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crownvic
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USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:51 pm

Wow 1/2 page ad today in USA Today bashing Southwest Airlines..Interesting facts about their baggage handling operations..someone is not happy!
 
max550
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:30 pm

 
lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:38 pm

Wow, I was under the impression that WN rampers start at near $11.25/hour. Isn't that higher than most starting wages at other airlines? In Florida, 3M (Silver Airways) starts off their rampers and cross utilized employees at $8.50, and then of course you have to consider that a chunk of that goes to taxes...

-LPDAL
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Revelation
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:40 pm

It could be that because Bags Fly Free (tm), WN has more bags to lose than the other majors, no?
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lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:46 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
It could be that because Bags Fly Free (tm), WN has more bags to lose than the other majors, no?

They're not "free", they're built into the cost of the fare. And many times, WN fares are near or higher than 'legacy' carriers. Case in point: I bought FL tickets for the last AirTran (RIP) flights, doing a very basic FLL-ATL-FLL on December 28th, and they charged me an astounding $760!!! Mind you, Delta is charging $350 R/T on the route for nonrefundable first class. So I call bologna on WN's "Low fares", specifically the ones I'm interested in.

-LPDAL
TWU represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
max550
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 4):
They're not "free", they're built into the cost of the fare. And many times, WN fares are near or higher than 'legacy' carriers. Case in point: I bought FL tickets for the last AirTran (RIP) flights, doing a very basic FLL-ATL-FLL on December 28th, and they charged me an astounding $760!!! Mind you, Delta is charging $350 R/T on the route for nonrefundable first class. So I call bologna on WN's "Low fares", specifically the ones I'm interested in.

Whether they're built into the fare or not people are more likely to check bags if there's no additional cost versus a $25-30 additional cost, regardless of what fare they paid.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:56 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 4):
I bought FL tickets for the last AirTran (RIP) flights, doing a very basic FLL-ATL-FLL on December 28th, and they charged me an astounding $760!!!

This fare was refundable, no? If so, you are comparing apples and oranges.
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lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:05 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 6):

Full fare C. Pretty sure DL is charging the same thing.
EDIT: Yup. DL is charging around $790 for P (quasi flexible / refundable) and near $1,000 for F (fully unrestricted first class). But those buckets are wildly varied from the time I booked the AirTran tickets.

As for WN I don't fly them. I only used their platform to book FL flights.

But it's a proven fact that if you pay your employees well and treat them with respect, they will perform (see DL margins). I don't think any of these rampers are demanding to be paid $100 an hour. After all, they wouldn't be picketing if there was no reason to do so.

-LPDAL
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727LOVER
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:06 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 4):
I bought FL tickets for the last AirTran (RIP) flights, doing a very basic FLL-ATL-FLL on December 28th, and they charged me an astounding $760!!!

But you bought it, so what are you complaining about???  

Time for a change.

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sccutler
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:08 pm

Yawn.

Union propaganda, integral part of contract-negotiation season. You'll note, of course, that the TWU posts advertisements which are intended to be (and likely are) harmful to the airline, in order to attempt to extort a better package; counter-intuitive, and (IMHO) bad-faith.

Disappointing, but not entirely unexpected in that industry.
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lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:11 pm

Quoting 727LOVER (Reply 8):

But you bought it, so what are you complaining about???

Please tell me where else I'm supposed to buy FL tickets. And no, I don't have to accept this merger--WN should have left FL alone.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 9):
You'll note, of course, that the TWU posts advertisements which are intended to be (and likely are) harmful to the airline, in order to attempt to extort a better package;

Besides wages, what does this 'package' include? Buddy passes, bennies, and health insurance?

-LPDAL
TWU represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
commavia
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:16 pm

The "facts" being displayed in this union-paid ad are certainly up for debate - and indeed are being questioned by the company - but in general, I don't doubt that rampers' workload probably is increasing.

