that goes for Pilots, F/As and yes even Mechanics.

Mike
lgbguy
SNA Ops
"Airliner Photography is not a crime"
 
smcmac32msn
Posts: 1661
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 9:25 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 12:25 am

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).

So only contract baggage handlers pilfer bags huh? Got proof to back that up? Or is that just one of your near-sighted comments?

I contract baggage handled for over a year and we did our job just as well (if not better) than the people hired for the airlines. I remember watching AE sit on the ramp most afternoons for 10+ minutes waiting to be parked and off loaded before somebody would finally straggle out and park them from AE's ops. We knew when our (CO and US) plane was coming down, and we were prepared well before it came down for each flight.
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:55 am

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 feel that way but I do not have to voice it or voice it in such a mean way.

I guess I sometimes fall into that selfish Mech category once in a while.

So to all who took offense I am sorry.



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?"
 
aeroc
Posts: 223
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 9:05 am

RE: Airport Workers Underpaid?

Mon Sep 06, 2004 4:11 pm

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 more on the plane and makes 20/HR. doing so, lay-off those people and send them to Dallas for TKT, baggage, gate, management, GSE training with Eagle and pay them 14.50/HR to 5x the work. Make the AA station Eagle bring all the AA personnel back send them through all the training so 6mos, later they can say "I don't like this anymore, I don't know if its GB- or GBflt#- how do I close the flight now? I guess its time to leave and find something different to do now." I believe that those of us that work for a regional airline are some of the most rounded personnel in the system. We can do anything at the airport. Most could fix a MX problem faster than the mechanic. I tip my hat to all of you and say "keep it up" Were only going to see more mainline closures and more mainline personnel coming "up" to the regional ranks..............