Elizabeth Evans, Ryanair, low-cost, flight, suitcases, bags, thrown, trolley, Manchester, airport, UK, handlers, Swissport, investigation
The baggage handlers in action (Elizabeth Evans / YouTube)

Airport CEO attacks baggage handlers

Film taken by a passenger shows handlers aggressively throwing suitcases onto a trolley, damaging them.

Manchester Airport’s chief executive Andrew Cowan says he will “crack down” on reckless baggage handlers after video emerged of an employee aggressively throwing bags off a Ryanair flight.

The film by passenger Elizabeth Evans, which can be seen on YouTube here, was made after a flight from Malaga landed and has since been circulated on social media.

Evans’ own pink suitcase is among those that are carelessly thrown onto the baggage trolley and falling off the side onto the tarmac. She later told the Manchester Evening News that she was “shocked” by what she witnessed, adding that her new case had been damaged.

Swissport, Ryanair’s baggage and ground handling agency, says it is “disappointed” by the footage and has apologised, confirming that an investigation is underway, TTG reports.

It is not the first such incident involving rogue baggage handlers in the UK, with similar images emerging last year of cases from an easyJet flight from Copenhagen being thrown carelessly at London Luton Airport.

“Manchester Airport will not tolerate the behaviour […] of the employees of the ground handling company Swissport,” Cowan said “We are clear it is completely unacceptable for our customers’ belongings to be treated in this way by any company operating on our site.”

He added: “The behaviour of the Swissport employees falls well below what we would expect from 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.”

Never work again
Cowan even pressured Swissport to ensure they never work at the airport again, and he urged it to carry out an urgent review of its recruitment and training processes.

“If we are not satisfied by Swissport’s response to these issues, we will consider what further steps are required to protect passengers’ interests, including the full range of sanctions available to us as part of Swissport’s operating licence,” Cowan concluded.

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