mirrodie
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One for The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:09 am

well, I am not one to disrespect, but considering how much travel I did this year and the recent AS MD-80 events, I am so wanting to here from baggage handlers.


-Why is it that I can't check my bag in and then receive it and its content unharmed? Is there some sort of mantra or 'hippocratic oath' taken to ensue that the above cannot and will not happen, if at all possible?

I know, you'll probably blame the machines but when the internal, well, wrapped contents are broken, thats not a machine, that's a bag being thrown.

I just dont get it. And after hearing that some ground personell or baggage handler was responsible for the recent AS problem, I have to ask, is their any pride taken in your duties whatsoever?

Last week, I was in London and discussing these very ideas with an someone at BA. And his comments were that its almost a cultural, ingrained thing to do, such as leave a bag on the tarmac if you see it fall. It boggles my mind.


So it s realistic question. But I hope to hear some comments from you and maybe I need to see things in another light. Because right now, it seems so bleak!
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DLKAPA
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:23 am

This seems so appropriate, sorry.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:26 am

Well, where to start?

Lets say we took care of every bag with the as much care as we can, then you would be waiting an extra 30 or 40 minutes on the ground before you took off so we could load the bags carefully, Also waiting at the belt for your bag, would you like to be waiting an extra hour or so?. I deal with hundreds of bags daily a lot of people don't seem to care about how much they carry and when you have to deal with 30% of the bags weighing at least 25-30Kg the care for the bags goes out the window.

We are not paid great money, besides safety the two most important things to a handling agent or airline is on time performance and service (in that order) with airlines trying to save money you have less and less men working on the flight, there for there is more work for the lads (and ladies) on the plane.

Just because a bag maybe seen fall to the ground it doesn't mean that it was seen by a person in the same company, I'm not going to pick up a competitors bag, not because I stick my nose up at it but because I'm actually too busy trying to sort out the bags on my own flights.

Some times it is the machines, but if my flight goes late because I took my time loading the bags in order to be careful, then I get called up to the office and made explain. That is something I really don't like doing.
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MiCorazonAzul
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:43 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
-Why is it that I can't check my bag in and then receive it and its content unharmed? Is there some sort of mantra or 'hippocratic oath' taken to ensue that the above cannot and will not happen, if at all possible?

You have to understand we aren't the ONLY ONES who touch your bag. When you check in a bag, atleast at my airport, it goes through several machines before coming to the airline. The bags get thrown around from scanning machine to another. It is a conveyor belt system which means sometimes bags get caught and damaged. We often get bags from TSA that are damaged even sometimes opened in the process of them coming to us. There isn't much we can do when such thing occurs. However, if the damage is caused by a crewmember, we take responsiblity.

We try our BEST to take care of everyone's bags as if they were ours. However, there is only so much you can do when you have 30 minutes to turn a flight. Do accidents happen and bags get damaged? Absolutely. We are told to not allow bags to touch the ramp. Which minimizes the risk of bags getting run over or damaged if they fall of the belt loader or such. I personally treat each bag as if it were my own and how I would want someone else treating mine. I can honestly say that at our station we are very careful of how we treat the bags. But like I said, unfortunately...accidents happen.

Another important point to mention are over-packed bags. Doing so is almost asking for your bag to be damaged. Those bags are at high risk of busting open when thrown around etc etc. The reason? The zipper is BARELY keeping it closed so when the bags is thrown and the contents shift, the zipper or even fabric gives out.

As for taking pride, I absolutely do. I have been labeled many times as just a "bag tosser" or what not. I personally don't care because I actually LOVE my job and love my company even more. What we do IS important regardless of what some say. The stereotype of baggage handlers is that we are slobs who don't care. Well, I can only speak from my company but that is NOT THE CASE with our crew.
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mtnwest1979
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:53 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I know, you'll probably blame the machines but when the internal, well, wrapped contents are broken, thats not a machine, that's a bag being thrown.

Well, here (note correct usage of word) in Boise, the bag belts from the ticket counters to the outbound luggage carts has numerous diverters that redirect bags to (usually) correct belts. These hit the bags with quite a force. The same force is used for a 3 pound bag as a 60 pound bag. So you can bet they get smashed around. I have also seen some bags' straps get stuck and the bag finally breaks off and bag comes down the belt 2 days later. This system in Boise is about the poorest excuse of a system anyone can imagine. And it has only been in since late 2001!

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I just dont get it. And after hearing that some ground personell or baggage handler was responsible for the recent AS problem, I have to ask, is their any pride taken in your duties whatsoever?

It may depend a lot on if the employee is actually employed by the airline or some ground support company with not as much incentive to perform well.

In the end, it depends also just on the individual.
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aerorobnz
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:55 am

I'm not a bag handler, but I regularly go out back, and let me tell you the machine arm at AKL hits the bag at 70kph, which is enough to send a large suitcase flying. I have seen all sorts of luggage items that have been damaged by it, mostly the hard plastic samsonite types.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
N276AASTT
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:22 am

I am a ramper for AA and have been so since '96 and over the years I have seen a lot things happen to peoples' baggage on the "air side." Disclaimer: this is true for every airline not just AA. (I can say that because I have worked at a major hub and also a smaller outlying station where I have seen other airline employees handle bags too)

But to expound on the different issues concerning rampers (from my point of view) are as follows,

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
-Why is it that I can't check my bag in and then receive it and its content unharmed? Is there some sort of mantra or 'hippocratic oath' taken to ensue that the above cannot and will not happen, if at all possible?

