Four arrested in Barcelona suitcase wrapper brawl

Spain's December Tourist Boom

Image of airport departure lounge. Credit: Dima Moroz/

IN a bizarre and violent spectacle that occurred around six in the afternoon on December 9 in Terminal 1 of Barcelona’s El Prat Airport, a group of men working as suitcase wrappers launched into a fight, using their rolls of plastic as weapons. 

In the end, four were arrested by Barcelona’s police force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, and one was taken to the hospital with head injuries by EMS, El Mundo reports. 

Unofficial Bag-Wrappers 

Videos of the altercation, posted to social media show the initial confrontation, with the men insulting each other before the violence broke out. One strikes the other with the roll of plastic wrap before losing his grasp of it, then appears to chase after another through the mostly empty terminal’s corridor. In the video, multiple people, including one woman, can be seen brandishing the rolls as weapons. 

Currently, airport management company Aena does not offer official suitcase wrapping services in Barcelona, meaning those who work in this business are independent and unregulated. They offer to wrap suitcases in plastic for tourists, which is meant to protect bags from weather and theft. 

A Common Occurrence

Such confrontations are, unfortunately, not uncommon in El Prat, with independent luggage-protection workers often competing against one another for business. Airport security sometimes removes the bag-wrappers who sell their services irregularly, El Mundo writes, although many slip through their grasp, sometimes wearing brightly coloured vests to appear more official. 

According to El Mundo, Aena plans to install an official luggage-protection company in the Barcelona Airport at the end of the year, which will hopefully prevent such incidents from occurring. 

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Written by

Cole Sinanian