What Happens To Your Airport Bags?
I bet you’ve always wondered when you’ve checked in your luggage at the airport, where it goes and the magical process of how it shows up at your destination. Most of us have seen the iconic movie Toy Story where the bags are amongst various conveyer belts, which are mechanically triggered to get your bag directed to the correct plane that they’re lugged onto - this isn’t too far from the truth. However I’ll be sharing the secrets on what goes on behind the check in desk with GSE Solutions which are an Aviation Spares & Repairs service who have given me all the info on how your bags transition throughout the airport to give you re-assurance that your suitcases are in good hands.
You know the drill, after showing your boarding pass, passport and weigh your luggage and have a tag placed onto it, you anticipate that you personal goods will show up on the other side.
So your luggage tag will have a barcode that’s distinctive to what flight it’s intended to be shipped onto. That very special barcode will direct the route that it takes, from check in till it’s loaded into the storage under the plane.
After check in, it enters a sophisticated world of conveyer belts - which is an incredibly complex piece of engineering so that it takes the correct routes from one side of the airport to the next. I bet you didn’t know also that if there’s a blockage it automatically redirects all the luggage onto a new route to ensure it makes it with enough time till the plane leaves the airport.
T2 at Manchester Airport has around eight miles of luggage and conveyor belts - crazy right?
Obviously every bag goes through an array of security, which includes X ray machines to ensure that prohibited items aren’t carried on board. This is for the safety of both passengers and the staff on the plane. Regulations are always get stricter to ensure the safety of everyone.
Following through from all the checks, your baggage finally comes into contact with airport staff, where it’ll be loaded onto a airport luggage cart and driven to the plane you’ll be boarding, where there’s a conveyer belt which directs it up to the plane, and placed into storage ready for takeoff.
Finally now that your luggage has landed, it’ll be placed onto a different baggage handling system, which is delivered to a looping carousel where you will greet your luggage in your final destination. Even if you’re the final person off the plane, or head to the toilets whilst the baggage is circulating it’ll always loop back around until you’ve picked up the luggage - no bags are taken off by airport staff unless there isn’t a person to collect them.
So that’s exactly how your bags are shipped from A to B - it’s super fascinating the many different adventures that it takes to ensure that you’ll always find your bag in your final destination.