In a perfect airline in a perfect world, everyone's baggage would arrive at their destination (contents and bag) fully intact without a scratch on them. The reality is, is that when you check your bags in, you are entrusting them completely to strangers to do their jobs to make sure your bags arrive with you and that's not always the case. Sure you can meditate/wish/hope/pray all you want that your items make it there, but truth is you just might end up with a distracted worker who miss-reads your baggage tag and sends your bag to DTW when you were going to DFW. (Happens more than you know)

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I know, you'll probably blame the machines but when the internal, well, wrapped contents are broken, thats not a machine, that's a bag being thrown.

Yes, a certain percentage of damaged bags are due to machines. Zippers getting snagged in the belts or a sharp edge catching a bag, ripping it open and the contents spill out, etc. But also, bags are being thrown. I'll admit it, I've done it before. Belly length for one is a cause. When I first started with AA, I was loading 757's to Lima without the optional baggage loader system (i.e. Carpet Belly). Many will agree that the South American flights are brutal sometimes. Huge 100+lb bags of items people bought cheaper up stateside and bring back. Handling many bags like that will eventually make you want to start throwing them because they are so heavy you just want to hurry up and finish.

There an "art," if you will, when you are loading bags. Every ramper has their own way of stacking the bags but the general rule is the bigger, heavier bags you will want to place lower to the floor with the smaller, lighter bags on top. Sometimes though, a heavier bag is placed on top of a lighter one and things get crushed.

If a flight is going out completely full, we might run the risk of running out of space, so cramming as many in there as possible might affect a bags contents.

Bags are dropped from the moving carts and unfortunately sometimes dragged under the wheels of the carts or run over by someone who isn't paying attention.

A lot of the damages are "unintentional" but there are a few people who just don't give a damn and take their frustrations out on a bag. Frustrated from being out in the weather, family problems that are affecting work, etc.

If you pay with peanuts, you will have monkeys working for you. A lot of airlines are contracting out their airport services to contract companies who then hire (at sometimes minimum wage) from the street. A person making minimum wage, working in ALL different types of weather, late nights - what have you, might not really care what happens to someone's bag. Now I am not knocking/disparaging all the workers at contract companies because there are many employees there that care. The same is true with the airlines own personnel. There are a few here and there that don't care. Many airline employees have taken paycuts and morale is low. The old adage "A few bad apples spoils the bunch" seems to ring true in this case. People tend to remember the bad before the good. One bad experience and people look down on all the rest of the employees who want to do right.

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I just dont get it. And after hearing that some ground personnel or baggage handler was responsible for the recent AS problem, I have to ask, is their any pride taken in your duties whatsoever?

Yes, there are many, upon many quality workers who will do their darndest to make sure that your items are cared for and made to arrive safely (airline and contract personnel alike). Time and time again, (I've done this too) aircraft are stopped right before they enter the taxiway, after they have left the gate, to get that last bag on. We do try, but sh*t happens.

[Edited 2005-12-29 01:26:43]
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aerorobnz
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:35 am

Quoting N276AASTT (Reply 6):
Huge 100+lb bags of items people bought cheaper up stateside and bring back

100 pounds is 45kg. Is there no restriction on size in the USA? here it is a maximum of 32kg in any 1 bag or the bag doesn't travel.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
DarthRandall
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:54 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
-Why is it that I can't check my bag in and then receive it and its content unharmed? Is there some sort of mantra or 'hippocratic oath' taken to ensue that the above cannot and will not happen, if at all possible?

Man, you crack me up.

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 4):
Well, here (note correct usage of word) in Boise, the bag belts from the ticket counters to the outbound luggage carts has numerous diverters that redirect bags to (usually) correct belts. These hit the bags with quite a force. The same force is used for a 3 pound bag as a 60 pound bag. So you can bet they get smashed around. I have also seen some bags' straps get stuck and the bag finally breaks off and bag comes down the belt 2 days later. This system in Boise is about the poorest excuse of a system anyone can imagine. And it has only been in since late 2001!

Well, that explains a lot of things, like how our bags frequently get sent to far flung parts of the world and why the most well-wrapped items still manage to arrive in a mutilated state.

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 5):
I'm not a bag handler, but I regularly go out back, and let me tell you the machine arm at AKL hits the bag at 70kph, which is enough to send a large suitcase flying

I got hit by a van that was traveling at a slower speed, and I subsequently needed to replace the rear end of my car. I hope there is some hyperbole in that estimate.

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 5):
I have seen all sorts of luggage items that have been damaged by it, mostly the hard plastic samsonite types.

The gorilla from the commerical was more gentle from the sound of it.
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HPRamper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:13 pm

I myself am as careful as time and the situation permits when handling bags. I cannot vouch for all my coworkers however. It seems the longer one has worked on the ramp, the more careless he or she is with the baggage.

