prior employment with an airline...


New Member
Would working for an airline as lets say a baggage handler be beneficial when you submit a resume to that airline when you have competitive flying experience. If you used the entry level job for an airline to work your way through all of your ratings and then handed them a resume for a first officer position would that give you a slightly higher standing in the hiring process granted that you met their hiring minimums?? I know that the two jobs are pretty unrelated but you're still working for the same company. I still have a very long time before I have to worry about applying to airlines but I was just curious.

I don't work for an airline, but from the people that I know that do, they have all told me that working for an airline in any position certainly can't hurt your chances of getting the coveted pilot seat. The two positions are unrelated, so you'd still have to go through the hiring process, but if you were to work as a baggage handler for instance, you'd still have experience working for the company, and would likely know people that could get you the pilot interview.

It's all about networking!

In a nutshell.. NO.. Working on the ramp or as a CSA does not provide you any more of a chance of getting a flight spot as anyone else. You may find the occasional company that likes to hire within, but those are few and far between.

The benefit of working for an airline as a rampie or CSA is that you get to meet people. You can then get a bunch of LORs from them and that might help you get an interview.
I disagree. Networking is networking. As long as you do a good job while working for an airline you will make a lot of contacts. This also applies to working at an FBO.
thanks alot for all of your input. Just another thing to consider on my path to a career. (sorry if that sounded corny)

I have heard more successes as a result of internships compared to working for the company in other positions.
Networking is networking. Most do not care if you sweeping floors, carrying bags, wiping toilet seats, or all of the above.
I had your same idea a year and half ago. I figured anyjob at the airport would be helpful. I spent 5 months with the TSA which was a huge mistake. After that I spent one day shy of a year working on the ramp for Frontier airlines here in DEN, and just recently I moved up to work in the Tower doing weight and balance for Frontier. I find that these positions are very related in some aspects and I have also found that those minimums that airlines advertise can be attained if you transfer from within the company. I will have no problem knowing any of the ramp procedures and weight and balance stuff when I finally get on somewhere many moons from now.

From one of the previous pilot new hire classes yeah most of the guys came from other airlines and had been around the airline industry and had a million hours and there were also two guys that were hired that just had the bare minimums. They came from within the company.

While it will be easier to pull this off at a regional such as Great Lakes, Whisky, Cape Air, or Skywest it can be done at the majors. I suppose you will have to balance a part time flying job and a part time other job at the major but it can be done.

I've pretty much been told by other pilots at SWA that it is a VERY VERY good thing that I work for the company right now. Yeah, I'm going to have to leave for a couple of years before I meet the mins, but I stand a better chance of getting in if I have already worked there and left on good standing.
I just applied for jobs at Mesa and Skywest here in DEN thinking the same thing as you all. Its got to help a little bit getting to know people on the "inside" and also them getting to know you.

I also applied for a TSA screener job (I've got the "computerized test" tomorrow). I'm sure I would enjoy the ramp or customer service job much more, but if I get the TSA job I'm gonna have a hard time turning it down. It pays a lot better than the other jobs (so I would have a lot more money for training). I'm sure its boring as hell, but is it really that bad Tim??

I started out with them at the very beginning here in Denver. I was in their very fist training class and not one single thing that they told us came true. I was promised a different position with a higher pay and was basically robbed. I ended up working there for about 5 months and really wish I could have that time of my life back. Absolutely the worst job I have ever had. They screw you on your pay and yank you around in terms of the hours you work. If you do decide to work there my best advice is to get in their "good ol boy" network. Either way, get used to looking stupid and feeling like a tool! One more thing, don't count on this TSA job helping you get an airline job. I am actually not planning on using my time there on any resume as the airlines seem to look down on those folks.

Since leaving I am now working in the tower here at DIA for Frontier and am definetly going to include this job on my resume!

Any more questions about the TSA, I would be glad to talk to you about it, although I am very negative when it comes to that subject.

yea from what I have heard on this forum the TSA aren't too highly thought of by most pilots. Thanks again for all of your input.

And from what I see at the airports it doesn't look very exciting apart from the occasional seizure of a set of sewing needles from an 80 year old lady
(happened to my grandma this past year) I respect their ultimate goal of safety but their methods and tactics can be....a bit silly at times and they do make mistakes and they can be a pain in the ass but I guess you have to consider the alternative, anyway I am going to end this post before I spark any kind of TSA debate.
Well, thanks for the advice, I'll probably still go in for the interview, but I'll only take the job as a last resort. I'll just apply at all the airlines I can. Most of those jobs pay around $10/hr though, which isn't enough to train much at all. I've got a college degree but no real job experience so I doubt I can get anything more than an entry-level type job.

Tim, you said you were doing "weight and balance" in the tower, what exactly is that? You're working on your ratings right? How's that coming along? I've just taken a couple intro-flights, need a job so I can start to get serious though
It is a big leg up at SkyWest. Can't see how it would be a negative at any airline as long as you keep your nose clean and do a good job.
If it is what you want to do or you really need the money then go for it. You may have a different experience than mine. When you don't get paid for a few months, I will probably throw a "told ya so" at you though ;o) It took them over 9 months to give me my vacation pay after I gave my two week notice and left.

I started off at Frontier taking a pretty good pay cut but I was happy there on the ramp. I started at Frontier just throwing bags and then I started marshalling planes, pushing them and towing them across the airport. Frontier is big on hiring from within and a few months ago they were hiring load planner coordinators so I applied and got the job.

I now work in the A-tower doing weight and balance. Basically, you get 10-15 flighs per shift and you have to look up in the computer what all will be on the flight. crew, fuel, bags, pax, cargo, mail, whatever and then decide how it will fit in the aircraft and be trimmed the best and most fuel efficient. I am learning a TON about how a real airline works, I talk with the pilots alot, and am pretty nosey so I get alot of the dirt on what is going on. You know all that paperwork a pilot gets and has to read before he flies. Alot of that comes from my desk. Some of the guys I work with say "when frontier flies another tree dies". Overall its great and love doing this for now plus it actually pays OK.

As for my ratings, I am spending the next month or so saving up and working and then will finish up my private and then build some x-country hours and study all summer for my writtens. This fall I am going to bite the bullet and head down to ATP in PHX or maybe SEA and do their 90day program so hopefully by the end of next winter I can get an instructor job here in the area and still work at Frontier part time.

It's my plan and hopefully it works!

Sorry for babbling on a bit, but if you have any questions about the TSA or even Frontier, shoot and I will do what I can.

Tim Samples
Congrats on getting that job, sounds really cool... Frontier sounds like a good place to work. From their website it doesn't look like they're hiring ramp workers but they're hiring "Baggage service specialists." It says you need to know Shares and WorldTracer systems, which of course I don't, but I'm sure I could learn it quickly, maybe I'll apply for that... Well, if I have any TSA questions after the test tomorrow I'll let you know, take it easy...
I am not sure what that position is but I am sure if you got in there, after 6 months you could transfer to another position when they hire for it. It seems like everyone either starts out as a ramper, gate agent, or FA and then moves up from there. You gotta start somewhere afterall you cant build a house without a foundation.

Ahhh I see, the FO ad has changed from "closed" to "ongoing" apply for that one and skip all the rest

Judging by the names of the systems that you have to know, Baggage Service Specialist=person in customer service that gets yelled at when bags go missing.

Rampers are sometimes known as "Baggage Transportation Engineers." We don't "throw" bags, we "move" them.