Why we wait for baggage

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Uncategorized
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I was flying from Montreal to West Palm Beach Florida yesterday, with a connection in Newark NJ. As we’re exiting the aircraft into the access tunnel, there’s about 15 people waiting for the skycheck luggage. One of the groundcrew workers looks at me, exasperated, and says “Why is everyone waiting?” I tell her: “Well, no one trusts the airlines anymore to get their luggage to final destination so everyone brings it on the plane themselves. The airlines’ own inefficiency has created this situation.” She then rolled her eyes as if we were all nothing but a nuisance to her.

My assessment was confirmed a few hours later when we boarded the 757 on the next leg of my journey. Some of the bags people are dragging onto the plane would cause a hernia to an all star wrestler. Little wee women are trying to lug these onto the plane and to put them into the overhead bins. Everyone looks at everyone else knowingly, because if the airlines could get our bags to the right place, we’d all be travelling a little lighter.

Here’s an idea! What if an airline decided to absolutely guarantee that travellers’ luggage would get to the right destination on time? Maybe that could set them apart. I’ll bet thought that most of them will just continue with the same lame excuses rather than try to differentiate themselves in this demanding environment. I would certainly consider them for my next flight.

© 2011 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted for non-commercial purposes with full and proper attribution.

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