Some travelers dislike the practice of tossing bags onto the belt loader upside down (wheels up), but the alternative is often for the bag to go rolling off the belt higher up, more likely to cause damage. Just don't put your glasses or digital camera et al in your outermost small pocket. How about socks, instead.

At my airport, PDX, I do not see this bag-hating culture you refer to. If a bag falls out of a cart, you can lay money on that a ramper for another airline following you will stop, pull over and pick it up, and bring it to you at the gate where you are loading, or at least to your bagwell. I've never seen a bag left on the tarmac.

The TSA is more a culprit for damage to bags. They unzip all pockets of baggage, but do not re-zip before sending baggage down the belts (via Huntleigh), often this results in zippers being torn off, pockets being ripped open, etc.

That said, there is a notice in the window of our BSO saying basically that baggage is intended to protect its CONTENTS. Do not expect the baggage itself to stay pristine as chances are, it won't. Expect it, at the very least, if not broken, to be dirty and/or wet from handling and transport.
 
N276AASTT
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:52 am

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 7):
100 pounds is 45kg. Is there no restriction on size in the USA? here it is a maximum of 32kg in any 1 bag or the bag doesn't travel.

I forget what the current limit is on baggage weight, but if you go over that amount you will have to pay more at checkin. Some of these passengers will pay the extra charges to get their items home and the airlines are happy to charge them as it brings in more revenue. The down side is that its harder on the rampers though.
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Sinlock
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:11 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 9):
That said, there is a notice in the window of our BSO saying basically that baggage is intended to protect its CONTENTS. Do not expect the baggage itself to stay pristine as chances are, it won't. Expect it, at the very least, if not broken, to be dirty and/or wet from handling and transport.

That hits it right on the head....

I work International and each day I have at least 2-3 handles rip right off due to the weight of the bag and it's often only 45lbs. Zippers are a real nightmare as those bags pop open like a snake in a can and dump your stuff on the ramp (And want to touch you dirty undies less than you want me too). But my all time favorite are the people who pack 4 bottles of rum on the outside of their bag,


I'd say that the bags that get the least amount of care are overweight bags because these things are outrageous. I hear so many people here say 50lbs isn't that heavy, it's not until your on your 8th bag and have 42 more to go, and then move to the rear bin dump/load twice as much.

Here at FLL It's not uncommon for a US part-timer to personally handle over 10,000lbs of bags on a busy day. Now imagine what someone who works fulltime in the Bagroom at a real Hub has to deal with, most likely triple that.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:37 am

Mirrodie....as soon as you and the flying public are willing to pay a heck of a lot more for airline tickets rather than the cheapie fares, then maybe your luggage will get treated a bit better by better paid employees who haven't seen their salaries and pensions cut and eliminated.
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mirrodie
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:17 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 12):
Mirrodie....as soon as you and the flying public are willing to pay a heck of a lot more for airline tickets rather than the cheapie fares, then maybe your luggage will get treated a bit better by better paid employees who haven't seen their salaries and pensions cut and eliminated.

Let's start off with the most ridiculous statement of all. But first, give me a moment to recover from the laughter...

That is the largest load of crap that I have ever, ever heard. So, if I am paying Business or First class premium ticket prices, you are guaranteeing my luggage's safety? Please, what a load of nonsense. That is exactly what you've implied. If I pay more, you'll take better care of our goods? OK, I'll pay you an extra fifty bucks per bag to....Oh wait, DO YOUR JOB right. If you have a gripe with your compensation, please don't make that excuse.

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 2):
We are not paid great money, besides safety the two most important things to a handling agent or airline is on time performance and service (in that order) with airlines trying to save money you have less and less men working on the flight, there for there is more work for the lads (and ladies) on the plane

Ok, lets flip it over...take this from a health care professional who is, like you, seeing less compensation. I still give the same quality of care despite the reduced compensation.

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Reply 3):
As for taking pride, I absolutely do

I appreciate hearing that from as least a few of you.  Smile

Quoting DarthRandall (Reply 8):
Man, you crack me up.

I can keep myself cracked up pretty well too!

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 9):
The TSA is more a culprit for damage to bags.

OK, so then prior to the TSA's existence, who did you place the bulk of the blame on? Perhaps taking ownership of the issue would help.

N276AASTT, I appreciate the input. I also get some a lot of inside info from 3 AAunts who allow me to occasionally D-3.


I have been flying on AA for 30 years, but have also flown WN, DL, NW and NY Air. AA has temporarily misplaced my luggage, only my my rev. flights, a total of 3 times in 30 years, so I am not complaining Big grin
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HPRamper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 13):
OK, so then prior to the TSA's existence, who did you place the bulk of the blame on? Perhaps taking ownership of the issue would help.

Wow, that wasn't really called for.

I never said airline employees never caused baggage damage. However, it is clearly obvious to me that at the very least, the TSA has worsened the situation. Zippers are much more likely to be torn off when pockets are left hanging open, half the time by the time I get baggage in the bagroom at least one pocket has been torn open because the TSA gave bags to Huntleigh without closing up compartments THEY opened, and on the way down the belt the zippers caught under the edge of the conveyor.

