I am an airport ramp agent. I load all your luggage. Ask me anything!
I work at a semi busy airport in western canada. We marshall in the aircraft, and push it back. We unload all the bags and load it as well as service the lavatory and fill the water. In the winter months we de ice and anti ice the aircrafts.
Edit: Sorry for the short replies everyone. This has been kind of overwhelming but im just trying to get to as many questions as possible. Also if i dont answer your question, its likely i have already answered it a couple times. Just read through the thread.
Edit 2: its now 1am and im gonna head to bed! Ill answer some more in the morning! Thanks for all the questions guys. Keep em coming if you feel like it.
Edit 3: stinkekona is answering alot of questions for you guys. He is a reputable source so feel free to ask him as well! I cant get to everyone!
Yes they are
How many times was it a bomb?
How many times was it a dildo?
Its usually a tooth brush but ive seen a few dildos haha
Had a bomb threat a little while back but it was just some dude in drugs scared he was gonna miss his plane and thought if he called in a bomb threat it would delay it.... hes in jail
Is it fun to tow the big airplanes with the little cart?
Yah its probably one of my favourite parts of the job besides de-icing
Do you ever just completely run out of room for luggage?
Very rare but it happens. If you have a rookie stacking the pit he might run iut of room. But if a load is that heavy we will get an more experienced employee to do it.
A lot of times it looks like you guys are being deliberately rough with the bags. Like, it looks like you're putting a lot of effort and giving them some hang time when tossing them. I get that you can't be overly gentle, but are folks overly rough just because fuck the world?
Well we have strict time frames. So we have twenty minutes between when we chock the tires and when we put the last bag on the arrivals belt. If we are out of this time frame alot we get in shit so we gotta be movin quick.
When I go to the airport just to connect to another flight, how does my luggage go to the correct plane?
As soon as we take connecting bags off a plane, they get sent back to the bag room to be put on the correct flight
So are connecting bags typically the "First off" a plane? Essentially, if I have a connection, am I more likely to get my bags off the carousel before someone that did not have a connection?
Well the cargo hold is seperated into 6 compartments. And we know where all the connections will be because we get a load sheet prior. Typically connecting bags wont get put on the belt, we usually just keep them in the back until the flight unless the passenger requests it. Than we will just hand deliver it to the front counter
Are you required to go through airport security every day?
Yep! It is usually random searches
Sorry everyone was grooming a plane. Next plane is landing right now so i will answer more when i am in an hour. Nice to see all the other rampies here answering questions too
What is your biggest complaint about passengers luggage habits?
People that over pack their bags. Alot of times people jam so much in their bags that the zipper busts and all their stuff falls out. Its no fun for either party lol
What do you make an hour?
A family friend who has the same job accidentally stored a cat in the baggage compartment and the cat subsequently froze to death during the flight. How easily can this happen? Has it happened to you/any of your colleagues?
You know what, i heard of this happening to a puppy a while back. All animals go into the pit so i dont see how it doesnt happen all the time. The pilots have to be told there is an animal on board though so they may be able to seal the pit better so it doesnt get as cold? Maybe no one told the pilots on that flight
Would you still like me if I told you I'm the guy who loaded the bags handles in on that plane you're unloading? Or did you not like me in the first place?
Ughhh HATE you lol
How cold does it get in the winter? Is it at all warm in the cargo bay when you are loading a plane?
Where i work it only gets down to probably -20 so its not bad. The pits are usually cold but you are busting your ass in there so it gets warm
I'm often concerned that a cargo loader won't know what he/she is doing and overload one section of the craft, thus causing a dangerouly imbalanced aircraft. Is this an irrational fear, and how do you measure the load you're stacking in there?
Westjet has people that plan the load accordingly before hand and we load the bags exactly where they tell us. After we load them we call them snd confirm weights and everythinf
Weirdest piece of luggage you've encountered?
A golden eagle
I fly with a bicycle in my luggage, big box full of bike. Does anyone ever care for the "fragile" sign on the box?
