Ground (Ramp/CSR) Operator Changes at UAX

Old May 20, 12, 2:44 pm
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Ground (Ramp/CSR) Operator Changes at UAX

As always, only more so: Operated with pride by the lowest bidder. Says here COdbaUA has been trying to cut costs. Gosh, who knew?

http://www.thefloridanewsjournal.com...s-united-citie

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; May 25, 12 at 8:29 am Reason: vague thread title
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Old May 20, 12, 2:47 pm
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Just to confirm, this is only for the ground handling. Flight operation is not changing.

Still sad for the employees involved. Apparently American Eagle is taking over some of these, like PSP and SBA (of which Skywest has been doing the ground handling for two decades).
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Old May 20, 12, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Mistered View Post
As always, only more so: Operated with pride by the lowest bidder. Says here COdbaUA has been trying to cut costs.
Don't you want the lowest possible ticket prices?
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Old May 20, 12, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by murphyUA View Post
Just to confirm, this is only for the ground handling. Flight operation is not changing.
Correct. Per the article:
The cities affected by this move will still have SkyWest or ExpressJet planes flying for United, it is only the ground handling that United is changing.
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Old May 20, 12, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by murphyUA View Post
Just to confirm, this is only for the ground handling. Flight operation is not changing.
I don't really know what "ground handling" entails but does it include ticket and gate agents? If so, this would mean more than 2 months of agent training on SHARES goes out the window and a new group comes in to learn the system all over again. BUR is one of the affected airports and the agents there are still using flash cards to navigate SHARES.
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Old May 20, 12, 6:46 pm
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No, I prefer safe and reliable to be honest.

Originally Posted by rch4u View Post
Don't you want the lowest possible ticket prices?
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Old May 20, 12, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by wilp888 View Post
I don't really know what "ground handling" entails but does it include ticket and gate agents? If so, this would mean more than 2 months of agent training on SHARES goes out the window and a new group comes in to learn the system all over again. BUR is one of the affected airports and the agents there are still using flash cards to navigate SHARES.
Yes, it includes ticket and gate agents. My home airport, AEX, has had American Eagle handle all CO/UA ground operations for a couple of years now.
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Old May 20, 12, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by wilp888 View Post
I don't really know what "ground handling" entails but does it include ticket and gate agents? If so, this would mean more than 2 months of agent training on SHARES goes out the window and a new group comes in to learn the system all over again. BUR is one of the affected airports and the agents there are still using flash cards to navigate SHARES.
Not necessarily. When this sort of thing happens, a lot of time the employees of the previous contractor get hired on with the new one. Last I was in TYS, the gate agent mentioned all of our people were "re-interviewing" for their position with Air Wisconsin, who already do legacy UA flights but will now do legacy CO flights as well.
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Old May 20, 12, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Hachiko View Post
Not necessarily. When this sort of thing happens, a lot of time the employees of the previous contractor get hired on with the new one. Last I was in TYS, the gate agent mentioned all of our people were "re-interviewing" for their position with Air Wisconsin, who already do legacy UA flights but will now do legacy CO flights as well.
True. But I bet it still sucks for the employees, who lose seniority et al when being "rehired" with the new regional (and who as part of the cost cutting probably also give up benefits, pay, etc., with the new operator).
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Old May 20, 12, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
True. But I bet it still sucks for the employees, who lose seniority et al when being "rehired" with the new regional (and who as part of the cost cutting probably also give up benefits, pay, etc., with the new operator).
And, IME, not all the former employees get hired. Remember, it is a cost-saving measure. At my home airport, we see the same employees work the American Eagle flights and the UA flights. In fact, the ticket agents and gate agents wear AE uniforms.
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Old May 21, 12, 5:34 am
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There are a few concerns here for me:

Those taken over by Eagle:

Pros:
-They still have an airline running the operation, and airlines can do things better than an FBO.

Cons:
-Because it's a airline owned by a competing corporation that also flies to these airports, there's the possibility of shenanigans from having the contracted airline's planes being taken care of first, i.e.; AE will put AA and AE over everyone else.

Those taken over by FBOs:

Pros:
-No need to throw flight benefits at them, thus saving some money

Cons:
-Those employees that transition from the previous company (which, given the count, will be a large percentage of them) will have to deal with a new company, new corporate culture, and the possibility of no more good benefits, and thus low morale.
-Any gaps will have to be filled by those off the street. FBOs tend to take those with zero experience in the field, and a high percentage of those either a) won't care, or b) will grow tired of how hard the work is, and thus, it becomes a revolving door.
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Old May 21, 12, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by rch4u View Post
Don't you want the lowest possible ticket prices?
No, I really don't. A significantly lower bid is usually possible only by removing something of value from the transaction. See the catering threads.
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Old May 21, 12, 7:26 am
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and just because UA's costs are lower does not equate to lower fares anyway. UA may earn more or lose less but you won't see them sending out rebate checks for all the tickets purchased on those routes that now have lower costs. You will now get a bunch of minimum wage workers with constant batches of new people that need to get trained as the others move on to higher paying jobs. Especially with AA/AE in bankruptcy now, wages and benefits will be further cut and there will be little incentive for those workers to go out of their way to help a competing carrier.
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Old May 21, 12, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by Hachiko View Post
Not necessarily. When this sort of thing happens, a lot of time the employees of the previous contractor get hired on with the new one. Last I was in TYS, the gate agent mentioned all of our people were "re-interviewing" for their position with Air Wisconsin, who already do legacy UA flights but will now do legacy CO flights as well.
Same thing here at MBS (Saginaw). When 'real' United left in 2001, we had Atlantic Coast take over, a few years later, Skywest took over. When that contract came up, Air Wisconsin took over. I think they're 'up' again soon for negotiations, and they believe it will be yet another company. Now that I think about it, it might be Mesaba running it now, but I'm not certain.

Many people have remained throughout the process, some have come and gone. The biggest downside thus far was during the last 'changeover', the manager lost his job (someone with more seniority from elsewhere took over)--this guy was a true United guy who had been at MBS for 30 years. (On the side, he retired, but came back recently part-time and I get to see him regularly again).

This is far more common an occurrence than many are aware. I think all non-UA stations go through this every 2 years...Some change hands, some don't.
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Old May 21, 12, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by MBS PremExec View Post
Same thing here at MBS (Saginaw). When 'real' United left in 2001, we had Atlantic Coast take over, a few years later, Skywest took over. When that contract came up, Air Wisconsin took over. I think they're 'up' again soon for negotiations, and they believe it will be yet another company. Now that I think about it, it might be Mesaba running it now, but I'm not certain.

Many people have remained throughout the process, some have come and gone. The biggest downside thus far was during the last 'changeover', the manager lost his job (someone with more seniority from elsewhere took over)--this guy was a true United guy who had been at MBS for 30 years. (On the side, he retired, but came back recently part-time and I get to see him regularly again).

This is far more common an occurrence than many are aware. I think all non-UA stations go through this every 2 years...Some change hands, some don't.
I'm confused - so in places like BFL and BUR that do not have any American Eagle service at all, Eagle is going to come in and take over the existing ground equipment and ground handling that SkyWest used to provide? As someone who flies out of BFL and BUR often, I've grown to know and like the SkyWest ground handlers, and just assumed it made sense that they were the ones handling the flights since their company was the one providing air service to those cities on United's behalf.
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