Sure, it’s amazing that you can circumnavigate the globe thousands of miles in the air like a huge, clumsy bird. But to do that, you must subject yourself to pat-downs, cramped seating and terrible food.
Once you’ve arrived where you’re headed, you want to get out of there as quickly as possible – but more often than not, you have to wait around for your bags to turn up like a late houseguest.
A baggage handler at a regional US airport revealed how it’s done on Quora.
Thomas Lo Scuito wrote: ‘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.’
Not a last-minute kind of person? That’s OK! There’s another option.
‘You can also gate check your bag so it will go on last. The downside of that 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.’
And of course: ‘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.’ Which is good advice for everything in life, not just at the airport.
One extra tip: ask the airline staff to put a ‘fragile’ sticker on your suitcase. Items labelled this way are handled more carefully that others, which can result in your bags not being stuffed deep into the hold, but placed delicately on top.