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Trickie Dickie

Baggage handlers

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On 12/10/2019 at 1:13 PM, donaldsc said:

We never tip baggage handlers in the US.  They are overpaid union members who extort or scare you by suggesting that if you do not pay them, your luggage will not get onto the ship.  All they do is carry your luggage 2 feet and put it on a cart.  The crewmen on the ship do most of the work in getting the luggage to your room.  

 

Figure it out. Suppose you tip them $5 for 2 minutes of work and they handle luggage for 30 passengers per hour.   That works out to an hourly wage rate of $150 per hour.  Do you get paid $150 per hour on your job?  Also, the transaction is a cash transaction so I wonder how much of the $150 gets reported to the IRS.  

 

DON

If it is such a good deal why aren’t you doing it?

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17 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


First hand?  You’ve been in the baggage handling industry for 40+ years?  🤔

No, he's been in the maritime industry for 40+ years, as have I.  I do not believe that any public pier facility on the East Coast of the US is non-union, and particularly non-longshoremen.  Handling baggage is considered to be "moving cargo" across the pier, and the longshoremen have a lock on this work.  This is true for nearly every port in the US, but particularly on the East and West coasts, the only exceptions are "private" piers, such as those owned by refineries, which can hire their own people.  Heck, even one of the "mighty cruise" shows, or one like it, showed the longshoremen's hall and the teams being set up by seniority, in PEV I think it was, for an RCI ship.

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:17 AM, Trickie Dickie said:

 

We were just on Explorer OTS November 19 via terminal G in Miami. Our shuttle dropped us and our luggage by the curb on the road. Baggage handler 1 yelled at us and told us to move our bags onto the curb, about 4 feet. My DH did this as I cannot lift, I moved to the side. Baggage handler 2 then moved our bags 3 feet onto a cart. DH gave him $5. While this was happening, Baggage handler 1 walked up to me and suggested that I should tip him. I told him his partner was tipped as he was the one that stacked our bags on the cart. This got me thinking. Why on earth are we tipping so much for so little service? Tip someone who yelled at me to bring him my bag. I’m reconsidering this whole bag drop off tipping thing. The porter coming off the ship does more of a service.

 

Opinions?

 

 

Just flat out not right...being yelled at...then wanting a tip...

 

We have encountered many rude baggage handlers. We've learned our lesson.  What we started doing when we arrive at a cruise terminal is to stop and take a quick break...relax for a few seconds...look and find a baggage handler that is genuinely working hard and not expecting/asking for a tip.  We give that baggage handler our luggages, say "thank you", and a nice tip.  Often times, he smiles and truly appreciates it. 

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28 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

No, he's been in the maritime industry for 40+ years, as have I. 


I get that. But the “maritime industry” is quite a large and general term. Pretending to know what a curbside porter makes because one is in the “maritime industry” is like someone who works in a factory stitching together Samsonite luggage pretending to know all about the baggage handling jobs. It doesn’t quite compute. 
 

As I said earlier, I have a family member who does this job in Miami so I’m pretty sure my info is more accurate. But like politics, the fake news that porters are such wealthy men extorting passengers for money fits some people’s cheap, non tipping agenda, so they would rather believe the misinformation than the truth. 
 

 

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55 minutes ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


I get that. But the “maritime industry” is quite a large and general term. Pretending to know what a curbside porter makes because one is in the “maritime industry” is like someone who works in a factory stitching together Samsonite luggage pretending to know all about the baggage handling jobs. It doesn’t quite compute. 
 

As I said earlier, I have a family member who does this job in Miami so I’m pretty sure my info is more accurate. But like politics, the fake news that porters are such wealthy men extorting passengers for money fits some people’s cheap, non tipping agenda, so they would rather believe the misinformation than the truth. 
 

 

You may be confused as to what position your family member holds. Porter is also a broad term which as has been pointed out by the experts with facts is different for someone who receives luggage from cars at the pier and someone in the terminal or a support position.

Family and friends sometimes exaggerate when discussing income. Lol

 

Edited by 2wheelin

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14 minutes ago, 2wheelin said:

You may be confused as to what position your family member holds. Porter is also a broad term which as has been pointed out by the experts with facts is different for someone who receives luggage from cars at the pier and someone in the terminal or a support position.

 


He is one of the guys at the curb taking luggage from cars and he refers to himself as a porter. Period. 

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17 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


First hand?  You’ve been in the baggage handling industry for 40+ years?  🤔

Call it what you want, as I spent 40+ years as Navigator & Captain on passenger carrying vessels, where the passengers and their associated baggage are our cargo. Since this forum is based on the cruise industry, I believe most readers could figure it out.

 

I concur with the Chief's excellent response, but feel free to maintain your opinion that "Baggage Handlers" are all non-union, similar to your BIL. With combined 80+ years in the Marine Industry, in our experience, at least on the US & Canadian Coasts is that most baggage handlers are unionised Longshoremen.

 

In addition to the cargo, they also load the victuals and ship's stores.

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36 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

In addition to the cargo, they also load the victuals and ship's stores.


Negative. The curbside porters do not load anything on to the ships. This is where you and others erroneously lump them in with the actual longshoremen driving the forklifts. They are not one and the same. 
 

You can tout your bridge experience all you want but again, it has nothing to do with curbside bag handling. 

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2 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


I get that. But the “maritime industry” is quite a large and general term. Pretending to know what a curbside porter makes because one is in the “maritime industry” is like someone who works in a factory stitching together Samsonite luggage pretending to know all about the baggage handling jobs. It doesn’t quite compute. 
 

 

I've been in the maritime industry for the better part of 3 decades and I have no clue what a porter makes.  Nor do I care what they make.  Not in my wheelhouse and not my business.  Besides, they are in a service job.  Why people would even care what they make is beyond me.  

 

I get your simile though.  Just because a pilot is in the airline industry, it doesn't mean they know all about the parking attendants at the airport.  

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1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

I've been in the maritime industry for the better part of 3 decades and I have no clue what a porter makes.  Nor do I care what they make.  Not in my wheelhouse and not my business.  Besides, they are in a service job.  Why people would even care what they make is beyond me.  

 

 

Nor do I care as well.

 

What do I care about regarding those who assist me at a pier's terminal?  Upon arrival at the terminal, someone who will remove the luggage from my car while being pleasant and getting my luggage into a bin that will get the luggage on my ship.

 

Upon disembarking from my ship, an employee of whatever description who assists me in collecting my luggage in the disembarkation hall, assists me through Customs/Immigration, helps me to get the luggage to my car (or taxi), and is pleasant.  

 

Both of those individuals warrant my recognition of their service with a gratuity.  If I have driven to the Port and the individual gets my luggage and me to my car in the parking garage and helps to load it into my car, I will reward that person with a generous gratuity.  Why?  Because, this senior citizen truly appreciates their help.  

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17 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Nor do I care as well.

 

What do I care about regarding those who assist me at a pier's terminal?  Upon arrival at the terminal, someone who will remove the luggage from my car while being pleasant and getting my luggage into a bin that will get the luggage on my ship.

 

Upon disembarking from my ship, an employee of whatever description who assists me in collecting my luggage in the disembarkation hall, assists me through Customs/Immigration, helps me to get the luggage to my car (or taxi), and is pleasant.  

 

Both of those individuals warrant my recognition of their service with a gratuity.  If I have driven to the Port and the individual gets my luggage and me to my car in the parking garage and helps to load it into my car, I will reward that person with a generous gratuity.  Why?  Because, this senior citizen truly appreciates their help.  

At the beginning of the cruise the luggage collector does not help you remove your luggage from the car. They shout at you to bring your luggage to them. I was on 3 cruises last month in Fort Lauderdale/Miami and paid attention. They are very consistent at doing as little work as possible.  At my last cruise I decided to tip $.50 a bag instead of the usual $5 bill for the lot. I gave my Porter $10 at the end of the cruise as he carried four pieces of luggage through customs to my cab. That was earned. 

