- Baggage handler
In the airline industry, a baggage handler is a person who loads and unloads
baggage( suitcases or luggage), and other cargo(airfreight, transportvia aircraft. With most airlines, the formal job title is "Fleet Service Agent or Clerk", though the position is commonly known as a "Ramp Agent", due to the job's location on the airport ramp (tarmac), amongst airline employees.
Within the airline industry, a baggage handler is often referred to as a "Rampie" or "Ramper": one who handles cargo on the "ramp" (outside the airline industry, the ramp is popularly referred to as the "tarmac", a term popularized by the media) Although the technical term is AOA (Aircraft Operation Area). Offensive terms for Rampie/Ramper are "Ramp Rat," "Bag Smasher", "Bag Jockey", and "Luggage Monkey."
Baggage handlers also work jobs which are out of view of the flying public. Some of those places are the bag room, operations (or load control), and the
air freightwarehouse. Some of these jobs have union representation and due to this baggage handlers can be very well compensated with an above average pay scale and good medical, retirement and benefits packages.
When baggage is checked in at the ticket counter or with a sky cap (where it receives a bag tag indicating the passenger's itinerary), it is often placed onto a moving bag belt which carries the baggage to the bag room. This is where numerous checked bags are sorted so that they will be loaded onto the proper flight. The bag tag which was previously affixed to the baggage during check-in is then read by a baggage handler and placed into the proper bag cart (usually a 4-wheeled trailer) or
ULD(Unit Load Device; a machine-loadable container). The bag cart or ULD is then eventually pulled from the bag room by a bag tug and out to the aircraft for loading by baggage handlers.
In addition to "pushing" an aircraft from the terminal gate (with a "push back" or "tow motor") to position it for engine start and eventual taxi, baggage handlers also may tow aircraft to and from another gate or to a "remote" or RON ("remain over night") parking area . There will be a mechanic in the flight deck 'riding the brakes', who communicates with
ATCground control (for movement clearance), and operates of the APU ("auxiliary power unit"), brakes, lights, while the agent will operate the tow-tractor. In some union negotiated airlines or stations this job could also be done by the baggage handler.
Various Jobs of Baggage Handlers
Operations (load control) agent: An aircraft has weight and balance limitations in order to ensure safe operation. There is a limit to how much a loaded aircraft can weigh; therefore the cargo, passenger and fuel load must be distributed so that the aircraft is "in balance" -- in other words, not too nose-heavy or tail-heavy. One of the jobs of the Operations agent is to ensure that the aircraft--as finally loaded--is "legal" (within safe limits) before the aircraft departs the gate. Upon satisfaction of this mandated requirement, that data is used to generate information which the pilot requires in order to ensure the safe operation of the aircraft.
Warehouse agent: The air freight warehouse is where inbound and outbound air freight is processed. It is usually located on or adjacent to airport property and is usually separate from the
passenger terminal. This is a secure (sterile) area where only authorized persons are allowed access. If inbound international shipments are involved and have not been cleared by customs, those shipments (and the warehouse) may be "in bond" which requires additional security clearance/authorization of employees.
Crew Chief: Responsible for many different job functions usually consisting of a team of rampers who report directly to him or her. Crew Chiefs are responsible for safely seeing that an aircraft has been loaded to the specifications of the load agent and reporting any discrepencies to management. Usually this job has a premium rate of pay for the extra responsibilities.
Ramp Agent: The people working on the ramp that are typically seen loading bags are referred to as "Ramp Agents". They are responsible for various things such as ensuring the inbound flights are unloaded in a timely fashion. On outbound flights, the ramp agents will load the flight and in some instances be responsible for accounting for what baggage may have been loaded in which compartments to ensure proper weight and balance, although this job is often the responsibility of Flight Operations employees.
Transfer Agent: This term is loosely used to refer to any agent who operates a vehicle that is used to transfer bags either from one flight to another or to refer to the agent carrying bags from the "bag room" to the proper flight. Another common term for this position is "runner".
Inbound Runner: The inbound runner is the agent in charge of delivering bags from an inbound aircraft to the
Lavatory Agent: Each aircraft equipped with a
bathroomor lavatoryneeds to expend its waste somehow. This is where the Lavatory or "lav" agent comes in. After an inbound aircraft arrives it is the lav agent's job to flush the lavatory system. Despite what one may expect, the lesser physical demands of this position put it in equal or higher demand with other positions. In stations with higher volumes of passenger traffic, lavatory agents will usually utilize trucks adapted with large tanks on-board that do not need to be emptied as often. These are also configured to facilitate access to the waste ports of the aircraft, which can be out of reach by other means. In places where fewer or smaller aircraft are being serviced a "lav cart" (essentially a small lav truck pulled behind a tug) is used to service the lavatories.
Mail/Freight Agent: As
freightarrives at a destination to either terminate at that location or continue on to another destination, certified agents handle and deliver mail or freight. They are responsible for scanning each package and delivering it to its proper aircraft.
Bag Room Agent: As baggage is delivered into the bag room via
conveyor beltit is the Bag Room agent's job to sort bags into carts according to routing.
Notable Baggage Handlers
Bill Boyer Jr.- a baggage handler for Alaska Airlineswho invented the digEplayer in-flight entertainmentdevice and now owns Mokulele Airlines.
*John Smeaton - a Scottish baggage handler at
Glasgow International Airportwho became involved in thwarting the 2007 Glasgow International Airport Attack.
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Look at other dictionaries:
baggage handler — baggage ,handler noun count someone whose job is to deal with passengers BAGGAGE at an airport … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
baggage handler — a person employed by a railway, airline, or steamship company to load or unload baggage. * * * baggage handler UK US noun [countable] [singular baggage handler plural baggage handlers] tourism someone whose job is to deal with passengers’ … Useful english dictionary
baggage handler — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms baggage handler : singular baggage handler plural baggage handlers tourism someone whose job is to deal with passengers luggage at an airport … English dictionary
baggage handler — a person employed by a railway, airline, or steamship company to load or unload baggage. * * * … Universalium
baggage handler — noun One employed at airports to move baggage and other cargo between the aeroplanes and the terminal … Wiktionary
baggage handler — /ˈbægɪdʒ hændlə/ (say bagij handluh) noun a person employed to load luggage on and off a plane, train, etc. –baggage handling, noun … Australian English dictionary
John Smeaton (baggage handler) — This article is about the baggage handler involved in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. For the 18th century civil engineer, see John Smeaton .Infobox Person name = John Smeaton QGM caption = birth name = birth date = 1976 [… … Wikipedia
Handler — may refer to:a person who handles something: ** animal handler, person who conducts animal training or is a wrangler (profession). ** a sports handler, a coach (sport) or sports agent of a sports player, or a promoter (entertainment) ** agent… … Wikipedia
baggage — 1. Baggage and luggage overlap in use, although baggage generally connotes something heavier and bulkier and less easily transportable by hand. Some collocations are more or less fixed, e.g. excess baggage, baggage claim, baggage handler; and a… … Modern English usage
baggage — noun (esp. AmE) ADJECTIVE ▪ carry on, hand (BrE) ▪ checked (esp. AmE), checked in (BrE) ▪ Any sharp objects must go in your checked baggage. ▪ excess … Collocations dictionary