Heathrow is a family affair for this veteran of 38.5 years! Baggage Service Manager Chris Earley shares some insight into what’s it’s like to be part of one of our busiest teams!
What is your official job title?
Baggage Service Manager
How long have you worked at Heathrow?
How did you get into your job and why?
I started on Trolleys, which is now known as Passenger Services, back in 1976. I was promoted over the years until BAA took responsibility of Baggage in 1997, which is where I’ve worked ever since. The role has evolved into what we see today and we cover the entire airport.
What’s a day in the life of your job really like?
Exciting! It’s sometimes difficult juggling everything and keeping up with the changes to infrastructure- if you take a few days off, you come back and something new has been built!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Coping with disruptions and witnessing large amounts of missed bags and seeing things like children’s buggies, etc., knowing the passenger won’t see it when they arrive.
Favourite thing about working at an airport?
The variety of the job- no day is the same and you meet new people every day.
Favourite thing about your job?
When I experience a difficult day but get through it successfully with minimal disruption to passengers, that is very satisfying.
What has been a particularly memorable moment for you while working at Heathrow?
Meeting the Queen when she opened the Piccadilly line into Heathrow in 1977. Also, working on the set of Minder on the T4 forecourt with George Cole and Dennis Waterman was great!
What is one piece of advice you would share with our passengers?
Make your experience of Heathrow part of your holiday because that’s where it starts! Oh- and use soft luggage, not hard! Soft luggage survives the journey better!
Where are you from?
West Drayton, born and bred and still live there today.
Any children or pets?
Two sons (twins) and two grandchildren. One son works at T5 on Passenger Services and the other works in IT outside of the airport. I also have two Rottweilers who are cuddly teddy bears! Sadly, I lost one recently to cancer.
Coin collecting, fishing, riding my Harley Davidson, and I also belong to the Thames Valley Chapter, who socialise a lot and do a lot for charity, e.g. toy runs to John Radcliffe Hospital, etc.
Favourite film/TV show?
Alien & Predator. For TV, Red Dwarf and, more recently, Game of Thrones
Favourite music band?
Queen and, recently, Sam Smith
Anything else you would like us to know?
Heathrow is a family affair for me- I met my wife at Heathrow and the majority of both sides of our family have worked here. My mum worked in the control tower canteen and my father was a porter in the Oceanic Building (the old Terminal 3).