Lost Luggage – Did Your Bags Miss Your Flight?

Ever wonder why your luggage doesn’t make your flight even though you do? And even when it seems there was more than enough time for it to have done so شركة-نقل-عفش-الكويت Well, this airline manager of over seven years can give you some insight as to why the bag containing all your prized possessions was left on the ramp or back in the luggage assembly area rather than put on board your flight.    

Some of the reasons for why that very expensive Tumi garment bag of yours never made the flight, as we say in the industry, can seem nonsensical or even downright sinister, but they’re really not. Well, okay…the nonsensical thing I make no promises about. But in 99.99 percent of all cases, there’s nothing actually sinister going on, so you have that going for you, I guess.    

It’s just that sometimes, despite the best efforts of almost everybody involved in the luggage process, some employee somewhere along the line might fail to load the bag. We call all luggage bags, by the way, not luggage.     

Consider the above lesson Number One in the airline jargon class. Learn to use it correctly, and you might be able to buffalo an airline luggage service agent into going the extra mile to try to find the bag, after it’s been mis-connected and doesn’t show up down at the bag claim area.     

After your bag has been tagged (and make sure it’s tagged all the way to your final destination), it usually undergoes a process called induction. No, this isn’t some military thing, where your bag ends up in Vietnam, slinging a rifle in some real-life Oliver Stone war movie. It’s actually the point where you no longer have any control over what’s done to the bag, and by whom. It’ll now go through a maze of laser encoders and bar code readers, and will usually make it to the proper bag makeup room almost every single time.    

You just heard a term in the previous paragraph you may not understand, and that’s bag makeup. In large airports and hubs, there could be a few dozen of these rooms. They all have as their mission the receipt of bags which have gone through that maze before landing in the tender hands of some airline baggage handler working down below the ticket counter areas.     

Take a moment to picture the complexity of such a system. There are literally miles of conveyors and input-output belts, all plopping bags down at various points along the way. If you think there’s a better way to do it, by all means patent it and then contact the airlines. They’d love to hear from you. But in an airport in which hundreds of flights a day leave, to many destinations, it’s the best way to handle bag sortation.    

And bag sortation is where it can all go wrong for your travel case. It could get sorted to the wrong bag makeup room (we call them piers) and then be sent to what’s called “re-route.” Oftentimes, the bag will still make your flight, just like you did.     

But sometimes, after lying around in the wrong pier for awhile, it just can’t be re-routed to your flight in time. This is even though almost every airline employee I ever worked with out on the airline tarmac busted his or her behind to try to get it to your plane.     

To be honest, though, there are just some occasions when a baggage handler will flat-out forego a chance to load the bag, especially if it comes out in the last three minutes before scheduled departure. Believe me, also, when I say the only thing airlines hate as much as leaving bags off flights is a plane leaving the gate past departure time.     

Hey, aircraft don’t make an airline any money sitting on the ground, usually. No, they need to be in the air, flying many routes over the course of a business day. And your bag may become a casualty of the triage process in order to preserve on time.      

So, though it may be cold comfort if your bag didn’t make the flight, know that airlines handle hundreds of thousands of them a day. And the vast majority will make it onto their designated flights and to their final destinations. Hold onto that fact when or if your bag doesn’t show up at the baggage claim carousels, and you might not pop a blood vessel in rage. Or you might. The choice is yours.

Tony Guerra: Author, Freelance Writer, Copywriter, Retired Military Officer, Former Airline Manager, Triathlete, Martial Artist, Musician.

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