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Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:06 am

Last year, I went to a ten day youth leadership conference in Washington DC, and I flew on COEx from EWR-IAD. At the end of March, I flew EWR-STT on CO, and I noticed that the same gate agent that did my EWR-IAD flight in June 2004 was working our EWR-STT flight. Knowing the large number of CO staff that work at EWR, I was quite surprised that it was the same guy.

Anyway, how does it work for airline staff when a station does both mainline and express flights? This particular gate agent worked both types of flights, but COEx is very integrated into Terminal C, located in C-2, so I guess I'm not too surprised. However, I know at other locations, the express carriers are more isolated, banished to their own terminals.

How do most airlines handle this? What about ramp agents?
Topic Author
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sat Apr 23, 2005 10:18 pm

Come on, people...nobody out there has any clue?
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sun Apr 24, 2005 1:36 am

Are Continental Express (ExpressJet) customer service and ramp agents eveb separate from Continental mainline agents as a whole? I thought that since ExpressJet is still, for all intensive purposes, part of Continental, an agent at an all-Express station would be employed in nearly the same manner as an agent at a mainline or combo station. I'm only familiar with Continental's operations locally in Columbus, and all agents are employed by Continental and handle both CO and COEX.

Now, back when I worked at America West's Columbus hub, we were all employed by America West proper, and handled all America West as well as America West Express flights, operated by Chautauqua. I guess it moreso depends on the hub and the airline. I want to say that ATA's Chicago hub pre-Southwest was split, with ATA agents handling ATA flights and Chicago Express agents handling the Chicago Express SAABs. I could be wrong though.
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:19 am

It would all depend on the airline, airport and local union agreements. In CVG, Delta does Delta and Comair handles Comair. Any Air Canada station flying both mainline and AC Jazz is handled by mainline agents. Jazz is now in the process of contracting out the work in any stations that are strictly Jazz. Something tells me this is not going to be popular with Air Canada unions; maybe we'll see some more extended "lunch breaks"
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:06 pm

Here at United most stations have cross-trained everyone, and then depending on seniority you will preference where you want to work i.e. inside or out. We work both UA and United Express flights and depending on the station other airlines. Here in Greensboro we use to handle AC until their pullout.
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:11 pm

Here are a few more that come to my head:

GSO - mainline handles all flights
MHT - Comair handles all flights
BOS - mainline handles all flights
CLE - mainline handles all flights

US Airways:
MHT, GSO - mainline handles all flights
PWM, BTV - either Express or MidAtlantic handles all flights

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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:27 pm

It depends on the airport and the operation. At LAX, you get both UA mainline and OO staff handling the flights. It just depends on what part of the operation you are in. At MSY, it is all UA mainline even with the express flights that come in.
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RE: Staffing At Mixed Mainline/express Stations

Mon Apr 25, 2005 10:00 am

It does depend on the airline and the staffing situation.

Continental has mainline employees handling all above-wing and below-wing functions for mainline and Express/Connection flights in IAH, I would assume it's much the same in EWR and CLE.

United hubs have mainline agents work mainline flights and Express agents work Express flights (except for ORD, which will apparently soon follow Continental's lead for UA ORD ground handling all flights). Smaller stations with a mix of mainline and Express flights are handled by UA mainline, and cities with only Express flights are operated by contract employees (be it a United Express carrier or a ground handling company like Delta Global). United Express flights into Canada without an established UA presence are handled by Air Canada (YEG and YWG for example)

However, a mainline flight can operate into an Express-handled station seasonally and still allow Express agents to work it. An excellent example is ORD-PSP, operated by an A319 and handled by UAX/SkyWest in PSP. I believe it's just finished or will finish shortly operating for the season, picking back up in the fall.

Our Delta Connection ops operate just the same, except Delta allows Connection agents to handle a small number of mainline flights continuously/year-round (ie PSC, JAC, GEG), as they aren't bound by a union contract as UA is. SkyWest handles DLC hub ops in SLC, DLC only operations handled by OO employees, mixed stations operated by mainline except as noted earlier.

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