VIDEO: US Airways Baggage Handler Plays Tee-Ball With Packages

Ryan’s friend’s video camera caught a US Airways baggage handler practicing his baseball swing with customer packages.

The USPS tubes and boxes were set to board America West flight 131 from San Francisco to Las Vegas this Sunday, April 1.

Ryan writes:

Me and my 2 friends were in the San Fran airport Sunday waiting for our flight… As we were waiting to board, we were watching the guy load up luggage on the plane…. Well, one of these packages happened to be what looked like a poster tube. We watched in amazement as the guy picks up the tube, and starts hitting another package with it like he is playing tee-ball! He stopped stopped after a few swings and walked away. We thought it would be cool if we caught it on video so we pulled out the camera and started recording just hoping he would go at it again. Sure enough, the guy didn’t disappoint. He didn’t hit it as hard this time but you get the idea.

Now we know why our crystal teapots arrived in crumbs. Somewhere, a baggage handler played Butt’s Up with them. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. kenposan says:


    I was expecting to see this guy swinging for the fence or something. While what the handler did was wrong, it didn’t look that bad to me.

    Let the flames begin…

  2. simian-fever says:

    Doesn’t seem that bad. Certainly not very damaging (if at all) based on the this video. Let the guy have some fun on the job.

  3. simian-fever says:

    Not to mention the fact that those tube packages are virtually irresistable. See how many of those you can let by on a conveyer belt before doing your best Ruth impression.

  4. jurgis says:

    I have to agree, this isn’t anything. Unless it said “fragile” this is nothing compared to when it’s smashed under some stuff in a cargo container.

    Even then, people by “ATA” cases for things for a reason. duh

  5. kerry says:

    @jurgis: The OP notes that this video is of the second time the handler started swinging at the boxes, and wasn’t swinging as hard as the first (unrecorded) time. I’d like to know just how hard he was hitting them before what we saw.

  6. brattpowered says:

    Count me in with the naysayers. No damage was done here, and it looks like he was just trying to have some harmless fun while performing his mind-numbingly menial tasks. I bet those who would get upset about this have probably never had a tedious, manual job in their lives.

  7. AcidReign says:

    …..I don’t think he did any real damage in the video, either, but this is evidently one of those guys the supervisor has to stand over all day, to get him to do any work! Think “Wally,” on Dilbert. I’m guessing our last postage increase was to pay for guys standing around on the tarmac, batting packages.

  8. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    I guess you have to strike out occasionally for the privilege of getting on base at other times. Ben’s hit some out of the park, but I think it was actually a mistake to dilute Consumerist with this nothingburger. The “evidence” works against the guy’s claim that “I saw him hitting a box really hard”; a claim without the video would have been stronger! I agree with brattpowered. This is nowhere on the level of, say, the (1) the skycap who put garbage into somebody’s luggage as punishment for not getting a tip, or (2) the Delta customer whose camera was stolen out of his baggage by a baggage handler — and then Delta refused to do anything about it. I think at most what this guy deserves is a comment from his boss like, “Yeah, I know sometimes you are probably bored as hell at this job, but please don’t play with the luggage. In the meantime, I’ll see if I can find ways to make the job a little more fun and less tedious.”

  9. ElizabethD says:

    Tee-ball!! No way. That guy was practicing his Jedi light-saber moves.

    (And I agree that this didn’t look particularly outrageous.)

  10. faust1200 says:

    Opening day for MLB was only a few days ago. He’s a sweet American boy! Never mind the fact he was really envisioning a lead pipe and a human head.

  11. tvh2k says:

    @kerry:
    Agreed, this was THE SECOND TIME. Apparently he swung a lot harder the first time.

  12. bluegus32 says:

    Not to mention that there are stupid, thoughtless people everywhere you go. The guy is probably getting paid $10 per hour. Somehow, I don’t think that guarantees that the baggage handlers are going to use the utmost of care. Personally, I assume that they’ll beat the crap out of my stuff. So I make sure that all fragile things are in my possession on the carry-on.

  13. Wally East says:

    I can’t believe someone made a Butt’s Up reference. God, what a stupid game that was, almost as dumb as kill the kid with the ball. On the other hand, whizzing a tennis ball at an immobile butt from 20 feet when you’re 10 years old? That made for a lot of great recesses.

  14. Tallanvor says:

    That package might get beat up a bit by the various pieces of machinery that handle it these days. It might not be worth that much (we don’t know). But does that negate the fact that somebody obviously took the time to package it and send it to someone else? When did boredom, or any other reason, for that matter, become an excuse to not treat other peoples’ belongings with respect?

    And for those who think it’s no big deal, well, where do you draw the line? At what point does it become a big deal? There was a time it would have been a big deal when it started, but it doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

  15. brattpowered says:

    Drawing the line: Any damage whatsoever to freight, or any action that would have slowed down the cargo loading process would have done it for me. There was no damage done and the conveyor belt was already stopped at the time.

    Some people need to lighten up.

  16. SteveXo says:

    Just as an FYI, “kill the kid with the ball” was called Smear The Queer when I was a kid. Nowadays that would be sexual harassment against the gay kids though…

  17. phildeaux says:

    Come on — it was opening day and the guy had Giant’s fever!

    From the Bevis and Butthead narrarators’ comments, you would have thought he was actually pounding the packages.

    You nellies that are upset about this are probably the same people that get mad when the food prep guy coughs in your fetticini alfedo.

  18. vanilla-fro says:

    I’ve had a boring, actually well beyond boring, job before and this would be one way to make it less boring. While I agree it looks like no damage was done, it could have been. This is also fairly disrespectful of other people’s belongings.

    Also think of what else he may do when he gets bored.

  19. Don Roberto says:

    The damage doesn’t seem that bad. The inane laughter gets to me more than the guy beating packages.

  20. cedarpointfan says:

    I’m sorry, but those packages are NOT property of that baggage handler. He just needs to load them on to the belt, and let the other guy put them on the plane. If he’s bored, why don’t he wait for break and get a porno or something, not screw around with peoples packages.

  21. zl9600 says:

    I’m frankly stunned at all the people here just giving this disrespectful ass a pass because he’s ‘bored’, ‘underpaid’, ‘loving baseball opening day’, etc.

    I hope this makes it to whomever this guy reports to. It’s not acceptable. None of you know what was in this package; it could have said ‘fragile’ on it for all you know. It could have been the difference between someone getting a job or having a successful presentation or not. It could have been a gift for a terminally ill patient. I don’t mean to be theatrical, but who the hell are we to judge just so some fatass can have fun on the ramp because he’s bored? come on.

    This was a worthy post. All you ramp workers union fanboys, get back to work! (just kidddddding)

  22. madktdisease says:

    It shouldn’t matter if damage was done or how “light” he tapped the package. It’s still not part of his job duties and US Airways should still be taking reasonable precautions to protect our baggage. This is certainly not in the realm of reasonable.

  23. nrichn says:

    This whole post is just silly. The man looked as though he did no damage to the package. I agree that damaging a package is not a good thing to do. I do not agree with the comments made here that say he was disrespectful and not doing his job right. Look to what you are doing on your job. Do you spend every second working?

  24. HawkWolf says:

    If your package was being batted around by some doofus, you wouldn’t be sitting here commenting about how we should cut this guy some slack.

    You know, just to say what someone else already said. :P

    Look at the Walmart auto mechanics who borrowed your car. They didn’t get in an accident! What if they drove it really carefully and their friend was gonna get fired if they didn’t pick him up? Come on, cut him some slack, he works for Walmart!

    Ahem, no.

  25. Paul D says:

    @rnkoneil:

    Tennis ball?!?!

    You guys used a tennis ball? Wimps!

    We used those cheap super-bouncy balls you get for a quarter out of the machine at the grocery store. You think a tennis ball hurts, try one of THOSE bad boys.

    Doubleplus good for the Butt’s Up reference. Thanks for the flashback…

  26. 0x12is18 says:

    @zl9600:

    I completely agree with you. Just because I’m bored at a restaurant doesn’t mean I can add crap to your food if it doesn’t appear to be harmful. TO those who make a reference to him only making $10/hour, I don’t know where you live or what you do, but where I live that’s a pretty damn good wage.

  27. XPav says:

    I’ve been at SFO, watching America West load bags before. The handler would throw the bags on the belt.

    Sometimes he would miss and the bags would hit the tarmac. Sometimes the bags would go up the belt and fall off halfway up. Sometimes they’d make it all the way up.

    I am not surprised by this.

  28. rworne says:

    If you think this is bad, you obviously never worked in a hub at UPS. Any package football sized that winds up mis-sorted gets tossed, errm, like a football one or more trucks down to the proper sorter.

    I know it sounds bad, but it breaks up the tedium of the job and it’s a lot more fun than seeing a 50+ lb spool of wire or a 5 gallon container filled with God-knows-what screaming down the chute at you.

  29. Tallanvor says:

    @HawkWolf: That’s an excellent point.

  30. medalian1 says:

    They make like $7.50 an hour, what do you expect?

  31. numberoneshaqfan says:

    I too am surprised by people giving a pass. This is completly inappropriate.
    Hawkwolf made the same point I was about to type. All the naysayers don’t care because it wasn’t their package.

  32. drdrew71 says:

    Having worked 19 years in US Postal service I can testify personally to the real horrors that people and Automated machinery can do to your packages and machines. A happy, well paid and professional minded employee will benefit YOU the customer greatly!! You who sit on your white collared buts, never understand BORING and mindnumbing jobs. Not to mention dangerous work locations to boot! Humans need to be treated humanely in humane work places, no coal mines!!!