Baggage Porters and Bellhops
Approximately 42,350 baggage porters and bellhops are employed at hotels and transportation terminals in the United States. Some of the smaller and simpler motels do not offer services such as those provided by bellhops. Most larger hotels, however, will often employ more than one bellhop per shift. This is especially true for large hotels located in busy urban areas, near airports, and hotels known for their luxury atmosphere. Other places of employment are Amtrak train stations, where porters, sometimes known as red caps, provide baggage help, and airports, where those who help customers with bags may be known as skycaps.
Aspiring baggage porters can learn about job opportunities via job fairs, job placement centers, the Internet, and classified sections of newspapers. Large hotels with Web sites often include postings of job openings, and a number of employment agencies deal specifically with placing those interested in hospitality jobs (for example, visit the Web site https://www.hospitalityonline.com). Don't forget the old-fashioned way of job hunting: Hit the pavement. Apply directly to the hotel's human resources department.
With enough work experience, go-getters can advance to the position of bell captain. Bell captains supervise the bellstand, give assignments to the bellhops, and take calls. Most hotels employ two bell captains, one each for the day and night shifts. Another position for advancement is that of bellstand manager. Considered the head of the department, bellstand managers are responsible for making work schedules, assigning extra staff when forecasts are heavy, and resolving any service problems.
Tips for Entry
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Join UNITE HERE to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.
Talk to baggage porters about their jobs. Ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.