AirTranTPAramp
Topic Author
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:43 pm

Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:42 am

In TPA Airtran is seriously short staffed, we have 3 gate agents on duty (on a good day) and we have 4 gates and around 6 we usually have 4 planes on the ground. we also have 5 ramp agents if were lucky, and 4 ticket counter agents. that may not sem so bad except we are running 30 flights a day, and since its spring break every plane is full if not oversold. i want to try and build back morale because it is so low. any suggestions and are there other stations/other airlines like that? i think US and NW are short staffed as well here in TPA. Im just wondering. btw this is my first post on A.net with my new call sign
Fly SONG jets!
 
Lan1981
Posts: 95
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 4:30 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:00 am

Quoting AirTranTPAramp (Thread starter):
are there other stations/other airlines like that?

Try BA at LHR...we are short of dispatchers (sorry, 'turnaround coordinators'), loaders, bus drivers, pilots......cuts, cuts, cuts and now we struggle to run on time, or in fact run anything....it's extraordinary that people still choose to fly with us...perhaps a tribute to the airline's marketing and inflight service....
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:32 am

Pull 1 of those agents at the ticket counter and have them working a gate! As for your lack of rampers, I know how you guys are feeling. It sucks, but don't think that the delays are your fault, just let the company eat it if they won't hire new people. Though I think more airlines need to start using cross trained CSRs so you can get help on the ramp or in the gate if need be. Where is the ramp supervisor and station manager, yank their butts out there to help!

[Edited 2007-03-27 18:34:06]
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
AirTranTPAramp
Topic Author
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:43 pm

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:12 am

we've suggested that but the influx in pax is just overwhelming, the supervisors all stay at the gate and it takes 4 hours to get a supervisor over and causes some pax to miss there flights. i think send 1 supervisor to the tkt counter and one agent to the gate. but its really rediculous. i take pride in my work and its annoying that we have not had a 100% day all year. we came close the other day, but our collegues in HPN sent a 717 with a huge gash in the aft cargo door and delayed our ROC flight till 0130. it was irritating, we even pushed IND flight with 3 seconds to spare, we thought it was the greatest thing ever, only to have HPN screw it up for us. but i guess management doesnt notice how short staffed we are and keeps sending us more flights. thanks for your responses, its just intereesting to see other stations with other airlines that are in the same boat as the FL TPA crew is.
Fly SONG jets!
 
durangomac
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:18 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 4:11 am

I'm a cross utilized agent in DRO and I agree it makes sense to have us cross utilized in smaller stations but it starts getting tough when the station gets bigger. I completely understand the short staffed part, we were running at about half the staffing requirement of what we should have been. We got placed on mandatory shift coverage all the time until we got staffed up and thankfully we have only three open lines now.
 
AirTranTPAramp
Topic Author
Posts: 34
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 5:46 am

this is my 8th month at airtran, im trying to become a supervisor or a lead and try to change things, we had a softball team but the station i believe stopped funding it and its still around but , not as a airtran thing. Mike is a great guy and really knows how to run ops. the only thing i can think of is having a social event at a pub or something just to have fun with the fellow crew members.
Fly SONG jets!
 
atlaaron
Posts: 973
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:30 pm

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 6:21 am

Are other stations shortstaffed at other airlines? UA is my favorite but they sure do run their stations thin on customer service and gate agents. When I used to fly UA out of ATL they would have the longest line in the North terminal.
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:24 pm

Go back two years and be up here at MKE doing 14 flights, mind you 19D and 328s, but still with 6 people on the ramp including the supervisor...yippe fun!! Very minimal delays..
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
crjflyer35
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:56 am

Ha, try being a YV ramper here in PHX. I worked 4 gates with CRJ 200 / 900's with 3 people yesterday. That's just my side. The other 3 ramps were just as shortstaffed. I can't count how many times I've power loaded a CRJ-900 by myself. @00's aren't a big deal, they're easy, but with our 900's, the only one we can use a beltloader on, it's a royal pain. The US mainline bag runners usually feel bad for us and help us offload our planes...good times.
Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
 
nkops
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Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:09 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 3:02 am

Quoting ATLAaron (Reply 7):
Are other stations shortstaffed at other airlines?