Often there is also the issue of, to put it bluntly, moronic packing on the part of the traveler. Hmm, I'm going to pack my suitcase to 85 lbs, even though the handle is flimsy and the luggage itself is 20 years old. I don't know about anyone else here, but when it comes to handling baggage, I usually reach for the handle first. If it happens to tear off due to the weight of the baggage itself, whose fault is that?

I'll personally attest that I have never intentionally damaged a piece of baggage, or loaded in such a way that damage is likely. As I said before, I cannot vouch for others in this way. Along with filthy lavs and food smeared on the tray table, damaged baggage is one of the biggest reasons a given passenger will decide not to fly a particular airline. I happen to take pride in my airline and I do my part to keep people flying it.

By the way, can anyone say damage to luggage has gone down since the inception of the TSA?
 
lincoln
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:40 am

Just for what it's worth...

For the luggage handlers thank you for ensuring that my bag has always (with one exception*) made it to the same destination at tge same time as I did. I've never had a bag truly lost (Delayed significantly by Delta once -- who then had a supervisor tell me "we don't delay luggage. ever."), and only damage my bags or contents have suffered is a broken zipper pull (think that one was actually TSA's fault since I had one of those "your bag was chosen notices" in the bag after the same flight).

Actually for a healthy run, my bag was even one of the first down the belt for the majority of my flights (even before most of the "Priority" bags)...

What more could I ask for?

[And, at least at Cleveland, you guys don't look anywhere near as miserable as I would be slinging luggage in the snow]

BTW-- for the person who asked, the airlines do have limits, Continental for example has a hard maximum of 100 pounds for checked luggage (anything more has to go cargo), with up to 50 (non-OnePass members) or 70 (OnePass members) pounds free

Lincoln
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HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:05 am

I began on the ramp so here's my two cents:

First off, your bag is safer in a large aircraft like 767s, 747s, 777s (not sure about those) because they use the "cans" - large cases full of bags that slide through the cargo hold and lock into place during flight. Smaller aircraft, the bags are loaded and stacked individually. I personally labeled one flight we had as Satan's flight: a 3:00 LAX arrival, 757. The plane was just chock full of Asian connections and the whole plane was loaded full of these hardshell, plastic ovular suitcases that were 100 lbs each and impossible to stack. Plus, the boys at LAX would make sure to stack handles inward so I was forced to grab wheels (a very easy way to get wheels broken off, by the way - note to any rampers who do this - especially at LAX and JFK where that was a huge problem). After handling 2 of these things you don't want anymore of them, but you have to download 200 of them, and it seemed like everytime I worked that day shift, I'd get stuck on that flight, pissed me off something fierce.

One other note, your bag will receive as much respect and care you put into it. Rule #1: we are not Mayflower - do not send us TV boxes full of junk. Rule #2: no matter what you think, a garbage bag and duct tape is not a suitcase. Rule #3: we don't like broken bags as much as you don't. I still have a scar on my arm from where a bag with a broken pull handle scraped me as I was putting it onto a cart. Needless to say - I didn't show that bag the care I would show others. Rule #4: Don't pack too heavy, and don't pack too light either. About 25 lbs is a good weight. Too heavy, we'll screw with it (bottom of the cart - possibly get kicked to make it fit into a tight place). Too light, and it becomes a football. No need to check your purse ladies, that's a good way to get it lost and or damaged. Remember folks, it's a vacation, not a move. Just bring what you need and leave the rest behind.

That's my two cents
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fxramper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:11 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
Why is it that I can't check my bag in and then receive it and its content unharmed?

Next time you need to go to LHR, just FX yourself, I'll make sure you arrive unharmed, as you were packed!  Smile

Sorry about the luggage though, pisses me off too, when my bag is the first off the belt, yet it's trashed.  Sad
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:22 am

Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 4):
The same force is used for a 3 pound bag as a 60 pound bag.

It would be cool to check a 55 gallon plastic bag full of styrofoam packing peanuts and see what happens.

Mark
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aerorobnz
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:48 am

Quoting DarthRandall (Reply 8):
I got hit by a van that was traveling at a slower speed, and I subsequently needed to replace the rear end of my car. I hope there is some hyperbole in that estimate.

It might be rounded up from 65kph, but the speed it comes through absolutely stuns you when you see it for the first time. I remember Itold my parents that afternoon to never travel with hard cases having seen that for the first time.
I asked the baggage master what speed it moved and he said 65-70kph, and I wasn't going to disagree based on my observations...

Though to be honest my bags have never been damaged because
1) I only travel with my luggage in pristine condition
2) I pack what I need - which are clothes, not fragile stuff that is easily broken.
Flown to 120 Airports in 44 Countries on 73 Operators. Visited 55 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:56 am

Quoting AerorobNZ (Reply 20):
Though to be honest my bags have never been damaged because
1) I only travel with my luggage in pristine condition
2) I pack what I need - which are clothes, not fragile stuff that is easily broken.

Amen to that. And you know what? Despite working on the ramp for a year, seeing what goes on, the journey luggage goes through, I still have no fears checking my luggage. Overall, most bags make it safe and sound and on time. Our goal for the ramp was 3.97 MBR (missed bag ratio - how many misconx per 1,000 bags), and most of the time, we made that goal. Which means 99.6% of the time, your bag is gonna arrive when you do, and yes, occasionally, some damage may occur, but like AerorobNZ said, pack what you need, and nothing that's likely to get broken. I've seen the hell bags can go through, the vehicles they travel on, and I still will check bags with no fears or worries.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
DLKAPA
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting DarthRandall (Reply 8):
I got hit by a van that was traveling at a slower speed, and I subsequently needed to replace the rear end of my car. I hope there is some hyperbole in that estimate.

I guarantee you the apparatus at the airport doesn't have nearly the mass that the truck did. Speed matters, but mass matters more. To put it into perspective, I'm riding in a pickup bed going 55mph and a fly hits my arm. It stings, but does no damage. Now, a car hits me at 55mph and I die. Probably become one with the highway...literally. See the difference?

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 19):

It would be cool to check a 55 gallon plastic bag full of styrofoam packing peanuts and see what happens.

The size of a 55lb bag of packing peanuts would probably be so big that it couldn't fit through the bin door. Packing peanuts are very, very, very light objects and it would take alot of them to reach that mass.
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
wukka
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:49 am

Well here's one for you rampers out there:

I just got home yesterday from dragging so much purchased wares out of Mexico, mostly ceramics and glassware as gifts for the family, that there was no way that it could have all went carry-on. In fact, the things that I really REALLY wanted to get home safely, I bought two of under the assumption that one of them was bound to get broken in the checked luggage.

I opened my cases expecting the worst, and there wasn't a scratch, a nick, a dent... anything. Everything made it in one piece.

I know that the one case that I had probably deserved to get run over by a tug, since it was so heavy and awkward, but you guys did an excellent job. I (and my family, whose gifts they were) thank you!

Now for the ones who sent my bags on a world tour two flights in a row back in 2003... well, that's a different story!  Wink
We can agree to disagree.
 
HPRamper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:17 am

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 16):
The plane was just chock full of Asian connections and the whole plane was loaded full of these hardshell, plastic ovular suitcases that were 100 lbs each and impossible to stack.

I've often wondered, why are the hardshell cases so common with Asian connects? Do they just not sell softer luggage there?
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:32 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 23):
I've often wondered, why are the hardshell cases so common with Asian connects? Do they just not sell softer luggage there?

I asked about that too, and I believe the answer is many Asians rent luggage to travel to America with rather than use their own. The rentals are the plastic junk that we have to handle (not very practical for us or them either - if you can afford the ticket to America, why can't you afford quality luggage?)
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
flypdx
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:39 am

I can honestly say that I have never had any problems at all whatsoever with baggage. never gotten any lost, damaged, late, etc. The airlines do the best they can. But when baggage needs to pass through so many different hands, that aren't all working for teh same employer it's gotta be tough. As far as the throwing goes, you have to take into consideration taht the passenger would get ticked if the plane is delayed because the ramp staff needs to gently lift each bag one by one onto the aircraft.. If you are getting all upset about baggage problems, then you mayneed to take a few deep breaths. It's not that big of a deal!
 
mirrodie
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:39 am

I can agree and understand moronic packing but you are talking to someone who travels by the book just because I dont like to take chances. I'm weighing that bag every step of the way while I pack it.

Call me anal but I do my part to insure the bag safely packed and secure.

But I've gotten bags delayed on 3 AA runs in the past 5 years:

jfk-lax on 767
lga-ffl on a 737
lih-lax-jfk on 757/767

they delays are thankfully 12-18 hours but are so damn inconvenient.

And, ironically, the TSA was brought up here... well on our last rounder to LAX, wifey and i traveled with her grandmother. Well her bag was opened by the TSA...and made the flight. My bag, well, the TSA didnt check my bag but BING, luggage didnt make it.

I'm sure its just piss poor luck but I have bag issues 3 times in 5 years, I had to ask what was going on. No offense to the good people out there on the ramp.

But you gotta love that comment about cheapie fares. Like paying more would insure my bag. right.

my AAunt is sitting right next to me and cracking up reading this thread.
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EZYAirbus
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:42 am

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 2):
Well, where to start?

Lets say we took care of every bag with the as much care as we can, then you would be waiting an extra 30 or 40 minutes on the ground before you took off so we could load the bags carefully, Also waiting at the belt for your bag, would you like to be waiting an extra hour or so?. I deal with hundreds of bags daily a lot of people don't seem to care about how much they carry and when you have to deal with 30% of the bags weighing at least 25-30Kg the care for the bags goes out the window.

We are not paid great money, besides safety the two most important things to a handling agent or airline is on time performance and service (in that order) with airlines trying to save money you have less and less men working on the flight, there for there is more work for the lads (and ladies) on the plane.

Just because a bag maybe seen fall to the ground it doesn't mean that it was seen by a person in the same company, I'm not going to pick up a competitors bag, not because I stick my nose up at it but because I'm actually too busy trying to sort out the bags on my own flights.

Some times it is the machines, but if my flight goes late because I took my time loading the bags in order to be careful, then I get called up to the office and made explain. That is something I really don't like doing.

I agree totally, at easyJet we have 25 minute turnarounds, 20 minutes on domestics, we dont have anytime to take care with any bag, when you got on average a 300 bag turnaround this time of year, there is not a second where you can take care with someones bag, at easyJet the main priority is OTP "on time performance"

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NIKV69
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:51 am

Quoting Mirrodie (Thread starter):
I know, you'll probably blame the machines but when the internal, well, wrapped contents are broken, thats not a machine, that's a bag being thrown.

