Qantas has spoken out after shocking footage of two baggage handlers kicking and hurling passengers’ luggage onto a conveyor belt went viral overnight.
The video, which is understood to have been filmed at Melbourne Airport before being posted on Twitter and TikTok, shows the men laughing as they aggressively toss the suitcases, with some falling over the edge of the belt. No one appears to attempt to retrieve them.
At one point, one of the workers lifts a bag above his head before slamming it back down with force as his colleague smiles. A third baggage handler can be seen struggling with luggage in the distance, but appears to be less rough with passengers’ items.
“And this is why you don’t check bags if you can help it,” the footage was captioned on Twitter, prompting outrage from horrified Aussies.
“This is an absolute disgrace from an airline!” one person commented, while another called the baggage handlers’ behaviour “absolutely appalling”, adding that they “should be sacked”.
“Qantas you need to respond to this and act. Like lots of your customers I have had lost and damaged luggage. Not hard to work out why. I don’t care how underpaid or angry these guys are, there is no excuse for vandalism,” someone else said.
However, some people did leap to their defence. “This looks like very hard work. Can you imagine doing this for 8 hours a day? I feel for them, their aching backs, and don't really care about my bag of party dresses and shoes,” one woman wrote.
Qantas responds to 'disgraceful' footage
Qantas, which has faced a bevy of backlash this year regarding flight cancellations, delays and lost baggage, told Yahoo News Australia the behaviour seen in the video is “clearly not acceptable” and that their “contracted ground handler is conducting an urgent investigation”.
It’s understood that Qantas contracts Swissport for its ground handling services at Melbourne Airport and that the workers have been stood down.
“Swissport trains and manages all staff to handle customer possessions with care and diligence,” a spokesperson for Swissport told News.com.au. “The actions of staff in the video appear to have contravened those service level standards. As a result, the staff in question have been stood down pending an urgent investigation.”
Yahoo News Australia has contacted Swissport for comment.
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