Shortage of Ramp Agents and Flight Schedules
For the past several months, air carriers have frantically attempted to add staff in preparation for the holiday season and avoid a reoccurrence of the summer flight delays and cancellations. With 14.3% fewer US airline employees in October than before the pandemic, shortages of staff occurred throughout the industry, including pilots, customer service employees and flight attendants. This already tenuous situation took another hit last week as the volume of holiday travelers exploded at the same time a growing number of employees were quarantined or on sick leave due to COVID.
Ramp agents are pivotal members of the airline team and the impact of too few rampers is equally devastating to flight schedules, especially as baggage volume grows with the customer increase. To fill the positions, airlines are taking aggressive steps to attract candidates including United’s $5000 signing bonus for ramp agents in hard hit markets and Spirit’s 30% increase in wages for the job.
Non-monetary steps are also underway, for example, automating the traditional manual loading and unloading process through TISABAS, our affordable compact motorized folding conveyor. In addition to making the ramp agent job easier and lowering the risk of injury, TISABAS allows airlines to load more weight in less time while reducing damage to baggage and equipment. These factors also enable an increase in the percentage of on-time departures, a fundamental KPI in airline operations.