rajincajun01
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Posts: 710
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F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:42 pm

F9 recently ended its contract with ground handler Swissport in favor of Simplicity USA. Seems like Simplicity is having major staffing issues. Planes are having to wait over an hour to be brought into gates, almost half of their workforce quit after the first weekend, and passengers are complaining of extremely long lines at ticket counters have also been reported. Going through DEN last week, I saw many gates that had passengers complaining that it was unattended. Is it worth saving the money by outsourcing if you lose so much of your customer base?

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/23/fr ... e-upgrade/

http://kdvr.com/2016/09/22/frontier-pas ... in-denver/
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303dk
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:47 pm

People have a short memory. The ones complaining on the news today will jump at another bargain Frontier fare in 6 months without thinking twice.

United had the same initial problems when they switched contractors in Denver:

http://www.denverpost.com/2015/01/05/un ... ontractor/
 
rajincajun01
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:53 pm

303dk wrote:
People have a short memory. The ones complaining on the news today will jump at another bargain Frontier fare in 6 months without thinking twice.

United had the same initial problems when they switched contractors in Denver:

http://www.denverpost.com/2015/01/05/un ... ontractor/


Having issues with bags is different than not getting passengers where they need to be AND losing bags. Apparently, 2,000 bags were mishandled their first weekend working the contract. Frontier already has a fairly dismal customer service reputation in Denver since outsourcing 18 months ago, and it appears to be getting worse.
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303dk
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:58 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
303dk wrote:
People have a short memory. The ones complaining on the news today will jump at another bargain Frontier fare in 6 months without thinking twice.

United had the same initial problems when they switched contractors in Denver:

http://www.denverpost.com/2015/01/05/un ... ontractor/


Having issues with bags is different than not getting passengers where they need to be AND losing bags. Apparently, 2,000 bags were mishandled their first weekend working the contract. Frontier already has a fairly dismal customer service reputation in Denver since outsourcing 18 months ago, and it appears to be getting worse.

Their load factor in Denver this year is north of 90% (compare to 87% for all carriers combined in DEN). If they have a dismal reputation, it's not stopping people from booking.
 
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green12324
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:59 pm

It'll blow over. These things always do. Taking my first Frontier flight from LAS to ORD in a couple weeks.
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michman
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:15 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
Is it worth saving the money by outsourcing if you lose so much of your customer base?

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/23/fr ... e-upgrade/

http://kdvr.com/2016/09/22/frontier-pas ... in-denver/


Considering it was already outsourced to Swissport, that seems to be an overly broad generalization. Certainly there is the potential for going too cheap, but that doesn't mean outsourcing is universally wrong.
 
rajincajun01
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:19 pm

michman wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:
Is it worth saving the money by outsourcing if you lose so much of your customer base?

http://www.denverpost.com/2016/09/23/fr ... e-upgrade/

http://kdvr.com/2016/09/22/frontier-pas ... in-denver/


Considering it was already outsourced to Swissport, that seems to be an overly broad generalization. Certainly there is the potential for going too cheap, but that doesn't mean outsourcing is universally wrong.


I don't believe it is universally wrong. It is an excellent solution to offer service to more smaller cities/operations. I believe outsourcing every ground position at your home base and largest operation should absolutely be questioned. Frontier is not the same as it was 18 months ago when they laid off all of their agents in DEN in favor of outsourcing.
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spyglass
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:54 pm

Before long, it'll be outsourced at nearly all nonhubs (save perhaps a stn mgr) with all carriers except WN. That's everything.....gates, counter, ops, baggage svc & ramp. It's already here at many, if not most, even larger markets with the legacies & lofares. It may be the "new economic reality", but it still sucks stock pond water.....
I remember when......a plane trip was a big deal.
 
ericm2031
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:11 pm

When Simplicity took over United Express ramp in DEN it was atrocious, planes waiting an hour for gates and bags getting left all over the place. It cleared up after a couple weeks so I'm sure this will as well. United's was just bad timing as it was very close to the holiday season when it switched over. You would think Simplicity would have learned from that for F9 though. I'm sure they bid very low though as they have a significant presence there with the UAX ramp contract there and can do it cheaply.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:41 pm

"Simplicity" seems like a weird name...
 
2175301
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:50 pm

dfwjim1 wrote:
"Simplicity" seems like a weird name...


