Friday, September 22, 2006

Baggage claim

Now that you're not allowed to carry toothpaste or mascara onto an airplane, almost everyone checks bags. This is good news during the flight, because there is more room in the overhead compartments. It is bad news at the baggage claim.

There are two ways a flight full of people can deal with the baggage carousel:

Approach #1: Everyone stands back from the carousel about a foot, forming a large circle or oval whose circumference is large enough to accommodate everyone from the flight. Everyone can stand comfortably, can easily see the all bags as they come by, and can step forward when their bags come.

Approach #2: Everyone can try to cram themselves right up at the edge of the carousel, forming a small circle or oval whose circumference is NOT large enough to accomodate everyone. Half the people on the flight have to stand on their tiptoes or peer around people to see the bags coming. If they actually do see their bags, they have to squirm through the mass of people yelling "excuse me" and trying to get to their bags before the bags move on.

I have yet to see any flight full of people choose approach #1. Even if a few bright people are standing back, once some morons start in with approach #2, everyone else has no choice but to join in.

I encourage everyone to write to airport managers and designers and encourage them to paint some kind of lines on the floor around the carousels to tell people where to stand.


warm fuzzy said...

the answer is to have huge baggage carasuals that can accomadate everyone standing right up to it. That's they way they do it at the Billings airport. Of course, there are rarely more than 20 poeple in the baggage claim at one time, so it's a bit easier for them to do this.

Squishy Burrito said...

I don't know if this still works what with more people needing to check bags but I always found that those morons who always choose #2 also pick the spot right where the bags are coming out. If you walk a few feet to a spot where your bag will have to actually travel 3/4 of the carousel before it reaches you the crowd surprizingly dies down.