France: At Lyon Airport, baggage handlers boycott suitcases from Israel


Surrealist scene at Saint-Exupéry airport in Lyon, France. The baggage handlers (overwhelmingly North Africans) boycott the distribution of suitcases on a flight from Tel Aviv.

Here is the testimony from a traveler on that flight:

We landed in Lyon Saint-Exupéry on Sunday, November 10, 2019, on a Transavia flight from Tel Aviv. The plane landed as planned at 5:20 p.m. At the passport control desk in Terminal 1, usually crowded, there was no one but the passengers from our flight. Ten minutes later, around 5:30 p.m., everyone was in front of the luggage conveyor 02, as shown on the screens, waiting for their suitcases.

At around 5:50 p.m., some of the passengers began to show their surprised for the time it took to unload our luggage, especially since at this stage of the events, we are still the only flight waiting for luggage, the other luggage conveyors being empty.

It’s now 6:30 p.m. minutes have passed since our arrival in front of conveyor 02. We clearly understand that something is wrong. Our luggage is delayed. There is no reason to justify waiting so long when the terminal is almost empty, and it’s such a small airport.

One of the travelers goes to the baggage claim desk to ask for an explanation. He is told that “it’s okay, the luggage will arrive within 5 minutes”.

5 minutes later, not a single luggage. An almost inaudible audio message tells us that our luggage will be there in 10 minutes! At this stage and still without any explanation, we are waiting since 45 minutes…

Baggage Is Delivered for Other Flights

Then, we see passengers arriving from another flight, and strangely enough, 10 minutes later, their luggage arrives. After 55 minutes of waiting, the passengers from the Tel Aviv flight starts to get angry. It is now clear and everyone understand what is happening: the baggage handlers intentionally hold our luggage as hostages because of where we come from. We learn from passengers that they have already done it several times for flights from Tel Aviv. And for fear of reprisal, the airport management does nothing (or maybe he is accomplice?)

People Lose Their Calm

Many people, and rightly so, lose patience, and raise their voices. At this stage and after a good hour of waiting, no airport official is showing up to check on our situation. Many elderly people have been waiting for more than an hour.

Feeling undoubtedly, and for good reason, despised, ostracized, attacked for what they are, namely Jews (for 95% of the passengers), a small number of people decide to find a person in charge, and ask what the reason for this totally disproportionate delay.

They find a door located a few steps away from the area, and enter the place.

They are immediately faced by airport staff who play the surprise, threaten retaliation, claim not to understand what is happening in front of the worried and unhappy crowd.

The spirits are heating up

The baggage handlers, given the violence, are now reluctant to deliver your luggage.

Faced with no explanations from the staff, and only receiving quibbles, warnings and threats, one or two passengers, believing they recognize a cart carrying our luggage, decide to go there and get their luggage themselves.

At that moment, a baggage handler physically intervenes and pushes a passenger. A brawl ensues, and everything gets confused. The passengers, helped by two or three airport agents, quickly bring back the calm.

Two policemen arrived later on, and we calmly described the situation. After all, what people want is to get their suitcases back and put an end to this mess.

But instead of ordering the airport to quickly handing over of our luggage, the police would lecture us: “it is not our responsibility, the baggage handlers, given the violence, are now reluctant to deliver your luggage.”

Two hours later

Some passengers had trains to catch and they missed it. We waited two hours because of the behavior of Muslim baggage handlers knowingly delaying the delivery of suitcases to travelers from Tel Aviv.

Welcome to France, country of the Human Rights—but not the Jews.

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