I think this is really just the latest manifestation of the dramatic evolution impacting Southwest - both from external and internal forces - in the last decade. In short - economic reality is now catching up with Southwest. The fuel hedges are gone, the network carriers have restructured and merged, and at the same time Southwest has gone from being pretty much the lowest-cost operator in the market to middle-of-the-pack, with among the highest labor costs.

And that's where the rampers come in. Southwest has to cut cost somewhere to remain competitive - and it appears they've tried, to at least some extent, to do it through productivity, by making rampers do more with less (same workload with fewer rampers, or increased workload with same number of rampers). But that, too, of course, has its repercussions.
 
airbazar
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:21 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
It could be that because Bags Fly Free (tm), WN has more bags to lose than the other majors, no?

ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. But of course union leaders probably aren't smart enough to do basic math.

"Through September, the 2014 rate is 4.27 bag complaints per 1,000 passengers,"
That measurement is no longer valid in this era of checked bag fees. I'd like to see number of complaints per 1,000 bags checked rather than per 1,000 passengers.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 9):
Union propaganda

  

[Edited 2014-11-25 06:27:05]
 
Cubsrule
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:23 pm

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
And that's where the rampers come in. Southwest has to cut cost somewhere to remain competitive - and it appears they've tried, to at least some extent, to do it through productivity, by making rampers do more with less (same workload with fewer rampers, or increased workload with same number of rampers). But that, too, of course, has its repercussions.

I check on a fair number of my WN flights, and I fly WN a lot. I've noticed marked improvements in baggage delivery times across the system in the past 60-90 days. I don't know enough about the inner workings of the ramp to know what this means, but I even had a DEN flight in October where my bags beat me to the carousel, which is almost unheard there for most carriers (in fact, a few, including AA, have notices posted in their jet bridges that bags might take up to 45 minutes).
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sccutler
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:26 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 7):
But it's a proven fact that if you pay your employees well and treat them with respect, they will perform (see DL margins).

An eloquent explanation of a key ingredient of Southwest's formula for success over the years - and still profitable, without ever having shed billions of dollars of debt or eviscerating the equity positions of stockholders through the bankruptcy court.

That said, of course, and as noted above, the airline is having to learn to cope in a more challenging environment, especially as to cost. Reduce cost, increase productivity - something has to give. May be interesting.
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micstatic
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:28 pm

Once they switch reservations systems they will charge for bags like everyone else. I find this add very distasteful from the union. Don't air your dirty laundry. In today's world most peoples jobs are tougher and more challenging than they were 10 years ago.
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eaglepower83
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:45 pm

Quoting max550 (Reply 1):
Here's the ad and some background info.
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...gs-in-anti-company-picketing.html/

Not surprised. The most damage my luggage ever encountered was on my first SW flight.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 4):
And many times, WN fares are near or higher than 'legacy'

Yeah, they're NOT the cheapest, unless you're going to a weird vacation destination.
When I was living out east, my dad (who has a hard-on for SW) was always telling me to fly them from BDL.
But, SW was routinely 50-150 dollars MORE than UA or AA.
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MaverickM11
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:51 pm

Just add this to the premium and share shift they're not getting from no bag fees   

Quoting micstatic (Reply 15):

Once they switch reservations systems they will charge for bags like everyone else.

   It's hard to see any reason not to do so. They'll certainly need fewer rampers with bag fees.
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airbazar
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:29 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 17):
It's hard to see any reason not to do so. They'll certainly need fewer rampers with bag fees.

I don't see the need for bag fees when they already charge higher fares. That's why they can get away with no bag fees. There are many other places for them to charge ancillary fees without undermining their entire marketing foundation. If they start charging bag fees they'll have to lower their fares. It's one of the other. Also, there will always be people checking bags so rampers will always be needed. Do you schedule number of rampers per plane or per bags?
 
