Pros: great flight benefits, health, vacation, sick pay, dental, vision, extra vacation, vesting in the company
Cons: wages were too small to be afford to travel anywhere
After travel school, I was hired by a top 3 major airline in downtown Hartford Connecticut. The first 5 weeks of work didn't count and we were only getting paid $5.77/hr. I was barely surviving with 3 roommates in a 1 bedroom apartment.
We sent into out 3:30-midnight shift everyday, with no joy or happiness. This call center was ruled like a prison. You were to be pleasant to your customer but nothing but talk regarding the travel plans at hand. I knew that I am a more person person than that and that I was holding myself back from what my true potential was. After a year, I applied to the fly-aa-way vacations department and starting booking now long flights for the customers, but hotels and car rentals too. We could get into conversations regarding the destination and make sure that is in fact what they are looking for and proceed with bookings. We also took payments for the bookings over the phone, gave needed disclosures and documentation requirements that would be needed. We had hotels and clubs come in and train us on their specific locations, and I really learned a lot, but I was still missing something.
On one of my many trips back home to Michigan, I discovered they were hiring in my home airport. Some I submitted an application and was soon working as a stations operational agent. This positions afforded me the ability to learn basically everything that was needs to have the ground crew assist the flight crew in making a flight airborne. I did everything, from quoting and booking tickets, taking money and printing tickets and pass-board passes. To knowing – more... all the airport city codes and booking their luggage through to their destination with them. Or boarding the flights from the gate, and making sure my final ticket count that I have in my hand matched the bodies on-board the aircraft. We would have the flights preplanned for weight and balance purposes, order the fuel that was requested on the manifest, and restrict the weight load if needed. We would talk to the crew incoming and outgoing on the radio, guiding them into their parking spots on the ground, load and unload the baggage. We also took lost baggage claims for customers if their luggage did not arrive with them. When the baggage we located, we would set the baggage up for delivery to the customer. During bad weather we would de-ice the airplane in preparation for departure, getting started and head them on their way to their destination. That was a lost of fun with a lot of good co-workers and just a fun atmosphere. I also did that in Rockford, IL, and Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport TX. Although in Texas I actually got promoted into the control tower and handled just the flights and crews for preparation of flight to the weights of how the flight was booked, fuel needed and the weight and balance of the aircraft. We needed to ensure there was never too many people or baggage on the plane to be able to fly safely, and still get it all done and get the plane out of the gate on it.
The final leg of my journal with this major national airline was I promoted to management and became a Baggage Claims Specialist. With this job I was given claims where the customer and the bags was never reunited, and I'm the last line of the claim. The customer must fill in claim form with everything they had packed in the bag, the values of such, including the bag itself. I would then check everything to be sure that I had all the pertinent information that I needed and would reimburse them for their missing articles. Most people just wanted to have their things back, but there were some out there scamming for a quick free buck, and I luckily caught a lot of those people, without the company losing a dime. We have guidelines to follow as well as a maximum liability that we could payout, which normal was a lot lower than what the customer was claiming. So I was the person who either did,or did not pay your lost baggage claim, or not the amount you were expecting to receive. And if I did pay it what would the amount be according to our guidelines. I had quite a few irate customers that I spoke with over the years that weren't about no compensation or not enough compensation. I would have to say that was probably the hardest job that I've ever had. But I lived through it and I'm still smiling today!!! – less