- Angry passengers crawled through a conveyor belt after waiting for luggage, per Channel 4.
- Passengers at Manchester Airport were filmed offering to come in and look for bags after an hour wait.
- Swissport agents laid off thousands of workers during Covid, and now they don’t have enough staff.
Angry passengers at one of the UK’s busiest airports crawled through a luggage conveyer belt after waiting for their bags for 90 minutes, footage from Dispatches shows.
The video, filmed by an undercover reporter working as a baggage handler, shows angry passengers at Manchester Airport pushing their way through the conveyor belt to question staff about the delay.
One passenger who crawled through said: “I will just grab it and help you unload it if you want,” complaining that they had been waiting for an hour and 20 minutes for their bags.
Although passengers were told that the conveyor belt would deliver the luggage, another agent told them it was unlikely given several cancellations and delays.
Workers told Dispatches, an investigative program that airs on UK Channel 4, shows that people crawling through the entrance “happens all the time,” and that passengers sometimes try to fight staff out of frustration over missing luggage.
One worker told the channel he was regularly left to do a “two-man job” on his own, describing it as “daunting.”
The investigation by Dispatches provided insight into the shortage of baggage handlers sweeping airports in the US and Europe, after luggage handling agency Swissport laid off thousands of workers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“To be honest, I just don’t know how people do these shifts and these kinds of hours starting at 3 a.m. It’s absolutely brutal,” the undercover reporter working on the investigation said. “No one gives them much credit. But without them, no one’s flights will be taking off. No one will be going on holiday.”
In a statement, Swissport said: “We are sorry for our part in the disruption some people have experienced at Manchester Airport. We are doing everything we can to mitigate delays for passengers, including hiring more than 4,100 people since January.”