Airline Jobs


How do you get a job with an Airline? How much do they pay? I would love to be involved at some level with the airline industry. Whether it be customer service to baggage handling. Anybody know how or details about getting a job with an airline at a local airport? I live within reasonable distance to EWR, LGA, JFK, so extra on those if you can.


Dave, I don’t know if this is just irony or what, but I work for a passenger railroad now. I previously worked 13 years in the airline industry! :smiley:

Airline jobs are interesting. I’ve worked for 3 carriers full time, and 1 part time. They have all been regionals. Working for the majors is a bit different. At a regional (with exception of being at a hub) you do it all. Passenger check in, ticketing, aircraft handling, deicing, loading unloading. Up until TSA took over, I worked for the carrier that did security screening for my airport.
At the majors, depending on the size of station you’ll probably be either on the ramp or at the gate/counter, just because of the size of the airport most majors fly in to. Since you mention the NYC area, you’ve probably got the most selection as to who to apply with. MAy look into the freight operations too.
You’ve got hubs there, and with that, you’ll see more turnover, which in your case is more opportunity, although some hubs I have TDY’d to are not too far from being gangland, so hubs are sometimes a not so nice place. On the other hand, outstations can sometimes be very senior so you’re going to be low on the totem pole. Another thing the major airports are doing, and now the smaller ones to an extent, it outsourcing ramp and sometimes even gate and counter. I worked p/t for my local airport auth as a ramper working RJ flights. That airline had NO employees here.
With the economy the way it is, and the airline industry specifically, it’s probably a bit tougher, look at their websites, and better yet, make up a resume. Take it to the airlines at your local airports. My experience has been the local station manager is the one who hires, and if one has interest in aviation, they will be one who would enjoy the job and work hard at it.
Oh …almost forgot, pay…hah, well now, here’s where we separate the haves and the have nots. While a 20 year ramper is doing ok, he’s probably seen his pay cut pretty substantially over the last 5 years or so. I would say if you went regional in the NY area, you’re probably talking maybe between 10 and 12, and majors, maybe 12-14…that almost seems high. You will get flight benefits if you work for the actual carrier (as opposed to the ground handler, and sometimes even they get pass privledges).

If you have any other questions, let me know, as negative as I may have made it sound, I miss that stuff bad. It’s fun, gets in your blood, and even though I go flying and enjoy aviation that way, I do miss playing airport!


Ah, I’m ok with low on the totem pole. As long as I get in… I love hard work. Thanks for the info. I’m also o.k with low pay! A little adventure, to add to my fun job on Broadway is what I’m looking for… and I’ll pray for those flight passes! If someone takes me in. And a few extra bucks to play with.


Ok, so thinking about part time? Even better, some airlines have only a handfull of flights which may not allow for many full time positions, but more p/t so even better. I know of no airline that does not issue flight benefits, that way they can pay peanuts, which may be why they don’t give them to pax anymore, they’re using them to pat the help. So I think you’re in good shape there.
Put your resume out, if you’re flexible between those 3 airports, if you hit them all, surely you’ll find a p/t job at one of them.

good luck! the job will have it’s moments, but it’s alot of fun!


One question, at those pay rates, after gas, tolls, taxes(inc city tax) and other travel expenses in NYC area, whats left? Is it worth it for $12/hr PT?


If I may make some recommendations, first at JFK there is JetBlue, check their web site for employment info. Also at JFK look up 2 ground handlers, Swissport, and Evergreen E.A.G.L.E… Those 2 handle the majority of the international traffic for ramp, pax services, and cargo. At EWR the first thought is CO, second to that would be FX. Both have major Hub operations there. As for ground handlers, I believe Swissport is also there at EWR…not sure who else. As for pay, coming fresh off the street, I think the $12 range is a fair guess I had seen in one of the postings. Good luck, and welcome to the heart attack mill!!


probably depends on how many hours etc. If he could work it out to work several long days as opposed to a 3 hr shift. There’s plenty of choices in NYC, so surely can find something to make it happen, it’ll just take some searching.


