16:46 PM

Employee Spotlight: Bruce Fuller, Baggage system

Bruce Fuller has been working in the oversized baggage area at TPA for more than 12 years. And while that the job can sometimes be routine, he said, the variety of bags that come through the system are anything but predictable.

“You never know what’s going to come down the chute,” said Bruce. “The most common items are baby seats and strollers and sporting equipment like golf clubs and fishing gear. We also scan and load the traveling animals, dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes.”

There are plenty of uncommon items as well.

“We can always tell when there are large college sporting events in town,” he laughed. “Especially track and field, like when an airline employee brings us pole vaulting equipment or a javelin.”

When he’s not processing the oversized bags, Bruce works at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter assisting with checked bags.

“We’ll remove the oversized bags at the source, baby gear and anything else right away, before it has a chance to slow the system,” said Bruce. “Every day it’s getting busier, and we’re doing what we can to keep things moving smoothly.”

Bruce said that as much as he enjoys his work at TPA, and especially the camaraderie with his coworkers, come January 2022 it’ll be time to hang up his scanner and retire from the Airport. It’s time to start working on his travel bucket list, he said.

Bruce and his wife Leah are ready to bust out the RV and see some sights.

“She’s always wanted to go to San Antonio and the Grand Canyon,” Bruce said. “I also want to show her the Baltimore Aquarium.”

Bruce laughs when he shares the lengthy list, but said that’s what retirement is for.

“We’ve traveled so many times back and forth to Illinois to visit our family, but it’s always hurry up and get there and hurry to get back to work,” he said. “We can finally slow down and take a look around.”