You got that right Mario. I Learned a long time ago, anything I check is just clothes and other stuff of little value. Anything important I carry on.

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 2):
Lets say we took care of every bag with the as much care as we can, then you would be waiting an extra 30 or 40 minutes on the ground before you took off so we could load the bags carefully

Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.   

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 12):
Mirrodie....as soon as you and the flying public are willing to pay a heck of a lot more for airline tickets rather than the cheapie fares, then maybe your luggage will get treated a bit better by better paid employees who haven't seen their salaries and pensions cut and eliminated.

Oh My, someone who hates their job. Look, if you have an axe to grind with your compensation then either deal with or find another line of work, don't tell us to pay more to fly. Give me a break!   

[Edited 2005-12-30 03:21:03]
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mtnwest1979
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:56 am

Perfectly stated. I cut myself off from above!!
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
 
2H4
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:09 am



Just out of curiousity, would you Rampers take particularly good care of a bag that had A.net stickers on it?

Perhaps we can get some kind of unspoken Fight Club thing going. An airline employee spots the A.net tie tac or suitcase sticker.....and a nod and a wink later, everything somehow just seems to work out.


 Wink




2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:10 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Oh My, someone who hates their job. Look, if you have an axe to girnd with your compensation then either deal with or find another line of work, don't tell us to pay more to fly. Give me a break!

Actually, given that fares have stayed the same or have been lowered in the last 30 years while the price of everything else has risen due to inflation, I'd say you've already been given a break! The average price of a car in 1980 was $6,000 and now you can't find one for under $14,000, but I don't see anybody saying that's unfair!

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.

Actually, no you can't. In a 757, when you have a pile of bags far from the door, you have two options: 1. gingerly walk each bag up to the door, walk back for the next one, and keep going back and forth, making sure not to endanger the contents of the luggage, or 2. toss the bags to a partner standing at the door to place them on the beltloader. Considering the difference in the time it would take to download would be about, say 15 minutes, I most definetly think it's better to take the chances on chucking them and get it done in a hurry, especially if the aircraft comes in late and it's a quick turn.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
N766UA
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:16 am

Mind you alot of bags get zippers etc. caught in bin door lips, etc. More than once I've ripped a bag literally in half because it got caught on the bin door and I didn't realize it. Bags are made cheaply and they break.

And, FYI, when you have 200 bags to cram into an airplane and they're coming up the belt 1 after another you don't have time to gingerly place them into the bin. Besides, they won't fit unless they're smashed in anyway. There's alot of throwing/smashing involved in getting bags into an airplane. I'd say it's like playing the lotto... 99% of the time your bag is fine but if you get "lucky" and yours gets snagged or tossed or lost... hey it was just your time.
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DLKAPA
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:22 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.

Have you ever worked the ramp before?
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:34 am

One other point that hasn't been brought up yet - does anyone else realize that if every passenger on a full plane brought 2 bags with them, there would not be enough space or enough weight to take all the bags. Example - an RJ 900 seats 86 pax - if every pax brought two bags that would be 172 bags. On the best day of packing, I've seen 110 bags stuffed in the aft bin, and 20 bags put in the belly, which leaves about 42 bags out to dry. I've noticed the same thing on all the other aircraft. Two bags per pax just wouldn't work. Makes you wonder if one time every pax brought two checked bags, what would happen.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
Jeremy
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:35 am

Wow,
I am sorry this has happened to you!
I worked ramp for over 10 years and treated every bag as if it were my own.
I am sorry I can't say that everyone does the same.
There really are no excuses for this poor treatment of peoples bags or thefts either.
We are under paid and over worked, but we are not forced to work there, we can quit anytime.
In my time on the ramp though, I have also learned what kind of luggage is the best and also how to pack it well too.
You would be surprised how many have cheap, falling apart luggage!
I am always amazed at what is packed also(bottles, glass, medicine, cash,etc). I would never, ever put breakables or valuables in my checked luggage.
I worked ramp at HP and WN and they both equally had people who treated bags poorly and stole from bags too.
You are now free to be sexually harassed and then terminated for filing a complaint--Southwest Airlines to me.
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:59 pm

Quoting Jeremy (Reply 36):
Wow,
I am sorry this has happened to you!
I worked ramp for over 10 years and treated every bag as if it were my own.
I am sorry I can't say that everyone does the same.
There really are no excuses for this poor treatment of peoples bags or thefts either.
We are under paid and over worked, but we are not forced to work there, we can quit anytime.
In my time on the ramp though, I have also learned what kind of luggage is the best and also how to pack it well too.
You would be surprised how many have cheap, falling apart luggage!
I am always amazed at what is packed also(bottles, glass, medicine, cash,etc). I would never, ever put breakables or valuables in my checked luggage.
I worked ramp at HP and WN and they both equally had people who treated bags poorly and stole from bags too.

Well said. Rampers aren't perfect but many of us do care about doing the job right and the passenger does have an obligation to protect themselves.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
wukka
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:42 pm

Wow.