757SanCam
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:17 pm

I routinely book last minute fares every week and using my company's booking sight, WN never shows up as one of the cheapest, it's almost always the other big legacy carriers. Yes, WN is probably cheapest for advanced early booking, but they are ususally the most expensive for last minute bookings. Maybe it's that hidden baggage upcharge.  
 
lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:23 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
I don't know enough about the inner workings of the ramp to know what this means,

Rampers are loading heavy bags onto planes and constantly in a dangerous line of work, therefore, on the job injuries are very prevalent. My friend almost had his toe sawed off on the job, but he barely eluded that fate and instead got a large gash on his foot. It's not an 'easy' job by any stretch of the mind, and the ontime arrival of bags is largely due to these agents working their tails off to make sure they can achieve the quickest possible turnaround in often extreme weather conditions. So it's very easy to conceive a vision as to why these people would be upset if their wage and benefits are being slashed.

-LPDAL

[Edited 2014-11-25 09:24:49]
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andrew50
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:09 pm

In my opinion Southwest is far from a low cost carrier. I fly between IAH-LAX quite often. A few weeks ago my wife and I flew this route on United. $325 for both of us round trip. Southwest was $350 for one fare. I rarely even look at them anymore because they are so expensive.
 
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thekorean
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:55 pm

Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying
 
AWACSooner
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 6:55 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 10):

Please tell me where else I'm supposed to buy FL tickets. And no, I don't have to accept this merger--WN should have left FL alone.

Too bad...I miss HP and think they shouldn't have jumped into bed with US...but that's the nature of the business. WN acquired a competitor and removed them from the market. It's how the system works...

Quoting sccutler (Reply 14):

An eloquent explanation of a key ingredient of Southwest's formula for success over the years - and still profitable, without ever having shed billions of dollars of debt or eviscerating the equity positions of stockholders through the bankruptcy court.

But to the union bosses, it's never enough...their workers are always underpaid and under-appreciated...and the evil corporation abuses their workers and needs to pay!

The funny thing is in the comments of the article: Airlines don't lose bags. Airline employees lose bags....UNION airline employees. The irony is awesome, the Rampers handle the bags, do a poor job at handling the bags, put add in paper stating that the bags are handled poorly, and want more money to continue poorly handling the bags…gotcha…

[Edited 2014-11-25 10:57:33]
 
doug_or
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:05 pm

Quoting thekorean (Reply 22):
Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying

Yeah, the ad certainly seems strange in that regard. "We're not very god at our job, give us more money!"
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lpdal
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:07 pm

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 23):

Too bad...I miss HP and think they shouldn't have jumped into bed with US...but that's the nature of the business. WN acquired a competitor and removed them from the market. It's how the system works...

I know how the system works. I also know just because something doesn't exist anymore doesn't mean I immediately cease missing it, too.

-LPDAL
TWU represented. All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
max550
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:10 pm

Quoting andrew50 (Reply 21):
In my opinion Southwest is far from a low cost carrier.

How so?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-cost_carrier
They may not be a low fare carrier but they're certainly a low-cost carrier.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:21 pm

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 24):

Quoting thekorean (Reply 22):
Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying

Yeah, the ad certainly seems strange in that regard. "We're not very god at our job, give us more money!"


Maybe they aren't very good at having to be in two places at once or doing the job of 2 or more rampers by themselves.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
contrails78
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:22 pm

What garbage this is in so many ways. The TWU is basically saying pay our rampers more and we will improve on our end of no losing bags? The TWU is a joke anyways. When I worked at WN they did not have my back, and when I fought the case against me they approached it with a very mild response in my defense., so I have pretty much zero respect for the TWU.

Im also sure in other cities, many of the WN rampers are very hardworking and much deserving of a nice raise. However im sure some stations do not deserve squat, especially at LAX. Granted some time has passed since I have been on the LAX team and there are some new people staffed there, but many of these employees at my time were mostly 12+ years senior and the laziest bunch of low lifes. When people say it is impossible for WN to make 20 minute turns I say BS. There were many occasions at LAX where I ended up turning an entire flight by myself. My team members were too busy in the game of dominos or watching the ballgame on the breakroom TV and would basically shrug me off when I would tell them our plane is at the gate. There were other teams I observed that were so lazy and inept, that after the plane taxied did they realize there was a cart of xfer baggage sitting at t he gate that missed the flight. I made many reports to the superiors who basically didnt want to hear it, or said yeah we will address it, but nothing ever changed.
 
cschleic
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:30 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 12):
"Through September, the 2014 rate is 4.27 bag complaints per 1,000 passengers,"
That measurement is no longer valid in this era of checked bag fees. I'd like to see number of complaints per 1,000 bags checked rather than per 1,000 passengers.

