Similar careers

How to become an Airport Baggage Handler

airport baggage handler careers

What does a Airport Baggage Handler do?

Airport baggage handlers load, unload and store luggage and freight quickly and securely. They may also be known as ramp agents, airport hands or operatives.

They collect, sort and check baggage against a flight list to ensure that each item goes on the right plane and to the correct destination. Baggage handlers use conveyors and lifting equipment to move the baggage onto trucks for transportation to and from aircraft, and to the arrival hall or store.

Most staff drive baggage trucks to and from aircraft.

They may carry out other tasks such as portering, cleaning aircraft, clearing snow and keeping runways free of birds. Some only work with freight.

What's the working environment like working as a Airport Baggage Handler?

Baggage handlers work around 39 hours a week on a shift system which includes evenings, weekends and public holidays. Some work 12-hour shifts. Part-time work may be available.

They work inside in terminals and warehouses, and outdoors in all weathers. Working near aeroplanes can be noisy. Some work in cramped spaces, such as cargo holds. They wear protective clothing or uniforms.

What does it take to become a Airport Baggage Handler?

To be an airline baggage handler, you should:

  • be physically fit
  • have normal colour vision
  • be able to work quickly as aircraft may only spend a short time on the tarmac between landing and take-off
  • be responsible and honest
  • be able to co-operate and get on well with others
  • have some mechanical understanding for working with conveyors and lifting equipment.

Airport Baggage Handler Career Opportunities

Baggage handlers are currently in demand, and can be employed by airport authorities, airlines or companies which supply services on contract. The largest number of opportunities are at London’s two major airports; Heathrow and Gatwick, but there is also work at the regional airports.

Many jobs are seasonal, to cover busy holiday periods.

Baggage handlers may move on to supervisory work, and could become flight dispatchers, this involves overseeing all aspects of the turnaround of aircrafts. They can also transfer into related areas such as marshalling aircraft on taxiways and stands, or organising transport for airline crew.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Airport Baggage Handler that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Vacancies may be advertised in airport jobcentres and local newspapers. Most airlines have websites which include information on job vacancies. Local telephone directories may provide a suitable list of employers.

EMTA Awards Ltd (EAL)
Customer Services
14 Upton Road
WD18 0JT
Tel: 0870 240 6889

City and Guilds
1 giltspur Street
Tel: 020 7294 2800

Concorde House
Trinity Park
B37 7UQ
Tel: 0121 635 5520

Facts and Stats:

  • The Toyota Corolla is the best selling car of all time
  • London Heathrow is the world''s busiest international airport
  • In 1969, the then Czechoslovakia was the first country to make the wearing of seatbelts compulsory

Courses to help you become a Airport Baggage Handler