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Occupation Details

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Airport Baggage Handler

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

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At a Glance... header image

They are responsible for checking luggage against flight lists and taking it to the aircraft or to the reclaim conveyor belt.


The Work header image

Airport baggage handlers transport, load, unload and stow baggage and freight. They check luggage against flight lists and load baggage using lifting equipment. Smaller items may be loaded by hand.  
 
Outgoing baggage is taken to the aircraft, while incoming baggage is taken to the reclaim conveyor belts. It is sorted to ensure that each article is loaded onto the correct aeroplane or conveyor. Baggage handlers need to work both quickly and accurately while taking care not to cause damage.  
 
Baggage handling staff have responsibility for keeping an eye open for suspicious looking freight or baggage items. Suspicious items are reported to airport security or the police.  
 
In smaller airports, baggage handlers may also clean both the interior and exterior of aircraft. In winter, they also de-ice the aircraft. They may also help with portering, keeping the runways clear of birds, and helping disabled people onto aircraft. They work in terminals or warehouses and outdoors in all weathers. Most handlers drive baggage trucks to and from the airport.  
 
At larger airports, some manual work has been taken over by machines. Computers may control the loading and unloading of baggage. Baggage handlers may also be called airport hands, operatives or ramp agents. Baggage handlers wear protective clothing or uniforms.

The DAA is responsible for managing the operation of Dublin Airport and for the provision of infrastructure to enable airlines and handling agents to operate efficiently and effectively.

Some airlines provide their own ground handling services. For example Aer Lingus and Ryanair both provide Passenger Handling and Baggage Handling services for their passengers.

All ground handling companies are licensed by the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) which is independent of the DAA. The full contact details for self handlers and third party ground handling companies at Dublin Airport can be accessed in the document below.

Ground Handlers at Dublin Airport

 

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Transfer luggage, trunks, and packages to and from rooms, loading areas, vehicles, or transportation terminals, by hand or using baggage carts.

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Greet incoming guests and escort them to their rooms.

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Receive and mark baggage by completing and attaching claim checks.

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Supply guests or travelers with directions, travel information, and other information such as available services and points of interest.

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Assist physically challenged travelers and other guests with special needs.

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Transport guests about premises and local areas, or arrange for transportation.

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Maintain clean lobbies or entrance areas for travelers or guests.

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Deliver messages and room service orders, and run errands for guests.

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Act as part of the security team at transportation terminals, hotels, or similar establishments.

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Explain the operation of room features such as locks, ventilation systems, and televisions.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Performing for or Working Directly with the Public:  Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Assisting and Caring for Others:  Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People:  Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Public Safety and Security:  Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Transportation:  Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Service Orientation:   Actively looking for ways to help people.

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Coordination:   Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Social Perceptiveness:   Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Complex Problem Solving:   Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Baggage handlers must work in teams, so the ability to co-operate with other team members is essential. You should be able to work efficiently and quickly to avoid delay. You also need to be able to use mechanical handling equipment.  
 
Baggage handling requires physical fitness and stamina as the work involves lifting, carrying and bending. You need to become knowledgeable in how to lift safety and prevent injury of yourself.  
 
Honesty and trustworthiness is important in handling peoples' personal belongings.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Airport Baggage Handler - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Baggage Handler - from:  Aer Lingus [Video]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Aer Lingus
  Address: Head Office, Dublin Airport
  Tel: (01) 886 2222
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Dublin Airport Authority
  Address: Head Office, Dublin Airport, Co Dublin
  Tel: (01) 814 1111
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Transport & Logistics

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