That's the point....at what rate are bags being lost, not passengers complaining or per total passengers? Southwest probably has a higher percentage of passengers checking bags in the first place. The inflection point (per the article) of when they became worse than the industry - 2011 - might roughly correspond with a large adoption of fees for checked baggage by other carriers. I don't know for certain, but would be interesting to determine.



Quoting thekorean (Reply 22):
Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying

It's not just them. Could be airport sorting system, could be missed connections due to weather or ATC or too tight a schedule, could be the handlers, could be....lots of things.
 
SXDFC
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:55 pm

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 10):
I don't have to accept this merger--WN should have left FL alone.

You're kidding me right? WN couldn't survive being the "mom and pop" airline that it once was. WN needed to grow to survive, and that meant the acquisition of FL.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 22):
Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying

There could be a number of reasons why a bag gets lost...

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 25):
I know how the system works.

No you clearly don't know how the system works. I suggest getting a job with an airline after you graduate High School and then re visit your statement.

Quoting contrails78 (Reply 28):
Im also sure in other cities, many of the WN rampers are very hardworking

Every airline has hardworking employees.. With regards to WN, WN should remember its the PEOPLE OF WN that got them to the spot that they're at today.

[Edited 2014-11-25 16:04:20]
 
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compensateme
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:02 am

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 30):
You're kidding me right? WN couldn't survive being the "mom and pop" airline that it once was. WN needed to grow to survive, and that meant the acquisition of FL.

WN hardly needed FL to survive. WN's acquisition was (arguably) motivated by the desire to eliminate the most aggressively priced competition. Without WN acquiring FL, I doubt we would've seen the surge in airfares (and subsequently profits), which continue to soar despite falling fuel prices.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
airliner371
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:09 am

I love the employees of WN, I am friends with many of them. But they are spoiled and they need to be willing to give in a little. WN may be making profits now, but their costs are sky rocketing and their unions have them locked down with all of the frivolous restrictions in the contacts. Newsflash, every other major airline has gone through bankruptcy and lowered their costs, WN employees are lucky to have what they have now, yet alone more.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 10):
Please tell me where else I'm supposed to buy FL tickets. And no, I don't have to accept this merger--WN should have left FL alone.

FL wasn't going to continue on the path it was on for long without WN. ATL wasn't working to well for them, MKE was a really tough work in progress. And this is all from the biggest supporter of AirTran in the world. Southwest saved AirTran from some pretty tough days.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:11 am

Gotta love the irony of that ad. Basically the union is calling out bag failures (which employees have a high impact on) and at the same time asking for more money for said employees...

What a great use of union dues... Do they really think this *helps* with negotiations? And people wonder why union membership has fallen 75% in the last 4 decades. smh.

That being said: is their mishandled bag *rate* that much worse than any other carrier?
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SXDFC
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:17 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 32):
I love the employees of WN, I am friends with many of them. But they are spoiled and they need to be willing to give in a little. WN may be making profits now, but their costs are sky rocketing and their unions have them locked down with all of the frivolous restrictions in the contacts. Newsflash, every other major airline has gone through bankruptcy and lowered their costs, WN employees are lucky to have what they have now, yet alone more.


  

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 31):
WN hardly needed FL to survive. WN's acquisition was (arguably) motivated by the desire to eliminate the most aggressively priced competition. Without WN acquiring FL, I doubt we would've seen the surge in airfares (and subsequently profits), which continue to soar despite falling fuel prices.

WN needed to expand both on A/C and markets. When WN acquired FL, they acquired a bunch of 73NGs, ATL, and some of the International markets..
 
