Lono
Topic Author
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AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:21 am

Just talked with a friend in SEA... he told me that AS let go 500 AS rampies this morning and that Menzies is working there this morning....

BAH! I say... BAH!
Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
 
S12PPL
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:26 am

Holey cow! How horrible Sad Why would AS let so many rampers go, when they aren't in horrible financial shape? Are they that desperate to make a huge proffit? What a horrible day at Alaska!

Good luck to all the former SEA AS rampers! I hope your time un-employed is short lived. You guys deserve better!!
Next Flights: 12/31 AS804 PDX-MCO 2/3 AS19 MCO-SEA QX2545 SEA-PDX
 
UALramperORD
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:34 am

Didnt the I.A.M. do anything to prevent this? I know they just voted done a contract but man, this sems a bit to much.
"Roger, cleared to push spot 3"
 
rsmith6621a
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:46 am

Quoting Lono (Thread starter):
Just talked with a friend in SEA... he told me that AS let go 500 AS rampies this morning and that Menzies is working there this morning....

First off here is a lnk to the story at hand.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...gy/2002273616_webalaskajobs13.html

Second.....Wash State law requires that companys who lay off more than 60 employees give those disslocated a 60 day notice so this did not just happen over night. If indeed the Union did little to fight for the workers then KAHKAH on them. I flew ID90 on AS yesterday to LAX and back last night on my carrier UA and the moral on both was not as perky as is once was. This crapo is taking its toll on the employees,I dont see how corporate YOHOs see this is good.

Good luck to them all.......the join 413 UA SEARR Res center employee that will lose their jobs in 3 weeks.
Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
 
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ramprat74
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:51 am

That sucks. Good luck fellow rampers.  Sad
 
toltommy
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 1:55 am

You all might want to check out the thread that already exists on this topic:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/2096923/
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

Sat May 14, 2005 2:02 am

The IAM and AS were in contract talks for quite awhile - but AS kept coming back with proposals that were progressively worse and worse.

First they asked for $2M in concessions. Then it was $13M. Then $18M.

Under their proposal, they expected employees to:

  • Take a $10,000 per year pay cut for those at top pay (around $21/hr currently)


  • Have no pay increases for the first two years of the contract, and then a whopping one percent increase in years three and four.


  • Pay anywhere from 5X to 10X as much for healthcare as they do currently


  • Acknowledge the company's right to outsource their jobs to an outside vendor after four years


  • Here's a link that outlines the company's "offer" that was recently voted on:
    http://www.iam143.org/asa_rssa_summary.htm

    By the way, all of this was under the guise of "this is the contract ALL systemwide rampers must take in order to keep the SEA ramp function in-house." So they were pitting the SEA folks against those in the state of Alaska, telling the rampers up north they'd be suffering under a horrible contract to save the jobs of those in SEA.

    The union came back with paycuts and other concessions that totaled around $12M, but it wasn't enough for AS. They insisted the rampers vote on the company's "last, best and final" offer - which, not surprisingly, was voted down by 85% of the workforce.

    And that led us to today's chickenshit annoucement.

    So about 500 of the finest ramp service workers in aviation are unemployed today, many of which will exercise their bumping rights and displace other rampers in the state of Alaska.

    In the meantime, AS claims they will continue to negotiate on a contract for those rampers still with the company in the state of Alaska.
    "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
     
    baw716
    Posts: 1459
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 2:19 am

    As I understand the situation, Alaska had been negotiating with its mechanics for a VERY LONG time (I think 2 yrs, but don't hold me to that number) for concessions in their contract. Insofar as notification to the workers, part of that negotiation was that if they did not come to a deal before date certain, Alaska would have no choice but to let the ground staff go and convert Seattle to contract workers (that in effect was their notification). The IAM and Management worked out a deal and it went out for vote sometime a month ago and it was announced sometime last week that the Alaska workers voted down the action. Whether or not the rank and file knew what was coming is an open question, but the union knew and as long as the union was notified, then Alaska met their obligation under Washington State law, since the union represents all matters pertaining to their working relationship with the company.

