Airport worker: From ticketing to cargo during the pandemic

In Budapest, Hungary, check-in and boarding agent Kata switched roles when the pandemic hit.

Kata previously worked as an airport ticketing agent, checking the passengers’ boarding passes and supervising boarding at the departure gate. She says she loved putting a smile on passengers’ faces and helping them on their way.

When Budapest began responding to Covid-19 in March and passenger travel ground to a halt, Kata was offered a role handling packages with PPE arriving from China.

Kata was grateful to have a job still earning her normal salary. Other colleagues went to work in administration roles for another company or were furloughed. But her new role wasn’t easy.

She says, “It was very hard because I am 55 kilos, and sometimes we had boxes [weighing] 30 kilos.”

Kata worked in cargo for a few months, before being reinstated to her ticketing role from June until the end of August, as Europe opened up and travel tentatively resumed.

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