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Air Canada Video Confirms Flyers’ Worst Fears About Checked Bags

Apr 20, 2014 10:00 am

Skift Take

This kind of baggage handling likely happens more than flyers or airlines want to admit, but evidence brings its existence to the forefront hopefully making flyers more cautious and carriers more responsibility.

— Samantha Shankman

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Paul Downey  / Flickr

Baggage carts wait for bags at the airport. Paul Downey / Flickr


It’s a common experience these days for air travelers to arrive at the gate and be told that they have to check their carry-on luggage.

The overhead bins of planes are stuffed on any flight that’s even close to full, as passengers cart on as much as they can to avoid waiting at the baggage claim or paying extra fees to check any luggage.

Now a video shot by an Air Canada passenger this week is likely to increase reluctance to gate-check carry-ons. (Watch for the bags plummeting after being casually dropped from the stairs by the jet bridge.)

“We are extremely disappointed by the actions depicted in this video,” Air Canada said in a statement.

“This clearly goes against our standard baggage handling procedures which dictates that gate-checked bags are to be hand carried down to the ramp. An investigation into this has been launched.”

Checked luggage can get rough treatment. (One anonymous baggage handler says he and colleagues sometimes make a game out of throwing bags around as hard as they can.) But passengers generally expect that their carry-on luggage won’t be subject to that, and put more fragile items such as electronic gadgets in it.

In this age of widespread carry-on gate-checking, it’s worth trying to resist it whenever possible and, if that doesn’t work, insist on removing any items that would suffer from rough handling.

This story originally appeared on Quartz, a Skift content partner.

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