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My EARLY on Experience as CSA position , posted as requested

Adventurer C

Before I re-post a comment (as requested) , I want to state that I'm sure all positions/timelines/timeframes/content is *subject to change* at any time per SWA . This is ONLY what I've encountered in my position SO FAR as a CSA (customer service agent) 

 first things first...are you hired as CSA ? There are many ground ops positions, csa, css ,cargo, ops ... so thats the first thing b/c I can ONLY comment on CSA and CSS as we are on the same training schedule starting. Cargo/ops spent 2 days with us then went onto their own schdule. 

In my training, in my location of Arizona,  CSAs and CSSs schedule is week 1 orientation. Don't worry about what you wear with exception to offensive or crude words on your clothing. Personally, I would shy away from wearing anything political as well. You will be ordering uniforms (they'll fit you for bottomwear) which they pay for. You PROBABLY wont get uniforms before training at airport, but during this time, they ask you wear comfortable clothing (again non offensive) and keep it clean. Tennis shoes with a polo type work just fine. Cant wear any uniform clothing unless fully uniformed. WHEN you are in uniform, then comes restrictions. black shoes (tennis shoes are fine) with black bottom trim. I personally have been dressed up more , but thats bc that's comfy to me. My slacks/khakis are more comfortable than jeans for my preference (prob bc I worked MGMT and I was used to wearing dress clothes/ties). Some wore shorts and t shirt. jeans. doesnt matter. 


During this week you'll have a great instructor teach you various things you may be doing in your position. For CSAs you may work the gate area, you may work baggage office, may be putting bags onto belt when people check their bags... lots of diff things. You'll learn about TSA rules and regulations. You'll watch powerpoints. You'll get training on the computer and you will take tests. These tests are designed to make you succeed, not fail. DO NOT worry about these tests. I will not go into detail what they are about, but you are designed to pass them. The instructor will encourage you to learn the airport codes. They will stress you need to know them. For my position, we do not test for them until Dallas which is week 3 after orientation for us. That does not mean don't study them. If you start learning Aug 1st  (5) codes a day, cities and codes (know them both ways) you'll know every code before you head to Dallas, so that is my advice. Don't overwhelm, but add to you list every day. If you are a ramp agent, they may need to know the codes that 1st week. I do not know their requirements. It sounds like they are different, but I do not have that knowledge.
I won't talk about any specific on what we learn, but that's why you go to orientation. From the people I've met, talked to, learned from, etc, it feels like a system where they'll train you until you feel confident enough and they feel confident enough to unleash you to the wild. Lots of jobs 1 week training and you'll learn from experience...hear, nope! 7 wks, 8 wks continuous training. When I say that, I mean you'll be with trainers. Maybe learning something new, maybe receptive work that you'll catch on quickly, but still will have a trainer there with you until you're ready. Sure you'll learn things far after training, but SWA really seems to have something in place for succeeding rather than failure. Again I'm still new, but it's no where near as overwhelming as I thought it'd be! Last advice on this message is simple... converse with people!!!! Get to training and introduce yourself to your peers. you'll be with them the next 10,20,40 years. You don't have to be best buds, but learning their names, where they're from, what is their past work life like, and WHY SOUTHWEST !?!?  You're going to hear "I worked at mcdonalds before this" "I worked at a bank" "i worked as a flight attendant and retired, now I just want to be on the ground part time" ... but dont be afraid to talk, ask questions, etc. My class REALLY seems to click well together which has made it all the better. We're in a group text. sharing photos of each other in class together, asking questions about schedules, parking, etc. Having good chemistry with your orientation class will go a long way , so like I said. Open up and converse. Share some laughs and have an open mind. SWA will help you succeed so stop worrying!!!!


Re: My EARLY on Experience as CSA position , posted as requested

Explorer C

Hey there @bsmithwmu  


Thank you for the great post with useful information.  Hope things have continued to go so well for you.  


I am starting at my station here in DEN next week on Monday!  I am excited.  I was wondering about what to wear for this first week and remembered that you had talked about it.  Sounds like comfortable clothes are fully acceptable.  Would that include nice jeans?  


Thanks for your advice!




Re: My EARLY on Experience as CSA position , posted as requested

Explorer C

Is it posible to fix you schedule in a way you can do all your shifts as a part time over the weekend only? Let say instead of 5 days of 6 hours each can you do two shifts on Friday, two on Saturday and maybe 1 on Sunday with possible OT each? Of course all this understanding that first you need to get seniority. But even with seniority is it possible to arrange a schedule like that?