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3 hours ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


Negative. The curbside porters do not load anything on to the ships. This is where you and others erroneously lump them in with the actual longshoremen driving the forklifts. They are not one and the same. 
 

You can tout your bridge experience all you want but again, it has nothing to do with curbside bag handling. 

In Seattle, at Pier 91 the men and women who handle the curbside luggage are union Longshoremen.  These are the same folks who could be / would be loading passenger luggage into metal cages and then hoisted on to the ship.  The same folks could be working driving the forklifts with the store provisions needed for the cruise.  Often times the folks you see working with luggage in-front of the terminal at Pier 91 are younger men and women Longshore with less seniority.  It is not unusual to hear that they had just finished an overnight shift at one of the container ship piers and are now picking up an 'easy' extra shift.  You don't normally see the older guys out dealing with the bags because they have already put in their time over the years, and don't need the extra shift.  Also, picking up these shifts helps the newer Longshoremen add hours to their seniority.

 

I know this because I am 'boots on the ground' at Pier 91.  An interesting note, when we have our annual training day before the season starts, we are told by our management, one of the most important rules is that pier-side staff is to NEVER touch or pick up a passenger's luggage - that is the sole domain of the Longshoremen (and women).

 

Another interesting note, the entry into getting one of these union Longshoremen jobs starts with a lucky lottery draw, and not patronage.  This is one of the reasons that the work force on the Seattle piers is so diverse.

Edited by Ferry_Watcher

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1 hour ago, Trickie Dickie said:

At the beginning of the cruise the luggage collector does not help you remove your luggage from the car. They shout at you to bring your luggage to them. I was on 3 cruises last month in Fort Lauderdale/Miami and paid attention. 

 

I am sorry that your experience at Port Everglades does not match mine.  Miami?  I have no recent experience.  As a YC guest on MSC Meraviglia sailing from Miami, I will not be pleased if there is no luggage assistance at that point.

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Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world and busiest cargo ports in the United States.  I presume that the daily longshoreman staffing requirements for handling cargo does not fluctuate much throughout the year whereas the staffing requirements for handling cruise baggage greatly does.  It is not uncommon to have 7 (or more) cruise ships disembarking and embarking on Saturdays and Sundays from mid-November through mid-April plus a number of other weekday itineraries.  The rest of the year, the fleet is greatly reduced because the demand is greatly reduced.  What do the hundreds (one 2013 article said there were 800 baggage handlers being trained for the season) of baggage handlers do then?  Even if you belong to the longshoreman's union, if there are no cruise ships to service I would think there were no jobs.  So are they just seasonal jobs?

 

We have had much better experiences at Port Everglades (our 'hone' port) than many commenting here.  Our bags are taken out of the car, the handler goes through a checklist (luggage tag, passport/ID, boarding pass, etc.), and then wishes us a good cruise and thanks us for our tip.  Of course there is the possibility of running into someone having a bad day just like they may run into passengers having a bad day but we've never, ever felt extorted by the baggage handlers.

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1 hour ago, evandbob said:

3 pages of comments about a possible $5 tip?

And you have just added to the possibility that there will eventually be a 4th page.

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3 hours ago, capriccio said:

Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world and busiest cargo ports in the United States.  I presume that the daily longshoreman staffing requirements for handling cargo does not fluctuate much throughout the year whereas the staffing requirements for handling cruise baggage greatly does.  It is not uncommon to have 7 (or more) cruise ships disembarking and embarking on Saturdays and Sundays from mid-November through mid-April plus a number of other weekday itineraries.  The rest of the year, the fleet is greatly reduced because the demand is greatly reduced.  What do the hundreds (one 2013 article said there were 800 baggage handlers being trained for the season) of baggage handlers do then?  Even if you belong to the longshoreman's union, if there are no cruise ships to service I would think there were no jobs.  So are they just seasonal jobs?

