View Full Version : Pilot Loads Own Aircraft At ...man

manchester bag rat
29th Sep 2002, 22:48
not sure if this is true or not,heard this morn(sunday) that the pilot and engineers loaded there aircraft with bags as the loaders didnt show for whatever reason,when they did arrive they had just about finished it
it was an AIR2000 flight stand 214 i belive.is things that bad at MAN?

29th Sep 2002, 22:56
We sometimes get pilots helping to load bags in order to make a slot or due to a lack of manpower. Perhaps beyond the call of duty !!

29th Sep 2002, 22:59
Strewth! that was loud!

I've done this a couple of times over the years - nothing special about it. Bit of a pain but it was the only way to get home. (It was only unwelcome once: flying a freighter many many years ago and they sent one loader at 0300 in the depths of winter to load about 4 tonnes of freight - we took pity and lent a hand ... and he downed tools and went on strike! - so we went to the warm crew room and departed 3 hours late.....!)

30th Sep 2002, 07:06
Whhaaaat? Sorry, I can't believe it! You'll be reporting next that a pilot has had to walk 20 yards to his aircraft rather than being transported by limousine!

30th Sep 2002, 07:10
I highly doubt that. I mean while I could hardly see the pilots helping out the ground crew, I can guarantee that the engineers would never ever touch baggage. I think this one is a load of bulpuckey. I mean, baggage is released from the baggage halls at MAN very late (usually up to -2 STD), so how could they (pilots) have done their pre flight checks.

I can tell you that as a dispatcher, I would have been highly upset if something like this happened. I am sure that this crew in question probably did not check with the dispatcher to see how he wanted it loaded for weight and balance and trim purposes! Secondly if there was any DGR in the holds, they would not know diddly squat about DGR cargo compatibility. Yes I know that it was an Air2000, but I am trying to make a point. Pilots, stick with flying the plane and let the ground crews get on with their jobs. We will eventually get you out of here!

30th Sep 2002, 07:48
Funny old thing I thought AMM operated a standard loading policy. So it can't be messed up by highly trained dispatchers. Haven't carried any dangerous goods for 6 years. The way moral is at the moment in AMM I doubt very much if the pilots would bother if the aircraft ran late or not.


30th Sep 2002, 07:57
Eventually won't do. It should be on time. After all you are not the one facing the pax for the next couple of hours when they are really pigged off because their holiday has not started on time. Our duty is to the pax, cabin crew etc, and I for one will not have my cabin crew abused because our hopeless handling agent did not turn up along with the bags. Yes it probably is beyond the call but some days you do what you have to do to get the job done.
The MAN baggage system in terminal one at least cannot cope with the amount of bags it needs to so it breaks down every so often but will the Airport management listen, not a chance.
As for DGR and weight and balance I will bet the aircraft drivers do more courses AND get examined on the subjects than the majority of people who like to give themselves the title of dispatcher.
The only time you can call yourself a dispatcher is when you have done the courses and been examined in them as per the American system, until then just keep delivering the paperwork.

Young Paul
30th Sep 2002, 08:48
It's quite normal to complete the checks and then wait for up to an hour for everything else to be finished.

30th Sep 2002, 10:02
The soundbite society has an attention span that can only handle 3 or 4 words at a time. If it's a good enough style for President Blair why not for us?

30th Sep 2002, 10:10
Problems at Manchester Ringaroses etc? - well no surprises there!
MAN is one major airport which requires a major audit of service delivery to its airline customers. Yes, sometimes it all goes amazingly well but there are too many occasions when a destructive 1960s attitude kicks in and nowt gets done.
A shame on a region which was once a great powerhouse of the industrial revolution. :o

30th Sep 2002, 11:48

All I can say is if your observations are true then i'm glad I don't work for your company and it doesn't take much imagination to work out who that is.

I work for another major charter carrier and have on several occaisions helped load/unload bags and catering both at UK airports and down route and i know many other pilots and engineers who have done so. I have also helped out engineers with things like changing aircraft wheels.

More often than not we have our pre-flight checks completed well before the cabin is ready and the holds loaded so when the slot is tight and an extra pair of hands would help speed things along I muck in. It's called team work and it's nearly always appreciated.

