Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Turnover Rate & Performance Rating: TSA Baggage Screener vs Airline Baggage Handler

Kris over at The HR Capitalist had a couple of posts two weeks ago (here & here) regarding the turnover rate and performance rating of TSA baggage screeners.

The first thing I was curious about was how much TSA baggage screeners made. Here is their pay scale (screeners fall into pay bands D & E). It looks like you're hired into D ($23,836 - $35,754) and then once you're fully trained and on your own you move into E ($27,371 to $41,107). For those of you curious about career progression it's all pretty clear and laid out for you...

We'd all agree that this role and position is extremely import to our safety while flying. Can you imagine walking through the metal detectors and scanners and happen to see a couple of baggage screeners goofing off? It's never something I want to see... Plus, since their job is so important, do you want a "does not meets" or an "exceeds" screening all the luggage that comes into the airport and onto your plane?

But, what about the airline baggage handler - those who actually handle your luggage once you're sitting comfortable on the plane? What's your take on their turnover rate and performance rating?

If you're like me you've heard story after story from friends and family about luggage that's been lost, stolen, or damaged. The next thing you hear, valuable items start "missing" from inside your luggage and you don't even realize it until you arrive at your destination. Who is held accountable and responsible for this? I've read about baggage handlers that are arrested for stealing items from luggage but what other consequences are there?

You may be lucky enough to receive an apology from the airline...but is that it? Is that as far as it goes?

Once you are on your way home with your apology what happens with the "does not meets" airline baggage handlers - those who are truly responsible for what happened to your luggage? Does any of this information or feedback ever get back to them? Does each event or complaint ever impact their quality metrics, performance rating, and thus salary increase?

On the flip side what about the "exceeds" airline baggage handlers - those who truly take pride in their work? These are the ones you really want to thank because they are the ones that are handling your baggage with care - and they also do their part to keep the plane and you on time...

I've got no beef with airline baggage handlers myself but Kris's posts just started me thinking. I attempted to do some research on-line regarding the turnover rate and performance rating for airline baggage handlers but came up empty...

What's your take?