Fleet service agent interview question

swamt

Veteran
Oct 23, 2010
12,063
4,742
Hey all,

how challenging is this job
Now I am not a fleet worker but, I do know one of the biggest challenges is working in all kinds of weather as well as working nights, weekends, and holidays until you get some time under your belt. Good luck and hope you are successful.
 
  • Like
Reactions: robbedagain

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
Newbie44 I would think twice about making an airline your career if I were you.

I am sure every Fleet Service Clerk on this forum will tell you that anybody with time has had surgery on either their knees, hip, back, or shoulders. It is so common as to be expected. It is a physical job and that mileage shows in later years.

Like having a personal life? Well those days are over when you work for an airline. You are going to have crappy hours and crappy days off for YEARS to come. Maybe decades depending on location.

Holidays? Forget about it. You know how you get Christmas off in DFW? You offer a large sum of money to someone with huge time to work for you. They bid those holidays off with the intention of selling the day to less senior people.

If you work for a large station get used to people sitting on their ass doing absolutely nothing while you work plane after plane after plane in inclement weather. It is a modern UNION job and it shows. Get used to the idea of parasites living off your back and nonstop political propaganda If you are fine with that then cool but I left the airline business after 12 years because I got absolutely sick of it. .

If I were you I would take the job full time (and CS off half my hours) or part time ( part timers get benefits to) if that is all that's available and use American Airlines as an "insurance policy" in case your other job lays off. Take the airline job with the intent of using the good pay to invest in a skill or education and open up future options for yourself. Every airline worker needs an exit plan, just ask the employees of all the defunct airlines of years past.

Another problem is American Airlines may pay well but they also lay off frequently. What you do for the airline will not translate to like pay anywhere else. When you are used to working for $30+ an hour, get laid off, and can't find like pay it can cause you extreme financial hardship. This is not a problem for most jobs because typically employers are within a window, however being an unskilled worker in a heavily UNIONized industry has no windows. You get laid off you are pretty much out of the game until you get recalled. There is no going to airline B for $30+ an hour.

I know this post sounds pessimistic but consider this, I spent 12 years at American Airlines and I was topped out as a Fleet Service Clerk. Even though I had a good paying job with benefits I chose to take a chance, walk away, and pursue another career because I got tired of all the BS. Consider that before you decide to make an airline your main career.

I am trying to give you a realistic look at life working for an airline. Good pay and benefits, crap everything else.

You make a little over 30hr to load and unload bags. It’s physically challenging at times. But I doubt you’ll find anything better for the educational requirements.
I would say that is accurate.

If he can tolerate the pitfalls I say go for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: robbedagain

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
Now I am not a fleet worker but, I do know one of the biggest challenges is working in all kinds of weather as well as working nights, weekends, and holidays until you get some time under your belt. Good luck and hope you are successful.
swamt you should have disclosed you are a Southwest employee as well.

Southwest and American airlines have different employee cultures and believe me, that matters.
 

robbedagain

Veteran
Oct 13, 2003
11,123
2,689
Visit site
Good luck if u do get on. I myself being FSA in my 4th station. Ive worked nights weekends n holidays for 22 of my 24 years in every weather inclimate. Benes are good. If u travel frequently n looking for free flights just beware sometimes if not often you may not get on.
 

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
Good luck if u do get on. I myself being FSA in my 4th station. Ive worked nights weekends n holidays for 22 of my 24 years in every weather inclimate. Benes are good. If u travel frequently n looking for free flights just beware sometimes if not often you may not get on.
Tell me robbed have you had to have surgery yet on your shoulder, back, hip, or knee?
 

Kev3188

Veteran
Oct 5, 2003
18,346
9,390
Right in the middle.
The physical challenge(s) are easy enough to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough, but you get used to it.

The bigger hurdles are things like time management. Can you be at work on time? Are you okay with working nights/weekends/holidays? Can you handle (possibly) working in close proximity with people you can’t stand? That last one’s pretty rare, but these are things to think about.

