DFW TRAACERS

DFWCC

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Aug 19, 2002
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Has anyone looked at the DFW tracers the last week? We had 3522 yesterday alone. At about $60 a tracer. A tracer can consist of 1 or more bags. That looks like about $210,000 down the tube. Why? There wasn''t any weather. AA''s new baggage system is so overloaded it can''t handle the loads. The rolling wave by design puts more bags into the bagroom systems. AA spent millions on a system that everyone who does the work said it won''t work. Initially they asked the workers, when they didn''t like our answers they stopped asking.
The next problem they hired the same group thet put the baggage system in DEN. Even talking with the contractors, who told us with all the changes AA wanted it won''t last. BINGO, where is the lightbulb here. There went several millions of dollars for a very questionable system. The net effect on manpower 2 less CC and 1 less FSC. Now add in all the tracers and lost customers and the added Overtime.
Seems like a case of someone in HDQ, another analyst coming up with a makework project that propagates their job. This will insure that job until they revert back to the old system or AA boes CH 7.
 
Actually, someone does look at that. Take a look at Perf.AA.Com from a Jetset...

Code 88's (bag system failure) for yesterday alone outnumber the total number of 88's taken since the rolling hub was introduced last fall, so there's probably more to the story. If I hear it, I'll let you know.

DFW's bag problem started years ago, though. The bag system just made it worse for a day.

March 1-15, 2002 - DFW had 9237 tracers for a rate of 13.28

March 1-15, 2003 - DFW had 7471, for a rate of 10.94

I remember a few months last year where DFW's mishandlings outnumbered ORD, MIA, and STL combined.

[blockquote]
The next problem they hired the same group thet put the baggage system in DEN
[/blockquote]

There's also more to the DEN story. BAE (the contractor) told DEN that the system they were asking for wouldn't work at the speeds or in the timeframe DEN and UAL were demanding. BAE was right, but took the fall anyway because it doesn't matter what the customer asks for, the contractor is always to blame.

And, their systems have worked fine in half the hub bagrooms at AA for well over a decade.
 

j7915

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Sep 7, 2002
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It seems that baggage is handled by people at the critical points, putting tags on, loading on carts.

Maybe we are getting what we pay for? Maybe we should hire more part time college students? FedEX does at their hubs, I realize they are a different operation but it still involves shuffling boxes with labels around. But maybe motivated workers who are not burned out from a very boring routine would make fewer mistakes?

How about applying technology? Limit the initial error rate at the check in counter, with IT do we really need to print airport codes most paxs can't read and verify? Haw about a small calculator sized scanner so the ramp people can scan a bar code tag and it tells them the flight number or just the destination in clear text, again to prevent mis-readings, if there is doubt.

For that matter this web site is a perfect example of industry jargon, I don't know too many arpt codes and frankly don't bother looking them up, write out the city.
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 3/18/2003 1:17:13 PM j7915 wrote:

It seems that baggage is handled by people at the critical points, putting tags on, loading on carts.

Maybe we are getting what we pay for? Maybe we should hire more part time college students? FedEX does at their hubs, I realize they are a different operation but it still involves shuffling boxes with labels around. But maybe motivated workers who are not burned out from a very boring routine would make fewer mistakes?

How about applying technology? Limit the initial error rate at the check in counter, with IT do we really need to print airport codes most paxs can't read and verify? Haw about a small calculator sized scanner so the ramp people can scan a bar code tag and it tells them the flight number or just the destination in clear text, again to prevent mis-readings, if there is doubt.

For that matter this web site is a perfect example of industry jargon, I don't know too many arpt codes and frankly don't bother looking them up, write out the city.
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[/blockquote]


What jobs are you trying to protect or eliminate now Mr. Union Man?
 

Workingman

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Nov 6, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 3/18/2003 1:17:13 PM j7915 wrote:


Maybe we are getting what we pay for? Maybe we should hire more part time college students? FedEX does at their hubs, I realize they are a different operation but it still involves shuffling boxes with labels around.

Updated news about FedFEX----A lot of the people throwing boxes there are laid off pilots, mechanics, and dispatchers ets. They have management come from St. Louis to manage and they are allowed to throw boxes at an employee under him and hit him in the arm with the box. The employee who was hit by the box does not say anything only gives the manager a dirty look and that same manager writes that employee up for giving him a dirty look. The hours and days off are changed every week try that for awhile. The wages per hour are the same as McDonalds. The pilots and mechanic box movers turned down for a mechanic or pilots job when they bid an opening because the company made them sign that they will throw boxes for a year and FedEx hires from the street. So much for FedEx being better box or baggage movers. [/blockquote]
 
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On 3/18/2003 3:06:03 PM WingNaPrayer wrote:

I wonder what the ratio of intentional mis-connects is in correlation to those bag traces.
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[/blockquote]

I'd like to believe that most employees have enough class not to take out their frustrations with the company out on our customers.

As I said above, the MTD numbers for DFW (excluding yesterday) are down considerably from a year ago, both on an actual number basis and a per 1K pax basis.
 
Found out what happened yesterday at DFW -- the server that processes all of the bag scanning decided to run out of disk space. Can't blame the bag system vendor for that one.

IIRC, either EDS or Sabre is responsible for keeping those servers up and running, so since they don't think twice about billing us an hour for every phone call and email they get from an AA employee, hopefully they're getting the bill for all those mishandled bags....
 

