Baggage Handler


Flew from Houston to LA last week. Had a window seat so I got to watch the ground movement (or lack there of) of the plane beside of me.

Watched a baggage handler on the plane next to us lay in the cargo hole for probably 15 straight minutes. Two guys on the ground at the conveyor didn’t move a lot either. The guy in the plane played on his phone, made a few phone calles, and layed there on his back with one leg crossed over the other for a solid 15 minutes.

I took a photo with my phone but I can’t figure how to load it.

And we wonder why fees and rates are high.


I guess with the baggage fees, fewer people are checking bags. Fewer bags checked means less work for these guys to do.

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Was there any baggage to be loaded?
If they were doing this for “a solid 15 minutes,” did you ever stop to think that they may have been on break?

There’s a couple of reasons why fees are so high: People will pay them. People also want low air fares.

The airlines need to make a profit - if you have low airfares then the airline has to make up the loss of income some other way.


“Fees and rates are so high”

Really? Have you ever checked the cost of a ticket on US carriers since deregulation as compared with other carriers in other countries?

Fees are in place because the airlines need to make a profit or no one’s going to be flying anywhere. It costs a little money to fly a $150,000,000 aircraft 2000 miles while consuming $5000 per hour of fuel, not to mention all the other costs associated.

When people go on orbitz and get their $89 ticket to fly KJFK-KLAX in 5 hours and then complain when they have to spend an extra $25 to check a 45lb bag into the belly of that $150,000,000 aircraft it makes me chuckle. Take off your chicken-little-oh-my-gosh-the-sky-is-falling hat for a minute and think about how much it costs to run an airline before you complain about traveling 550mph in an aircraft that costs a good fraction of a billion dollars for $89 + a small baggage fee.

I don’t think that paying some guy $8/hr to sit in the shade while there’s no baggage to load is the reason “fees and rates are so high”, actually.


Plus you can also avoid many fees.

Baggage: pack wisely and even for a week-long trip you won’t need to check a bag (unless you’re married in which case all bets are off).

Food and non-alcoholic beverages while inflight: bring your own

Fly an airline that charges less fees (Southwest doesn’t charge for checking in 2 bags or snacks/soft drinks/coffee onboard. I think there’s one or two other domestic airlines that don’t charge for at least the first bag)

Don’t fly Spirit - the Easyjet of America (both airlines charge a fee for everything but breathing - and that fee is probably coming soon)


It amazes me airlines can make any money at all offering fees under 400 bucks. B/t the amount of fuel they consume, employees… not just pilots, flight attendants, and rampers; the ones you actually see. There are tons of other people behind the scenes. Then you factor in the cost of maintenance and the price of the components on the aircraft. Like for instance i use to work on CRJ700s the cost of an AOG (aircraft on ground) or super rush delivery in the aircraft world, engine driven hydraulic pump. Nearly $170,000 and that was 3 years ago. No they dont change them everyday but thats just one little component of the thousands that may go bad once a month w/ a fleet of 15 aircraft. Not to mention the tire changes that cost somewhere around $1000 for a MLG tire on one of those aircraft that may see 30 to 40 landings tops.


I’m sure no one has EVER slacked off at work… Come on guys- I’ve thrown bags before. There are times when there were 30 of us standing (in the rain) with nothing to do but wait for the last of the bags to be brought out.


Most likely the bags they had were already loaded & they are now awaiting connecting bags happens all the time.


Any chance they were waiting for a late connecting flight and the baggage?


See my previous reply.


Sorry about that Coach. I guess I need to start reading the entire post. :blush:


Yes bagg people tend to stand around for awhile in case of late bags or they would of already shut the cargo door.


As someone that used to be one of those guys (United Express at Dulles), sometimes we’re waiting on bags for that plane, sometimes we’ve all ready loaded all of our planes and are just taking a load off, and sometimes it’s a group of agents hiding from their lead so they don’t have to do any more work. The way that we always did it was: bring in the plane, offload the bags, load the outbound bags, move equipment to another plane, and repeat. We worked out butts off for 10 USD an hour.


Great Post! :mrgreen:


Sheet, I only made $3.50 when I parked the airplane, pumped gas, poured oil into 4 engines, washed the windows then helped the new F/O load bags. All in a 20 minute turnaround.


Once while in Atlanta Ga while waiting for a plane out west. I noticed a single Baggage Handler bring up an Boxed Coffin and place it onto the loading ramp. And then into the cargo hold all by himself. So the next time someone believes that the baggage handlers are sleeping on the job. Remember your not perfect nor walking in there shoes!


Was that barefoot in the snow uphill both ways? :smiley:


nah, it is California after all. Rain and fog though.
This was shot after I left. Good times. mostly.


nah, it is California after all. Rain and fog though.
This was shot after I left. Good times. mostly.

Really? Music instead of the great sounds of props? :smiley:[/quote]


I doubt it was all shot with sound. I know the guy that put it together and he said he had several sources.

A little more modern: