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Airline Baggage and Freight Handler

Airline baggage and freight handlers work in the loading services area of an airline's operations, transferring items between airport buildings and aircraft.

Duties & Tasks
Airline baggage and freight handlers may perform the following tasks:
  • transport baggage and cargo around an airport
  • load and unload passenger baggage and freight (including animals and perishables) on and off planes and helicopters
  • use a motorised luggage cart, scissor-lift truck or forklift truck to carry baggage on the airport road system
  • operate and place mobile stairs to enable passengers to board or disembark an aircraft
  • unload and load any baggage and freight that needs to make a connecting flight
  • read luggage labels and follow lists to ensure baggage goes to the right place
  • check for any priority baggage and assign all baggage to the correct carousel.
  • Working conditions
    Airline baggage and freight handlers have to work shifts, which may include weekends, public holidays and nights. Earmuffs are worn due to noise from the aircraft engines. The work involves bending, lifting and carrying heavy items.
    Personal requirements
  • display alertness, attention to detail and common sense
  • enjoy practical work and working with people
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • good problem-solving skills
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • good visualisation skills, with the ability to understand diagrams and maps
  • sound literacy skills to understand loading instructions
  • sound numeracy skills for interpreting weight specifications.
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