Qantas Baggage Handlers

Qantas Airlines has a novel way to clear up baggage delays—make the executives pitch in. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Qantas Airlines wrote to high level staff last week, saying it was looking for 100 managers to work temporarily as baggage handlers to reduce delays and focus on providing our passengers the experience they expect. Uh, have they checked with the passengers to make sure they don’t want their bags checked by the people who are trained to do it? 

Or maybe they want to check with the employment lawyers who will tell them that even if managers are salaried, if they’re not exercising discretion and independent judgment when performing their job duties, they could get classified as nonexempt workers who would then have to be paid time and a half their no doubt very high wage for all hours they work over 40 in a week. So maybe if the airline can spare so many managers, it might be more cost effective for them to hire fewer managers and more actual baggage handlers and maybe an extra labor lawyer or two.

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