    Of course, all during this time, Alaska had a Plan B ready to execute in the event the rank and file decided to vote down the agreement. When the union rank and file defeated the agreement last week, Alaska set the Plan B in motion last week, gathering the workers from other stations and getting them ready to go this morning. At the same time, they had HR preparing the severage packages for each employee based on their seniority. When all was done, the union was notified and the employees were informed at 330am this morning not to come to work, that they had been separated from the company and that they would be meeting with company representatives within the day or two to discuss their severage packages.

    The severage packages that have been announced are actually quite generous. If some of those guys have a fair amount of seniority in Seattle, some of them are going to walk away with a sizeable amount of money. Its the newer guys who take the hit, although if they have been with AS enough time to qualify for the medical benefits, then they will receive those benefits for another year from today.

    I agree that this is a sad day and that I personally hate to see people lose their jobs and have their lives disrupted this way. Unfortunately, I have been there before (more than once), and the last time, I got a decent severace package, but I had to fight for it. Not too much, The discussions were amicable and short, but still I had to work to clear a few matters which had been promised, which I could not let be dropped. Ultimately I got what I needed and did not damage my relationships doing it.

    However, in the case of the Alaska workers, it would seem that they chose to leave their jobs rather than have lower pay. That was their choice. With the packages Alaska is giving them, it would seem that Alaska wll be furthering the concept of contract baggage handlng.

    Good luck Alaska...I suspect you are really going to need it in the coming days and weeks. You did not do yourself any PR favors today.

    baw716
    David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
     
    qxq400
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 2:35 am

    Quoting Baw716 (Reply 7):
    However, in the case of the Alaska workers, it would seem that they chose to leave their jobs rather than have lower pay. That was their choice. With the packages Alaska is giving them, it would seem that Alaska wll be furthering the concept of contract baggage handlng.

    While I agree with you 100%, I still have a heavy heart for all my former AAG fellow rampers in SEA. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
    Having said that I to believe that AS rampers choice to leave there jobs. AAG offered a top pay of $15 per Hr. The top pay was $21 per hr.That was a sizeable reduction in pay. But know the top pay for rampers in SEA is 0$.  crying 
    Welcome baby Madison Renee
     
    rsmith6621a
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 3:31 am

    Here is a link to a local Seattle affiliated...

    http://komotv.com/stories/36826.htm
    Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
     
    HikesWithEyes
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 3:34 am

    Lono, haven't you complained in the past about the
    high price of airfares between AK and the L48?
    First, benzene in my Perrier, and now this!
     
    Lono
    Topic Author
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 4:07 am

    Quoting HikesWithEyes (Reply 10):

    I complain about alot of things on this board... but in particular I complained about high prices AS charges in the "off season" when they have no competition up here....

    AS has been a very good and respected company in the past and have been successful in defending thier "Niche"... but I think the current back stepping is due to their inability to compete with the LCC's and AS management is worried about the future and their inabilty to compete.... laying off 500 dedicated employees is not the way to accomplish cost savings... this will hurt them in the long run...
    Wally Bird Ruled the Skys!
     
    jc2354
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 4:14 am

    ruthless, ruthless, ruthless. shame on you alaska!
    If not now, then when?
     
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    EA CO AS
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 4:37 am

    I'm thankful that people in this thread all have the tact to at least acknowledge that it's a sad day, rather than the "Well, they're just RAMPERS - they should be lucky to get the severance they're getting!" crap that I've seen from others elsewhere.

    It's a sad, sad day. And frankly, as I've opined elsewhere, talking about the great severance package the rampers are getting is like telling someone whose spouse just died, "Well, look on the bright side - you're getting a ton of money from your insurance! Won't that be nice, too?"  sarcastic 
    "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
     
    ScarletHarlot
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 6:25 am

    The sixty day requirement in the state of Washington does not mean that people get to actively stay in their jobs for sixty days. You can be told not to come to work today...your employer just has to pay you and give you benefits as if you are still working.

    Having been through one last year, let me tell you that layoffs suck. Even with a generous severance package. It's like saying goodbye to your family.
    But that was when I ruled the world
     
    HPRamper
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 7:55 am

    Unfortunate, I have never really liked "ground handling companies", while most aren't as bad as Evergreen...I like when companies employ their own rampers. I know that Menzies works AS in PDX which is either the third or fourth biggest AS station.
     
    sunking737
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 8:38 am

    To all the AS rampers in SEA, good luck, and as A former RC Ramper I feel your pain. This should not have happened.
    Just an MSPAVGEEK
     
    Douglas7Seas
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 2:59 pm

    I have noticed something that may be unrelated, but let me ask for opinions. Over the last three years I have traveled frequently between LAX and SEA/PDX. Most of the time I fly on Alaska. On time arrivals and departures were so common, I didn't even consider the idea of delays.