It's more attractive to the workforce and observers than: "Lowest Wages Possible, Company"

Of course, the reason they win the contract is because they are the "Lowest Wages Possible, Company"

Its a psychological trick; and people fall for it all the time. A name can be magical, regardless of what the company actually does or how they treat their employees.


Have a great day,
 
GSPSPOT
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:19 am

I'm banking on continued F9 growth at MKE. I sure HOPE this sorts itself out!
Great Lakes, great life.
 
toltommy
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:42 am

rajincajun01 wrote:
Frontier is not the same as it was 18 months ago when they laid off all of their agents in DEN in favor of outsourcing.


That's interesting. 18 months was a short time for Swissport's contract, if it was in fact only 18 months. Usually 36 months is standard (in order to amortize the contract), with options to exit for performance. Does anyone know the rest of the story? Was it truly an 18 month contract, or was there a need for change? Swissport could have asked for a price adjustment, and F9 responded by putting the station out to bid. Or they could have terminated the contract due to performance. No matter what, that's a short period. When DL moved the B/C concourse ramp from DGS to Simplicity, almost everyone from managers to rampers went to the new vendor.
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slcdeltarumd11
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:45 am

Frontier has sadly turned into a Ultra Low Cost Carrier. They use to be a really cool Colorado based airline focused on keeping their flyers happy, They no longer are that airline. They have no interest in customer service or retaining customers, its not their model.

They really don't care about having a loyal flyer base or doing anything for the customer service experience. They are chasing the lowest fare customers and if they make some angry, they just move onto the next.
 
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mariner
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:47 am

GSPSPOT wrote:
I'm banking on continued F9 growth at MKE. I sure HOPE this sorts itself out!


It is sorting itself out:

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/09/20/f ... er-delays/

"Frontier Airlines Flights Return To Normal Schedule After Delays"

The Swissport operation was a mess for some time - I've been getting distress messages from some chums at Frontier for the last three months - to the point that the change became almost inevitable.

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mercure1
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:55 am

rajincajun01 wrote:
michman wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:
. I believe outsourcing every ground position at your home base and largest operation should absolutely be questioned.


Contracting out at your home hub airport is quite common globally.

LH in FRA, SQ in SIN, EK in DXB are just 3 of many large such examples of such.

In most cases over my career, the problem is not the ground handler itself, which in reality can actually exceed service performance of inhouse staff, its more the issue with the airline failing to properly lay out its expectations, train, provide the tools, manage and at the end follow up with their vendors to succeed.
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usxguy
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:30 am

Simplicity = Menzies with a new name.
xx
 
MaxxFlyer
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:50 am

slcdeltarumd11 wrote:
Frontier has sadly turned into a Ultra Low Cost Carrier. They use to be a really cool Colorado based airline focused on keeping their flyers happy, They no longer are that airline. They have no interest in customer service or retaining customers, its not their model.

They really don't care about having a loyal flyer base or doing anything for the customer service experience. They are chasing the lowest fare customers and if they make some angry, they just move onto the next.


Something tells me F9's planes will eventually be yellow, with a new name on the plane. Sad, they once were fun to fly with.
 
alasizon
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:08 am

Interestingly enough, despite the rumors of the number of employees that quit, Simplicity does not have any job postings for DEN on their website. That being said, Simplicity is really just Menzies but worse.
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rajincajun01
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:37 am

alasizon wrote:
Interestingly enough, despite the rumors of the number of employees that quit, Simplicity does not have any job postings for DEN on their website. That being said, Simplicity is really just Menzies but worse.


They have several on job boards still. Advertising $12 an hour.
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OB1504
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:07 pm

rajincajun01 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Interestingly enough, despite the rumors of the number of employees that quit, Simplicity does not have any job postings for DEN on their website. That being said, Simplicity is really just Menzies but worse.


They have several on job boards still. Advertising $12 an hour.


That's far better than what I was expecting and it exceeds the starting wages for some AA positions.
 
rajincajun01
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 12:49 am

OB1504 wrote:
rajincajun01 wrote:
alasizon wrote:
Interestingly enough, despite the rumors of the number of employees that quit, Simplicity does not have any job postings for DEN on their website. That being said, Simplicity is really just Menzies but worse.


They have several on job boards still. Advertising $12 an hour.


