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(Slate)   A history of how airlines have developed more high-tech methods to lose your luggage   (slate.com) divider line 27
    More: Interesting, Maya Angelou, International Air Transport Association, airlines, fluid dynamics, luggage, Pan Am  
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6092 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Oct 2012 at 7:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-07 05:59:11 PM
Interesting article. The Aviation labels gallery linked in the article looks like a good theme for a Photoshop contest.
 
2012-10-07 07:19:52 PM
I've never been on an airline flight before. The more I read about things like this (including TSA, etc), the happier I am about that.
 
2012-10-07 07:23:07 PM

xl5150: I've never been on an airline flight before. The more I read about things like this (including TSA, etc), the happier I am about that.


I've flown plenty of times, but I would rather drive.
This summer, our 10-day drive from the East Coast to Alaska was much better than our flight home.

/going to Russia next year
//so we were scouting the road from Sarah Palin's house
 
2012-10-07 07:25:28 PM
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2012-10-07 07:27:04 PM
I'm flying to the Excited States tomorrow and need to check one bag, so I'm really getting a kic.... Well, you know how the rest of that goes.
 
2012-10-07 07:56:36 PM
Written by a pilot-who's luggage is never lost - ever
 
2012-10-07 08:21:45 PM
I'm so worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow
 
2012-10-07 08:56:10 PM

xl5150: I've never been on an airline flight before. The more I read about things like this (including TSA, etc), the happier I am about that.


I do about 20 flights a year for work and leisure.

75% of the complaints come from people who fly once a year during Thanksgiving when everything is totally nuts due to it being the biggest travel period of the year.

Despite the occasional news story about something egregious a TSA employee does, I find most to be innocuous. It's very rare that I don't breeze through security without any problems.
 
2012-10-07 08:57:38 PM
I've flown my entire life.

Never ever lost any bags.
 
2012-10-07 08:57:49 PM
Eh, I'd say the real issues is how long it can take to get your bag.

I haven't checked a bag since 2007. Even if I'm traveling for over a week, I rather pay to do laundry.

When I get back from a long trip, the last thing I want to do is wait an hour for my bag.
 
2012-10-07 09:02:43 PM

xl5150: I've never been on an airline flight before. The more I read about things like this (including TSA, etc), the happier I am about that.


Agreed. I used to fly first class... but I got fed up with having to smell the poor people walk past me while I was trying to enjoy my cocktail. Disgusting.

I highly recommend the private jet... I'm not sure why more people don't do it.
 
2012-10-07 10:19:02 PM
I had one of my bags lost on a United airlines flight. They were pretty helpful and they located it within a couple minutes. The thing I couldn't understand is if they were able to locate my bag that quickly why was it so difficult to get it on the correct plane? I gave the girl my baggage claim ticket she scanned it and within a few seconds she knew exactly where it was. Wouldn't they scan the bag the same way to put it on the correct flight?
 
2012-10-07 10:27:35 PM

Marcintosh: Written by a pilot-who's luggage is never lost - ever


Well, it's not like they're checking bags or anything. But I think that's probably more than offset by having every person they ever meet launch into their top ten airline horror stories.

Plus, for the first half of their career, they're paid less than the parking lot shuttle driver who dropped you off. It must be a lot of fun, because it's a pretty high skill set to be making such crap wages for so long.
 
2012-10-07 10:43:53 PM
How 'bout this- checked bags at John Wayne in orange county. apparently they avoided the changeover at
O'Hare because they had arrived in Savannah, Ga. something like two hours BEFORE we did. pretty
cool if you ask me....
 
2012-10-07 11:09:42 PM
The tag's only as good as the person checking your bags. Try a multi-stop trip through Africa and see how often your baggage shows up at the carousel.
 
2012-10-07 11:12:15 PM
I've had my bags get lost at LEAST a quarter of the times I've traveled. For this reason, I've learned to never pack anything important in luggage. First time they did it I had a mad scramble to try and get a prescription filled at a pharmacy in Manhattan otherwise I'd go loopy.

Well, I'm loopy anyways. The medication just makes it slightly less fun.
 
2012-10-07 11:27:47 PM

xl5150: I've never been on an airline flight before. The more I read about things like this (including TSA, etc), the happier I am about that.


No one has taken the bait yet. You sir, are slipping.
 
2012-10-07 11:35:12 PM

Gyrfalcon: I've flown my entire life.


Aren't your arms really tired?
 
2012-10-07 11:55:28 PM

whatshisname: The tag's only as good as the person checking your bags. Try a multi-stop trip through Africa and see how often your baggage shows up at the carousel.


Africa is a wonderful place to learn that a zipper can be defeated by a ballpoint pen, then sealed up with no damage (and less valuables.)
 
