Air Canada workers hurl bags towards tarmac
Two Air Canada baggage handlers have been caught on camera hurling luggage from a plane to a trailer five metres below.PT1M24S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-371ow 620 349 April 22, 2014
Ever worried about what happens to your luggage after you check it in at the airport desk?
Passengers on an Air Canada flight had their worst fears about the treatment of luggage confirmed last week.
Forced to check in luggage such as electronics that they would normally carry on due to the large numbers of bags on the flight, horrified passengers then caught baggage handlers tossing luggage off a seven-metre boarding platform and into a steel container below.
Passenger Dwayne Stewart was watching the incident from his plane window at Toronto's Pearson International Airport while waiting for his flight to Vancouver to push back from the gate, USA Today reported.
He grabbed his smartphone to film the careless baggage handlers responsible and posted the video on YouTube.
"Good thing my computer's in there," he joked, as another suitcase plummeted from the top of the stairs, bouncing off others below.
Four days later the clip had generated 1 million views.
Stewart told CTV News he witnessed at least 20 bags being dropped from the jetway.
"We just couldn't believe it kept happening, " Stewart said to CTV. " We thought maybe the guy fell, or it was an accident, but no - it was a plan."
Air Canada apologised for the incident after it started to take flight on social media.
"#AirCanada – Where we see your luggage take flight," said one Twitter user.
"So this is why my shampoo always ends up all over my clothing," another tweeted.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "We are in the process of identifying the employees involved whose employment will be terminated pending the outcome of our investigation."
"Their actions clearly contravened our standard baggage handling procedures which require gate-checked bags to be hand-carried to the ramp."
A union spokesperson for the two baggage handlers, who may lose their jobs as a result of the incident, claimed they were under intense pressure to move the items quickly.
Bill Trbovich told the Calgary Herald when there is no more room for carry-on luggage inside a plane, handlers are forced to take the rest outside in a rush to be stowed elsewhere so the flight isn't delayed.
The stairs up to the plane are so steep, it would be dangerous to hurry down, Trbovich claimed.
Meanwhile, "management is pushing them to get the planes out on time," he said.
The baggage handler's actions evoked both rage and sympathy throughout social media.
"It is the employer's fault for making humans work like an animal to handle heavy bags," one person commented on YouTube.
The incident comes after a series of high-profile blunders from airlines, including last week's reposting of a pornographic image by US Airways on social media.