    About a year and a half ago, I noted delays of thirty to ninety minutes begin. Quite often this was associated with mechanical problems. Additionally, I note the onset of a disdainful approach to treatment of "coach" class passengers.

    Any chance all these issues are related?

    See ya,

    John
    Be different; Be nice.
     
    chowder
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 3:44 pm

    The sheep line up for slaughter.

    Stand up, be your own man.

    Exactly why I left the 121 biz.
     
    m404
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 6:32 pm

    They did stand up and voted it down. I'm not sure I would have done this but I salute you all anyway. Soon many more may have to make this choice. And just as soon the customers will probably be able to tell the results.

    What does this bode for all other airline contracts and not just us lowly rampers who loved our jobs?

    For anyone who snipes at these workers for not wanting to give up what they had worked for in wages, work rules, pride and honor over the years of their employment please stop and realize they knew just what was coming or should have and used the ballot to move on with their lives. Not riots, not raunchy passenger demeaning demonstrations, but the ballot.

    Bless you folks for there but for the grace (and time) go many more of us.
    Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
     
    flyingnanook
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 7:51 pm

    I just got back from FAI after going with my roommate to pick his family up. You would not believe the amount of mishandled baggage today (yesterday, Friday I mean). After people had claimed their bags, the entire belt was full of expedited luggage from prior mishandling. The belt was completely packed, as was the middle section and the walls had luggage lined up along them. It was crazy. Also the line for missing baggage claims was insane. I would estimate that at least 1/3 to 2/5 of the plane had missing baggage.

    My roommate's mom and sister flew SJC-SEA-FAI and his aunt and cousin flew EUG-SEA-FAI (QX for the first leg, AS for the last). SJC-SEA was delayed, as was SEA-FAI. What I don't understand is that SEA-FAI is a continuation from DCA which arrived at SEA 30 min early, had 2 hours before the departure to FAI, but still managed to leave 30 min late. This happens frequently, not just today. Anyways, back to the topic, his mom's and sister's bags are now missing and they ended up at the end of the line for missing baggage. The flight got in about 1am and his mom was in line for at least an hour. We took the rest of the family to the hotel at about 2am, I got dropped off at home at 2:15, and now it's 2:45 and my roommate still isn't back, so his mom could still be in line.

    So right now it is a mad house. I feel sorry for all the people working in baggage offices around the AS system today. If there was this much missing baggage at FAI, I can't even imagine how bad it must be at larger airports in the system.

    I understand that when switching employees suddenly like this, problems will occur, but this is crazy. Hopefully everything will get normal before too long or there will be some very angry tourists visiting Alaska soon. (Tourist season starts on Sunday) Then again, for some reasons, tourists visiting Alaska seem to get angry for some reason. But I digress.

    Does anybody know how long it will take for everything to normalize?
    Semper ubi sub ubi.
     
    qxq400
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 9:44 pm

    I do not know if it is true, but rumor is that AS made this move after hearing that the rampers were about to go on strike.

    If that is the case then I would say the union f***ed up big time.
    Welcome baby Madison Renee
     
    flyboyaz
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 10:59 pm

    Well it sounds like AS planned this out pretty well. The new contract proposal was so bad that I think they did it intentially so it would be turned down. Then they could just say "Oh well...thanks for playing...bye bye!" It's a poor, poor way of doing things let me tell ya. I'm very suprised actually because I was always under the impression AS treated them employees well. HP rampers top out around $15-16 an hour....we should all be grateful, we're still getting raises and keeping our jobs. Good luck to anyone who got layed off.  Sad
    Catch a ride on a smile!
     
    highguy76
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 11:00 pm

    This should scare the pants off of anyone in America who holds a job below management level.
    My most sincere good wishes to those who are unemployed, and hopes that all will work out well for you.
     