Everyday!!! It's just hard to give people their breaks anymore... as far as morale, just a compliment now and then of how good they are doing and how hard they work (for those who do) goes a long way!!
:evil:
 
av8rphx
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:10 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:31 am

Quoting Nkops (Reply 10):
Ha, try being a YV ramper here in PHX. I worked 4 gates with CRJ 200 / 900's with 3 people yesterday. That's just my side. The other 3 ramps were just as shortstaffed. I can't count how many times I've power loaded a CRJ-900 by myself. @00's aren't a big deal, they're easy, but with our 900's, the only one we can use a beltloader on, it's a royal pain. The US mainline bag runners usually feel bad for us and help us offload our planes...good times.

So glad I left Mesa.
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 8):

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention that all those flights were brought in and turned in 30-40mins. 14 in and 14 out
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
nkops
Posts: 2157
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:09 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 6:52 am

Quoting Av8rphx (Reply 11):

Ummm... I didn't say that!!! That's weird....

Ironically, I also was with YV until 2003, then they closed my station... don't miss it too much at this point!!
:evil:
 
B6sFinest
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2007 4:34 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:02 am

Ive worked for FL, and the word morale and Airtran dont go together especially in MCO....
Got Blue?
 
pdxcof9
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 5:27 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:07 am

And people at my work think we're short staffed. We have 6 people for CO at SLC. It's not too hard. Even if we have dual 73G's. Too bad the CO ladies here bitch at us for not getting the bags to them fast enough. I just wanna bitch slap some of them. I wanna tell them to come out on the ramp in the freezing snow and unload bags. Gawd, our CSA's have no idea how hard our job is cause they came from Reservations. And then we have a EWR turn at night and they don't help us turn clean the plane. It's like we don't have enough people on the ramp already, you expect us to drop everything and go upstairs and help clean the plane. I'd rather have a dirty plane that take a delay.
Flown:733,4,7,8,752,763,TU3,CRJ,7,EM2,ER3,4,318,19,346,M80,90 Worked:CRJ,7,9,EM2,ER4,733,5,7,8,9,752,3,318,9
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 7:58 am

Quoting Pdxcof9 (Reply 15):
And then we have a EWR turn at night and they don't help us turn clean the plane. It's like we don't have enough people on the ramp already, you expect us to drop everything and go upstairs and help clean the plane. I'd rather have a dirty plane that take a delay.

Ignore them and do your job, damn them all if they treat you guys like that. As long as your part is done it's not your fault for the delay.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
pdxcof9
Posts: 130
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:04 am

Well CO has to schedule our planes to arrive pretty much at the same time so it's hard. But in a while our newark flight will come in earlier. And yeah I always ignore them. I just make an excuse that my radio died. Lol
Flown:733,4,7,8,752,763,TU3,CRJ,7,EM2,ER3,4,318,19,346,M80,90 Worked:CRJ,7,9,EM2,ER4,733,5,7,8,9,752,3,318,9
 
citationjet
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:24 am

My wife used to work at AA on the ticket counter and gate for 12 years. She left AA about 8 years ago. Last week she checked in at ICT as a passenger with a group of 6 people traveling on AirTran ICT to MIA thru ATL. It was the originating flight of the day, and she was first in line, about 2 hours before departure. She said the process took 20 minutes just to check her group of six people. In the mean time the pax line bacame very long behind her. She was surprised at how slow the process was, and how the ticket agents had difficulty in completing simple tasks. She said a lot sure has changed in the 8 years since she left the airlines.

[Edited 2007-03-29 01:28:57]
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.
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:27 am

Quoting B6sfinest (Reply 14):
Ive worked for FL, and the word morale and Airtran dont go together especially in MCO....

I've worked for FL. The words "morale" and "AirTran" don't really go together at any of their stations.
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
apodino
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:59 am

Neil Cavuto said on his show last week something about how the airlines get away with stuff that would put most businesses out of business, basically treating people like cattle and not people. Short staffing seems to be a big reason why this is at a lot of companies. How long will it be before people start talking with their wallets by not giving money, and make the airlines listen.
 
