binmonster
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:13 am

US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:34 am

I am new to the forum and my first post.

Recently US Airways has been the topic of many threads, while reading many of these threads members have posted remarks about the baggage turn around in PHL.

What has HP management done to achieve a turn around?
Does anyone have updated performance numbers to show results?
What changes were responsible for improvements?
Will these changes take root or will the station degrade back to the old ways?
Did HP use different management style/system than the original US management?
 
phljjs
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:26 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:28 am

There have been a few articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the baggage turn-around in the last couple months. Maybe try a search on Philly.com and see what comes up. The new Managing Director of the PHL hub kinda made the bag mess his baby and has overseen it himself. I read that US hired 30 or so new managers to help fix PHL and bring it inline with the other stations. Allot of people are reporting that thier bags are out within 15 mintes of pulling up to the gate. Still hear people complaining about bags not making connections, but it looks like they are working on it and making progress.
 
HPAEAA
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:28 am

Quoting PHLJJS (Reply 1):
There have been a few articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the baggage turn-around in the last couple months. Maybe try a search on Philly.com and see what comes up. The new Managing Director of the PHL hub kinda made the bag mess his baby and has overseen it himself. I read that US hired 30 or so new managers to help fix PHL and bring it inline with the other stations. Allot of people are reporting that thier bags are out within 15 mintes of pulling up to the gate. Still hear people complaining about bags not making connections, but it looks like they are working on it and making progress.

Tony's (the MD) good for that, I have no doubt he'll get it done... I worked with him for a brief while... he's very straight forward and will cut the BS quick... with time and the right resources he'll get phl in shape, I'd almost be willing to bet that they'll be one of the better hubs..

[Edited 2007-01-27 20:33:33]
Why do I fly???
 
silentbob
Posts: 1539
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:34 am

Not much can be done for the really tight connections from express to mainline and vice versa. As long as passengers book 30-40 minute connections there are going to be problems, especially if there are inbound delays.

There is a lot of new equipment and ramp supervisors are a lot more visible, though turnover still seems to be a bit of an issue.
 
cha747
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:44 am

I just flew into PHL last month after a long time and collected my baggage in baggage claim. My bags were acutally there before me. Usually we had to wait longer than the duration of our flight before bags would show-up. An awesome improvement as far as I can see.
You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it - Pushing Tin
 
binmonster
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:13 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:12 am

The new US-Airways/HP brought in a new manger. Built a team of managers or supervisors to support the baggage operations (30). They attacked equipment issues and staffing levels.

What is Tony’s approach (Total Quality Management, etc)?
How are they maintaining their gains for local baggage delivery? Anytime supervisors are not in the operation does the performance fail off?
Did Tony gain the support and trust of the PHL baggage handlers?
Or does the atmosphere of us against them still exist?

Problems still present in the baggage transfer process for tight connections?
What is the 3 biggest headaches for the baggage handler with minimum connection times?
What is Tony’s group going after to improve baggage transfer?
 
BigOrange
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 2:20 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 8:13 am

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 3):
As long as passengers book 30-40 minute connections there are going to be problems, especially if there are inbound delays

If the airline offers a 30-40 minute connection, people will book it. Maybe US should make it a minium 1 hour connection, especially to F.
 
OH-LGA
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 5:39 pm

I flew through PHL on New Year's Day.

I've never had my luggage lost ever in my entire life (I rarely check it even)... until I connected on US via PHL that day. Had a 2 hour connection... but the bags never made it  sarcastic 
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
 
necigrad
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 2:25 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:14 pm

I flew through PHL once, as a nonrev on US, in maybe 2000. My bags made it. My bags have misconnected ONE TIME in my entire life. That was nonrev on HP from EWR to LAS. They put my bag on the earlier PHX flight, and my bag got to LAS before I did.
 
thegooddoctor
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:29 am

Quoting OH-LGA (Reply 7):

I've never had my luggage lost ever in my entire life (I rarely check it even)... until I connected on US via PHL that day. Had a 2 hour connection... but the bags never made it sarcastic

Oh goodness, once in your life? I'd stop flying through PHL for sure...

Seriously, everyone has misconnected my bags (DL, NW, CO, AA, US) and if you check bags regularly (and fly regularly...) you are going to have them misconnected every now and again. Oh, and the qualification for commenting on how much your bags have been lost should be anyone who flies enough to have an actual statistical sample - ie, checks their bags more often than not and flies more than twice a year to Grandma's house...
The GoodDoctor
 
eajpecrca
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:03 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:40 am

On Thanksgiving Day flew MYR--PHL via CLT and bags arrived promptly. In fact, mine was the first bag up. I was shocked. But pleased. Things have been getting better at PHL for US.
 
S5FA170
Posts: 528
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2005 3:04 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:44 am

Now we just need to work on getting the ramp up to speed. Last week I was working a flight out of Philly and we took a delay for late paperwork. How come? SEVEN - yes - SEVEN - rampers were standing on their cellphones while bags waited to be loaded and we waited for the bag count.

And I thought Dulles was bad!
Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
 
calvin99
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:51 am

Alright... you guys started to get me worried about my upcoming trip in March. I am flying US Airways ORD-PHL-NAS and my connection time is only 38 mins, switching from the EMB170 to B737-400. Will the EMB170 parked at Terminal F like other regional jet or will they parked at other terminal??

Maybe I shouldn't jet my luggage afterall I guess.
 
S5FA170
Posts: 528
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:57 am

The -170s go into B and C. You should be fine =)
Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
 
binmonster
Posts: 15
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:23 pm

Alright... you guys started to get me worried about my upcoming trip in March. I am flying US Airways ORD-PHL-NAS and my connection time is only 38 mins, switching from the EMB170 to B737-400. Will the EMB170 parked at Terminal F like other regional jet or will they parked at other terminal??

Maybe I shouldn't jet my luggage afterall I guess.


Calvin99

Your trouble will be on the return flight. NAS bags will need to be screened by the TSA upon arrival in PHL. If the connection is short or US Airways does not have a good procedure for transfer bags that need to go to the TSA you will have trouble.
 
ca2ohHP
Posts: 657
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:14 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:56 am

Quoting BinMonster (Reply 14):
Your trouble will be on the return flight. NAS bags will need to be screened by the TSA upon arrival in PHL. If the connection is short or US Airways does not have a good procedure for transfer bags that need to go to the TSA you will have trouble.

The screening process for international arrivals into PHL is actually one of the more capable facilities (in terms of volume) I've seen. I check my bags all the time thru PHL and have yet to have a problem. I feel more comfortable checking my bag thru PHL than ORD, but that's my own opinion like others have stated above.
 
Maverick623
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:18 am

Quoting BinMonster (Reply 14):
Your trouble will be on the return flight. NAS bags will need to be screened by the TSA upon arrival in PHL. If the connection is short or US Airways does not have a good procedure for transfer bags that need to go to the TSA you will have trouble.

That's what I hate. I'm arrived in PHL today on Flight 773 from LGW. There was almost no line at immigration, the bags took a few minutes after that to come up the carousel, and there was no line at customs and agrigulture. Re-check was a breeze, and to go back thru TSA and to my connecting gate was fast too.

But it still took just over 25 mins block-in to clear TSA. Imangine if just one of those was backed up.

I work for US/HP in PHX, and on most days I run connecting bags off of the PM Mexico inbounds. It's frustrating to sit there and watch TSA to manually screen 100 connecting bags that have only 15 mins to connect after we get them from re-check, and usually that's when the flight(s) is(are) exactly on time. Granted, maybe here in PHL and other airports they have the machines all set up to scan them faster, I dunno.

My point is that the schedule for international connections tends to leave very little room for any delay. It should be 1 hour minimum. I know that flows and flight loads and all that depends on tight connections sometimes, but it's still not good business.

Alas, I am a simple ramper. But that's what it looks like from our eyes. We hate missing bags as much as you do.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
mah584jr
Posts: 422
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:35 pm

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:03 am

The operations at PHL have gotten much better in the last few months. I thought I could remember them having a shuttle to F from the other terminals. Not sure if I heard the announcement correctly.
 
S5FA170
Posts: 528
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:09 am

Their is a shuttle service between gates F-10 and C-16.
Prepare doors for departure and cross-check.
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4636
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:09 am

Quoting Mah584jr (Reply 17):
I thought I could remember them having a shuttle to F from the other terminals. Not sure if I heard the announcement correctly.

Yup, there is a free shuttle from F to B/C/D and another one to A.

And I concur that PHL has gotten loads better since I started with the company in July.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:51 am

PHL will never be as good as CLT or PIT. It's a simple matter of design, not really anyone's fault. Having said that, PHL is much better than it once was, to the point that they don't misconnect bags more than, say, the OH-DL platoon at CVG (in my experience).
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
A330323X
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:16 am

Quoting BinMonster (Reply 14):
Your trouble will be on the return flight. NAS bags will need to be screened by the TSA upon arrival in PHL. If the connection is short or US Airways does not have a good procedure for transfer bags that need to go to the TSA you will have trouble.

Won't the bags just pre-clear customs in NAS?

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 16):
My point is that the schedule for international connections tends to leave very little room for any delay. It should be 1 hour minimum. I know that flows and flight loads and all that depends on tight connections sometimes, but it's still not good business.

US Airways publishes a minimum international-to-domestic connection time at PHL of 75 minutes. (Domestic-to-international is 50 minutes.)
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:19 am

Quoting A330323X (Reply 21):

Won't the bags just pre-clear customs in NAS?