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compensateme
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:34 am

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 34):
WN needed to expand both on A/C and markets. When WN acquired FL, they acquired a bunch of 73NGs, ATL, and some of the International markets..

* The merger did not help WN expand its fleet. WN never wanted the 717. At one point, it look liked they'd be stuck with them given the large cost associated with dumping them. The DL transaction was a hail mary, WN paid DL to take the aircraft, and it lead to WN deferring retirements of the 733 to cover former 717 flying.

* It would've been cheaper for WN to expand its network on its own. Some smaller FL markets have been dropped and a handful more are at-risk. Additionally, most of FL's P2P network (which focused on Florida) has been dropped.

WN paid $1.4B for FL. It would have been much cheaper for it to acquire aircraft, expand its network & get access to slot-controlled airports on its own. Either the merger didn't go as WN planned, or WN acquired FL merely to divest the industry's most aggressive competitor. We've had many of these discussions on a.net and a lot of evidence points to the latter.
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airliner371
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:41 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 35):
* The merger did not help WN expand its fleet.

It didn't? They didn't get 52 additional 737-700s? Thats news to me.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 35):
It would've been cheaper for WN to expand its network on its own.

Show me the numbers? Show me the facts. Because this is just your opinion.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 35):
Additionally, most of FL's P2P network (which focused on Florida) has been dropped.

And this is a problem? It may be a fact but you write it as if its a problem, which it is not for WN.

I'm not gonna get into another "What did WN get out of the FL merger" conversation again, I just needed to respond to these points.

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 35):
Either the merger didn't go as WN planned

This is probably true, but its not like it went badly. They got 52 new 737s, they got their feet in the international market, they now have service to ATL where they are flying more local passengers than AirTran did, they got into DCA and got more service to LGA. So sure, it didn't go as planned, but it still turned out very nicely for WN. Next year, WN will turn a page in its history as a new era begins for SWA. Exciting times ahead for WN.
 
dlramp4life
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 12:46 am

Really loving how everyone just knows how the ramp works right off the bat here...  
Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
highest labor costs

Indeed. It is almost sickening how much a ramp agent can make at WN.

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
And that's where the rampers come in. Southwest has to cut cost somewhere to remain competitive - and it appears they've tried, to at least some extent, to do it through productivity, by making rampers do more with less (same workload with fewer rampers, or increased workload with same number of rampers). But that, too, of course, has its repercussions

I just don't know how they do it. We need to have a minimum of three people working a flight, WN has two. There are serious safety concerns when having a two man crew turning a 737. Wing walking comes to mind as well as the OJI rate. I just got over a shoulder dislocation and fully healed because I was rushing on one flight. Imagine being rushed for 8-10 hours a day turning flight after flight.... No thank you.

Quoting thekorean (Reply 22):
Arent the workers the one that loses the luggage? I am just saying

Well I am saying it depends.
YES: If the agent in the bag make up area is not paying attention and misloads bags on the wrong flight, wrong tag
NO: Baggage sorting system missorts bags to wrong pier, late connections, weather, security, etc...

We also have technology that tracks bags and tells us if we are missing or are about to misload a bag. Same technology also times how long it takes us to drop the bags to claim once the plane blocks in at the gate.
 
SXDFC
Posts: 2066
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:07 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:03 am

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 37):
Really loving how everyone just knows how the ramp works right off the bat here..

  

Especially from some individuals who have ZERO experience in the airline industry what so ever..

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 37):
I just don't know how they do it. We need to have a minimum of three people working a flight, WN has two. There are serious safety concerns when having a two man crew turning a 737.

When working the 737-300, -500, and -700 it isn't so much of a problem. A heavy loaded -800 needs two agents in each bin. At my station we have one wing walker.

Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 37):
Well I am saying it depends.
YES: If the agent in the bag make up area is not paying attention and misloads bags on the wrong flight, wrong tag
NO: Baggage sorting system missorts bags to wrong pier, late connections, weather, security, etc...

