In Summary - Airport Baggage Handler
Airport Baggage Handlers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos on the Web
- Airport Baggage Handler- from: Youtube Search
- Baggage Handler - from: Aer Lingus [Video]
- Airport Baggage Handler - from: N.C.S. [UK]
The Work - Airport Baggage Handler
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.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Distribute cargo in such a manner that space use is maximized.
- Calculate load weights for different aircraft compartments, using charts and computers.
- Direct ground crews in the loading, unloading, securing, or staging of aircraft cargo or baggage.
- Determine the quantity and orientation of cargo and compute an aircraft's center of gravity.
- Accompany aircraft as a member of the flight crew to monitor and handle cargo in flight.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Airport Baggage Handler
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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.
Entry Requirements - Airport Baggage Handler
Pay & Salary - Airport Baggage Handler
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 26k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.