We do our own manual loadsheets at most outstations and at all stations the dispatcher (read "gate agent") always checks with us on how we want the load distributed. I have a reasonable knowledge of DGR's, although we don't come across it very often, but when we do we have all the relavent information available on the flightdeck.

Just because a job's worth attitude exsists in your world, doesn't make it so everywhere else. Justify your exsistance so i don't have to be on box 2 every 5 minutes chasing up tugs, bowsers and loading crews.

30th Sep 2002, 19:06
Try and claim off the insurance when you put your back out - you don't need to know what the answer is.

30th Sep 2002, 19:26
CainanUK - what are you talking about? If as a despatcher you only strive to "get the planes out of here eventually" I suggest that your attitude is all wrong. Surely the despatcher's job is to do his/her best to achieve an on time departure? Seems like this isn't in your portfolio and until it is maybe you shouldn't be commenting on the issue. I've been dispatching for four years and I've never tried to "get a plane out of here eventually!" And if my bags are late, I go find out where they are and help load them myself. What do you do, stand about watching? You're giving your colleagues in the industry a bad name. We don't appreciate it........

30th Sep 2002, 21:15
redfield and CainanUK have illustrated the point that there are two types of dispatcher........

30th Sep 2002, 21:34
I agree with Redfield on this one. I have experience of pilots and engineers loading bags or removing steps. I know the problem of insurance but that often seems to go out the window when you are faced with a slot or angry pax

The Hooded Claw
30th Sep 2002, 22:53
Never mind the pilots loading bags, I've been downstairs with the pax loading bags to get away at MAN. (strictly no women or children!!). Nothing like a bit of the old Dunkirk spirit to help you get away on time.

Before anyone jumps in saying this is breaking health and safety rules etc etc, there were no complaints and we heard only compliments on the trip out. Not sure if we'd risk it again though!!

1st Oct 2002, 02:56
Once pilots help in loading bags "to make a slot" or to shorten the wait of vacationing pax, there's no limit about what other "help" management may soon expect of its overly helpful crews. What's next? At out stations: Help the cleaners tidy up the cabin to effect a quicker turnaround? Add engine oil? Check tire pressures?

I like my job, but I don't like it that much.

1st Oct 2002, 05:18
What on Earth is going on at Ringpiece airport? Next thing you'll have the bag loaders going out on strike because their livelihoods are being put at risk by pilots and passengers!

1st Oct 2002, 07:49
Glueball, yep, done the cleaning and engine oil and plenty more besides in the days when down route staff were not as reliable. Just imagine what Flight Engineers had (and still have) to do, real FE's that is, not SPO's.
We do what we have to do to get the job done because there is a pride in performance for most aircrew. When the bosses take the Michael though, it may not happen as much.
Unwiseowl, thanks for clarifying that point, I tried, but in my own hamfisted way probably didn't make it that well.
Just remember people, we are all on the same side at the end of the day.

1st Oct 2002, 11:22
Many years ago at MAN i nearly caused a strike by the loaders. They were very late loading the aircraft by several hours. The airport fogged out & we ran out of duty. When we came back on duty the charter was cancelled & the company wanted the aircraft back asap for another charter. I requested the loaders to unload the aircraft & was told they would in an hour or so! I told the dispatcher we would do it ourselves he pleaded with us not to as they would all go on strike!

Many times i have heard you are only pilots you do not know how to load an aircraft ! So i sat back & watched them f*** it up:mad:

1st Oct 2002, 13:12
Having worked in desptach and load control for nearly ten years I'd been inclined to agree. There are 'Despatchers' and there are paperwork delivery boys who double up as time keepers. Handling agents are there to provide a service and it is evident from these messages that this is not obviously happening at MAN ! For the sake of safety and professionalism licensing, as in the USA, is not a bad idea.

2nd Oct 2002, 11:59
Hi Folks

It's very interesting reading some of the postings about crews lending a hand. I work in aviation(Ground), I live in Scandinavia now and previous to that i worked in Edinburgh Airport for the large Blue handling agent for 4 years.