Agreed, sometimes issues are out of our hands for the most part..
 
737-990
Posts: 341
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 3:41 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:14 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 33):
That being said: is their mishandled bag *rate* that much worse than any other carrier?

Well from the attached article here are the baggage stats over the last couple of years:


Year

Southwest

Industry

Difference

1998 4.53 5.20 -0.67
1999 4.22 5.08 -0.86
2000 5.00 5.29 -0.29
2001 4.77 4.55 0.22
2002 3.52 3.84 -0.32
2003 3.35 4.19 -0.84
2004 3.35 4.91 -1.56
2005 4.25 6.04 -1.79
2006 5.34 6.73 -1.39
2007 5.87 7.03 -1.16
2008 4.57 5.26 -0.69
2009 3.43 3.91 -0.48
2010 3.47 3.51 -0.04
2011 3.65 3.39 0.26
2012 3.08 3.09 -0.01
2013 3.72 3.22 0.50
2014 4.27 3.71 0.56


Southwest hasn't really gotten worse, the rest of the Industry just got better especially since 2009. I think that's when most of the Airlines changed to charging for bags. I think the correlation between bag fees and lower mishandling rate is indisputable.
Happiest is a man who has his vocation as a hobby
 
chrisp390
Posts: 723
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:25 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 35):

Competition doesn't go away, and now Spirit airlines is growing enormously and will be giving WN a run for its money, they won't be able to buy them out so they will need to learn how to compete and create a compelling reason for customers to fly them if they don't offer the lowest fares.
 
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compensateme
Posts: 3279
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:31 am

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 36):
It didn't? They didn't get 52 additional 737-700s? Thats news to me.... Show me the numbers? Show me the facts. Because this is just your opinion... And this is a problem? It may be a fact but you write it as if its a problem, which it is not for WN. I'm not gonna get into another "What did WN get out of the FL merger" conversation again, I just needed to respond to these points. ...This is probably true, but its not like it went badly. They got 52 new 737s, they got their feet in the international market, they now have service to ATL where they are flying more local passengers than AirTran did, they got into DCA and got more service to LGA. So sure, it didn't go as planned, but it still turned out very nicely for WN. Next year, WN will turn a page in its history as a new era begins for SWA. Exciting times ahead for WN.

These are some amusing points.

WN ultimately paid billions in purchase price, liabilities assumption and merger/divestiture costs. You'd be naive if you didn't believe organic growth would've been far cheaper; ultimately, WN purchased a large operation in ATL and a handful of slots at LGA & DCA (bring up things like aircraft are ridiculous, since WN inherited a bunch of planes it didn't want and only a hail mary catch from DL saved them -- and the transaction lead to them to an aircraft shortage/extending the life of the 733). I seriously doubt the assets WN acquired were worth the transaction cost.

But by eliminating FL, WN removed the industry's most aggressively priced carrier. Ultimately, the profits they'll earn will justify the merger's costs. But I doubt WN was ever interested in FL's assets.
We don’t care what your next flight is.
 
MSYPI7185
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:45 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:51 am

Quoting max550 (Reply 26):
They may not be a low fare carrier but they're certainly a low-cost carrier.

At one time, but not anymore. Their cost are going through the roof. Their cost is beginning to, if it has not already begun to, exceed the other major carriers.

WN acquiring FL was to eliminate an aggressive competitor. The international routes they could have started on their own without much problem because of the air agreements between the US and these other countries.

Quoting cschleic (Reply 29):
Southwest probably has a higher percentage of passengers checking bags in the first place.

Not likely, when our airline started charging for checked bags there was no significant drop-off in number of bags checked.
IIRC WN only the first bag is free. then you begin paying also, in addition to the airfare that is usually, in my experience, higher.

Our loads are normally so high, to travel non-rev is very difficult for me. So I buy a ticket about 3/4 of the time and every time I checked WN as compared to UA, US, AA, or DL, WN was higher and this is not the last minute either, I'm talking 2-3 weeks out minimum.

