QANTAS/SWISSPORT: This is how your luggage gets treated?
The Swissport employees depicted in the video below, have now been sacked, according to a statement from the company:
“An urgent investigation was undertaken into the recent behaviour of two team members at Melbourne Airport who were handling customer luggage in an unacceptable manner. As a result of that investigation, Swissport has terminated the employment of these individuals.”
Doing the rounds of TikTok and Twitter is this video care of @rexross79 and @RachaelHasIdeas. It shows workers apparently unloading Qantas cargo bin and, at one point, lifting a bag high and then deliberately smashing it onto the convey belt. Various other bags are also abused, apparently to the delight of the workers.
Now we all know that baggage handlers don’t treat our luggage with kid gloves, but this sort of wanton, brutal handling – even before you see a bag being smashed down deliberately, is not really acceptable. Even the strongest carbon fibre suitcase is going to have some issues surviving this kind of treatment, let alone any fragile contents.
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Reputedly shot at Melbourne Airport, some commentors have questioned its authenticity given the placement of the Redbull can, which survives both landscape (as here) and portrait (as on TikTok) viewing.
The Guardian is reporting that Qantas subcontractor for baggage handling, Swissport, have suspended the employees shown pending an investigation. Again from the guardian, Swissport has made the following response:
“Swissport trains and manages all staff to handle customer possessions with care and diligence. The actions of staff in the video appear to have contravened those service level standards. As a result, the staff in question have been stood down pending an urgent investigation.”
I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand
Oh boy, these guys are going to be in big trouble. And Qantas’s reputation won’t fare well either, as the outsourcing of baggage handling services was recently the subject of a court decision pronouncing it illegal, but that decision is currently pending a high court appeal.
No one thinks baggage handling is an easy career. But that doesn’t mean that luggage and, thereby, passengers should be subject to this kind of abuse. Swissport and the airlines need to make their luggage handling decisions not just based on cost. Passengers want it done cheaply but with respect for their property. That might mean some additional expenditure on training and supervision. The alternative is more social media posts like this and more loathing for airlines.