• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Zurich airport staff in baggage fine prize draw

Caroline Bishop · 21 Aug 2014, 11:34

Published: 21 Aug 2014 11:34 GMT+02:00

According to documents obtained by newspaper 20 Minuten, Swissport is offering staff the chance to win two free Swiss flights anywhere in the world in a prize draw which will take place when targets for overweight luggage fines are met.

The memo to staff, which was headed with the Swissport logo, told employees that any overweight bag should incur a fine.

The competition aims to encourage employees to clamp down on overweight checked bags after a “drastic reduction” in the amount of fines handed down for heavy suitcases on Swiss flights, said the newspaper.

One employee, who wished to remain anonymous, told the paper that the promise of free flights had engendered an unhealthy sense of competition among ground staff.

“Everyone wants to win the tickets. So everyone wants the target to be reached quickly,” he said.

Some staff are neglecting to tell passengers with overweight bags that they may take items out and put them in hand luggage, he added.

“The fine is usually given to people who are not frequent flyers or elderly people,” he said.

Fines vary from 60 to 240 francs depending on the flight distance and the type of ticket.

Contacted by 20 Minuten, André Bähler from  the Foundation for Consumer Protection (SKS) said that the competition should not take place because it encourages employees to hand out unnecessary fines.

“Managers must realize that their staff are working against customers instead of giving them good service,” he said.

Myriam Ziesack, spokesperson for Swiss International Airlines, confirmed to 20 Minuten that the company had launched a competition in conjunction with Swissport after ground staff failed to meet fixed targets for overweight luggage fines.

Story continues below…

“We could have reacted in various ways, but we decided to put a reward system in place,” she said.

Customer service is not being adversely affected by the competition, added Ziesack.

“We haven’t received any complaints from customers on this matter. Since the target was not achieved in July we can only assume that fines are being given out correctly and staff are not abusing the system.”

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swiss prisons fear drone deliveries to inmates
File photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP

Could drones be used to deliver weapons to prisoners?

United Nations weighs in on burqini ban debate
A London demonstration against the burqini ban. Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Burqini bans "fuel religious intolerance" says a UN spokesman.

Record numbers sign up for Swiss Erasmus replacement
File photo: Francisco Osorio

More people than ever are taking part in Switzerland’s study abroad scheme, despite the fact the country is no longer a full member of the EU’s Erasmus programme.

Search underway for pilot of Swiss jet missing in Alps
A Swiss F/A-18 Hornet jet. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The jet is believed to have crashed while taking part in a training exercise.

Why Switzerland is getting worse for expats
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Switzerland plunges 17 places in a global survey of expat life.

Swiss company's Zika test to be used in US
File photo: AFP

US regulators issue emergency authorization to use Roche's not-yet-approved diagnostic test for detecting the Zika virus.

Rising tensions spark rise in violence at asylum centres
Bags at a refugee centre in Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Frustrations are spilling over in refugee centres in Switzerland causing an increasing number of confrontations between residents, according to reports.

Survey: majority of Swiss in favour of burqa ban
Photo: Antoine Taveneaux

More than 70 percent of Swiss want to see a ban on the burqa across Switzerland

Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
International flags outside the UN in Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/AFP

For the first time, there are now more than two million foreigners living in Switzerland.

Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
File photo: The Local

Canton complains to the federal government after it reduced the number of permits available to third state workers.

Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Starship
Technology
Swiss Post trials robot parcel deliveries in Bern
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: AFP
Politics
Survey: Swiss optimistic about Brexit effect
Photo: Neil Heritage/Endeavour Fund
Features
Amputee's Matterhorn trek 'makes it more possible' for others
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: EPFL
International
Switzerland tops global innovation table – again
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Photo: Vasily Cotovanu
National
Asylum centre plans shelved after Swiss village protests
Photo: The Local
Politics
Neuchâtel looks to boost rights for foreigners
Photo: AFP
Sport
In pictures: final day success takes Swiss to seven medals
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: AFP
National
Experts debate rail security following Swiss train attack
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
File photo: AFP
Sport
Two basejumpers die in Lauterbrunnen accidents
Photo: AFP
International
Amnesty fears for child migrants at Italian border
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Photo: AXA Winterthur
National
Report: Geneva is Swiss capital of car theft
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP
National
Top tips for watching the meteor shower in Switzerland
File photo: Andrew Turner
Technology
Swiss start-up to offer drone service to farmers
Photo: Beat Strasser
National
British quadruple amputee summits Matterhorn
Photo: Judit Klein
National
Switzerland sees rise in child victims of forced marriage
Photo: Michael Schlick/OS Muhr
National
Swiss hiker in Austria rescued after sending SOS to America
Photo: Chris Murphy
Features
14 mistakes foreigners make on moving to Switzerland
Photo: AFP
Lifestyle
Swiss resort unveils huge ‘natural’ fresco on mountain
Photo: C Sonderegger/Swiss Tourism
National
Five great Swiss traditions all expats should try
Photo: AFP
National
Confirmed cases of Zika virus soar in Switzerland
Photo: eGuide Travel
National
Prison for woman who faked Swiss airport bomb threat
Photo: AFP
Technology
Swiss solar plane completes epic round-the-world trip
4,387
jobs available