Menzies, no stranger to controversy

Hmm… a little bit of research has turned up results that show that Menzies truly aren’t doing too well in the reputation stakes. I had originally tagged these onto the end of the second post about the story of my bag, but decided it deserved its own special place here.

Voila, a small catalogue:

– Members of organised baggage-stealing ring at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston worked for Menzies

– Frustration with BA Baggage Handling in Hong Kong Airport. I highly advise browsing through the comments too, London + BA + Menzies seems to be a particularly bad marriage.

– Menzies hired undercover reporter to watch handlers at Heathrow; and by the way, British Airways is the worst airline for lost luggage

– Menzies employees at Auckland airport misbehaving

– Menzies employees need closer supervision at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. But Alaska Airlines saved 13.7 million dollars by outsourcing to Menzies. Woo for them!

Hmm.. and there is more to this Alaska Airlines controversy. A baggage cart bumped into the side of a plane before take-off, leading to cabin pressure problems in-flight and an emergency landing, here and here (second post on the page).

Actually, this article (from Seattle PI) is the best round-up of Menzies’ problems in Seattle.

I can understand that things like theft and general poor behaviour will happen from time to time. But is this the odd anomaly or could there be an institutional problem here? The last few paragraphs from the article just above sum it up:

The thefts didn’t concern Greg Curfman, 54, a Kingston resident, who waited for his baggage Tuesday after arriving from Hawaii via Los Angeles. He said he puts his valuables in his carry-on luggage.

But he preferred that Alaska Airlines still used its own baggage handlers, noting that there would be little incentive for a 20-year employee to steal from luggage and lose a union-negotiated salary and pension benefits.

“If you have lower standards, you’re apt to have more problems,” he said.

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