By DebbieH 01 Jul 2012 5 min read

What is a Baggage Handler?


A team of baggage handlers will ensure that passengers’ bags are loaded and unloaded safely, efficiently and in good time from the aircraft. This helps ensure that the passenger turnaround can go as planned and the airport functions on schedule. There are many baggage handler airport jobs in British airports offering regular work.



As with all airport jobs, it is essential that the baggage handler team can work quickly and effectively to minimise delays, and to ensure that all the passengers get their correct luggage. They will also be tasked with loading and unloading commercial cargo items.

Although the job of a baggage handler may seem simple, it requires much attentiveness and efficiency as even small delays can quickly have an impact on the schedule at an airport. Therefore, you need to be able to work under time pressure and as part of a team.


Working conditions

Most airport jobs, including baggage handler often require shift work because airports are active 24 hours a day. Many also work a ‘condensed week’ which means that the baggage handler may work three shifts of 12 hours rather than 5 shifts of 8 hours and then have three days off.

The job of a baggage handler needs to be done regardless of the weather conditions. You should expect to have to work in the summer heat as well as the winter cold and rain.

Due to the large amount of heavy lifting for long periods of time, a good level of fitness and physical strength is required for this role.

In any aviation role, safety is of paramount importance. Baggage handlers need to observe strict health and safety guidelines and training will be carried out on site once an employee has been recruited.


Salary expectations

The average salary for these airport jobs is £16,512 pa, rising to £20,000 pa with experience. Pay by the hour is between £7 and £9. Often working overtime is an option which increases the earning potential of baggage handlers. Shift work should be expected for most roles.