Skycaps are porters who work for airlines or airline contractors and provide curbside services such as luggage check-in. Many airlines provide skycap services for free to their customers, though some levy a per-bag fee of $2 or more. Traditionally, skycaps earn the bulk of their wages from a mix of a minimal flat salary and customer tips. Though hourly pay for skycaps is low, they can earn very good wages when tips are included.
Salary and Tips
Depending on the airline or airline contractor, a skycap might work for a very low base wage such as $2 per hour. However, skycaps working for low hourly wages can more than make up for such pay in tips earned. According to the AvJobs website, skycaps at busy metropolitan airports can make $70,000 to $100,000 per year in salary and tips. Top earning skycaps can make up to $300 per day in tips.
Straight Salary Skycaps
Per-bag fees for curbside skycap services, such as $2 per bag for luggage check-in, tend to diminish the tips skycaps may earn. Airlines charging a per-bag fee for curbside skycap services usually require their skycaps or the skycaps hired by contractors to be paid at least the minimum wage. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies skycaps as "baggage porters and bellhops." These workers earned a mean annual wage of $23,660 as of May 2013.