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Airport Baggage Handler Profile

Airport Baggage Handler Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Airport Baggage Handler. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Airport Baggage Handler
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Airport Baggage Handler Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

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.

Hours and Environment:

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.

Skills and Interests:

To be an airline baggage handlers, 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


In most cases no formal qualifications are required. All employers run security checks on new employees who work in airports and you may be asked to undergo a medical.

Employers usually require new entrants to hold a full clean driving licence or LGV licence. Applicants with experience of fork lift truck driving or warehouse operations are particularly suitable.

Baggage handlers need to live within easy travelling distance of an airport, and are likely to need their own transport as public transport facilities do not always fit in with shift patterns.

Baggage handlers normally need to be at least 18 although some companies prefer entrants to be 21 years or over. Some employers may only accept new entrants up to the age of 40.


New employees are taught how to use conveyors, bar code recognition equipment, lifting equipment and vehicles in a safe and efficient manner. They also receive training in health and safety, and security procedures, and learn how to identify airline and airport codes.

Baggage handlers can work towards an NVQ/SVQ Level 2 in Providing Airside Ramp Services, awarded by EMTA Awards Ltd (EAL).

Additional training is provided for members of staff being promoted to team leader or to specialised posts.


Baggage handlers are employed by airport authorities, by airlines, and companies which supply services on contract. The largest number of opportunities are at Londons two major airports; Heathrow and Gatwick, but there is also work at smaller regional airports.

Many jobs are seasonal, to cover busy holiday periods.

Baggage handlers may move on to supervisory work. They can also transfer into related areas such as marshalling aircraft on taxiways and stands, or organising transport for airline crew.

Annual Income:

Figures are intended as a guideline only. Airline baggage handlers can earn £10,000 to £15,000. Supervisors can earn £16,000 or more.

Baggage handlers can make a significant increase to their income with overtime and shift allowances. Some airlines provide subsidised travel after a qualifying period.

Further information:

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

Other Useful Airport Baggage Handler Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Airport Baggage Handler job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Airport Baggage Handler Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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