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
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
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
, 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
), as they aren't bound by a union contract as UA
is. SkyWest handles DLC
hub ops in SLC
only operations handled by OO
employees, mixed stations operated by mainline except as noted earlier.
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.