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My week at TOPS.

TPArampgirl
Active Member

After 2-3 weeks of training at your station, you will probably be heading to TOPS for more training. I say probably because there is a possibility your trip to TOPS may be delayed due to scheduling/availability or general circumstances beyond your control. So don't take the TOPS 2-3 weeks as concrete plans. I knew when I was going to TOPS the first day of my training. The CSAs, they are going at a different time from us rampers, which is why I mentioned there may be delays. Just remain flexible and patient.

 

I knew my general flight information on the last day of my first week. I got my hotel information a few days before I left. We left on Sunday, and we got a group chat started so we could make sure everyone was where they needed to be at all times. We all took care of each other. The hotel was adequate. It was clean and comfortable. The bartenders were super super nice and they remebered us all by name. I cannot give them enough praise. The entire staff was so helpful. Everyone had their own rooms which was nice. Some people had 2 beds, but I had a bed and couch. I can't speak too much about the breakfast or restaurant. I didn't do too much eating there.

 

We all woke up around 5am, and met downstairs to eat by 6am. I ate the same thing everyday. Oatmeal and a dry cereal with milk. Bland breakfast goes best with my tummy in the morning, which is why I didn't get to try the rest of the typical breakfast foods. We left for the buses/shuttle around 620am. After that time, the bus line starts to get long, and we didnt want to risk possibly getting separated or being late. The shuttles run often and they fill up fast.

 

It is a short ride to TOPS, maybe 20 mins max. When you first start seeing this big, beautiful building with the Southwest logo glowing in that Southwest blue, it's kind of overwhelming and emotional. You walk into the TOPS lobby with a huge model 737 blinking its lights over your head. It is a beautiful lobby. I had to try not to cry. I cry at everything. You'll check in on Monday where you'll get your meal information and class assignments. The meal card/voucher/code/etc is different for everyone. After that, you'll head to an area where EVERYONE from different departments meets for a Southwest New Hire day. You'll be in the room with new pilots, crew members, people in IT, and basically every new person being hired. It was a fun day to meet new people from all walks of life. You get to take a tour with your group, and somehow some of us ended up getting split up so we joined a different tour group. I wanted to see the flight simulators, so I walked to the WINGS building on my own. I met a nice woman who basically took me around the building and we found a pilot who gave me an insanely amazing private tour of the building and I couldn't be more in awe at how nice he was to give up his time to show a newbie around. The experience is something I will never forget. 

 

Something I also did while I there was network. I know where I want to take my career with Southwest and I did everything in my power to research all the people I needed to talk to. I set up meetings before class and during breaks to get the information I need to set myself up for success. I suggest that after you get hired and get access to the SW website, take a look into all the programs available to you. If you find something you may be interested in, use that time at TOPS to help you reach your career goals. 

 

Tues-Thursday were basically the same for us rampers. Tues/Wed was all in a classroom getting us ready for an exam on Thursday. It was all stuff we had been taught during OJT, and I was grateful my trainer set us up for success. After our exam Thursday, we were able to hangout before we left for the airport to head home. The experience can be so much fun, and you can do whatever you want with your free time. Just be sure to get to class early, and be prepared. We had notes to take during class so bring a pen and paper. I had a small sized notebook, maybe 8"×6", and that was more than perfect. We got adequate breaks and lunches, so no need to worry about that. 

 

As for outfits, I went business casual 100% of the time. I wanted to put out the best version of myself because I knew I wanted to network. Some people came more casual, and some were in full business attire. 

 

  • Have fun, but be responsible.
  • Remember that you are a representation of Southwest and there are always people watching.
  • Be on-time, but better yet, be early.
  • Pay attention in class, and you'll do just fine. 
  • Help and take care of each other. 

You guys will have fun at TOPS and I can't wait to see your updates and how it goes for y'all in Dallas. 🤠

 

12 REPLIES 12

Re: My week at TOPS.

DaleDB1
Active Member

Thanks for the thorough and fantastic overview. Sounds like a great time. Can’t wait for my turn in Dallas. Monday is my first day at DEN as CSA!! Can anybody go check out the simulators?? I would LUV that opportunity !!!!

Re: My week at TOPS.

TPArampgirl
Active Member

As far as I know, no. But there is an area called 'The Lookout' where you can go and look down into that area! 

Re: My week at TOPS.

Dillonm92
Active Member

I'd want to hop in a simulator and go for it if I got anywhere near one of them lol

Re: My week at TOPS.

TPArampgirl
Active Member

Oh dear, please don't. 😂😂😂

Re: My week at TOPS.

Joep
Active Member

The pilots simulator is nice,but yes it's only for pilots! They also have a setup for flights attendant, and u can ask if you can do a walk through. If you are a CSA They have setup a full terminal so you can do that fully functional. They do have a simulator for ramp, but they didn't have enough time to go through it. That simulator allows you to do a push back! Have fun enjoy and welcome to SWA 

Re: My week at TOPS.

NasATL
Active Member

Thank you so much for sharing your experience & giving us newbies a heads up on what to expect. I start 5/9 & i can’t wait. This just gave me so much more to look forward too.

Re: My week at TOPS.

jgbarnett
Active Member

@TPArampgirl Thank you so much for updating us all.  Us 4 new rampers from COS fly out together on Sunday, so this is very helpful info.

 

I was disappointed that you went the week before I did.  With all the helpful info you have given everybody, I would gladly have bought you beverages of your choice.

 

If you ever want a GREAT view of Pikes Peak, come work the ramp at COS.  

Re: My week at TOPS.

About2be
Active Member

Thank you so much for posting your journey. It really is a lot of help to those that are following behind you. Did you wear/carry a mask at TOPS? I know SWA drop masks for traveling, but wasn't so sure if that extended to employees for both on and off site. 

I think @jgbarnett is right. So if, I mean WHEN you fly back to big "D" for a deck party, I owe you a cold 🥤.

Re: My week at TOPS.

TPArampgirl
Active Member

Masks were optional. There were definitely people that wore them. @About2be @jgbarnett I used to live in Denver and I was in COS often to drop my then boyfriend off at the airport. I currently have one of my best friends that just moved there, so I'll definitely be coming to DEN for a visit... Hopefully soon. 😊