    LineMechQX
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 11:45 pm

    Its a sad day indeed, where does it all stop? Fleet services, GSE, mechanics, rampers, am I missing anyone? What's left then? Why bother to fly airplanes anymore? Maybe F/A's can be outsourced to someone in India at a computer screen making preflight announcements. Maybe planes will start flying themselves?At what point is an airline not an airline? When it no longer employs people and only pays third parties to do all the work? At what point does a (what I naively thought, 4 years ago) good respectable airline, realize that the economy is depressed, and that someday things will be better? I support the rampers all the way, one can only pray that Alaska will realize what a mistake this is and work with the union to give the workers their jobs back. What gets me most about all these layoffs is that if not for all these huge severance packages (which I'm not discouraging, I only wish they were more) the AAG would be much closer to being in the black. (if not in it). So spend a big load of money to lay people off, accept penalties for shutting down facilities, for what? 5 years down the road it might start to pay off, but then who's gonna notice when the economy is on the rebound.
    They warned me about aviation, but I didn't listen, I have the disease.

    Late
    PC

    Good Luck to the SEA and AK rampers, as well as all (below management) AAG employees, its gonna be a rough year.
     
    ripcordd
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 11:48 pm

    Can I ask why didn't the Pilots and F/A'S stand up for their union brothers and sisters and go on strike if the union ramp is replaced?
     
    commavia
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sat May 14, 2005 11:52 pm

    Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 24):
    At what point is an airline not an airline?

    Airlines are still airlines, even if they outsource ramp or overhaul work. Airlines in the US, however, are gradually turning into more shell companies, debundling their product and operation and selling the customer only the seat from point A to point B, and selling off to the highest bidder the relatively more expensive operational functions. As long as the will of the consumer continues to want Southwest fares, that is the way the market will move.

    Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 24):
    one can only pray that Alaska will realize what a mistake this is and work with the union to give the workers their jobs back.

    I'm not holding my breath.

    Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 24):
    What gets me most about all these layoffs is that if not for all these huge severance packages (which I'm not discouraging, I only wish they were more) the AAG would be much closer to being in the black.

    These severance packages are a one-time thing, they will likely be indicated as one-time special "restructuring" charges in AAG's Q2 results. The savings AAG will derive from this change, however, while they are painful and harsh, will be a long-term cost reduction measure.

    Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 24):
    5 years down the road it might start to pay off, but then who's gonna notice when the economy is on the rebound.

    Any and every AAG stockholder.
     
    ual747den
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 12:37 am

    Like some of you have said, this was a decision that the rampers made, its not big bad AS for doing this to them they decided that they would rather find new jobs than deal with a paycut that big. I really feel sorry for the people that didn't believe the koolaid that union was handing out and voted for the cuts than lost their jobs anyways. This is just another example of a union ruining the lives of a great deal of people.
    /// UNITED AIRLINES
     
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    EA CO AS
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 2:42 am

    Like some of you have said, this was a decision that the rampers made, its not big bad AS for doing this to them

    What utter nonsense. That's like blaming a murder victim for not getting out of the way of the bullet in time when someone pulled a gun on them and fired. The rampers were given a Hobson's Choice only.

    The contract AS management offered was sheer extortion - they made demands and never negotiated in good faith.

    Their agenda from the outset was to outsource the SEA ramp, and they made the contract demands so unpalatable that it was a win-win for them no matter how it went - they'd either save boatloads of cash from ALL the systemwide rampers who voted yes because they wanted to save their SEA counterparts, or their "offer" would get shot down so they'd continue to pay the same contract to everyone in the state of Alaska and get to outsource SEA.
    "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
     
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    ramprat74
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 2:49 am

    Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 27):

    The 24.9% paycut wasn't the main reason they voted down the contract. It was the other four pages of contract changes that Alaska wanted. Just like EA CO AS said. The company had no intention to keep the SEA ramp employees.
     
    LineMechQX
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 8:33 am

    People can come up with an excuse to explain any terrible act. Certain politicians have used many in recent years to justify war. I guess that means I can quote them then, "you are either with us or you're against us". Support airline employees or dont' its your choice. Capitalism sucks sometimes, someone's always gotta lose. But hey look on the bright side, we're supporting the economies of all these wonderful countries where the third parties are based.

    Hmmm Late
    PC
     
    satx
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 8:56 am

    Quoting Commavia (Reply 26):
    As long as the will of the consumer continues to want Southwest fares, that is the way the market will move.

    Does WN outsource their ramp workers?
    Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
     
    commavia
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 9:06 am

    Quoting SATX (Reply 31):
    Does WN outsource their ramp workers?

