NWrr
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NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:16 am

Well, it was a long time waiting, watching, and wondering what NW's next move was going to be in their reservations division. Citing "employee retention concerns" due to the low starting pay of $9.00/hr in the Baltimore-Washington area in comparison to the starting pay offered by other companies, NW announced to us Res employees that the BWI office will be closing effective 31 March, 2008.  cry 

We were quite surprised by the long time frame, as usually office closures are short and without much notice. However, the reason why is because they are building a brand new facility in SUX where the pay is "more competitive." My colleagues were a bit stunned thought not completely taken aback as, being the smallest of NW's five domestic offices, we expected it to come sooner or later. I could be wrong, but I do believe we are the last major carrier having a reservations office in the BWI-DCA area since UA closed its offices in Chantilly last year. It shall prove to be an interesting year to see what happens to the office as the days tick by. So I do apologize in advance for anyone whose luggage goes missing on NW and is trying to call to get information as about 95% of luggage calls are handled by the BWI office. There may be some staffing issues with that line over the coming months!  irked 
Welcome to the back of the boat...the non-rev section
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:40 am

I'm amazed NW kept this office open this long. I would have thought this one would have gotten axed a long time ago.

$9.00/hr is pretty low anywhere in most of the country, but in the BWI-WAS area, it is downright dismal. At that point, you're pretty much competing with McDonald's for employees. To realistically attract and keep people, you've got to have starting wages more in the $12-15/hr range.
 
funflyer
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:10 am

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
$9.00/hr is pretty low anywhere in most of the country, but in the BWI-WAS area, it is downright dismal. At that point, you're pretty much competing with McDonald's for employees. To realistically attract and keep people, you've got to have starting wages more in the $12-15/hr range.

You know you are absoultly right, now I wish US would pay me more than $9.00
Who cares about status?
 
COERJ145
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:31 pm

Well, at least their not outsourcing reservations to India or china(UA's and DL's are infamous), which is one reason why I support NW. US Based res agents.
 
kaitak
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:41 am

So, if anyone has to write to this new reservations centre, they can just write, "Northwest SUX"?
 
jcf5002
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 7:41 am

RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 4):
So, if anyone has to write to this new reservations centre, they can just write, "Northwest SUX"?

HAHAHAHAHA Good one!

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 1):
$9.00/hr is pretty low anywhere in most of the country, but in the BWI-WAS area, it is downright dismal. At that point, you're pretty much competing with McDonald's for employees. To realistically attract and keep people, you've got to have starting wages more in the $12-15/hr range.

Its not as dismal as you think, to be honest. I worked for Signature Flight Services as an airline refueller. They started me at $9 an hour and after a whole year of their bullshit, I was only making $9.90! A lot of you rampers will agree that during the summer at BWI, you tend to sweat out more than $10 of liquid per hour! It wasn't worth it, and the personel retention for them was dismal too. They eventually lost me as well and I got another job earning $12/hr in a nice cool shop!

BWI is an awesome place to work... as long as its for Southwest...
Its always a sunny day above the clouds || CSEL, CMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:51 am

Quoting Jcf5002 (Reply 5):
Its not as dismal as you think, to be honest. I worked for Signature Flight Services as an airline refueller. They started me at $9 an hour and after a whole year of their bullshit, I was only making $9.90! A lot of you rampers will agree that during the summer at BWI, you tend to sweat out more than $10 of liquid per hour! It wasn't worth it, and the personel retention for them was dismal too. They eventually lost me as well and I got another job earning $12/hr in a nice cool shop!

I'm not saying the work is dismal...I'm saying the pay is dismal. And as you state, retention was terrible because most people aren't going to work that hard for so little....particularly when the BWI-WAS area has a very strong economy with lots of job opportunities.

To give you an idea, I do some volunteer work in DC helping people get their GED and finding better jobs. Our goal is to make sure the people we help find jobs that pay a "living wage". A "living wage" in the DC area is considered a minimum of $11-12/hr. So, NW's pay of $9.00/hr isn't even a "living wage" for the area.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 11:33 am

This is obviously a very difficult situation for the BWI employees, and I feel sorry for them. It is encouraging to know, however, that the jobs will stay in the US and that whoever calls NW res will speak with a customer service agent who is an American like most of the airline's passengers. I believe, as well, that this is a good thing for Sioux Falls, as this will bring a number of jobs (however low-paying) into the heartland where NW does most of its business. The additional jobs will bring opportunity to those who need it most, which includes those looking for entry-level opportunities.

Note that most senior agents at NW make well over $9.00. The furloughed agents at BWI will be allowed to transfer elsewhere, and this is a positive thing in itself.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:18 pm

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 3):

Well, at least their not outsourcing reservations to India or china(UA's and DL's are infamous), which is one reason why I support NW. US Based res agents.

I remember when this reservations center opened as HP back in the late 80s.
I applied for a job but alas, I didn't get hired. They still regret it to this day.  rotfl 

Quoting Jcf5002 (Reply 5):
BWI is an awesome place to work... as long as its for Southwest...

ahhem, I've been a proud crewmember of FL for 5 years here at BWI. Ok, so WN does have the spiffy
gate areas. But, working in ghetto D builds character.
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
burnsie28
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 1:36 pm

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 4):
So, if anyone has to write to this new reservations centre, they can just write, "Northwest SUX"?

While funny, the res center doesn't take letters. Those go to either Eagan, MN or Minot, ND.
 
TWA902fly
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Wed Apr 04, 2007 2:04 pm

Quoting Usdcaguy (Reply 7):
that this is a good thing for Sioux Falls

SUX - Sioux City, Iowa
FSD - Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

This reservation center will be in Sioux City, about 80 miles south of Sioux Falls, and both served by NW.

'902
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
 
floridaflyboy
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RE: NW To Close BWI Res...open New In SUX

Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:40 am

Quoting COERJ145 (Reply 3):
Well, at least their not outsourcing reservations to India or china(UA's and DL's are infamous), which is one reason why I support NW. US Based res agents.

My thoughts exactly. Having your res center here in teh US shows a little respect for your paying customers here in the US.
Good goes around!