That's far better than what I was expecting and it exceeds the starting wages for some AA positions.


That's true for a few airlines. Difference is their employees have no travel benefits currently and health costs are about twice as much as actual airline employees.
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UARNO88
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:43 am

Get what you pay for with most of these ground handling outfits. Pay and benefits are garbage thus employees that could care less.
 
rabadash
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:24 am

This reminds me of when AS outsourced the ramp @ SEA. There were performance & safety(a ramper poked a hole in a plane with a belt loader and failed to alert anyone) issues, but they largely blew over after a few years and I imagine they will with F9 as well.

What didn't blow over with AS however, was the low pay the Menzies rampers were making. The $15 minimum wage initiative in the city of SeaTac was a direct result of that outsourcing. Whether something like that will happen in Denver though, I don't know.

I'm pretty sure that AS will swap the ramp with it's own ground handling company soon though, which I'm not sure if i'd call that outsourcing or not.
 
Rdh3e
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:10 pm

ericm2031 wrote:
When Simplicity took over United Express ramp in DEN it was atrocious, planes waiting an hour for gates and bags getting left all over the place. It cleared up after a couple weeks so I'm sure this will as well.

It cleared up after United agreed to increase wages. Its hard in Colorado to hire and retain at $9 (or whatever it was) especially with the extra restriction that you can't smoke legal pot, and with a very strong jobs economy.

F9 will likely reach a similar outcome.
 
durangomac
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:24 pm

Rdh3e wrote:
ericm2031 wrote:
When Simplicity took over United Express ramp in DEN it was atrocious, planes waiting an hour for gates and bags getting left all over the place. It cleared up after a couple weeks so I'm sure this will as well.

It cleared up after United agreed to increase wages. Its hard in Colorado to hire and retain at $9 (or whatever it was) especially with the extra restriction that you can't smoke legal pot, and with a very strong jobs economy.

F9 will likely reach a similar outcome.


Simplicity took over in DEN from OO. Their initial pay was something like $9 when initial pay at OO was I think $10. On top of that Simplicity hired everyone as part time (30 hours or less) so they didn't have to have health insurance and they didn't get flight benefits, I think they are still with out flight benefits. They then questioned why they had high turnover in the first month and why almost no one from OO switched over. That's when they started raising the initial pay to $12, at one point I think they went as far as $15.
 
F9Animal
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:37 pm

rabadash wrote:
This reminds me of when AS outsourced the ramp @ SEA. There were performance & safety(a ramper poked a hole in a plane with a belt loader and failed to alert anyone) issues, but they largely blew over after a few years and I imagine they will with F9 as well.

What didn't blow over with AS however, was the low pay the Menzies rampers were making. The $15 minimum wage initiative in the city of SeaTac was a direct result of that outsourcing. Whether something like that will happen in Denver though, I don't know.

I'm pretty sure that AS will swap the ramp with it's own ground handling company soon though, which I'm not sure if i'd call that outsourcing or not.


Alaska is actually in the process of starting it's own ground handling company. I think it's called Mcgee? I think it's already in PDX and SFO? Get this! Alaska apparently went to the IAM and offered the union to represent the new employees. I am not sure what the pay scales are, but they are offering free travel, insurance, and all the fun stuff.

The situation at DEN for F9 is not pretty. The airline hasn't shown stability in terms of its outsourcing. Someone at F9 is going to get the slap due to the mess. The outsourcing to the cheapest vendor may not be much of a cost savings due to the costs associated with this mess.

Unfortunately, it's too late to turn back now. Even switching vendors now would probably not be a good move, especially if things are improving.
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tb727
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:23 pm

UARNO88 wrote:
Get what you pay for with most of these ground handling outfits. Pay and benefits are garbage thus employees that could care less.

usxguy wrote:
Simplicity = Menzies with a new name.


Moving at the speed of minimum wage.
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mariner
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Re: F9 woes at DEN

Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:33 pm

F9Animal wrote:
The situation at DEN for F9 is not pretty.


It's a darn sight prettier than it was with Swissport - LOL.

F9Animal wrote:
Unfortunately, it's too late to turn back now. Even switching vendors now would probably not be a good move, especially if things are improving.


I'm not sure that Simplicity is the cheapest and if things are improving I'm not sure why they'd want to turn back.

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