Through my time as a dispatcher I have seen some stupid mucks up's, mainly due to the lack of training by the company. The loadsheet is a important document, it requires in-depth knowledge and Airlines/Handling agents SHOULD take more time in educating staff on all aspects. Some of my colleges didn't know where the fuel figures were never mind something as simple as passenger figures. The attitude of "until then just keep delivering the paperwork" is probably correct, maybe a little unfair to those of us who know what we are doing???

The way I see it dispatchers come from all walks of life's, there are those who see it as just a job and the others who enjoy and take some pride and interest in what they do. As a dispatcher I have been faced with the scenario of telling the captain his flight will be late due to baggage delays or manpower delays. Most would mump and moan but there were those who got out of there seat and said "What can I do to help" It was those moments that made me feel like this job was one big team effort. I applaud the crews who had patience and were willing to listen to the problems we dealing with.

On a brighter note, maybe off topic.
I have been working in Scandinavia for the same company. It is a true privilege to work here, I am proud to work for the company again, the way the company is run here is far superior to anything I witnessed in the UK, the people here are far more professional and education is a serious part of our jobs. The level of service is very high quality and we get continued praise from our customers and their airline crews. Maybe the Scandinavians have this dispatching thing down to a tea? IE Better than the British.. I think so..

2nd Oct 2002, 20:05
not loading bags but similar ...... I remember many years ago arriving late at night to DUB for a connecting flight to SNN (the last one of the day) ...... the airline in question only had two or three check in desks and they were clearly closed for the night ...... as it happened a pilot for the airline was just leaving the desk area and I remember saying to him that I guessed my flight had gone ..... he asked me my destination and replied "it had better not have because I'm flying it down to SNN" ....... with that, he took my ticket - checked me in and said "now run!" ...... and he and I made the flight!!!

Its little things like that, that you remember for a long time

2nd Oct 2002, 21:07
I too work as a flight dispatcher at LHR. It would be great if the CAA would license us too in the same way that the US licenses their dispatchers. That way it would give us a bit more respect from some flight deck crews, who just look at us and speak to us like we are totally stupid (and we could expect to earn a half decent wage too :D )

The licenses that some airlines issue in the UK are not actually a legal requirement so mean diddly squat in the real world, but just mean that you have completed the training course to despatch that a/c type, and show that you have a slightly higher level of intelligence than some of the muppets that claim to be dispatchers working out there (most often found working for the UK's biggest handling agent.)

It does annoy me though when I get patronised and spoken to like a complete imbassile (sp?) by flight deck crews. I consider myself to be a professional too (just like yourselves, it's not my fault the CAA won't license us), and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that my flight departs ontime (without breaking regulations). There are alot of times though when I can only do so much, and I don't need your smart comments or constant nagging on the radio when things are not going to plan (remeber the nicer and more civillised you speak to me, the more I'll do for you, would you go out of your way to help out someone who speaks to you like a piece of crap -probably not).

Trust me I'm on the case. I'm a believer in being Pro-active rather than Re-active and I think that makes all the differance in the role of a flight dispatcher.

Please, next time things are not going to plan, give us dispatchers a chance and remember the nicer you are to us, the more we'll pull strings for you.


2nd Oct 2002, 21:23

couldnt agree more with your sentiments regards how Capts seem to speak down to dispatchers when it aint goin there way when all we are trying to do is our best.It would be a lot easier to get planes out on time with a bit of help from crews during turnarounds instead of them trying to work out if they will get an extra day off here or there depending on how late they end up getting home,which really p****s me off and some other fellow dispatchers,aswell as being called jobs worths by some crews for trying to get their flight back to running to some sort of schedule.
And as you say speak to me like a human being and not your underling and I will do all I can to make sure your flight departs on time.

a good trim is in trim
:D :D :D

2nd Oct 2002, 22:43
In answer to you Mr BEagle sir Ringpiece bag loaders should down tools on the grounds of Health & Saftey. Managers at Ringway Handling are putting peoples lives at risk.

so says the slug

3rd Oct 2002, 07:18
Leezyjet, a proper licensing system would be great but will the various handling agents actually want to pay for their people to go through it, or would the companies ask you to do the courses and pay out of your own pocket? After all what would the CAA charge for their fee, would it be the exhorbitant amount pilots/FE's have to pay for their exams?
I always try to be nice to the agents but when you get 2 visits, one as you walk past them on the finger getting on and one to tell you the bags are not here at STD it is a bit hard, and when the said agent doesn't realise what the loadsheet means it gets harder still.
If the agent gives me the impression he (she) cares and is proactive then they will get all the respect and help I can give them. I look forward to the day when a proper licensing system is in place and the companies pay a decent salary, maybe then we will get the calibre of person the job demands, until then we will carry on as we are, doing what we have to.