I tried to pay a compliment to the rampers -- the ones who took my oversized crap and let it get home with me in one piece (by my own admission, it was stuffed, heavy, and had breakables in it, which I planned for -- see all of the other threads here about how carry-on should be outlawed)

Now in this thread you have rampers against rampers. All I was saying was thanks for getting my stuff home, which didn't even warrant a reply, but instead, you have the "I take care of it like my own" vs. "you have crap luggage that I shouldn't even be touching and it deserved to be beaten like the crap it is".

Quoting Jeremy (Reply 36):
I would never, ever put breakables or valuables in my checked luggage.

Yeah, but I planned for it -- expecting things to get broken. They didn't. Kudos. Until the overhead bins are large enough to carry my weight allowance as specified by the airline, or I can hand-load my things, then I play by those rules.

Quoting Jeremy (Reply 36):
they both equally had people who treated bags poorly and stole from bags too.

"and stole from bags too"?!?! The last I heard, that was illegal. If you were a fair and just individual, you'd be telling those people to put that stuff back or calling the authorities to make them put that stuff back and then send them in front of the magistrate. Your statement makes it sound that if you pack valuables then you deserve to have them stolen. Remember that when your ricer is up on blocks and your spinners are missing.

Sad that I started off as a thank you, and I knew that I was pushing the limits with my luggage... but with all of the talk between the rampers here, I deserve to have my stuff busted up just because. You guys have done a good job at turning my "thank you" into a "something-ending-in-a-k you".

Remember that the next time I spit on your burger the next time you come to my fast food joint.

"Thanks for choosing MacBurger Bell, please come again!"
We can agree to disagree.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:41 pm

Strange that a couple have assumed that I'm a ramper because I stick up for employees in the industry. No, I've never worked for an airline though I do fly very frequently on United and other Star Alliance carriers. I do know that in my business dealings, you get what you pay for. Pay a low wage with no future and you'll get low quality and moronic employees who don't give a hoot about someone's luggage. I watch my fellow frequent flyers at the airport look down on the rampers in dirty clothes, working their butts off to feed their families. Though I'm not a believer, Christians have a saying I respect, "There but by the grace of God, go I."

The arrogance of some on this forum amazes me. I hope your luggage is lost and mangled on many future flghts.
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smcmac32msn
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:41 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.



Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 32):

Actually, no you can't. In a 757, when you have a pile of bags far from the door, you have two options: 1. gingerly walk each bag up to the door, walk back for the next one, and keep going back and forth, making sure not to endanger the contents of the luggage, or 2. toss the bags to a partner standing at the door to place them on the beltloader. Considering the difference in the time it would take to download would be about, say 15 minutes, I most definetly think it's better to take the chances on chucking them and get it done in a hurry, especially if the aircraft comes in late and it's a quick turn.

NIKV69, you've never had to get 300 bags turned in 30 minutes, have you? Thats 10 bags every 6 seconds... or almost (just a tiny bit under) 2 bags per SECOND. If your one person putting them on the beltloader or loading them in the bin... it will take you (my best guess) 100 minutes to load that plane at a bag every 2 seconds to make sure you've taken care of that bag and make sure it remains in pristine condition. I'm sure an airline would love to have a 70 minute delay while you take care of bags perfectly. And as a passenger, I'm sure you'd not be too happy with a 70 minute delay before you left... or a 110 minute delay to get your bags after a flight. Remember, your plane doesn't park right at the baggage pick-up. We have to get all the bags in the cart, drive to the drop-off and unload all of them again.

When my company did contract baggage-handling, yes, we did "toss" bags, but at the same time it wasn't as bad as some behavior I've seen on the ramp at other airports. I'd be at the bottom grabbing two bags, heaving one onto the belt and the 2nd right behind it while I was already in the process of grabbing more off the cart. We'd load 30-50 bags in around 5 minutes.
Hey Obama, keep the change! I want my dollar back.
 
aviationfreak
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:13 pm

Well, at AMS I've seen bags fall off on the airside road while the vehicle directly behind it was a big fat push back tug. In this case the pax will never ever see his bag again. Big grin

Some pax put bottles in their checked baggage... now that's is the most stupid thing one can do. How many times I've heard the sound of broken glass...  Yeah sure

Sander
I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 3:30 pm

Oh and girls, please, I know this is a little perverted, but when you travel with your special toys  Smile you might want to take the batteries out, otherwise your bag will become the joke of the ramp for the night. They do get turned on by accident and well, we can feel it.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:15 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.

no really, you can't there just isn't enough time... There is just way too much work, that's why it's best to go with containerised airlines.

It's not just a matter of putting bags in a hold, you have to stack them in such a way that you can fit all the baggage and maybe cargo and mail in too.

Also a 40 minute turn around doesn't mean a 40 minute turn around. The plane has to land get to stand, wind down etc etc. We also have other responsibilities around the aircraft and not just baggage.
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fxramper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:22 pm

Here is a piece of advice, anyone that travels a good amount, myself included, and I'm sure you fall into this category as well...


IT DOESN'T PAY TO HAVE NICE LUGGAGE!  Smile

Buy cheap, durable luggage every season, use it to death, and replace it. No more Louis Vuitton gym bags Mirrodie!
 