They still have to clear TSA in PHL. I don't even think Canada is exempt from this requirement. It's a pain in the ass, and it does cause bags to misconnect.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
HPAEAA
Posts: 878
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:24 am

Quoting A330323X (Reply 21):
Won't the bags just pre-clear customs in NAS?



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 22):
They still have to clear TSA in PHL. I don't even think Canada is exempt from this requirement. It's a pain in the ass, and it does cause bags to misconnect.

Nope, only domestics don't get rescreened... Canada gets re-run as well..
Why do I fly???
 
Falcon84
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting Silentbob (Reply 3):
Not much can be done for the really tight connections from express to mainline and vice versa. As long as passengers book 30-40 minute connections there are going to be problems, especially if there are inbound delays.

Each airport has a Minimum Connection Time, and connections cannot be booked for any times under that minimum time. In CLE, from CO to CO domestic, our Miniminum Connection time is 20 minutes. Each airport is different.

So an airline should have no problem making bags for the Minimum Connection Time at it's airport. Of course, if a flight is late, that's another story.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
necigrad
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 2:25 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:26 pm

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 24):
So an airline should have no problem making bags for the Minimum Connection Time at it's airport.

Regretably airlines don't always evaluate the airport and connect times with what will be done, only what they think can be done. It does not always factor in understaffing/sick calls, lack of equipment, weather, gate holds, TSA, etc.
 
binmonster
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 1:13 am

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sat Feb 03, 2007 9:50 am

I was hopeing for some insight from US PHL agents or supervisors on the appraoch or methods utilzied.
Did US redeisgn the procedures. (change from US methods to HP methods)
 
HPRamper
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RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sat Feb 03, 2007 1:24 pm

Here is what I've heard from someone who was hired as one of those 30 or so managers.

When he got there PHL was a pit. And not the airport kind. Apparently one of the major problems was lack of equipment. It was so bad there were occurrences of rampers pulling up belt loaders to bins, climbing up to drop the nets, and turning around to see someone driving away with the vehicle. Not out of maliciousness, but because they simply needed it for another flight. It got so bad that people started pulling coils out, or using the Boot to prevent this. There was a spot where everyone waited for free tugs to use to run connect bags. Often they would wait in line up to 20 minutes just to get a tug to begin running bags. Often employees would drive the tugs across the airport to get lunch...leaving even fewer to the people actually working. And it's a mystery why connect bags never reached their destinations.

He said while he was there the airline purchased needed vehicles....around 36 tugs and something around 180 bag carts. This has helped immeasurably.

Another problem was lack of management and total disorganization among the work groups. So many positions were empty that important responsibilities were neglected. One employee who was still on his 90 day probationary period had 30 "occurrences", meaning one out of every three days he was absent, noticeably late or called in. Management was so bad nobody ever got around to terminating him, and the turnover was so bad they were afraid that even this slacker wouldn't get replaced properly. Over the past few months there has been a huge housecleaning...lots of terminations. This is also starting to make a difference. Training has been an issue, and the airport actually isn't the problem with that. Turns out the airline was hiring all these employees off the street, sending them in to get badged, then wondering why there were so many aircraft strikes, vehicle damages etc. Well, a lot of these employees had grown up using public transit for years...which you can do in a big city...and practically didn't even know how to drive. So now they are a lot more careful with that.

There are also functional problems. International connect bags travel a half-mile bag belt, according to him, and so if there is a jam it can mess a lot of things up. Supposedly something is being done about that. Not sure what.

The airport itself is just old. Worn down. Hasn't been refurbished since it opened in the 1940s. Employee areas are a dump. Holes in sheetrock where pigeons can come indoors, rats all over, shortage of restrooms (a very big deal when you consider it). You name it, it sucks. Then there are the issues that can't be easily fixed - like needing at least one additional runway.
 
calvin99
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 5:20 pm

RE: US Airways And PHL Baggage. Any Improvements?

Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:39 pm

Quoting BinMonster (Reply 14):
Your trouble will be on the return flight. NAS bags will need to be screened by the TSA upon arrival in PHL. If the connection is short or US Airways does not have a good procedure for transfer bags that need to go to the TSA you will have trouble.

Well... my return flight has connection time of around 3 hours so I think I should be fine. Anyway, thank you very much for your information.

The last time I flew to PHL was last Christmas and to be honest, I found the airport to be very nice. I flew IND-PHL-MAN but each sector has connection of more than 3 hours so my bags were also fine. The only down side I can think of is the location of terminal F which is very far away from the other terminal that US Airways is operating at, on the other hand, the shuttle from terminal F to C was incredible, involving a drive thru the airport, great view from the shuttle.

Immigration was fairly good as well with plenty of counter open during my return flight, but my flight was the first one to arrive, so line was minim. But its definitely better than LAX or ORD, in my opinion.