A Qantas passenger is fuming after three of his rare surfboards were “completely destroyed" during his flight from Melbourne.
Jimmy Huddle, the co-founder of a Melbourne kombucha company, had flown to Newcastle on Monday before he made the devastating find. He questioned what is going on with Melbourne baggage handlers.
“So this is what you get when you travel from Melbourne on Qantas these days,” he told viewers in a video on TikTok which has since racked up over 181,000 views.
In the 40-second clip, Mr Huddle pans around the room, capturing three expensive surfboards each with their noses snapped.
“[There’s] something not quite right with the baggage handlers down there,” the 45-year-old added.
The incident comes just days after footage of two baggage handlers, who were subcontracted by Qantas, went viral after they were captured slamming bags down onto a conveyor belt at Melbourne Airport. On Thursday, contracting company Swissport, which oversees ground handling at the airport, confirmed to Yahoo News Australia both employees had been sacked following an investigation.
‘Telltale sign’ of what caused the surfboard damage
Upset and frustrated, Mr Huddle claims he’s now significantly out of pocket.
“These are thousand dollar surfboards all completely destroyed,” he said in the video, before revealing how he thinks it happened. “I looked at the bag, there’s the telltale sign there.”
Hovering the camera over his surfboard bag, several white scuff marks can be seen across the black material. “A vehicle has obviously run over the board bag,” he explained, “because there’s no other way that kind of damage could have happened.”
Adding that he was now “stranded in Newcastle with no equipment,” he said he’d already been in touch with the airline.
“Of course their solution is for me to fill out an online form and wait 21 days,” he said.
People outraged at Qantas baggage handling
More than 600 people have commented on Mr Huddle’s post with many offering their sympathies to the upset surfer.
“I would be absolutely ropable,” one person wrote. “That is horrible,” said another.
“It’s terrifying how they treat luggage,” someone else added. “Qantas has a lot to answer for,” another said.
In a statement to Yahoo News Australia, Qantas said it's "been in touch with the customer and apologised for his experience," and is investigating the case.
"We are urgently reviewing CCTV and working with our ground handling contractors to find out what has happened," a spokesperson for the airline said.
Qantas assesses damage to luggage on a case by case basis and will compensate for damages where ground handling contractors are found to be at fault.
Mr Huddle has since confirmed to news.com.au that the airline has been in touch but because he couldn't provide receipts while on a business trip, they only offered him $2,400 to cover all three boards which cost him $4,000.
"Obviously it doesn't cover the cost of the damaged equipment," he told the publication, describing the high performance boards as his "babies." He said Qantas "lowballed him" and took the opportunity to "depreciate" the boards' value.
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