General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Airline "why" question #1: baggage.

Asked by Jeruba (48719points) May 22nd, 2009

How come when the bags come down the chute onto the carousel, practically every one of them that has a front and a back (or a top and a bottom) is wrong side up? The bottom or back, without the pockets and other features, is usually not distinctive. They’re much harder to recognize upside down. Also, they’re typically lying on their contoured side instead of their flat side. Why don’t they put them on the conveyor so that they’ll come out right side up?

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8 Answers

eponymoushipster's avatar

the pockets provide more grippage on the rubber belts?

PandoraBoxx's avatar

It’s like dropping buttered toast or peanut butter, and always seems to land with the messy side towards the floor?

susanc's avatar

Baggage handlers are sociopaths?

eponymoushipster's avatar

@susanc that’s a given. they’re also kleptos

YARNLADY's avatar

Baggage is not handled by people. My Dad helped design the baggage system at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport in the 1970’s. It was entirely automated. The bin is filled by opening a trap door in the airplane, then pulled over to the loader, where it is dumped on the feed bin, which bumps the luggage onto a conveyor belt or rollers. The luggage then continues through a maze to the proper carousel.

casheroo's avatar

Another thing, people only flip over the ones that are the same color of their see if it’s their own baggage. But, they crowd all up front, so you can’t even get to see. I hate baggage claims…possibly more than the post office.

Les's avatar

I believe they put them on the belt that way so they don’t roll around on the belt. Most wheels are attached near what is the back of the luggage (the side that they put facing up). If it was placed wheel side down, the bags may slip down the conveyor belt as the bags are going up or down.

Jeruba's avatar

@Les, that answer makes sense. I do think this applies mostly to wheeled baggage, now that you mention it.

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