Quoting contrails78 (Reply 28):
There were many occasions at LAX where I ended up turning an entire flight by myself.

That is pretty good considering in my 20 years with at least 15 of it on the ramp in MSY and CLT, I could never load a 737-200/300/400 by myself.

Quoting cschleic (Reply 29):
That's the point....at what rate are bags being lost, not passengers complaining or per total passengers?

The mishandled bag figured is reported by the airlines to the FAA as required, has nothing to do with pax complaints. A passenger complaint is recorded differently. Pax complaints that are released by the FAA are for ALL complaints regardless of subject matter and whether it is a valid complaint or not.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 27):
Maybe they aren't very good at having to be in two places at once or doing the job of 2 or more rampers by themselves.

  

Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
It could be that because Bags Fly Free (tm), WN has more bags to lose than the other majors, no?

Before the AA/US merger they had an opportunity to lose more bags because they carried more people.

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
I don't doubt that rampers' workload probably is increasing.

Yes, slow down in hiring because their cost are getting higher.

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):
by making rampers do more with less (same workload with fewer rampers, or increased workload with same number of rampers).
Quoting LPDAL (Reply 20):
So it's very easy to conceive a vision as to why these people would be upset if their wage and benefits are being slashed.

Been there done this for many years. Interesting is our upper management would use WN as a comparison and continue to cut wages and personnel and then eventually outsourcing. Our union leadership at one point told them to give us WN's ramp contract and they would approve it without even having to take a vote, because WN's TWU contract was vastly superior to ours. Funny they did not take us up on this offer.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 18):
Do you schedule number of rampers per plane or per bags?

Staffing is scheduled by number of flights, the flow of those flights through a station. more employees need when more than one flight is on the ground. If they can be scheduled in a smaller station back to back, you can get by with fewer employees. WN should have a minimum requirement for number of rampers to handle a particular aircraft. 738 will normally take one more ramper than the other 737's because of the depth of the rear bin, normally one on the ground and 2 in the bin. Also the forward bins are a little deeper also IIRC so the extra person is needed.
My experience having lived it with US is fewer rampers generally means more injuries and the higher potential for aircraft cargo loading delays.

MD
 
airliner371
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RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:12 am

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 40):
now Spirit airlines is growing enormously and will be giving WN a run for its money

Spirit and Southwest go after distinctly different passengers. Spirit goes after the ultra price sensitive passenger while Southwest goes after the business traveler and leisure travelers that are not as price sensitive.

Quoting chrisp390 (Reply 40):
they won't be able to buy them out so they will need to learn how to compete and create a compelling reason for customers to fly them if they don't offer the lowest fares.

Spirit is way smaller than AirTran was when Southwest acquired AirTran so while I don't see Southwest acquiring Spirit, it definitely could if it wanted to.
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2242
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:14 am

Quoting 737-990 (Reply 39):
Southwest hasn't really gotten worse, the rest of the Industry just got better especially since 2009. I think that's when most of the Airlines changed to charging for bags. I think the correlation between bag fees and lower mishandling rate is indisputable.

Agreed. Back in the good ole days, as an analyst, I used to compile those numbers for the DOT for a certain large airline. It was very easy to see trends that higher numbers of bags (like holiday weekends, or spring break) cause higher percentages of mishandled bags.

Even in the early/mid 2000's we were discussing the possibility of charging for bags. I opined at a meeting that it would lower the percentage of mishandled bags (because there would be less overall bags). Management disagreed with my assertion...  
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
LoneStarMike
Posts: 2808
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 3:03 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 33):
Gotta love the irony of that ad. Basically the union is calling out bag failures (which employees have a high impact on) and at the same time asking for more money for said employees...

Yes, they're asking for more money but to me it seemed like the ad was basically calling out the company for not hiring additional baggage handlers.

Quote:
The airline now flies larger planes packed with more bags than ever before but doesn't hire additional ground workers and, in the last four years hasn't provided a raise to half its ground workers.

