One of the most stressful moments of my life was just after I uprooted my whole life to move to another country only to learn my luggage had been lost somewhere along the way.
All my most treasured possessions had been in that suitcase, and I was helpless to do anything about it but wear borrowed clothes, weep and wait for news of its whereabouts.
We put a lot of trust in the hands of baggage handlers; expecting them to respect and look after our belongings.
It is therefore genuinely quite unnerving when you hear news of airport luggage being chucked around like pieces of rubbish.
Returning to Manchester Airport from a trip to Malaga, 28-year-old Elizabeth Evans from Bury should have been thinking fondly on memories of sun, sand and sangria.
Unfortunately, she was greeted by the sight of baggage handlers throwing her pink suitcase around carelessly, tossing it carelessly to the ground, dinted and damaged.
Other items of luggage were treated in a similarly sloppy way, chucked onto the luggage cart with such unnecessary force they also ended up on the ground.
One of the baggage handlers finally went to pick up the suitcases after five had fallen over the side of the cart.
Wot a W**ker. Let's hope they threw his P45 to him with the same nonchalance and disrespect 😠😠
— Gary Webster (@RealGaryWebster) September 21, 2018
Elizabeth filmed the incident in question, and has since shared the footage via social media. Many people have been left disgusted by the inconsiderate actions of the baggage handlers, and have called for airports to toughen up on rough baggage handling.
One person commented:
No surprise at all. Having done an extremely short spell baggage handling I witnessed some appalling practices. The management quite frankly turn a blind eye, only care about quick turn around.
We all know that this is how our luggage is handled and its totally unacceptable… it’s time that this was correctly addressed.
Raising Manchester airport's reputation globally? That baggage handler needs to be sacked now!
— Myriam (@my_osaurus) September 21, 2018
Manchester Airport CEO Andrew Cowan has now promised to ‘crack down’ on the way baggage is being handled, making the following statement:
Manchester Airport will not tolerate the kinds of behaviour shown yesterday by the employees of the ground handling company Swissport, which is employed by Ryanair.
We are clear that it is completely unacceptable for our customers’ belongings to be treated in this way by any company operating on our site.
The behaviour of the Swissport employees falls well below what we would expect of ground handling agents at Manchester Airport.
We have sought urgent assurances from Swissport that a full investigation will be carried out and swift and robust action taken against those involved.
Manchester Airport's CEO has vowed to crack down on ground handlers following an incident yesterday, which showed employees of Swissport, the handler employed by Ryanair, causing damage to passenger belongings. pic.twitter.com/jbdtDlAB0u
— Manchester Airport (@manairport) September 21, 2018
According to the Manchester Evening News (MEN), A Swissport spokesperson said:
We are disappointed by the video footage circulating on social media. We apologise for the behavior of this individual, which is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Swissport employees are well-trained in baggage handling and we will use this incident to remind all staff of our duty of care with passengers’ belongings.
This was an isolated incident and we have taken immediate action. A full investigation is underway in relation to this behaviour. We cannot comment on specifics while the investigation is ongoing, however Swissport is taking this matter very seriously.
One baggage handler, not the "baggage handlers".
— Alistair Martin 🐕🧀 (@Al_toMyFriends) September 21, 2018
Hopefully Swissport will take this opportunity to ensure all staff members treat luggage with respect. going forward.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.