General Question

mikebrittain's avatar

Is there anyway to ensure faster pickup at the baggage claim?

Asked by mikebrittain (53points) December 1st, 2008

Does anyone know if there’s a method to how baggage is loaded and unloaded from an airplane? Does it follow a first-in-first-out, or first-in-last-out, or is it all completely random? If I’m the first to check my luggage, will I be the last one waiting at the baggage claim?

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14 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

From personal experience, it is totally random. Even if you are flying Continental and have a tag on your bag so you’ll be one of the first, your baggage might still come out midway. Totally random.

googlybear's avatar

Whenever I fly business or first class, it seems to come out as one of the first. Whenver I fly coach, it is always the last bag out…go figure!

susanc's avatar

A report on the travel channel last night said you should spend the extra money to UPS or FedEx your luggage ahead, because the airlines are now losing something like 6 per cent of it. Getting it back means another trip to the airport; sometimes it never comes back at all; the insured value of your stuff never covers it if it’s gone; and doing this means you can save time waiting by the carousel. Some airlines are now charging a fee per bag; paying to send them ahead might even make fiscal sense.
The report also said you should notify whoever’s at the other end.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

All I know is if I carry it on I will get it quickly. Also, if your bag is too big to carry you can take it to the gate and check it plane-side. Most times you will also pick-up your bag plane side, but some times it will go with the balance of the checked baggage and you have to pick it up at baggage claim.

Les's avatar

Maybe I’m just lucky (knock on wood), but I recently traveled from Denver to LA, LA to Auckland, Auckland to Christchurch, Christchurch to McMurdo Station, and back again, and not only did all my luggage make it, it was off of all of the planes quickly. Go me.

Judi's avatar

go first class and get a “Priority” sticker ;-)

steelmarket's avatar

Over the years, I’ve watched a lot of luggage get unloaded from airplanes, and the bottom line is “organized randomness”. Your bag could be the first bag off the plane but that would put it on the bottom of a baggage cart, which in turn could be the first or last of many carts to get unload to the conveyors. I have seen many bags fall off of the conveyor, where they lay until all the other luggage passes by. Last thing the loader does is walk beside the conveyor and pick up the fallen bags.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I travel a good deal, and really your best bet is to travel smart and not check at all. If you can, limit yourself to just the two carry on items – one roll aboard type suitcase, and a larger backpack or messenger bag (instead of a smaller laptop case type bag). If you’re traveling on a smaller plane that can’t fit a rolling suitcase overhead, you should gate/plane side check it, where it will only be a few minutes wait to retrieve it when you are on the jetbridge. Gate checking also almost ensures that it won’t get lost, whereas with the process of being sent to the plane and to baggage claim, it has to go through a lot… Sometimes you really can’t help it, but when you can, it saves a good deal of time.

Snoopy's avatar

I concur w/ trying as hard as possible to carry on…..I know that is not answering your exact question.

Get the space saver bags to give you as much room as possible in your carry on. I loathe checking luggage.

In answer to you question, it seems random.

buster's avatar

Sometimes all that luggage coming down the conveyor belt starts to look the same and you might miss it the first time it comes through. I usually tie a bright colored bandana or two somewhere on my luggage so I can easily identify it, grab it, and be on my way.

Judi's avatar

I have bright orange luggage ;-)

buster's avatar

Nice Judi.

ThinkOnIt's avatar

I cannot guarantee success, but when I used to travel 80% of the time this worked for me. Buy a standard issue black wheel carry on bag. Using fabric paint, draw all over it. Filigree, crazy patterns, almost like graffiti. My bag would always come out first! I used to swear by it!

proXXi's avatar

If possible, carry on only.

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