This Delta Baggage Handler is Everything That’s Wrong With Air Travel

It’s often been said that there are two kinds of luggage: carry on and lost. It turns out there’s a third kind.

When you check a bag your things may get stolen. Employees may hide drugs in your luggage. Gate checked bags turn into gate tossed bags.

Joshua Dwain Frith captured a Delta baggage handler on film Wednesday at New York JFK “recklessly tossing bags and a strollers… [h]e was assaulting those bags. But the stroller was attempted murder.”

Firth adds, “I can’t believe he threw the suitcase with the handle still up! If the handle broke the bag is useless.”

This is even worse than when United just ignores bags.

At one Japanese airport staff clean your bags as they come out onto the conveyor belt. Why can’t we have such nice things here?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. So this is why my $1,000 broke on my last Delta flight. Makes perfect sense now!! I hope this jackass got fired.

  2. So this is why my $1,000 stroller broke on my last Delta flight. Makes perfect sense now!! I hope this jackass got fired.

  3. He should have used more care with the stroller so that it didn’t fall. I don’t see anything wrong with how he handled the bags. I bet they are tossed like that, or worse, in the part of the airport travelers do not see.

    With the handle up, I’m sure 99 out of 100 times a gate-checked bag would go down the slide just fine.

  4. Not sure I see anything too bad in that video. There are greater indignities in air travel. And if you’ve got a $1,000 stroller, you can afford to get another one.

  5. I abhorred by this behavior.

    1000.00 dollar for a stroller, first world problems. yawn.

    “fire him” says the rich, over-entitled, self-important commenter.

    The agent needs to be trained, and given an opportunity to improve. Sometime these items can weigh past the weight limit of 50lbs for carryons (of yore) and an upswing is almost a given to get the bag over the railing of some of these slides, or maybe a head injury if you try to get under the rails.

  6. “The agent needs to be trained, and given an opportunity to improve.”
    Trained to not throw a stroller from 14 feet up? To think that’s okay, even without any training at all, you will never be qualified for this job, because your IQ is too low.

  7. This is what you get at 4% unemployment.
    No one who has a brain or cares would even take this crappy low paying job in today’s economy.

  8. So many things wrong here: people with zero pride in doing their job, a poorly designed chute, and commentors excusing this pitiful behavior. These are the kind of jobs that will be automated away, and then this same guy will be crying about being a victim.

  9. @ WilliamC…Delta is 99% non union..Tossing bags on that slide doesn’t do any harm. However, that stroller should have never been tossed like that. Too many pieces could have been broken off. Maybe a bit of retraining is the key.

  10. The stroller was recklessly thrown. Period. The rollaboard did it’s job, it protects what’s inside the bag, but throwing them could lead to broken wheels or handles. Handlers inside the cargo bins also toss these bags around, but not at the height shown in the video, damage happens.
    I assume he was called in. He should be worried.

  11. @TedG, a child of 4 knows not to throw a stroller from 14 feet up. You don’t waste time training someone who doesn’t care.

  12. “Why can’t we have such nice things here?”

    It has nothing to do with unions. Japan has a work culture where everyone, even the elevator-button-pusher, is treated with respect, because the Japanese know that everyone from lowest to highest is integral to the maximum function of society.

  13. $1000 stroller $10 dollar stroller, doesn’t matter. It just sucks to have a broken stroller you can’t use for your child. They have one job, and it’s to handle baggage, not that hard.

  14. I see that the Russian trolls even have something to say here (I’m talking to you Dean, Casey, and PeaceJam). As has been pointed out, Delta baggers are not union. If they were, they would likely make more and be more professional. As to the other troll idea that if anyone owns anything that you couldn’t afford it then it should be destroyed, that’s a pretty bad recipe moving forward. I’m sure we could pretty much strip Dean and Casey of their possessions using THAT principle.

  15. The agents could care less based on their paid. The airline could care less because they already charged you. The management could care less because it takes hurdles for customers to complain. The customers won’t bother to complain because nobody will get back to them. Rinse and repeat. The only way to get rid of these behavior is to have a mandatory enforcement of X amount of compensation for every single damage. Have a webpage where you can upload your damaged luggage pictures with flight info from the conveyor belt. And once matched, you get your money back. Repeat this a thousand times, the airlines will change.

  16. Adam has a few issues. Could care less? Or based on their paid? because it takes hurdles? These behavior?

    Oh my.

  17. As someone who has multiple sclerosis and 100% relies on a walker, this disregard of property angers me to the moon and back. Suitcases, strollers, wheelchairs, and walkers have wheels. Having alignment matters, especially for someone like me. My walker is my legs. None of those things needed to be hurled like that. Smh.

  18. One of the reason JFK is such a terrible airport.. These workers are just too unprofessional

  19. Running with the “in Japan” comparison, I see huge differences in different regions of this country in how daily operations are handled. It’s been obvious for many years – having first recognized it myself in the comparison between the old Continental hubs of Houston and Newark – light years apart in terms of agents, facilities, etc. There’s always exceptions (both directions), but abrasiveness and “screw it” behavior in the NYC zone is almost a point of inverse pride, while the commonly accepted (indeed, culturally embedded) sense of courtesy in Japan seems the polar opposite. And yes, all the way down the chain to baggage handling.

  20. PeaceJamSucks- Just because you hate unions does not give you the right to spew BS. Get your facts straights. Delta Baggage handlers are NOT unionized. And Japanese unions are alive and well in the airline industry.

  21. Let’s see… get what you pay for. Check a bag and it’s $25 so many infrequent travelers go to gate and get free check bag. Of course, this might be a small commuter flight and no room for bags.
    Either way, he shouldn’t be slinging them with the handles up….probably because the passengers didn’t lower the handle….that’s why I would NEVER buy a carry on or checked bag for over $100. I get the cheapest I can find on sale and replace every 6-9 months. But to be honest, I have been lucky and my bags last a lot longer and I haven’t had a checked bag lost in years….of course very few connecting flights!

  22. Are you sure this wasn’t Seattle and not New York? Had a flight several weeks ago that stopped in Seattle for a connection. There was a slight delay to deplane and I watched the bags being transferred out the window while the gangplank was being lined up with the airplane door. The handler on the tarmac was completely oblivious to three straight bags bouncing off the tarmac while he casually unloaded onto his cart. I wrote to Delta of the time of arrival, Plane flight number and heard nothing from them. Those baggage fees must take care of all damages and much more!!!

  23. This is why I travel with a Pelican case. The suitcase monkeys have yet to tear it up. Every once in a while the ticket agent will ask “are those your tools”, “nope” I say, “those are my clothes”. And each time we both have a good laugh.

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