3rd Oct 2002, 08:37
I feel I have been slagged off enough and here is my response.

First off, my post was meant very tongue in cheek. I do not work for the handling agent in qustion that is contracted to Air2000. I infact work for a handling agent that actually employs load controllers / despatchers proper. I in fact do my own loadsheets and understand them fully. I am trained in all aspects of weight and balance, including the handling and transport of hazardous materials. I am fully FAA qualified and have load planning experience on no less than 15 airframes. I have been working in the air transport sector since 1993, both civilian and in the USAF, and I will be damned if some big headed pilots breathing rarified air are going to call me a message boy. I am a professinal. I expect to be treated as such. I may not make the money and have the cushy hours and benefits of a professional airline pilot, but I am good at my job and I do give a damn.

Manchester Airport has many problems and they have all been beaten to death in these forums. You pilots need to understand that many of these are out of the control of the despatchers. I have absolutely no control as to when baggage is relesed from the baggage halls. Often times it is up to -5 STD. I have no control over staffing issues at my company. The airlines my company handle pay us peanuts and in return expect us to jump through burning hoops of fire for them. We have to do the job with the barest minimum of staff in order to maintain profitibility.

As for the attitudes of pilots. In the last 3 days, due to staff shortages, I have worked 43 hours. I have busted my ass and my on time performance is about 96%. I never saw a single pilot "lend us a hand to get the job done in the spirit of teamwork". Bollocks! I never even so much as heard a simple "thanks for all the hard work you guys did to get me out of here on time after arriving on stand 20 minutes late".

I dont expect it.

I would be just happy if I was treated as a professional.

As for the issue of licensing. Who would pay for that? Would the airlines be willing to pay extra for fully licensed despatchers? I would expect a serious jump in pay. While I do love my job, I also have a family to feed.

3rd Oct 2002, 10:29
Don't blame the airlines for poor pay and staff shortages: Yes, the airlines will take the deal which offers best value for money, but who decides what price is charged? COMPETITION DICTATES THE PRICE. So blame your managers and the managers of your competitors.

Wing Commander Fowler
3rd Oct 2002, 11:48

You're quite right, there is no need to talk down to despatchers in the manner that some guys do. I myself often cringe at the way the guys are spoken too by some and wonder too if these guys speak the same to the girl behind the chipshop counter...... Of course there are despatchers and despatchers and if there's an incompetent one who regularly services your aircraft that can get a little frustrating (no excuse perhaps).

Licensing MAY help overcome this but I suspect not - it hasn't done for pilots and look at how licensed and regulated we are!

I know it's irritating but bear with us - it's the bloke with the attitude who has the problem (and the guy sat in the other seat who has to "accomodate" him for the next twelve hours.....)


3rd Oct 2002, 11:57
Well CainanUK,

First of all in my experience , Despatchers get a hell of a lot more training for weight and balance than the drivers do.

After the cpl writtens , the only time spent training drivers is type specific.
So although a lot of drivers would like to think that they have superior weight and balance training, most do not.

As for saying that the only time you can call yourself a despatcher is when you have trained under the american system, well not only is this statement untrue , it is as ridiculous as saying the same for pilots.

Id like to 'deliver' your paperwork, you arrogant assho*e

No Mode Charlie
3rd Oct 2002, 13:21
Oh wel,

Dear dispatcher, sorry but most of you can type all the stuff in the computer, push on the print button and present the result to the drivers. They then have to sign for it and if it's not okay then it's slightly more then just the drivers ass thats on the line!

And healyg, don't forget that if you are not around, ALL of us are perfectly capable of making our own loadsheet! Now who is the "arrogant assho*e"?

