Was it Air Canada’s Policies, Processes or People Who Failed?

 

luggage.jpgThere is a new viral video on YouTube showing an Air Canada luggage handler dropping bags from a 20 ft height into a bin. (click on the picture for the link). This is “carry-on” luggage that was too big for the overhead bins that was offloaded to be put in the luggage compartment.

My first reaction was that this was an employee who clearly doesn’t give a darn about the people who are flying on the plane.  Given that this is luggage that was intended to be carried on, it is very possible that it may contain things like laptops, etc. Shame on him.

But when I looked at it again, it occurred to me that he really wasn’t provided with the tools to do his job effectively.  Had he walked up and down the stairs for each bag, it would have taken a much longer time, potentially delaying takeoff.  It would also have dramatically increased the safety risk.  This makes it an issue of a faulty process.

But it goes even deeper, I think.   Air Canada, like all airlines, have been driving passengers to use more carry-on for years.  They implement restrictive 1-bag or 0-bag check-in policies, with significant fees for exceeding this.  Then, for the carry-on, they have those very clever baggage-sizers in every airport (you know – those chrome frames with the sign that tells you that your carry-on has to fit), but don’t enforce it.  So the end result is passengers walking on to planes with colossal luggage, getting stopped at the door, and told they have to have it ‘sky-checked’.  This, then, represents a faulty policy.

All in all, it seems like a gigantic fail all around for Air Canada.

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