HPLASOps
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:37 pm

Quoting FXramper (Reply 44):
Buy cheap, durable luggage every season, use it to death, and replace it. No more Louis Vuitton gym bags Mirrodie!

Amen to that as well. We barely have enough time to look at the tag to find out where it's going much less to look at the name brand and try to figure out if this customer is more "elite" than every other customer. I never cared what your bag looked like, what you paid for it, or what it's made out of. I only had time to care about where it was going and what gate it needed to go to.
"Just because I know how to get off a freeway doesn't mean I know how to get back on!" - Retard Joe
 
HPRamper
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:14 pm

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 35):
On the best day of packing, I've seen 110 bags stuffed in the aft bin, and 20 bags put in the belly,

Oh come on now, I generally cram at least 18 in each belly bin and I've seen over 125 bags in the back  Smile
 
EZYAirbus
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:39 am

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 35):
Makes you wonder if one time every pax brought two checked bags, what would happen.

We send them on the next flight

Quoting Aviationfreak (Reply 41):
Some pax put bottles in their checked baggage... now that's is the most stupid thing one can do. How many times I've heard the sound of broken glass...

Many times ive seen liquid running away from a bag on the ramp
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:09 am

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 28):
Come on, you can load an aircraft in the same amount of time and handle the bags properly. I don't believe this for a second.

ok, I've been thinking about this today while I was in work, and on lighter flights when you do not have as much cargo/baggage as on others it possible and I do take more care of the bags. If our bosses decided to hire more men so we could have lets say 7 handlers turning around a 320 or 738 (well 8 for a 738, long aft belly) then it would also be possible to take more care.

The fact of the matter is I do my job the best I can with the utmost quality of service possible, but a lot of the time it's not possible to give the ideal service in minimum time.
John Hancock
 
EZYAirbus
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:41 am

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 48):
If our bosses decided to hire more men so we could have lets say 7 handlers turning around a 320 or 738 (well 8 for a 738, long aft belly)

Jeez im coming to work with you, we have 3 men only to turnaround a 737 and 319, 2 on back of van and 1 in hold for offload and 1 putting bags on belt, 1 in doorway passing bags to the 1 bloke stacking the load.

Glenn
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: One For The Bag Handlers

Sat Dec 31, 2005 9:03 am

Geez, that was quite a read. Now I finally get to chime in!  Smile

Quoting Smokeyrosco (Reply 2):
besides safety the two most important things to a handling agent or airline is on time performance and service (in that order)

Wrong...at least at WN. The FIRST thing we learn at WN is, our priorities are Safety, Customer Service, and On-Time Performance...in that order...


Ok here's the thing. Heavy and fragile just don't go together. Sorry, but when I see a bag with both a "heavy" tag (50lbs or more) and a "fragile" tag on it, I just laugh. I'm supposed to gently lift this 50-100lbs and set it down gently while on my knees?...HAHA...sorry my back is more important to me.

People forget some of these bags are known to take rampers out. What's more important? Again, safety comes first.

Quoting MiCorazonAzul (Reply 3):
You have to understand we aren't the ONLY ONES who touch your bag. When you check in a bag, atleast at my airport, it goes through several machines before coming to the airline. The bags get thrown around from scanning machine to another. It is a conveyor belt system which means sometimes bags get caught and damaged. We often get bags from TSA that are damaged even sometimes opened in the process of them coming to us. There isn't much we can do when such thing occurs. However, if the damage is caused by a crewmember, we take responsiblity.

This is very true. Also keep in mind that if you wrap a fragile item and have it arranged in a way that it is protected 100%, if the TSA has to open your bag and check it, you can bet your bag wont be packed the same way you packed it.

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 14):
I don't know about anyone else here, but when it comes to handling baggage, I usually reach for the handle first. If it happens to tear off due to the weight of the baggage itself, whose fault is that?

I often say, a bag's weight is often the bag's worst enemy.

Quoting HPLASOps (Reply 32):
when you have a pile of bags far from the door, you have two options: 1. gingerly walk each bag up to the door, walk back for the next one, and keep going back and forth, making sure not to endanger the contents of the luggage, or 2. toss the bags to a partner standing at the door to place them on the beltloader. Considering the difference in the time it would take to download would be about, say 15 minutes, I most definetly think it's better to take the chances on chucking them and get it done in a hurry, especially if the aircraft comes in late and it's a quick turn.

A perfect example that the nature of the baggage handling system in its entirety is not always friendly to baggage.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 44):
IT DOESN'T PAY TO HAVE NICE LUGGAGE!

OMG and I cannot believe some of the designs on luggage these days. Some are lopsided (makes things real difficult for stacking) and the one thing I cannot figure out is, (and please if you have an answer enlighten me) how is a design having the handles velcro to the side of the bag practical?!?!!? Why did that ever become a feature?! That is one of my biggest pet peeves as a ramper. I go to reach for a handle and I can't grab it because it is stuck tight to the side if the bag. UGH...

Bags do fight back. They don't always do what you want them to do and especially when they are extremely heavy, a ramper can become very frustrated. Some, not all, will choose to take their frustration out on the bags.

Now excuse me while I go put ice on my swollen lip caused by my hand hitting my face after a handle broke this afternoon...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.

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