To get back to the topic, that was about flight deck loading, or helping loading the baggage. Yes it does happen. Then some snotty remark, from a load/controller turned the whole conversation in a different direction.

Dear CainanUK, stop whining, its not our fault that your boss underpays you and makes you work silly hours. But I fail to see why I should therefore stop asking you where my bagage is and why I should just sit back and miss a slot because you didn't sleep well last night, it's nothing personal, we just like to try and leave on time. You claim your a professional and would like to be treated that way, then start acting like one!

Like I said, It isn't personal, I'm a proffesional and would like to leave on time, If I'm ready but part of the ground sevices are not then guess who I will talk to...............Go on, a wild guess..........yes, thats right, the load controller. If he doesn't like that and does take it personal then thats his problem, NOT MINE!

3rd Oct 2002, 19:43
A message to everyone who is having a dig at the ground crews at MAN.

I work at EGCC as a baggage/ramp agent and i have to say that the reason that the bags are late coming out is due to Manchester plc not bothering revamping the baggage hall (most of the time).

I work my balls off all day and night in an attempt to get the bags out on time but its frustrating when you have to walk to nearly every chute in the hall to find missing bags (thats when the conveyors ARE working). I and my colleagues work very hard in our job and for VERY LITTLE reward. I am treated like ***** and paid a measely wage and i am trying my hardest to get the job which you already have and on £10k a year thats VERY hard. So i ask for a little understanding when bags come out late or miss etc because this is mostly due to the facilities. I am glad that i have become a baggage/ramp agent before becoming a pilot because i will have knowledge about the other side of the industry which it appears a lot of pilots do not! Therefore giving more consideration to the ground staff because they do a very hard (physically) job for not much reward.

I dont mean to ruffle any feathers but i do ask for more consideration in light of the common misconception that we (ground staff) are all no hopers when in fact i, and im sure many more like me, will be sat in the captains seat of a wonderful airliner some day.


Buggs Bunny
3rd Oct 2002, 20:27
With so many experts around????????? how come any flight is delayed........
Same old Manchester story and its getting very boring.
Yes £20 million upgrade of the baggage system underway and yes, 10 years too late, but lets hope it makes things better.
Why do we aleays have this blame culture at MAN. Its never the airlines fault that the aircraft is tech or a crew member is sick etc etc. They can just delay a flight and everyone else has to react.

Im sorry, but some of you guys really don,t know what you are talking about when it comes to ground handling. You show that by your comments and the 'I know better' mentality. Have you ever done the work? Would you do it for 10 - 15k a year? Yes competition is big at MAN and it is going that way within the airlines.
Once again, talk to your airport managers to find out how the handling companies are doing as they will have a better idea or do you think that some of them are a waste of time.

Getting back to the thread, was the flight on time or about 10 hours late, during which the handling company staff have been sworn at, spat at and threatened without assistance from the airlines. Look at all sides before commenting and you never know that one day we may all be able to work in harmony!!!!

Final comment to the CAA..Licence all dispatchers who do wt and bal as the work is the most under rated on the ground.

Time for a beer!!!!!!!

3rd Oct 2002, 21:55
Right, now we're getting somewhere.
MAN Airport needs a baggage system that doesn't go sick at about 4pm Friday and is not fully fit until 10 am Monday (if truly ever fully fit).
The CAA need to bring in rules requiring dispatchers to be licensed for w&b etc.
The handling companies have to train their good guys and pay for the licence (I bet a bond will be involved, this is aviation after all).
We (flight deck) need to learn to appreciate the good handling guys and gals that are out there.
We've all got to get along a lot better or the rest of our careers are going to be really miserable because we're going to be seeing a lot of each other over the coming years.
And finally Esther, someone, somewhere, has got to teach the self loading freight to behave in a semi decent manner. Nobody delays a flight for fun so stop bl@@dy well picking a fight with the first person that has a uniform on and realise that **** happens, so live with it. After all we know how the authorities treat pillocks who think it is clever to pick on aircrew these days.
Right, lets stop picking holes in each other. I apologise if I have really got up some people's noses but I am no diplomat so lets get out there and have a successful weekend.

manchester bag rat
4th Oct 2002, 00:14
well seems like it was just a nasty rumor as nobody seems to know anything about it. would just like to say that us groundcrew work dam hard day in day out,doesnt help when your company is very very short staffed and the managers dont give a ****

sorry guys no time for a break your next aircraft is on the stand!!

