Between volcanic interruptions, baggage fee increases, and booking fees beginning to resemble TicketMaster, it’s not like we don’t have a shortage of travel related topics to gripe about these days. However, I’m not going to let that stop me from throwing my own pet peeve onto the heap: Crowding the Baggage Claim:
Why do so many travelers like to stand against the baggage claim? Based on my anecdotal research, this does not seem to make one’s bag pop out of the bowels of the airport any faster.
It doesn’t appear, for the most part, to be a case of paranoia where people think others will snap their bag from the claim area and make for the door. There is no 5 second rule on claiming your bag at the baggage claim.
Generally, what ends up happening is this:
Only a handful of people can get first-row baggage claim crowding positions, so everyone else had to peak around them for their bags. When the back rows see their bags, they then have to squeeze their way through the first-row crowd. People are generally unskilled at picking their bags off a moving surface, so they get dragged along a bit, pushing the first row crowders along with them. The first row crowders then become frustrated with the people who are doing a poor job removing their bags, rather than realizing that they wouldn’t have been bumped in the first place had they just given others some space.
I’m not positive that this would help, but it might. Airports could put a line on the ground a few feet back from the carousels that says “wait here”. Ideally it would be close enough that people could hop over the line to check the tags on bags that look like their own, but far enough away that people grabbing bags off the carousel would no longer have to fight the crowd while wrestling their bags from the carousel.
Where do I fall into the crowding scene? I’m the guy tethered to an outlet in the claim area trying to put some life back into my cell phone.