AirTranTPAramp
Topic Author
Posts: 34
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:06 am

i appreciate your feed back, from everyone. i was a kindergarden Teacher 9 months ago and a assistant principal at a private school. and being an airline guru, i applied for AirTran. i love my job but i think the management team is a joke. i was hired by Us a month ago and somehow got lost in translation, i did the drug test, got badged and i left message after message, and i dont have time in my day to make it over to airside "F" to speak with them, and when i do no one is ever there. I applied to be a lead @ FL but i dont think i really want it, im thinking long and hard, and the leads now have no support form management, so i dont think i want the extra dollar to put up with even more BS. I really want to work for delta! that is my dream job, i figure i would use FL as a starting point to get in the Airline industry. one more point about tpa is we had a fellow employee crashed tug into a faa vehicle in the baggage make up room and well she is still working today. management dont follow protocol and run a very unsafe operation. twice in the last 3 months a lead and a supervisor on 2 different occasiond almost sent a a/c hose through the engine of a 737.
Fly SONG jets!
 
r311music
Posts: 102
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:49 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:16 am

Just out of curiosity, what does a lead at FL do? Is it a step below supervisor? At WN there are no leads, just agents and supervisors.
confusing use of time
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:33 am

Quoting R311music (Reply 27):
Just out of curiosity, what does a lead at FL do? Is it a step below supervisor? At WN there are no leads, just agents and supervisors.

Step below supervisor that gets thrown under the bus in IROP situations and yanked in every direction between the ramp and the ticket counter and everywhere in between for an extra dollar an hour.

I did it...wasn't worth an extra 10 bucks an hour. We were little more than additional supervisors that worked harder and got paid less...while taking the blame when performance goals weren't met. Management at that company is ridiculous. I know folks over there that have put their heart and soul into working their way up in the company...yet they continually get passed over for promotion.

The pilot and F/A groups don't have it all that bad...but ground ops get their heads beat in daily.. I learned alot about the airline industry in that job. I learned how to work with little to no help or equipment, how to deal with outside entities like the local airport authority when you couldn't find a supervisor or manager to go to bat for you when you need an extra gate or a jetway repaired on the spot, and how not to treat your employees. Maybe it's not upper management...but at the station level...it's horrendous.
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
SkyexRamper
Posts: 1952
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:46 am

Quoting JayDub (Reply 28):
I learned how to work with little to no help or equipment, how to deal with outside entities like the local airport authority when you couldn't find a supervisor or manager

These are things that make a ramper a true and better ramper, and not just another lazy fool that couldn't find a job else where. Damn the good things in life, ie: working equipment and do what you have to do to get the job done quickly. I get tired of people that don't know what to do when something out of the ordinary happens and then I have to rush around to get things back to normal in a matter of seconds. Most of these people have been employed for almost a year or more and still have yet to pick up the total entity of the job.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
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RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:02 am

Short staffing is common across the industry. Low wages, security checks, hard work make it very difficult to recruit and keep ramp and counter personnel. Turnover is high, even at the union run shops. Long, angry lines, poor management, not enough people and lousy work hours make it a very difficult industry to keep people who can work for the same minimum wage and not as hard elsewhere.

I'm surprised anyone does it.
Airliners.net has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
 
User avatar
zippyjet
Posts: 5089
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:23 am

Quoting Nkops (Reply 10):
as far as morale, just a compliment now and then of how good they are doing and how hard they work (for those who do) goes a long way

I second that!

As of 0000 EST. less than 2 hours it will be 5 years for me with the Big A. Seems like yesterday, I was in CSR training in Hotlanta, learning the hard way when I with much of the rest of my class ordered Chinese food from the "Good Luck"
and fighting to make sure we stayed awake during our training. Kidding on that last one. But, boy, it was anything but good luck in regard to that lunch.