4th Oct 2002, 11:00
Come do my job for a week. Work the hours I work for the ***** pay that I get. Put up with jerks. Be talked down to all day. Spend an entire day making excuses to "El Capitan" because the facilities and staffing levels at MAN are disgraceful at best. Do all that and then tell me to "stop whining".

You talk down to us and most of us dont like it.

What is really sad is that while many pilots mistreat the ground crews (dispatchers especially), all I want is to do what you do.....



4th Oct 2002, 13:34
An interesting thread! However, the vitriol contained in some of these posts is symptomatic of the whole problem – what is called for is mutual respect and understanding. A Dispatcher, Ramp Agent, Traffic Officer, call the job what you will, has the almost impossible task of keeping everyone happy as well as putting up with their own managements shortcomings. I worked in this position with a handling agent for a considerable time and during a free and frank discussion with the Managing Director on staff retention and conditions his comment was “staff are two a penny and there are always plenty more”. This was fundamental in my decision to get out and work for an airline. I would encourage handling agent dispatch staff to do the same, however, the grass is not always greener.

Flight Deck crew only see the dispatcher as working their flight, they may not realise that this is the third or fourth consecutive turnaround worked with no break, all of which have been frought with problems. The pressures put on dispatch staff to meet slots, minimise delays, and solve problems are immense.

What the majority of dispatchers don’t seem to grasp are the pressures put on pilots, crazy rostering, multi-leg days etc take their toll. Yes, some cope with it better than others and are mostly cheerful and approachable while others have had it up to the back teeth and non- delivery of baggage for loading can be the last straw.

CAA licensed dispatchers is not the answer – its not going to change anything – will the understaffed baggage make-up teams put extra effort into getting the bags to the aircraft just because the dispatcher is CAA licensed? Of course not!

Will the aircraft commander be more understanding because the Dispatcher holds a CAA license? Of course not!

In order to turn an aircraft all those involved need to work as a team and be constantly informed of what’s happening. In short communicate with each other, respect each other and try to understand the pressures the other is under.

I have seen dispatchers swaggering around as if they own the airport refusing to get involved in anything manual, conversely, I have seen dispatchers helping to load and unload aircraft, sometimes getting down and dirty is required, and exactly the same can be said for pilots. We all have to work together – it is human nature that everyone will not get on together. I guess it can all be summed up as:
You don’t have to like me, just respect the job I do.


4th Oct 2002, 15:31
Well just to keep you up todate on Ringway Handling.............is trying to survive in a repackaging and restructuring program,which will be put before the board next week.
Its trying to turn itself around,but in the of todays cheap and cheerful-we want -it -for -nothing,airlines,its finding it hard too justify its exsistence.
There are just too many Handling agents vying for too little work,and those that have it cannot turn a profit,so why exist????.
And this is the way the parent company seems to view things,why bother with the hassle,why not let the other Handling agents do their own work.
Truth is the workforce do there damndest to make things work,but the resources in staffing and equipment just do not stretch to cover every eventuality,like off-schedule and sickness,and this is all caused by the airlines not wishing to part with anymore of there hard earned cash.
Profits are down at most airlines,but they are certainly not making a loss,and this is what they excpect the Handling agents to do to accomadate them.
Solution.................cough up............and you will get a better service....or put up and shut up...........

4th Oct 2002, 16:50

I retrospect I was way too harsh in my earlier posting. Unfortunately missed the tounge-in-cheek, a result of too many consecutive night flights with all the problems in question having occured. I think LITOW has it spot on.

On time performance is crucial. Nothing destroys an airlines reputation faster with Joe public than delays. Handling companies and airlines need to recognise the current situation and agree to the hiring and training of more handling staff. In return, a dramatically improved performance for which the airlines would be prepared to pay. Then the pressure is largely removed and everyone is nice to each other! At the moment the airlines are just going to the cheapest because it's the same problems whichever company you choose.

