Freddie Mercury, baggage handler?

Who remembers this video that went round the world and went viral on 5 September 2018 by paying a touching tribute to the singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury?  The latter had started his career.working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. The baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport that day delivered an incredible choreography to the sound of Queen’s I want to break free. In this amazing video, the employees sing back the lyrics of the British band leader.

A quick reminder here to watch it:

( Youtube screenshot/ copyright British Airways)

Beyond this anecdote, Artheau Aviation offers you a small focus on this occupation!

The job of baggage handler

Working within an airport, the baggage handler is in charge of transporting passengers’ luggage.

The job of a baggage handler begins when the baggage is checked in. This logistics professional is responsible for loading and unloading baggage in the aircraft hold, but also for its transfer during a stopover. This is a sensitive mission that must be carried out within the flight schedule. The challenge is to guarantee customer satisfaction while complying with specific air safety regulations.

The duties of the airport baggage handler :

– to recover the users’ luggage after their check-in and the X-ray scan verified by the security agent;

– distribute the luggage and ensure that it is directed to the right aircraft, not only to avoid sending the luggage halfway around the world, but also for security reasons, airports being particularly sensitive places;

– to take care of parcels posted as fragile;

– loading luggage onto trolleys or containers;

– driving the dedicated vehicle on the airport runways to the destination plane;

– loading the hold and organizing the storage of luggage to optimize their transfer;

– unloading the holds to transport the luggage either to the connecting aircraft or to return it to its owner;

– arrange the luggage harmoniously on the carpet in the reception hall to make baggage retrieval simple and easy;

– respect the deadlines imposed by the airline to avoid take-off delays.

Required qualifications

One of the most important qualities of an airport baggage handler is speed. Being dynamic is essential in this job. Users’ suitcases and bags can’t wait, because the plane has to take off at a specific time. Late arrivals sometimes check in their belongings at the last minute, which makes the professional’s task even more complicated.

In addition, he has to be particularly rigorous. There can be no room for error, because sending passengers’ luggage halfway around the world could damage the airline’s reputation.

Carrying more or less heavy, fragile and bulky suitcases and bags throughout the day also requires excellent physical condition. A good command of English is necessary. Baggage handlers often work staggered hours, including weekends and holidays.

Aircraft construction contracts are still numerous, new airports are being built and the number of passengers is increasing. Whether for business or tourism, it is becoming easier and more accessible to fly. Baggage handlers are essential to the smooth operation of airports.