Air travelers, a lot has changed since 9/11. Do you remember some airports before 9/11 had those “security” people who checked your luggage claim checks against the bags you were taking with you? Where are they now? Who is watching out for your luggage until you claim it at the carousel?
The answer is NOONE is watching out for your luggage anymore or anywhere that I have heard of!! This means your bags are at risk until you pick them up yourself………. Why you ask? and what should you do? Allow me to offer some expert advise and clarification of what changed and why.
First of all, the airlines paid for the security companies that checked baggage checks against your luggage. After 9/11 the government abolished privotized security companies.
Two things came into play in 2001, the crash of the tech market and the terrorist attacks against our nation and the commercial airlines. The airlines were already suffering financially due to the loss of a great deal of business travelers from the tech market crash. Business travelers are the bread and butter to the airlines because they pay the last minute higher priced air fare. Second was the entire nations aviation was halted for the first time in our nations history for 3 days before the first flight resumed.
Costs had to be evaluated and money had to be saved now. One of the first things to go was the baggage ID checkers. Then many airline employees lost their jobs as well due to reductions in force (RIF)
Baggage could stand on its own. Also the luggage security people did not exist at all airports nationwide. Many baggage claim areas at many airports did not have the design to coral so many travelers in a baggage area becuase there also had to be appropriate fire exits etc. There were certain safety criteria that had to be in place for the coral system to effectively work.
There was one airport that had security inspectors in place and a theft ring evloved within the baggage check ID inspectors and they were targeting golf clubs.
I highly doubt you will see this type of security return as airlines are focused mainly on their two highest costs, fuel and labor. And that is why you have to take control and responsiblity for your luggage when you travel. Noone has your best interest at hand with your luggage except you.
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Don’t pack anything you cannot afford to lose, live without, or seal the deal without it!
- When you exit the aircraft, make a mad dash to the baggage carousel.
- If you have to make a restroom stop, do it quickly and preferably once you arrive to the baggage carousel, or take turns if you are with your family, group, or travel companion.
- Most off-loads of baggage take about 20-25 minutes to arrive to the baggage carousel depending on how many passengers and bags are on your flight will determine more or less time as will the size of the airport and distance from the gate to the terminal. Small airports take less time to get your bags to the carousel than larger airports will.
- Mark your luggage so it stands out from the crowd, secure ribbons, colored tape etc. to help you identify it quickly.
- Stand at the beginning area of the baggage carousel where the bags come out so your luggage does not get caught up traveling around the carousel where others may get to it before you do.
- If you have an oversize bag such as golf clubs, bikes, surfboards, or other such oversized checked items, ask your airline representative where you can retrieve your item as in most cases a different location for delivery of your item will bu used to drop the items than the carousel where regular sized bags are off-loaded.
- DO NOT stop to eat, have a meeting, wait for a friend to arrive on their flight, shop, get coffee etc.
- Hesitation on your part leaves an open opportunity to would be petty thieves to roll off with your luggage and personal property.
- Maintain vigilance at all times while waiting for your luggage to arrive.
- When you have your luggage, do not leave it unattended or turn your back on it. I did that once when I had the old heavy camcorder in the large metal case and set it at my feet then turned my back to it without thinking in a small airport, when I turned around, it was gone, stolen while just inches away from me while I had my back turned. Don’t let it happen to you.
Doing these things will certainly enhance your luggage safety at the carousel. You can read more about these valauble tips and more information you should know when you travel at www.TheEmptyCarousel.com
Safe and happy travels where ever they take you and remember you can always post a comment here or at the website listed above. My advice is always free through these venues and by educating youself on what you can do to protect your property and understanding the entire baggage process will not only benefit you but the entire system of air travel and all parties involved.
Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Gide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage
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When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog…. « Airtravelluggageconsultant WeblogRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
When you pack your luggage, do you know what your doing? This elderly woman did not have a clue she packed her husband and his dog….
While working as an airline baggage service manager, I received a call one day from a woman who said her bag was lost, that is not uncommon these days as many of you know. She was frantic, so I did what I did best, used empathy (sincerely) and listened to what her itinerary was etc. From Maine on airline “A” then connecting to another airline “B” of which the two are not associated you see. But carrier “B” being the final carrier accepts responsibility even though when the dust settled, airline “A” created all the problems to begin with.
So I listened to this nice elderly lady and then told her that everything would be ok and if the bag was not found in 30 days from the date of loss, I would buy her a new bag and replace the contents that would be covered by my airline’s “Contract of Carriage” (Do you know what this is?) And of course, items that are not covered certainly would pertain to what she had packed in her luggage in this case……………. Yes, you already have the clue from the tag line.
Unknowingly, she had packed her husbands remains and that of his favorite dog to take to their vacation home and sprinkle his and doggies remains together per his dying wish and a good wish.
She thought anything would be safe in her checked luggage, even her beloved husband and doggies ashes. So I offered her my home phone number to call me when ever she needed to while I did my best to locate the checked bag that mysteriously disappeared. She continued calling and crying and of course her distraught sons one who is a reporter and the other an attorney were preparing to put my company out of business.
I did all I could to find her beloved loved ones but to no avail. Finally 30 days later, airline “A” called my customer at home and told her “Are you missing a bag” Oh my!! yes with tears streaming down her eyes so plans were made to express mail her loved ones to her where she lived.
That was the happy part of this story, although tragedy was avoided, elderly customer called me to chew me a new back side and told me I did nothing to find her bag and loved ones because airline “A” had the bag for 30 days. Here in lies the problem, since it came to be that airline “A” never entered her bag into the world wide lost luggage computer system that most airlines use, nor did they use the ID tag she had on the bag with her name, address, and phone number until 30 days later! You may also be asking why the lost luggage store in Alabama stocks its shelves with 7000 of your lost luggage items every day for resale.
You see, when bags are delayed, lost, damaged, or pilfered, it does help to understand the process and your rights, what a Contract of Carriage is and what it covers. Allow me to help you with my new book on this topic specifically written to turn the tide of this growing problem. Go on and check it out plus I will offer you free consulting through my website or here. Safe travels to you always.
Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage
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