I currently work as a customer service agent for Delta at KDAY which is pretty small compared to NYC but it is fun work. I applied online and followed all the steps they gave me immediately. I don’t think it really helped that I liked to be around airplanes but I don’t think it hurts. I make $10.50 as a part-time employee (aka ready reserve agent). The job requires a lot of patience not with just the passengers but the crew and dispatch. Every day, you have to expect IROPs (irregular operations) because of weather, broken planes, or the FAA screwing up their computers (I was not prepared for that but thank you CNN for calming the crowd). In our small station, you have toknow everything but when I got to work with Atlanta agents for a week, they are taught one thing and only do that one thing.

Since I work late night shifts with pretty much no supervision, I hang out with the ground crew who actually work for Comair. They all pretty much hate their jobs but at least they have a TV with 5 channels when I get 5 TVs with 1 channel. Their job is not as glamorous as I thought and they even start out at a lower pay grade than customer service agents.


Just curious; have rampers and ground handlers seen a lot of lost benefits over the past few years.


Outsourced ground handlers have never really had many benefits to begin with.

If you ground handle for a contractor that’s also an airline (such as SkyWest or Comair) then you get flight benefits on one or all of the carriers they handle for. However, if you ground handle for a contractor that is not an airline (like Swissport or Servisair) then you do not get flight benefits.


I worked for several regionals, so I guess I never really saw too many benefits. Pay was never great until I became a supervisor, and even then it was relatively low, and medical insurance really wasn’t great (I always used my wife). That said the last regional I was at was Chicago Express who was owned and operated by big ATA, and we had the same benefits as they did. The pay was better as was the insurance. Still nothing outstanding.
It looks like recently though many ground handling companies have come in and taken over the ramp. Locally our airport authority has taken over. The pay is comperable to the airline and you can get good insurance if full time, plus flight benefits at least on the carrier you operate so I it could be worse. I don’t know if that would be the case with the larger companies that ground handle.
It doesn’t seem like there’s as many lifers and maybe thats because of the constant changing and mergers, but I would bet that it’s not the career it once was.

That said it was the most fun I had when working!


I work for a mainline carrier in the operations tower and I love it. The benefits are great if you can be extremely flexible in your travel. I routinely travel on one day vacations, and go the Caribbean like most people go to their local beach. I have a Govt job during the day to pay the bills, but my airline health insurance is better. ( I am eligible for flight and health benefits working part time :open_mouth: ) The only reason to work for an airline is to feed your aviation jones. The pay stinks and morale is bad, but I GET TO PLAY WITH AIRPLANES! :laughing:


Exactly why I did it as long as I did, and continued it into a part time job as well!


At least you work for Delta.
ASA agents at ATL are mostly(their are some good ones) dumber than a box of rocks. I dont know where they find them… well I do really but hey they had a pulse and just passed the BG check. What is ASA Thunking…


Im a Ramper in YYJ. I work for a contract company that handles both WestJet (WS) and Horizon Air (QX). Unlike most of the people I work with, I love the job. It is hard work (especially during IROPS), but can be very satisfying. I suppose one of the reasons I love the job so much is because I get to deal with the aircraft. To address the benefits, I have only been working as a Ramper for 7 months so I havent looked at it to deeply. On WS I get 8 flight passes to use per calendar year. As far as I know they allow me to fly anywhere in the WS system for 50% the cost of a standard ticket (not sure about taxes). For QX, I have been told that it is on $30 one way (plus taxes), but again I am not sure. Since I do not actually work for either airline, any flight benefits that you might get could be vastly different. YYJ is a relatively small station, but we do still get a fair number of flights (WS usually has 8 turns and QX has 4).

If you want to know anything specific, just send me a PM and I`ll be more then happy to help out.