 

We have had much better experiences at Port Everglades (our 'hone' port) than many commenting here.  Our bags are taken out of the car, the handler goes through a checklist (luggage tag, passport/ID, boarding pass, etc.), and then wishes us a good cruise and thanks us for our tip.  Of course there is the possibility of running into someone having a bad day just like they may run into passengers having a bad day but we've never, ever felt extorted by the baggage handlers.

Actually, in 2015, Port Everglades ranked 27th in cargo tonnage among US ports, about 1/10th the tonnage of Houston and 1/5th the tonnage of NYC.  Having said that, PEV is nearly all containerized cargo, requiring longshoremen, than the oil ports of the US Gulf which don't use longshoremen at the oil docks.  However, the cruise ships are "gravy" to the longshoremen, accounting for much of their overtime (which is what raises their salaries to the six figure range).  The senior guys take the cruise ships, and the junior guys have to work overtime to make up for the seniors working the cruise ships.

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8 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Actually, in 2015, Port Everglades ranked 27th in cargo tonnage among US ports, about 1/10th the tonnage of Houston and 1/5th the tonnage of NYC.  Having said that, PEV is nearly all containerized cargo, requiring longshoremen, than the oil ports of the US Gulf which don't use longshoremen at the oil docks.  However, the cruise ships are "gravy" to the longshoremen, accounting for much of their overtime (which is what raises their salaries to the six figure range).  The senior guys take the cruise ships, and the junior guys have to work overtime to make up for the seniors working the cruise ships.

 

Thanks Chief - I always learn something from your posts!

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This thread went all sorts of direction, just too throw something in there that i've noticed; I've been watching first time cruisers vlogs on YouTube recently and it seems almost %100 of them are showing up not expecting someone to be there to take the bag nor would did/would they have any idea that this is something people tip for. With the cruising industry booming right now these guys are probably seeing alot less tips due to new cruisers and could cause the frustration and the asking for the tip. (not saying its right just my two cents). It seems a common misconception with new cruisers is that what they paid is all set and done and aren't ready for the world of cash grabs that are about to come lol just another perspective.

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On 12/10/2019 at 1:13 PM, donaldsc said:

We never tip baggage handlers in the US.  They are overpaid union members who extort or scare you by suggesting that if you do not pay them, your luggage will not get onto the ship.  All they do is carry your luggage 2 feet and put it on a cart.  The crewmen on the ship do most of the work in getting the luggage to your room.  

 

Figure it out. Suppose you tip them $5 for 2 minutes of work and they handle luggage for 30 passengers per hour.   That works out to an hourly wage rate of $150 per hour.  Do you get paid $150 per hour on your job?  Also, the transaction is a cash transaction so I wonder how much of the $150 gets reported to the IRS.  

 

DON

Not all baggage handlers are union members. In Baltimore they only handle luggage and are paid about $10 an hour.

I have been cruising since 1973 and have never been yelled at and have never had anyone ask for a tip.

 

 

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22 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

Not all baggage handlers are union members. In Baltimore they only handle luggage and are paid about $10 an hour.

 

Are you sure about those that put the bags on the carts when you arrive?

 

I have been told by several people, who would know, that they ARE union longshoremen.

 

But I will ask next time.

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On 12/23/2019 at 9:41 AM, lenquixote66 said:

 

I have been cruising since 1973 and have never been yelled at and have never had anyone ask for a tip.

 

 

 

Same here but only just over 20 years of cruise experience.  I would find threats or requests for tips to be very odd.  Sad to hear about this kind of nonsense.  

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1 hour ago, ldubs said:

 

Same here but only just over 20 years of cruise experience.  I would find threats or requests for tips to be very odd.  Sad to hear about this kind of nonsense.  

Actually after our 1973 cruise we did not cruise again till 1994 and after 1994 our next cruise was in 2008.

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