Airline Baggage Service Agent Jobs
As people travel, many of them will have large suitcases and other baggage going with them. While some will travel light and have carry-on luggage only, many will have larger items that need to be identified so that it will hopefully arrive at about the same time.
Airline baggage service agents are the ones that will be tagging, moving, and helping people with their luggage when it gets lost or damaged.
Unfortunately, luggage does not always arrive at its destination at the same time the owners do. Or, it may arrive with certain items missing or damaged. This means it will have to be tracked down, and reports filed about the loss or damage. With the expected increase in the number of air travellers in the near future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is looking like there will be a need for more airline baggage agents soon. Since more people travel in the summer months, some airports will be hiring during the summer season to meet the increased demand. This could also be a good way to break into the airline business.
Responsibilities of an Airline Baggage Agent
An airline baggage agent will have different responsibilities at different airports, or even with different airlines. Larger airports will probably have them more focused in the baggage area where they will primarily be filling out forms and talking with passengers who have either lost their luggage, or have some damage to report and want to make a claim.
Did You Know? The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that many more customers and cargo will be flying in the very near future? This means many new airport jobs will soon be created.
At other airports, they may also be loading and unloading baggage from the planes, and also driving the small tow tractors that pull the luggage carts. Of course, luggage has to be loaded and unloaded all year around, so this will put them outside in the cold and heat and also around loud jet engines. Some airports also combine baggage handlers with ticket agents and passenger service representatives – people who create tickets at the counter and make sure tickets are for the right plane before letting the passengers board.
Job Requirements of Airline Baggage Agents
Being able to maintain self-control and handle possibly irate passengers who have just lost their only possessions for the trip is part of the job. You must be able to remain calm and think clearly under pressure. In addition, you will have to be physically fit and will have to lift luggage – repeatedly for long periods, that may weigh up to around 75 pounds (some airlines require you to be able to repeatedly lift 100 pounds). You may also have to work under some stress in terms of being able to unload and load planes based on the schedule of the airline.
Baggage agents are responsible for filling out forms related to lost, damaged, or unclaimed baggage, and operating the computer system used for tracking baggage. Many airports use a bar-code scanning device to feed baggage identification information into the computer.
Training and Degrees
There really is not any training or educational requirement for this position. An airline baggage service agent is an entry level position and most airports will only require a H.S. Diploma or GED. Being able to be sympathetic and helpful to passengers who have lost their belongings will certainly be a valuable asset for this position.
You will most likely need to have a valid driver’s license since you may have to drive the luggage carts around. Having a good driving record will also help. You will also have to pass drug tests, and background checks to meet the demands of the TSA – which will go back at least 10 years. Expect to work flexible schedules on weekends and holidays. For some airport baggage jobs, you may need to be bilingual.
Benefits and Salary
Airline baggage service agents get to enjoy many of the excellent benefits that other airline members enjoy, but it will depend on the size of the airport. Some airlines may even offer flight privileges with the job. The salary for this position will usually be in the range of minimum wage (varies by state) to $14 per hour, but possibly higher if you are experienced.
Quick Summary of Airline Baggage Agent Employment:
- Every airport needs baggage service agents to load and unload baggage.
- There are only a couple of requirements to become a baggage handler.
- Extra airline baggage service agents are often hired in the summer.
- Becoming a baggage service agent to lead to better airline jobs later.