Baggage handler explains why airport chaos won’t go away anytime soon

An industry insider has given an insight into why the UK’s biggest airports including Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Gatwick have been overwhelmed in recent weeks

The industry insider explained what is behind the staffing problems
The industry insider explained what is behind the staffing problems

A baggage handler has explained why he thinks the chaos at UK airports isn’t getting any better any time soon.

The airport employee, who has remained anonymous, coordinates the luggage transport from the check-in points to the aircraft at one of the most important transport hubs in Great Britain.

As anyone who’s been at an airport during the madness this week – or who’s previously been separated from their holiday belongings – knows it’s key.

The baggage handler explained how many of his colleagues have left the profession during the pandemic and are unlikely to return any time soon.

Baggage handlers at Manchester Airport, where the scene took place, said they were “more stressed than ever”.


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Low pay, long hours, and shifts that end late at night or on weekends make jobs particularly unattractive, especially during periods of low unemployment when jobs are easier to come by.

Low staffing levels at airports is a major reason why the industry is struggling to keep planes and queues running.

“The problem is that while on furlough some have been asked to take paid leave, perhaps to be laid off temporarily. ‘Yes we will put you on hold, when everything returns to normal you will be the first person to be hired,’ he told the BBC’s PM.

“It went on like this. And people have financial commitments, so they moved on. I know one (baggage handler) who has become a firefighter.

“Another colleague, he runs his own restaurant. Some have decided to return to their country, others work as plumbers and electricians.

“I can tell you, about three days ago, one of these guys drove through the airport and said it was the best decision of his life.”

The employee went on to explain how tough life in an airport can be.

“People who work at airports in the airline industry have a different ball game than the outside world,” he said.

“They are micromanaged, it’s a command situation. People in this industry often feel stuck.

Airports are creaking under demand


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“This pandemic has opened up some other opportunities for them to try something.”

The baggage handler criticized the airline industry for not being “fully prepared” and anticipating the surge in demand following the lockdowns.

Travel experts have warned that the problems currently plaguing the industry are unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Airlines for Europe, Europe’s largest airline association, expects the problems affecting airports and airlines in the UK and Europe to continue “for a good part of the summer season”, reports the Financial Times.

The group, whose members include easyJet, British Airways owner IAG and Ryanair, blamed a number of factors for the chaos.

These include staff shortages, above-average sick leave and long waiting times for new employees to pass the background check.

Chaos is predicted to reach new heights over the bank holiday weekend as travelers attempt to return to the country.

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Fry Electronics Team

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