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Airport baggage handlers are needed to load and unload passenger baggage and freight from planes before and after flights. They work as part of a team, using a flight list provided once passengers are checked in and the flight is scheduled to take off, making sure all necessary luggage is transported from the airport to the aircraft on time.
Using machinery and luggage trucks where necessary, baggage handlers will transport the luggage to the aircraft and load it onto the plan safely. They must ensure that the baggage is loaded into the hold safely and efficiently for when the aircraft is airborne. Once a flight lands, baggage handlers will quickly unload the luggage and transport it back to the airport, putting it onto the conveyor belt for collection.
The job can be physically challenging and baggage handlers must pay attention to the flight list, making sure that no one’s baggage is left behind, or damaged. Tasks might include:
Baggage handlers need to be honest and reliable, as they are responsible for the care of all passengers’ luggage between check-in and take-off. They also need to be able to work flexible hours, as there are flights arriving and taking off at all hours of day and night.
With experience, baggage handlers may have opportunities to progress to ramp-handling or other areas of flight dispatch.
Baggage handlers are usually employed by airport services, airports or in some cases, airport authorities.