I've been through a lot:

  • Bitten by a chihuahua
  • A scary streak of two weeks straight with Jeepers Creepers it's another weeper Girls that manage to miss their flight and pore on the tears while hyperventilating; sometimes worse than the loud mouth screamers.
  • Our old original ticket counter bag belt crapping out on a weekly basis and one time actually blowing up and this was the Saturday before Christmas back in 2002 my first year.
  • Almost being run down and off the jetway when a butt fugly knome ran towards me screaming and drooling because
    we pushed our BOS flight on time and she was late. Someone let her down my jetway though we pushed back. Only thing I could think of and said: Mamm you almost gave me a fuck&*g heart attack!
  • Had a bunch of potato people as passengers for a full delayed MCO flight; I kept them updated every 15 minutes but their attention span was lacking. So, I managed to find and play Funk Soul Brother on the computer at my gate
    and got their attention and conveyed all the flight information. That put an end to those same old questions though I said the information not less than 30 seconds earlier.
  • Ticket Counter 2002---A busy pshyco Sunday afternoon and all of a sudden it smells like cow ploppys. I inquired
    Who cut one smells like poo? Oops, I put my foot in my mouth again; in front of the counter stands an obese woman with the fruit salad turban, one of those plastic dollar store bags who came in on Ghana Air to connect onto our packed flight to ATL. She was carrying dried fish heads in that plaid bag. Dried fish heads being a delicasy. I smiled and told her she can fly but the fish heads can't go.


As you can see, I've accrued memories in these past five years. Thankfully here at BWI we have it better. I know this is a crazy time of the year. As a matter of fact in our system I feel from President's Weekend through the middle of March is worse than the Christmas crunch. Especially this year with the shitty weather in the northeast. Hang in there. Does anyone from your station go to the monthly agent council meetings? Have you all lobbied for "TDY" folk to lend you a hand at least during this monster rush period? A lot of folks from my way would gladly sell their soul for several days to do TDY duty at TPA. BTW, how do you like your newer gates? Personally, I was through TPA last year. Call me sentimental but, I liked the older gates you all had. Those older gates were like the Taj Mahol compared to some of our gates at Biwi's concourse ghetto D. Your new digs seem a little impersonal and dated 90's but, I hope the physical layout is better than what you had. Ever considered hooking up with our fellow crew members and doing someithing. I know Phil and many of the other SRQ gang when not pushing wheelchairs and stocking depends for our passengers would get a kick of hooking up with you all. Also the Mickey Mouse (MCO) gang could probably party hearty. Of course we at BWI are in a class by ourselves for fun and comedic hi-jinx.

Again, I'm sorry to know that the gates are not greener at some of our other outstations. Keep on plugging away. TPA is an important station within our system. And, I wonder if at times "Skyport" isn't contributing to your down morale at TPA.
There are many a times when I'm shouting and cussing at this system.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:38 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 29):
These are things that make a ramper a true and better ramper, and not just another lazy fool that couldn't find a job else where. Damn the good things in life, ie: working equipment and do what you have to do to get the job done quickly. I get tired of people that don't know what to do when something out of the ordinary happens and then I have to rush around to get things back to normal in a matter of seconds. Most of these people have been employed for almost a year or more and still have yet to pick up the total entity of the job.

No doubt it made me better. I was damn good at what I did and managing chaos. It was daily and it was one of the times I felt I was truly a leader. However, when the coworkers that just don't get it decide that the one person that can lead them out of the bad situation if they would just follow him is an idiot that doesn't deserve their attention...you start to give up. I gave up and decided to better myself.

