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Pack light: Overtime ban to slow baggage handling at Helsinki-Vantaa airport

A staff shortage is expected to delay baggage handling at Helsinki’s international airport over the weekend.

Matkustaja vetää perässään matkalaukkua lentokentällä.
Image: Paulus Markkula / Yle
Yle News

National airline Finnair is advising passengers due to travel this weekend to pack only necessary items in hand luggage wherever possible and to avoid larger bags that won’t fit in aircraft cabins.

The national flag carrier said that it expects delays in baggage handling until Sunday due to a ban on overtime work announced by the aviation workers’ union IAU. Finnair said that the industrial action will result in a shortage of staff for baggage handling duties.

"Delays in baggage handling are expected at Helsinki-Vantaa airport from 21 – 23 February. We recommend that passengers travel with only hand luggage and that they pack only necessary items," the airline tweeted late Friday afternoon.

The airline is also asking people travelling over the weekend to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare before their flights. Additionally, passengers are being advised to follow updates sent via text message or email for guidance on what to do in the event of baggage handling delays.

Meanwhile the union said that the ban is expected to run from Friday until Sunday, 23 February. It was originally introduced at the beginning of February as employer and employee representatives struggled to find common ground on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The previous agreement on wages and other terms and conditions of work expired in mid-January. It covered workers in airport ground handling and technical services.

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