WingNaPrayer

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By "intentional mis-connects" I'm referring to operations refusing to hold planes for even as much as 5 minutes. I've had this happen to me on AA more in the past six months than ever before. I know everyone is being pushed to be number one in "on time" performance, but believe me, most travelers aren't concerned with departure time as much as they are arrival time. I can't see any harm in holding a plane when dozens of passengers are delayed for whatever reason for 5 to 15 minutes when it's time that can easily be made up in the air.

AA may be able to brag about their on time ratings, but they are doing it at the expense of passengers. Of course, the more passengers that get disgusted with AA, the more on time you'll be because eventually, you'll be able to load a wide body in 5 minutes with very few passengers willing to put up with it anymore.

BTW, this always seems to happen on flights that are bound for Dallas. What is it, AA likes to have a ton of tin on the ground in DFW for everyone to oggle?
 

RV4

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[blockquote]
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On 3/18/2003 3:46:45 PM eolesen wrote:


I'd like to believe that most employees have enough class not to take out their frustrations with the company out on our customers.
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[/blockquote]

You must have already forgotten about the Pilots and the big sick-out over SCOPE LANGUAGE? I hear memory lapse occurs when propagating company fear using the internet.
 
On 3/18/2003 6:14:46 PM RV4 wrote:

You must have already forgotten about the Pilots and
the big sick-out over SCOPE LANGUAGE? I hear memory
lapse occurs when propagating company fear using
the internet.

I hear that holding grudges for 4 years and counting is unhealthy, Dave.

I find your last statement a bit ironic, since it comes from someone who has used the internet for advancing their agenda and their own personal gain more than anyone else I've ever known.


WNP, to answer your question, we watch that also.

Code 4's (bags AA to AA without enough connect time), are flat year over year, as are misloads (put on wrong flight). Code 3's, (bags AA to AA with enough connect time), are down noticably, as are Code 5's (local bags failed to load).

From having worked out at DFW, more often than not, bags show up on the gate before the customers do, because of the airport layout. That wasn't the case when I worked at ORD, again because of the airport layout.
 

j7915

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Sep 7, 2002
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RV4 and Workingman: you two should be in management, suggestions are just that suggestions. I am not about giving up union jobs, it surprises me that RV4 is suddenly so concerned about baggage handlers though.

My point was that repetitive jobs can get boring and that leads to mistakes, so make the job less boring, add technology, not to replace the worker but give the employee the info he needs to make decisions, you didn''t read the rest of my posting.
 
OP
D

DFWCC

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Aug 19, 2002
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My point is not that the work is boring but that the "save money by laying off workers with a new milti-million bagroom system" doesn''t work. As far as the code 5 local cks being near that of last year. I propose that is due to the dedicated ramp workers picking up the slack caused by mngt boondoggles.
 

RV4

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On 3/19/2003 12:28:52 PM j7915 wrote:

RV4 and Workingman: you two should be in management, suggestions are just that suggestions. I am not about giving up union jobs, it surprises me that RV4 is suddenly so concerned about baggage handlers though.

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You have defended the lowering of pay and the SRP program on more than one occasion on this and other bulletin boards. That program has to be the biggest pro-management anti-profession deal ever cut in the history of organized labor in the airline indusrty.

Question: How big of a pay and benefit are you now willing to give to insure the continued employment of your favorite upgraded building cleaners now called OSM''s?
 

AV8NSIGO

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Aug 29, 2002
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WingNaPrayer,

I don''t think you want to hear this, but 5-15 minutes can''t be "easily made up in the air," as you imply. These airplanes are flown within limitations specified by our company, the manufacturer and the FAA. Weather also makes a huge difference.

In Febuary, on a flight from LGA to BNA, I had to wait 30 minutes in line at LGA. Once at cruise (28,000) I had a direct headwind of 170 knots. In order to prevent a diversion for fuel, I had to descend to 22,000 where the headwind was ONLY 110 knots.

If ATC(FAA) doesn''t allow us to take a direct route, especially in a scenario as I described above, the ability to make up time is almost nil.

Now here''s a situation which happened where a five minute delay COULD have been made up at the other end, but inability to make a decision didn''t allow it. I was a F/A on an AA flight from BWI to SJU in spring, 1988. We had a mechanical delay on a 727. The forward entry door was damaged and had to be repaired.

On board, we had a family of three bound for Caracass, Venezuela. We got some ATC shortcuts, arrived in SJU over an hour late and parked next to the flight which was departing to Caracass. We arrived about five minutes ahead of their flight''s scheduled departure. We got those passengers off the airplane first, and they hustled over to the next gate. When we got off the airplane, they were at their gate, dealing with an agent who had no apparent interest in assisting them. Worse yet, their baggage made the connection!

Now, AA had to pay for meals that evening, a room overnight, breakfast and toiletries X 3 because they were the "ON TIME MACHINE!" Holding the flight a few minutes, making up the time when turning the airplane around in Caracass would have saved AA the costs described above. I used to work those flights and they were the only flights between San Juan and Caracass each day.

That approach to passenger service is one reason I am glad I no longer work for AA. That said, I have many friends/former co-workers who remain at AA/AMR. Their plight is in my thoughts and prayers.

Fly safe!