The chaos management and innovative thinking skills I developed at FL make me a MUCH better dispatcher and will make me better at anything else I choose to do...
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
AirTranTPAramp
Topic Author
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:43 pm

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Thu Mar 29, 2007 11:33 pm

quoting: Have you all lobbied for "TDY" folk to lend you a hand at least during this monster rush period? A lot of folks from my way would gladly sell their soul for several days to do TDY duty at TPA. BTW, how do you like your newer gates? Personally, I was through TPA last year. Call me sentimental but, I liked the older gates you all had. Those older gates were like the Taj Mahol compared to some of our gates at Biwi's concourse ghetto D. Your new digs seem a little impersonal and dated 90's but, I hope the physical layout is better than what you had. Ever considered hooking up with our fellow crew members and doing someithing. I know Phil and many of the other SRQ gang when not pushing wheelchairs and stocking depends for our passengers would get a kick of hooking up with you all. Also the Mickey Mouse (MCO) gang could probably party hearty. Of course we at BWI are in a class by ourselves for fun and comedic hi-jinx.

we've tried to get get TDY people here no one has showed up. i was stationed in SAN and i helped run the USO when i was in the navy, I asked if i could go TDY to SAN and the station manger laughed in my face! They just put tile down in Airside A, to snazz it up a bit. but i too prefer Airside D, but they are gutting it to make it a new ATC Tower.Our ticet counter is so depressing, we have that old off white background and we have the smallest counter space at TPA. I love the counter in BWI its so bright, and the clouds with the 717 makes it seem bright and cheerful, not depressing like TPA's. we got "New" GSE from DFW and ATL and none of which work, our computers are 3rd generation ATL computers and 4 of which dont work properly, they lock up if you hit C1 on skyport to manually check someone in. I'll trade places with you for a week and im sure you'll appreciate the ghetto D! I try my best to make the time at the counter go by fast, i'll make tha pax laugh andand some dumb stuff like have a great airtran day or even make fun of sports teams, the pax love it. the co workers think im psycho becuase i love my job, im just tired of doing the job of 15 peole.
Fly SONG jets!
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Fri Mar 30, 2007 3:11 am

Quoting Apodino (Reply 19):
How long will it be before people start talking with their wallets by not giving money, and make the airlines listen.

IMHO much of the reason behind "softening demand" currently being reported by U.S. airlines has much to do with the liklihood that people have become so wearied by the hassles of air travel that they are stepping back and seriously asking "is this trip really necessary and, if so, is there another way to get there that I should consider?" And while the U.S. airlines will, in their typical knee-jerk fashion, blame their favorite scapegoats (FAA, ATC, TSA, airport authorities, etc) for diminishing the air travel experience to the point where it is a hassle at best, the very same airlines pointing their fingers need to take note of the three fingers pointing directly back at themselves, where the majority of blame belongs.

Overscheduling and understaffing by U.S. airlines may actually be finally taking their toll, even on some of the endless supply of people overwhelmed by restlessness and anxiety who mistakenly believe they can escape the issues troubling them by simply getting on an airplane and escaping to "somewhere else" only to sadly discover that they can't "go there" without bringing themselves.
 
n917me
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:18 am

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:01 am

Quoting SkyexRamper (Reply 2):
Pull 1 of those agents at the ticket counter and have them working a gate! As for your lack of rampers, I know how you guys are feeling. It sucks, but don't think that the delays are your fault, just let the company eat it if they won't hire new people. Though I think more airlines need to start using cross trained CSRs so you can get help on the ramp or in the gate if need be. Where is the ramp supervisor and station manager, yank their butts out there to help!

Pulling a gate agent may not be as easy as you think. Yeah, I have seen the MKE gate agents, they have it easy compared to field city agents, where the gate agent is usually the ticket counter, float to gate to do both the gate and ops (sending weights, communicating with vendors- fuelers, ramp, freight, entering container, remarks, board flight, deal with reroutes, etc,
 
iad51fl
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 3:21 pm

RE: Airline Stations Shortstaffed?

Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:25 am

Just thank Jack Smith for your staffing and morale issues at the stations.... him and the regional managers. The Regional Manager over the IAD station needs a class on e-mail etiquette. Every single one his emails were negative, poorly written, and way over the top.

Until they get a better VP over Airport Services... it will remain that way. On the other hand Bob Fornaro is a pretty nice guy.... has become a suit more than a person though, as you used to see him on the ramp loading bags and helping out. Now he shows up right at departure time, says a few hellos and is on his way.

Chris
Enjoying the view of KIAH approach end of 27. 29.980548, -95.271201

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