It’s late night at the airport and you’re the only one left standing at the baggage couresel, waiting for your luggage to arrive. The same blue duffel passes you like a broken record. Reality sinks in. Your baggage is lost. Tears form. Then, a rustling of rubber flaps. A form begins to emerge from the wall. Could it be, your lost bag? No, it is a man, a baggage handler man, covered in dust. He pats himself off and plants himself before you and begins a soliloquy. He is here to tell you you the 10 ten things you need to know to keep your bags from getting lost:
“10. Don’t over pack your bags.
Over packing your bags to the point where they are bulging will burst when thrown or get caught in the conveyer belt because of its size. When they do burst no one wants to zipper it back up, it is usually put aside until it gets less busy. The more streamline your bag is the safer you are.
9. The TSA is your enemy.
The TSA’s job is to be nosy. TSA will scan your bag, and if there is something amiss they will open it, usually laugh at its contents, and try to pack it back up. If you have an overstuffed bag, they won’t bother trying to zip it back up. They will spend 5 minutes wrapping your bag with tape, like a mummy.
8. Zippers, Locks and Straps are your enemy.
Zippers, Locks and Straps to the conveyer system are like anchors if they get stuck on something. You run a good chance of damaging your bag, bursting your bag, or having your bag lost. Take off any straps that are loose, zippers and locks should be on the top under your handle, not the side.
7. The Airline Employees are your friends.
With all of the recent news of theft keep in mind it’s not actually the airline employees stealing. I’m not saying they don’t or ever have or actually do, but some of these employees try their hardest to get your bag to its destination with you.
6. “Airport workers” are your enemy.
Your bag usually changes hands quickly a few times in major airports, by different companies; it’s a cost cutting move. Airport workers you can safely say are not the highest quality people, or the smartest people for that matter. They keep weird hours and get paid like crap.
5. Airports are old and dirty and filled with asbestos.
Whether it’s a cheap duffel bag or a coach suitcase, it all gets treated the same. It all goes down the same dirty belts and dirty planes. That said Baby car seats are no exception to the dirtiness. Wrap them in plastic or buy a cover for them.
4. Be on time!
Your bag is not likely to make it through this process if you are within an hour of take-off.
3. Fragile ha!
Sure, go ahead and put a fragile sticker on your suitcase. But I’m not going to lie — there are bad apples out there, and they might see that fragile sticker and either make a joke or even treat the bag a little rougher
2. God forbid your bags causes a jam.
Like in # 10, the more streamline your bag is the safer you are. However, if your bag causes a jam the whole system stops. There is a 5 minute window for that jam to be cleared. I’m not sure what happens if it takes longer than 5 minutes but it’s a big deal. It takes 1 minute for someone to acknolgde the jam, 1-3 minutes to run to the jam, another 1-2 minutes to find the bag. More or less Linc will do whatever it takes, including cutting your bag to clear a jam.
1. Everyone hates your bag.
Maybe southwest really loves your bags, JetBlue seems to love their employees, and AA has automated baggage, but seriously everyone hates your bag and depending on whim they will go out of their way to help you.
Regarding JFK, everything in Delta @ JFk is contracted out. EVERYTHING.
As of December 15th a new Company called Delta Global Services (DGS) took over the baggage screening rooms, and conveyer systems. Previously, it was maintained by two companies. Aviation Safeguards and Linc Facility Services.
The main difference, is of course cash, DGS is paying its workers $7.75 with no benefits. Aviation was paid at $8.25 and Linc was paid $10+ an hour for this job.
Those companies manned the Baggage screening rooms are where TSA screens your bags before they board your plane.
Quickly let me take you through the process.
When you give your bag to the skycaps or the ticket agent it goes on the magic belt behind them. That leads directly into the baggage screening room. It was Aviation safeguard responsibility to load and unload the bags for TSA and Linc facility services responsibility to load the conveyer and place a barcode on your bag for the conveyer to read. A separate unit of Linc is the maintenance contractor for Terminals 2/3 & 4. Once loaded onto the conveyer it travels to its respective pier for Delta to double check and load their vehicles and then onto the plane.
98-99% of your bags make it to the piers. What affects this are the:
* Linc barcode employees -they may place the wrong barcode on your bag, delaying your bag.
* The age of the conveyer – the conveyer is old and may jam your bag in the system.
From there another 1-2% don’t make it on the plane.
Although the odds are with you, to arrive with your bags, these notes will help you arrive with all of your bags.
-Anonymous baggage handler”