Australian Baggage Handlers Fired After Video Showed Them Throwing Luggage

Two Australian baggage handlers at Melbourne Airport have been fired after a video showing them recklessly throwing passengers’ luggage surfaced online. Employed by Qantas subcontractor Swissport, the two employees can be seen laughing as they throw the bags onto the conveyer belt.

The video shared by a Twitter user shows a few baggage handlers unloading passenger suitcases and bags onto the conveyer belt. The two closest to the camera can be seen throwing the bags, regardless of their size, on the conveyer belt. One of them even picks a smaller bag over his head and throws it down onto the belt making the other handler laugh. Some of the bags even fall off the belt and it is unclear if they were put back on or not.

The video went viral on social media and both Qantas and Swissport Australia were quick to respond. They launched an “urgent investigation” and the two employees were fired. “An urgent investigation was undertaken into the recent behavior of two team members at Melbourne Airport who were handling customer luggage in an unacceptable manner. As a result of that investigation, these individuals are no longer employed by Swissport,” according to a spokesperson.

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The spokesperson also added that the company has conducted a briefing of all operations teams to make sure this does not happen again. “The unacceptable behavior of a few individuals will not be allowed to tarnish the quality work of our whole team,” said the spokesperson.

Recently, a similar incident took place in India with IndiGo staff. A short video that went viral showed IndiGo baggage handlers throwing white boxes onto a parked trailer from a conveyer belt. However, IndiGo responded to the video and shared that these were not passenger bags, but “fast-moving, lightweight containers carrying non-fragile cargo” that was packed in a way that it can “endure fast maneuvers.” It added, “We’d like to assure you that our customers’ possessions are our priority and they are handled with utmost care”.

Netizens were not impressed with IndiGo’s response and another Twitter user posted a video of IndiGo staff tossing what seem to be passenger suitcases onto a truck. The tweet was the beginning of a slew of comments from travelers who had their luggage damaged by IndiGo staff, but the company did not respond.

Vineet Washington

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