Air Canada says it has suspended some employees after a video of baggage handlers dropping luggage from a tall staircase into a bin below surfaced online last week, and that their "employment will be terminated" after an internal investigation is complete.
"The employees involved have been suspended and advised that their employment will be terminated pending the outcome of our investigation," said Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah in an email statement to CBC News.
"We apologize for the totally unacceptable mishandling of our passengers' baggage captured on video. We take matters involving the protection of our customers' personal possessions very seriously. The actions of these individuals are not representative of the vast majority of our employees who work hard every day to take care of our customers."
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The short video was shot on April 18 by Dwayne Stewart of Vancouver while he was waiting to fly home on Flight AC137 from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. By Monday morning, the video had more than one million views on YouTube.
Stewart told CBC News last week the flight was crowded and, because the storage bins in the cabin were full, some passengers had to check their carry-on luggage at the gate.
The video runs a little over a minute and shows a baggage handler dropping items from the top of a movable staircase into a bin, which a second handler then moves into a nearby vehicle. The staircase looks to be about six metres high.
“We were so shocked we had to laugh ... it looked comical, it looked like it wasn’t real,” said Stewart.
“This was luggage people brought on the aircraft with the expectation they were going to hang on to it. When I do that I know I put valuable things in my luggage. I might have a camera. I might have gifts for my kids,” he added. Stewart said he flies on Air Canada “every other week.”