2012-10-08 12:08:13 AM

titwrench: I had one of my bags lost on a United airlines flight. They were pretty helpful and they located it within a couple minutes. The thing I couldn't understand is if they were able to locate my bag that quickly why was it so difficult to get it on the correct plane? I gave the girl my baggage claim ticket she scanned it and within a few seconds she knew exactly where it was. Wouldn't they scan the bag the same way to put it on the correct flight?


You've obviously never had the "pleasure" of dealing with the rampers in IAD (a United hub). There is a reason we flight crews jokingly refer to the Ethiopian and South African airlines' planes parked there as the "crew shuttle." You need to speak in a series of clicks & whistles to converse with these idiots.

Those are the folks moving your bag around.

Had a fun 5 minute conversation once with a ramper where the only 3 words I said were stairs, door, and please. Each time, I pointed to said object (the airstairs, my airplane, and a look to heavens to see if some god would help me). Every time his response, in broken and heavily accented english, was, "I no understand."
 
2012-10-08 12:36:54 AM
Lost luggage is a nuissance but for the most part I am happy as long as they get me back on the ground in one piece. All else is secondary.
 
2012-10-08 12:38:41 AM

whatshisname: Gyrfalcon: I've flown my entire life.


Aren't your arms really tired?


I'd drive, but I don't have enough golf clubs.
 
MrT
2012-10-08 12:54:14 AM

thornhill: Despite the occasional news story about something egregious a TSA employee does, I find most to be innocuous. It's very rare that I don't breeze through security without any problems.


I normally find flying relatively painless. Flying with American Airlines is another matter though. I've nearly missed a flight with AA because the "bag drop" queue was nearly an hour long. And there I was thinking that online check in was supposed to save you time.
 
2012-10-08 02:09:43 AM

titwrench: I had one of my bags lost on a United airlines flight. They were pretty helpful and they located it within a couple minutes. The thing I couldn't understand is if they were able to locate my bag that quickly why was it so difficult to get it on the correct plane? I gave the girl my baggage claim ticket she scanned it and within a few seconds she knew exactly where it was. Wouldn't they scan the bag the same way to put it on the correct flight?


The computer system merely tracks where the bag was last scanned. If the bag was not scanned onto the flight you were on, then the agent you talked to would simply notice that it was not scanned onto your flight. Likewise, if it were scanned onto the wrong flight, the agent would know that it is in the wrong city. Each leg of the bags journey is tracked digitally.

As for why they couldn't get it onto the plane in the first place, the reasons are endless. The most common that I notice where I work (a large hub) is because the connection time between a passengers two flights is too small for the plane to be parked, all of the bags unloaded, and then for the bag runner to drive them all where they need to go (a connection runner can make up to 20 stops with a train of bags). This isn't helped when the inbound and outbound flights for that bag are on opposite sides of the airport. Other reasons are usually due to human error. Bags might get sorted into the wrong carts and wind up at the wrong flights, especially when the bag runner is delivering to two flights with similar airport codes (I went to SNA but my bag is in SAN!!!). Some bag runners are fat and lazy. Especially when unionized. Sometimes bags get thrown into carts for a later flight to your destination. Mistakes happen. People take them personally. Life goes on.

The author was correct to note how tremendous in scale the airline industry is in America. I go into work every day amazed that as much goes right as it does. There are a LOT of moving parts at an airport, all controlled by different sub-contractors with differently trained workers and little communication.
 
2012-10-08 06:45:44 AM

alexanderplatz: Interesting article. The Aviation labels gallery linked in the article looks like a good theme for a Photoshop contest.


Ooo, I love this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wavesjax/274600507/in/set-721575943369081 57
 
2012-10-08 04:25:58 PM

Orion5k: The computer system merely tracks where the bag was last scanned. If the bag was not scanned onto the flight you were on, then the agent you talked to would simply notice that it was not scanned onto your flight. Likewise, if it were scanned onto the wrong flight, the agent would know that it is in the wrong city. Each leg of the bags journey is tracked digitally.


I think the question is, they know you're on the flight. They know the codes on the tags you used. They know where you're going. So... when someone tried to scan it into the wrong flight why didn't it beep, or buzz, or bloop, or ring, or vibrate, or ANYTHING to say "hey, wrong flight"? When it WASN'T scanned for the flight you WERE on, why didn't something say "hey uh, we're a bag short on this flight?" The technology doesn't just exist, it's mundane, inventory control systems are used all over the damn place. When was the last time you heard "Amazon sent me the wrong item"? I'm sure it happens but not enough for everyone to have or know someone who has a story about it.
 
2012-10-08 06:35:16 PM
I'm liking the idea of a permanent RFID chip in a bag. Register it with the airlines at check in for you flight and away you go. Additional benefits can be had for bell services at hotels. Also could benefit other luggage based things, like a cruise ship.
 
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