For what is, technically, the most glamorous method of travel, flying isn’t half stressful.
There’s the whole getting there hours early thing – which often means you’re hanging around, bored out of your mind before you suddenly realise you’ve lost track of time and they’re doing the final call for your gate – there’s the total headache of the security checks, and then there’s the horrible business of actually getting on the plane itself, where stressed people are crammed together in a tin can for hours on end.
But one thing which people really seem to get het up about is how long they have to wait for their luggage when they arrive at their destination. Maybe it’s the straw that breaks the backs of the travelling camels; maybe it’s the annoyance of missing out on the first few minutes of their long-awaited holiday, but whatever it is, people hate waiting for their bags.
Baggage handler Thomas Lo Sciuto, who worked at a regional airport in the US told :
“Your best option is to be one of the last passengers to check your bags. Bags will always be loaded front to back on the bag carts so if you check in last, your bags will be in the last bag cart, which will make them the last on the aircraft, and the first off the aircraft at your destination. The same logic goes for the other end. If they are the first off the aircraft they will most likely be the first on the bag carts and then the first to be unloaded at baggage claim.”
However, if you don’t want to wait for the last moment to check in, there’s a second way.
“You can also gate check your bag so it will go on last. The downside of this method is that you will not be able to pack liquids or any other items that cannot go in a carry-on bag as you will need to bring the bag with you through the security checkpoint and to the gate.”
That’s a handy tip for those travelling out of airports that allow it.
And some extra wise words of advice:
“Also remember to be nice to your counter agents and gate agents. The friendlier you are, the more likely you will get what you want.”
There’s also one other trick: when you check your bag in, you can ask the agent if they will put a fragile sticker on it – since luggage marked fragile will often be loaded in last and given more care and attention.
So next time you bask in the glory of grabbing your bags without a moment’s delay, think of us.