Airline- Non-Flying Station Agent
The station agent works the arrival and departure gates at the airport. This is most often the second employee the passenger meets after entering the airport, and venturing down the concourse.
Even though the airlines are in business to transport people from one place to another, they could not function without the help of many people on the ground, including those who take reservations and sell tickets, as well as those who help keep the airplanes operating on schedule.
The station agent is similar to the ticket agent, although they do not actually sell tickets. They work at the arrival and departure gates which are located in the concourse area of every airport that the airline serves. This is a highly visible position, and requires a uniform. The gate area of some airports operate 24 hours, and offer a wide variety of work schedules and shifts. Therefore, flexibility is essential during a 40-hour week.
They assist passengers with additional check-in requirements, seat assignments and changes to itineraries, meet passengers planeside in all types of weather, and assist with passenger gate checked baggage.
In addition to passenger services, station agents are also responsible for all flight and ground operations such as checking loads, aircraft handling, placing safety equipment such as cones, chalks, stations and steps at aircraft and air cargo operations for the airline at the airport. They also replace lavatory tank fluids, operate aircraft doors, ground power units, load and unload baggage from cargo area and baggage carts and tugs. Thet check special requirements for each flight, perform all preflight transactions at the gate including special requests and transactions. They also direct aircraft to and from their gate location, make boarding, arrival, and departure announcements, answer questions and offer information on airline and airport related topics.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
18+ years old with high school diploma or equivalent. Exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to get along with others are necessary. Must be able to anticipate needs of coworkers and passengers in a fast paced environment and work at a constant and quick pace for up to two hours at one time. Must be able to learn quickly and understand and interpret flight schedules and airline flight destination information. Able to obtain airport security clearance. Must have good attendance and punctuality record. Knowledge of operation of industrial equipment and previous experience helpful.
Applicants must be able to pass a mandatory drug screening, complete a ten year background and security check, hold a valid driver's license and a good driving record, have the ability to work flexible hours including shifts, weekends and holidays.
Ability to speak, read and write English well enough to carry out written and oral instructions, read English language identification media, credentials, airline tickets and labels on items, provide direction to and understand and answer questions from English speaking individuals, and write up incident reports, statements and log entries in English is essential.
Station agents must comply with company grooming and appearance standards.
Airlines do require that applicants have a high school diploma or GED. All workers, regardless of their jobs, are given some degree of on-the-job training.
Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.
It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.
Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:
All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;
Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;
All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;
Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.
Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.
Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.
EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/
Wages and Benefits
Salaries vary according to the size of the airline. The larger the airline, the greater the opportunities and the stiffer the competition.
Salaries and benefits can vary. For an updated look at salaries in the aviation industry, view the Avjobs.com Salary Report.
Where the jobs are and who hires
Airline jobs are located in every city that airlines serve and even in a few they do not serve. Of course, the larger the city, the greater the variety of job opportunities. Scheduled airlines of the United States range in size from those with two stations and fewer than 50 employees to those with over 100 locations and more than 100,000 employees. The largest concentrations of airline career opportunities are in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Detroit, Denver, Kansas City, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Foreign airlines flying into the United States hire Americans to handle their passenger and air cargo business and to service their aircraft during stopovers. These employment opportunities should not be overlooked.
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Opportunities for Advancement
Station agents can advance to station manager. The station manager usually works in an office at the airport, although sometimes he or she may work outdoors, depending upon the size of the airport and the staff. At a small station, the manager may be required to sell tickets, make public announcements, check baggage, move portable stairs, prepare passenger and air cargo manifests, operate teletype machines and computer terminals, and perform other services.
Outlook for the Future
The aviation industry has gone through periods of tremendous success and innovation, and periods of intense challenges. Today, aviation plays a critical role in our economy and the future of aviation will depend on business and personal travel, aviation fuel costs, and government subsidy and intervention.
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Some private technical schools offer courses in airline operations (such as reservations, ticketing, teletypist and flight attendant training). This training may give an applicant an advantage, but remember that each airline has its own training procedures. Therefore, you should check with the airline to which you are applying to find out what pre-employment training it requires.
To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, search Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.
The airline industry is a young industry, and it attracts youth. Morale is generally high among employees, who seem to develop a high degree of loyalty to their company and to the airline industry. (There are exceptions. After buyouts and mergers, employees often feel that the incoming management has disregarded their needs.) Jobs with the airlines tend to carry an aura of prestige in the community, reflecting the vitality of technological progress and the romance and excitement associated with air travel and faraway places.