Oh, and are these oversized luggages, sport equipment like bikes, kayaks or surfboards, a big hassle for you guys?
They arent too bad considering we took off a pallet with a bunch of mining equipment on it wrapped together that was 850lbs lol. We take care of bikes here
Im at work currently everyone so i wont be able to answer really quick. Ill answer whenever i can though
How does luggage get lost, and where does it go?
To be honest i dont know. I could see it happening at bigger airports due to the traffic but where i work is pretty chill so it would be hard to lose someones bag
Do you give a fuck if you break something?
Usually we will let the airline know via radio if we break something and they will relay it to the guest. We dont really communicate with the public very much. If its somethinf big like an electric wheelchair that gets broken, we have to do incident reports for our boss
"guest". You obviously work for Westjet ;)
I'm going to travel transatlantic in a few days anything I should do to make your coworkers life more enjoyable and easy?
Thats nice of you. Just dont wrap your bag in shrink wrap. Alot if rampies hate that
Have you ever stolen anything from someone's luggage?
Most definitely not. Havent heard of any of my coworkers doing it either. The odd thing will fall out of someones bag in the pit and we will either just shove it back in or let the airline know via radio and put it through the belt seperately.
D you enjoy your job?
It is actually quite a fun job but it isn't the best pay unfortunately
What was the weirdest thing you ever encountered on your shift?
Hmm ill think on that one and reply in a bit lol. There has been a few
Do any bags stink like absolute shit?
Hockey bags smell so bad
I fly business class. I get the 'priority' tag but I usually receive the luggage last.
Sorry cant really answer this one cause the airline i work for doesnt really use those.
Are you going to destroy my nice bike if I try to check it?
No way. Fellow biker here, i treat bikes like gold
I have a "I heart baggage handlers" tag on my luggage.
Is it doing any good?
Have you heard of Tom Hanks walking around the airport?
Cant say i have?
How loud can it get on a busy runway?
The biggest plane we deal with is a 737 which isnt too too loud
Is there any logic to when bags are loaded vs unloaded? For example, I was the last guy on a flight (standby) and so they gate checked the bag. Should have therefore been first off right? But it was more like in the middle.
Unloaded not really. We offload bags onto the arrivals belt at random
Why do baggage handlers but bags on the conveyor belt upside down? They seem to do this on purpose but I'm not sure why.
Just the way they are stacked and the way we pull them off the cart
How do you become a runway agent? Are there any specific requirements?
Nope! Just have to have a clean record. Need to be cleared by transport canada
Do you take any special consideration when you see someone's carseat coming toward you?
I think reading your responses to others, I'm very very happy my cats have always been in cabin with me whenever they've flown (not often, just when we've moved).
Carseats, strollers, wheelchaids etc are usually handled very gently
I know that planes are essentially towed by little, strong cart things. But, is that all the time when the plane is grounded? Can the plane ever move under its own power on the ground (besides when it has just landed)?
We just have to push it back because they dont reverse! They can turn and go forward on their own on the ramp
Why did you break the wheels off my bag? :(
Man the amount of wheels that accumalate in pits is insane
How often do you actually lose luggage??
Sometimes a bag will go the wrong destination unfortunately. Maybe a couple a week
Recently, my check-in luggage arrived at the destination opened (possible zipper issue and clothes fell out).
How often does baggage open up and the stuff falls out? Also, what do you do when stuff falls out of the luggage?
Thanks for your hard work
We try our best to pack everything back in. We let westjet know via radio and when we drop it off at arrivals, we slide it through the oversize door instead of the belt so that it can be handled easier and doesnt spill more
Are you ever the reason for my 45 minute flight delay?
Very rarely. We are usually ready to go WELL before the rest of the crew is
Do you gently place the luggage or toss it all about?
Honestly, it gets tossed around a bit
I recently went on a trip and one of my checked bags was opened had a TSA inspection slip in it, along with someone else's pants.
Are they your pants?
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