The most important people that affect your flight are the ramp agents…yes that’s according to the latest travel list from Thrillist.
No joke. Working under intense pressure in teams of five to seven, ramp agents do everything from loading luggage to refueling planes to making sure the pilot doesn’t drive the aircraft into the jetway. And they do it all with the efficiency and speed of a NASCAR pit crew so that flights aren’t delayed, and you make it home to your step-cousin’s quinceañera with time to spare.
Here are 13 reasons (click here for their full list) why they’ve got one of the toughest jobs in aviation:
Blame them for your delays, but thank them for your life
Every time you hear the words, “they’ve found a problem with the de-icing defibrillator” — which may or may not be an actual part of the plane — it’s because these guys found it. Along with the airline’s mechanics, they inspect the entire plane to ensure it’s safe to fly.
They keep your ticket costs down
Ramp agents are under trading-floor-level pressure to get your flight pushed back from the terminal on time, since even a five-minute delay idling on the tarmac can cost an airline up to $5,000 in fuel. The faster these guys work, the less money the airline loses, the less they need to make up said loses by charging you for water. Though they still might.
If you think you’re hot, they’re about a hundred times hotter
So, you got a little chilly walking from your car to the terminal on your way into O’Hare? Sorry ‘bout that. Ramp agents spend their entire shifts on what is essentially a giant open field with no shade from the sun or shelter from the cold. Heavy rain? Well, that just means it’s a little tougher to see.
Keep reading the list here.