Indiana Jones
4th Oct 2002, 20:36
Everyone......stop moaning at each other, we should all be working together as a team to get the aircraft out on time, the only organisations up and down the country that are not, are the airports. As I have said time and time again in these fora, our airports are close now to be the worst in the world, we are always playing catch-up with the facilities, not just at MAN but LGW,LHR etal.....I am ashamed to be a Brit.

And Cainan, as an airline currently handled by your goodselves, thankyou for just departing my transatlantic flight ontime,in fact EARLY, for the 30th day running.

Everyone...beat up the airports and their lack of proper and timely finance, they are the only ones making money in this industry, no one else.........

4th Oct 2002, 20:45
Indiana Jones

You are very welcome Sir. Have a good trip!

4th Oct 2002, 22:33
I agree with what you are saying, but when I mentioned the issue of licensing, I meant that if it was a legal requirement for dispatchers to hold a license, then we might just get a bit more respect from the jumped up drivers that think we are just wannabe pilots or spotters or just plain stoopid in the way we get spoken to, as they would realise we had to sit exams to get our license too, just as they did.

I know that it wouldn't change the fact that there are staff and equipment shortages, but at least we might get spoken to like human beings rather than a piece of dog $h!t.


Ex Servant
5th Oct 2002, 21:55
If nobody objects may I add the view of someone who is not currently employed within the business (recent views noted). When I flew as cabin crew I often assisted the caterers and loaders on tight turnarounds (admittedly this is easier on ATR's). If we were looking for a bag I'd search the forward hold whilst the loaders would search the back. I didn't experience any hostility from them that I was doing their job. We all had a common objective, to get the aircraft away as quickly as possible. One a multi sector day I'd clean the aircraft as much as possible before landing to speed up the turn around, often just handing a bag of rubbish to the loaders after opening the door and signing the chit without requiring them to do anything. It wasn't often I was late back, working as a team and using a bit of initiative you can sometimes make a lot of difference to the time you get home.
Licensed Despatchers won't make any difference until the handling agents appreciate the value of trained and experienced personnel. Since I stopped flying (after doing a few years on everything from ATR's to 74's) I've tried to get work on the ground after completing my C&G 7280 Advanced course in airline ops which includes W&B etc. The handling agents aren't interested. You have to go in at the bottom (minimum wage) and apply for the despatchers job in turn acording to length of service. The impression I get is that even if you have to be licensed they'll just take the next person on the list and give them the basic training necessary to get the bit of paper at the cheapest cost. You still wouldn't get what you think you're going to get as a despatcher. I wouldn't blame those that got the job, we all take what we can get and some of them I've worked with are extremely good at their job. Unfortunately it also means that with or without a licence you can get a despatcher with minimal skills and experience. Yes I know it sounds like hard cheese/bitterness on my part, maybe it is, I'm human as well. Thats my experience though. Work as a team but don't shoot the messenger, they all do their best and it's not their fault if their not what you expect.

Buggs Bunny
6th Oct 2002, 20:54
This thread has taken a bit of a turn. From slagging handling agents off to supporting them ! I hope that flight deck staff do respect the work done on the ground and if this makes one re consider his / her actions before mouthing it off, then it has been worth it. For those who choose to ignore the experiences highlighted, then I have no time for you!

6th Oct 2002, 21:33
Here speaketh a passenger.

A week last Thursday I was booked out of Helsinki to Amsterdam. We got called to board - and then nothing happened. I looked out of the gate lounge window and saw two people looking intently at a wheel. One was the FO. Then we got a delay announcement. Apologies - we have to change a wheel.

I watched. The wheel change took 9 minutes (plus 3 minutes from when I looked to when the replacement arrived). During the process the FO assisted by rolling the removed tyre away, pulling the new tyre off its dolly and rolling it to the engineers. When it was all finished the FO and the ground engineers shook hands, patted each other on the back, and we boarded. We arrived AMS on time.

That's an airline I'll use again whenever I can

6th Oct 2002, 22:42
Bugs Bunny,

Hopefully the respect is mutual. The thread actually started with a pilot just helping to load some bags...........?