Travelling often for work, I am very familiar with luggage handling at airports. On at least five occasions my luggage arrived damaged to a degree that I had to get it repaired or replaced. On countless other occasions it arrived scratched or slightly damaged. One time, contents from my suitcase were missing.
Several videos circulating on the Web provide an explanation for this state of affairs. Luggage handlers around the world are not known for being delicate and caring in their work. This is of course a generalization, but one that has some merit. Here’s a compilation video of such handlers, and of course there’s the famous United Breaks Guitars incident.
Luggage handlers in Japan seem to be of a different kind. I have never had issues in Japan and on the one occasion that my luggage arrived damaged, the airline ground employees were quick to assign the blame to my connection in a European airport, stating they are very careful with luggage handling (they sent me a new suitcase a couple of days later, with an apology letter).
Recently an acquaintance of mine posted the f0llowing video on Facebook, showing another unique aspect to luggage handling at Narita airport in Tokyo. An employee stands at the luggage carousel and makes sure the luggage lands safely and is positioned for easy retrieval by the passengers. He also adjusts the luggage tags so that they are easy to read:
(This is a post in the series “Why Japan is the Closest Place to Paradise“)