    I don't know, but I do know that they also don't offer First Class, airport lounges and other services that AS customers value.

    It can also be said that a great deal of WN's financial performance is generally attributable to its continual growth. By continuing to hire more and more new employees, in more and more new cities, they can insure that the average salary of a WN ramper is probably below the average AS ramper. This means that the increased revenue from their amazing growth, coupled with the relatively low labor costs of new employees, can compensate for the relatively higher wages of the higher seniority employees. At AS, an airline that is growing at a rate dramatically slower than WN, this is not the case.

    Bottom line: in this business, and particularly in this hypercompetitive marketplace, it is all a question of value and what people are willing to pay for. AS customers want First Class and Board Rooms, so AS is willing to spend on those services and cut other things so as not to alienate premium customers. At WN, by contrast, there are no First Class or Board Rooms, so they continue to pay for internally sourced ramp services.

    I am not defending AS' actions, how they went about them or their motivation in this matter, nor am I saying that the AS rampers are any less valuable or skilled than any other airline's ramp workers.
     
    Leneld
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 10:37 am

    This is awful.............
     
    FriendlySkies
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 12:39 pm

    And you guys thought UAL was bad... *sigh*
     
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    mariner
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 1:02 pm

    Quoting Commavia (Reply 32):
    AS customers want First Class and Board Rooms, so AS is willing to spend on those services and cut other things so as not to alienate premium customers.

    I'm not sure what your point is here, Commavia. If AS provides First Class service, then presumably they do so at a profit.

    If not, why provide it?

    I know there is the argument that if they don't have First Calss, passengers will go to airlines, but AS has a fiercesome lock on many services to/from Alaska (and within Alaska) so is that really an issue?

    Equally, there has been a long running debate on another board about AS First Class. The majority opinion (purely anecdotal) is that while First Class is often full, not many are paying full fare - they are mostly upgrades.

    So, again, why provide the service if it is losing money?

    cheers

    mariner
    aeternum nauta
     
    commavia
    Posts: 9651
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 1:25 pm

    Quoting Mariner (Reply 35):
    I'm not sure what your point is here, Commavia.

    My point is very simple: everybody has priorities. Airlines have priorities, and airline customers have priorities, and almost always, the airlines try to match theirs with their customers.

    In the case of AS, their priority is not paying for insourced ramp workers, while at WN, it apparently is.
     
    WeAreUnited
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 2:33 pm

    [quote=Mariner,reply=35]I'm not sure what your point is here, Commavia. If AS provides First Class service, then presumably they do so at a profit.

    If not, why provide it?

    I know there is the argument that if they don't have First class, passengers will go to airlines, but AS has a fiercesome lock on many services to/from Alaska (and within Alaska) so is that really an issue?

    Equally, there has been a long running debate on another board about AS First Class. The majority opinion (purely anecdotal) is that while First Class is often full, not many are paying full fare - they are mostly upgrades.


    Alaska has more then once looked into getting rid of First Class on all our aircraft. I don't believe Alaska makes money by offering First Class. The reason we keep it, however, is to keep our MVP's and MVP Gold's happy. They are the money makers for Alaska Airlines- so they can justify keeping a first class section for them. I'd say 95% of the time- everyone in First is either an MVP/Gold or a $50 upgrade done at the gate.

    Our First Class isn't really "First Class" if you ask me. If you compare to other "major" airlines- it's a joke.

    PS: I wish the best of luck to all our rampers in Seattle.

    [Edited 2005-05-15 07:39:06]
     
    WeAreUnited
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 2:40 pm

    Oh... I wanted to mention that our MVP Golds get unlimited upgrades to First for free. I'm not sure about MVP's.
     
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    mariner
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    RE: AS Ramp Crew Let Go

    Sun May 15, 2005 2:42 pm

    Quoting Commavia (Reply 36):
    In the case of AS, their priority is not paying for insourced ramp workers, while at WN, it apparently is.

    I see your point now.

    Quoting WeAreUnited (Reply 37):
    They are the money makers for Alaska Airlines- so they can justify keeping a first class section for them.

    I understand the idea of that - it confuses me in practice.

    But - like you - I wish the best of luck to the rampers.

    cheers

    mariner
    aeternum nauta