Southwest Airlines ramp agent pay?


One piece of advice I’ll give you- be aggressive. This may not be the recession of '08, but seize any opportunity you can. Apply anywhere and everywhere regardless if you’re sure or not and see what pans out. As someone who has to work a little harder to get a foot in the door, don’t waste an opportunity that comes your way.

Trust me, they won’t be offended if you happen to decline. Only past the point of background checks and the training process itself does it get burdensome, so take a decision that late into consideration. Statistically speaking, a wide net of job applications pools down for the individual.


I can tell from someone who is in the aviation buisness and know a lot of people. Being a ramp rat you can meet a bunch of people. I applied for a 13 an hour gig at an FBO, make friends you never know where it might take you. One of the main reasons why I hangout at airports and so little stuff around the airport, i put my name out there


Im a Ramper at KMSN with Delta Mainline and I can tell you this job is worth it. As @DeerCrusher said the benefits we get are amazing. This year alone I’ve travelled 30k miles and have been to three different countries.( Japan, Chile, and Canada ). The INT long hauls I’ve gotten Delta One both ways. I worked at DGS for a year and half and that was pretty rough but the benefits were still amazing. Also of note your parents get the same flight benefits too. If you have anymore questions please ask away.


At my local airport it’s basically a minimum wage job. You could get paid more at McDonalds doing easier work.


In my local Denver area McDonald’s minimum wage is roughly $12 an hour, it blows my mind that someone who makes sure your luggage is safely devliered to your carrasoul and that your plane even gets in the gate safely is paid less and treated as less than someone who flips burgers. And trust me, as someone who worked the fast food industry for 3 bloody years and just managed to get out and now I’ve been with another job for a week…fast food does not deserve the pay it is giving.


+1, that’s why we are seeing fast food joints install the electronic ordering screens to replace employees with after everyone called for $15 an hour.


If I were you I would go for it.
I work as a dispatcher/TCO at EGNS ( I know it’s not ramp but I know extacly what they do here)
I’ll give you some good things and bad things.

Great things:

  • Working around aircraft
  • Good fun
  • Meet loads of new people
  • If you talk to the right people then you can some cool stuff ( I’ve been up our tower, been on a runway inspection and jumpseating down to London City next week)

Bad things:

  • You do forget what a weekend is, but it’s a day off anyway
  • Working funny hours, but after you wake up at 4am a few times it’s not that bad
  • Weather can be rubbish and your out there in it. But you also are out in the good weather

I love my job, it’s super fun. I’m sure it’s similar across the pond.


You’re heart really has to be “in it to win it”. If working in aviation is just another job to you, it might not be for you as there are long hours, crappy schedules, dangerous working conditions, low pay, etc. And don’t think I’m trying to steer you away. All I’m saying is it takes someone who either loves aviation, wants to maybe someday be a pilot, or just likes to travel. Because at the end of the day, unless you’re in upper management, the true money will never be there.

I started with Southwest as a Provisioning Agent while I was in college in 1993 making $5/hr or something like that. Within 2 years and once out of college I moved over to the ramp. Within a year I was in Operations. I saw the potential in climbing the ladder so I stuck with it and didn’t pursue my dream of flying. In fact I opened the MHT station back in June? 1998 as an Operations Supervisor. I still remember we had 2 1/2 gates, 8 flights between BWI, MDW, BNA, MCO, and MCI. Back then, pre-9/11, I was allowed to ride up front with the pilots and it rekindled my desire to be a pilot. I gave up my SWA career in 2001 to follow my dream. When I left I was at $17/hr (corrected for today based on inflation, that would be $29/hr)

Little did I know that a few short months later the whole aviation industry would change. I went from a good paying job with SWA to flat broke not being able to find a flying job anywhere. I ended up fueling planes at an FBO at $7/hr just to make ends meet but I still couldn’t and had my truck repossessed, credit ruined, etc.

In aviation, you have to be flexible. To follow my dream I had to move to some pretty obscure places. But those places and the various journeys have led me to where I am now which is a very good place. Yes, it was hard, but I kept my head up as much as possible even in the darkest of times. Sorry, got a bit off track there. ;-)

Good luck in whatever road you pick to drive down. You never know where it will lead.


That’s AMAZING!! Thanks so much for telling me this! I didn’t know we used to have flights to Nashville! All I knew is that we had MDW, TPA, MCO, FLL, LAS, DEN, BWI, ALB, and BWI.


I believe the starting pay is 12 an hour then eventually you can work your way up to 29 It takes a few months though


Deleted my other post because I had the flights on opening day wrong. Here they are thanks to the MHT airport book. Even lists the tail numbers


Damm. Get Southwest up in Alaska.


I hope Southwest comes out here one day!


Well, I applied for the Position.

Apparently I will get paid every two weeks, just like my current job, and I’ll be earning $1.61 more.


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