Start @ ATS, transfer to airline when you get security clearance.
This was an O.K place to work for the most part. I've had worse jobs. Like most menial jobs, this one became boring fairly quickly. There was a lot of time off between flights. Some of us would refuel vehicles and get ready for upcoming flights, others would vanish until their flight showed up. Mostly they would go to the green lot ( the parking lot ) and smoke pot from a vaporiser so they wouldn't smell of marihuana. Then work and drive around the planes as high as kites. some crew chiefs too. Every body knew who they were, but they were never confronted.
It was a very transient workforce. After 8 months, I was more than half way up the seniority list. Management was transient too. Several different senior managers came and went in the almost 2 years I was there. We rarely saw or heard from them. I stopped caring about who was in charge.
Training was hit and miss. There were opportunities to advance, but you had to bug them for training and it seemed that the " favored few" got preference.
The company emphasized safety, but it was mostly a paper trail kind of safety. If the paperwork was signed, then the " safety " proceedures were assumed to be in place. There was a policy that stated that any employee could " lock out " a piece of equipment if it was deemed to be unsafe. A tag was attached warning that it was not to be used until repaired. These tags were always ignored and torn off and the equipment was back in service without repair.
Our company's had a contract with an airline to repair their ground service equipment. Our mechanics would ignore its own – more... companys equipment because the company made money repairing the airlines equipment. Therefore, our own equipment was always backlogged at the shop, or just put back into service with only a quick fix.
There is a union, but it is mostly a fake union. Dues are collected, but there are no benefits. The senior union officials on site, or " shop stewards " are just like a branch of management. If you get in trouble with management for any reason, then they will just side with management, or sit by silently and not even attempt to pick up for their union " brother ", unless it's one of the favored few.
Now, all this being said, it was a pretty good place to work. The wages were fairly competitive, and the work was only hard in short spurts of lifting heavy luggage. The rest became a comfortable routine. The crews were friendly and mostly helpful to the new hires, and the field supervisors were fair. There are a lot of good jobs at the airport that pay better. My advice would be to work for A.T.S until you get your security clearance, then apply to work directly for one of the airlines. They have flight benefits and are better organised. – less