[snip]

Wouldn't it make sense at this time to invest in ground workers and on-time performance?

The way I interpret it is that investing in ground workers means hiring more of them.

And if there are folks who haven't gotten a raise in four years, then yeah, they deserve a raise. It's not like the cost of living has remained flat for the past four years - at least not where I live (Austin, TX)

Quoting MSYPI7185 (Reply 42):
IIRC WN only the first bag is free. then you begin paying

No, the first and second bag is still free.

source

LoneStarMike
 
chrisair
Posts: 2170
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2000 11:32 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 5:51 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 4):
specifically the ones I'm interested in.

I know it's hard to understand, but the world doesn't always revolve around you...

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 7):
But those buckets are wildly varied from the time I booked the AirTran tickets.

DL's F fares (the fully refundable fares) are generally pretty steady. So are the WN ones. Comparing a WN/FL $790 F fare to the $1000 DL one seems to indicate that WN is cheaper by a little more than $200.

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 10):
I don't have to accept this merger--WN should have left FL alone.

FL shareholders didn't have to approve the merger, you know. Nobody had a gun to their heads. If I recall, Frontier balked at the WN takeover plan. Wonder how their employees are doing now...
 
JDFLYVC10
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:42 am

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:12 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 2):
Wow, I was under the impression that WN rampers start at near $11.25/hour.

I think "In-N-Out" Burger starts at $14.00
I'm just saying.
A Day Without Sunshine Is Like....NIGHT!
 
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airportugal310
Posts: 3682
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:49 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:23 am

Quoting LPDAL (Reply 25):

Interesting...I've been working in the industry for 10 years now and I still don't get how everything in the "system" works. You should teach us, master
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
Silver1SWA
Posts: 4719
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: USA Today 1/2 Page Ad...Slams Southwest

Wed Nov 26, 2014 9:01 am

Okay, a few things here...

First of all like many things the union leaders say, there is more to the story. Either they didn't do their homework here or they assume the public is as impressionable as their membership. The headline of this ad ranks up there with other things I hear all the time, like how the company would rather give $100 million to a competitor (Delta) to paint their new planes instead of pay the employees, or how they will spend money to paint airplanes (new scheme) instead of pay employees with a raise. Of course Airliners.net knows how ridiculous those claims are...   

With that said, what I believe the union is trying to say is when you don't take care of your employees, the employees can't properly take care of the customers. It's the golden rule. The ramp is run thin. Very thin. Fact is over the past 5 years the number of checked bags has skyrocketed, airplanes are bigger, flight schedules have become tighter and staffing hasn't been increased to keep up with the changes. Staffing levels have been tweaked with an aggressive campaign to do more with less. What's being asked of the ramp is practically impossible yet they manage to get it done day after day as best they can.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 18):
Do you schedule number of rampers per plane or per bags?

Overall station staffing is based on number of flights but daily staffing is done according to daily passenger bookings and that is where most of the problems come from, in my opinion. When bookings are light they look for positions that can get away with not being covered, or positions where agents can be pulled to fill positions with higher priority that weren't initially covered. As a consequence an agent might be required to do the jobs of more than one person and it's not uncommon to have an agent required in two places at the same time.

Quoting commavia (Reply 11):

The "facts" being displayed in this union-paid ad are certainly up for debate - and indeed are being questioned by the company - but in general, I don't doubt that rampers' workload probably is increasing.

I think this is really just the latest manifestation of the dramatic evolution impacting Southwest - both from external and internal forces - in the last decade. In short - economic reality is now catching up with Southwest. The fuel hedges are gone, the network carriers have restructured and merged, and at the same time Southwest has gone from being pretty much the lowest-cost operator in the market to middle-of-the-pack, with among the highest labor costs.

And that's where the rampers come in. Southwest has to cut cost somewhere to remain competitive - and it appears they've tried, to at least some extent, to do it through productivity, by making rampers do more with less (same workload with fewer rampers, or increased workload with same number of rampers). But that, too, of course, has its repercussions.

  
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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