Transport Airlines

How airline crews service the plane between flights

Excerpt from CNN

Nov 24, 2012 7:06 am

Skift Take

It’s curious that to depict this “highly choreographed ballet,” CNN chose a flight from United, which ranks among the worst for mishandled bag complaints and on-time arrivals. Some airlines, such as Southwest, do this a lot better than others.

— Dennis Schaal

Report: Social Media Customer Service in the Travel Industry

United Airlines ground crew member participating in United Pink Program for breast cancer awareness.


If you are heading home after Thanksgiving still groggy from L-tryptophan and an early morning Black Friday shopping spree, you’re counting on a team of airline workers you might never see to get your plane out safely and on time.

“I think the pit crew analogy is actually a really good analogy,” explains Stephanie Buchanan, vice president of the Houston hub for United Airlines. “We like to call it a highly choreographed ballet. There are a lot of moving pieces, a lot of teamwork that has to happen.”

When a large aircraft lands, as many as 35 men and women — most wearing orange or green safety vests — swarm to the plane to get it ready to go out on its next flight.

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