I’m in my 25th year in the industry and it’s been a wild ride. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck!
 

eolesen

Veteran
Jul 23, 2003
15,351
9,232
I'd ignore about half of what La Di posted. He had a bad experience at AA apparently, and reminds us regularly about it. And yet, he still hangs around on the forum despite no longer being an active employee, so....

I'm with Kev. I'm 33 years into my airline adventure and wouldn't trade a moment of it. I've faced layoff notices and management re-orgs 19 times, and only once wound up without a chair at the end. Even there, I've been continuously employed since 1989.

Sure, it's shift work and you'll be in all types of weather. I've always preferred working nights/weekends myself, as it opened up opportunities for me to be there for my kids in the mornings, and having a day off during the week let me do things like doctors appointments without missing work.

It does take a physical toll, but nobody says you have to stay in Fleet forever. Some people are fine with a job with minimal accountability and that they can leave behind at the end of a shift. For those who aren't, there's plenty of opportunities to grow and move around or up if you're looking for something more challenging.

I know a couple vice presidents who started out as fleet service clerks. I've worked with and hired programmers who used to be fleet service clerks. There are mechanics who started out as fleet service clerks. And there are fleet service clerks who have stayed clerks for 30+ years. That choice is yours to decide.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dfw gen and swamt

swamt

Veteran
Oct 23, 2010
12,063
4,742
The physical challenge(s) are easy enough to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough, but you get used to it.

The bigger hurdles are things like time management. Can you be at work on time? Are you okay with working nights/weekends/holidays? Can you handle (possibly) working in close proximity with people you can’t stand? That last one’s pretty rare, but these are things to think about.

I’m in my 25th year in the industry and it’s been a wild ride. I wouldn’t change it for anything. Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck!
Happy Silver Anniversary Kev.!!!
Good example. Everyone gets used to everything once you get a routine worked out. LuLu's explanation is more like someone who couldn't handle the hard work at a fast pace in rough weather. Some folks are not strong enough for the airline workloads we face day/night in and day/night out. Just like not taking a break until a job is done and aircraft back in revenue service. You do what ya gotta do to get the job done, simple as that.
 

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
I'd ignore about half of what La Di posted. He had a bad experience at AA apparently, and reminds us regularly about it. And yet, he still hangs around on the forum despite no longer being an active employee, so....
I did have a bad experience, I call it my whole career at American Airlines.

You are right of course but, just because I had a bad experience does not invalidate what I said. I did spend over a decade in Fleet Service you know. By the way as far as I know you were never in Fleet so what the hell would you know about it anyway? You work in the offices don' you?

It does take a physical toll, but nobody says you have to stay in Fleet forever. Some people are fine with a job with minimal accountability and that they can leave behind at the end of a shift. For those who aren't, there's plenty of opportunities to grow and move around or up if you're looking for something more challenging.
Yes that is true but what you neglected to tell him is when you are on the UNION side and change title groups your seniority starts over as if you are a day 1 employee. Have 10 years in Fleet and want to be a mechanic, great, you bid shifts, vacation, and days off like a new hire.

I know a couple vice presidents who started out as fleet service clerks. I've worked with and hired programmers who used to be fleet service clerks. There are mechanics who started out as fleet service clerks. And there are fleet service clerks who have stayed clerks for 30+ years. That choice is yours to decide.
Which is why I recommended he focus on reinvesting his income into acquiring a skill or degree. Those vice presidents certainly did not achieve those positions without investing in themselves.

Also, there is no "working" your way up in a UNION job eolsen. You know that. Merit does not matter, only your occupational seniority date. You can be 10 times more qualfied to be a crew cheif than the guy above you but if he has one more day of seniorty he will get the position. You want to climb the ladder you have to step out of the UNION.

Any new hire would benefit from knowing these realities.

Again if it is a good opportunity for him then I say jump on it but he should get a full picture of what he is getting into.
 

La Li Lu Le Lo

Veteran
May 29, 2010
6,924
2,611
The physical challenge(s) are easy enough to overcome. Don’t get me wrong, it can be tough, but you get used to it.
Do you deny that job related surgeries to knees, hips, back and shoulders are common among long service Fleet Service Clerks?

Yes you can get used to the work load but, wear and tear on your body is a factor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: robbedagain