Question For Real Life Ramp Personnel


I know there are a few people on this forum here who work as ramp personnel in real life, and I have a few questions for y’all.

I would like to work at Dallas Love Field as a ramp agent once I graduate from high school, while I start ATP Flight School. My questions are, how does the scheduling work? Do you get to choose the day shifts rather than the night shifts? Do you get to kind of choose how many hours you are scheduled?

Thank you!


ATP is highly competitive and strenuous. From what I’ve heard from others that have done the ATP route, you will not have much downtime especially for a full/part time job. My recommendation is to take it once step at a time and see what you will have time for because everyone is different.

Another fair warning about ATP’s they call them pilot mills and they are truly that. Their goal is to get you to your commercial as fast as possible and push them out into the work force. I’ve heard local flight schools are better for individual and more in-depth training on a more personal basis. Once again this is what I’ve heard from people around my airport and from people who have been in ATP.


From experience (might differ to the states) in the UK when I was working on the ramp you’d have to be fully flexible with the ability to work in all weather conditions. Meaning we had no control over shifts. That was a 6 on 3 off pattern.

I would say there’s no harm in asking when you go for an interview. They’re there to answer any questions you might have.


I would recommend talking to @SAVRamper if you wish to hear more about this.

Whilst I don’t work on the ramp, I do work for Qantas as a Customer Service Agent and Gate Agent so I believe more than likely it would be pretty similar since it all falls into the aviation industry.

We work a 6 days on and 2 days off pattern. Shifts can range from as early as 3AM and shifts can finish as late as 12:15AM. You’re expected to be able to be fully flexible and be available to work any shift given to you, pending you can do swaps with other colleagues to try and get your preferred shift.

We are also expected to work in all weather conditions, rain, hail or shine.

Either way, whilst it can be full on especially during school holidays and peak travel times, the aviation industry is like nothing else and I wouldn’t change my job for the world. I’ve been with Qantas just over a year and the people I have met and the experiences I’ve had thus far have been nothing short of amazing.

I strongly recommend to go for it. You’ll love it!


The short answer? Yes and no. 😁

Scheduling most of the time is seniority based especially for Southwest. This is a Southwest schedule for the DEN Ramp. The way to read the schedule is as follows:

  • The first two numbers are the start time followed by the end time.

  • If any of the times have the letter A, B, C then add 15 mins. Therefore, A = 15mins, B = 30mins, and C = 45mins.

That said if you get something that says 04A-12C that means you’d work from 04:15a - 12:45p

As you gain seniority over your fellow colleagues you’ll get the opportunity to get those preferred start times. AMs will often be busier since they bleed over into the afternoons where peak period resides. But on the flip side, PMs start with the peak period and then gradually die out. Leaving your last few hours being slower at times. Offers some opportunity to wind down after a long day.

Hope this helps!


Working for AAG, the answer is no. Working for a legacy or a major airline as a ramper or any position it all depends on seniority. You work in all weather conditions, crappy hours and holidays. If you want to pursue flying and work full time for WN I’d suggest doing part 91

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Thanks for y’all’s input! You’ve helped me realize it’s probably best to find a different job while I complete flight school.

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