This Everyday Hero Makes Sure Your Checked Bags Come Out Upright and Undamaged

Checked bag fees have gone up, at United to $30, but passengers aren’t getting more for their money. Instead the typical baggage experience is like this — just watching your bags get ignored. For $30 they should receive a private escort!

There are some people who take so much pride in their work though that you have to admire them. The problem is those people aren’t often found handling bags at U.S. airports. In Japan though is it really that surprising to see someone wiping down bags as they come out onto the carousel?

Now an everyday hero named Ephraim Sibeko is going viral for one man’s fight to keep suitcases straight and undamaged as they’re delivered to passengers at Lanseria International Airport outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. Every single bag faces forward and lays down properly when he’s through. Every. Single. Bag. That makes it easy for passengers to identify which bag is theirs, pick it up and go.

We need more everyday heroes like Ephraim — and not just when we travel. Unfortunately to meet Ephraim you’ll need to be traveling on FlySafair, Kulula, or Mango to Cape Town, George, or Durban.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is Japanese culture. Average People take pride in their work no matter how mundane it is. We probably have the biggest disparity between some of the most innovative people and some of the laziest people in this country.

  2. I don’t see what is so amazing here. It is literally his job to flip the bags over. It is his only task. If we had people paid to do this in the US we would have the similar results.

  3. I believe the man that you’re complimenting is in South Africa, not Japan. The picture of the woman behind the baggage carousel is Japan, but the video track of the gentleman baggage handler is in South Africa.

  4. Yet another reason why I love South Africa so much. On my last flight to Johannesburg (from Sydney) I set a new time record getting through Immigration, getting my Vodacom SIM card topped up, and getting my rental car. Though I’ve never flown through Lanseria I always find O. R. Tambo in Johannesburg to be great. The staff are so friendly and charming.

  5. Yet another reason why I love South Africa so much. On my last flight to Johannesburg (from Sydney) I set a new time record getting through Immigration, getting my Vodacom SIM card topped up, and getting my rental car. Though I’ve never flown through Lanseria I always find O. R. Tambo in Johannesburg to be great. The staff are so friendly and charming.

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