Lots of Checked Baggage


As you might expect, this ban on liquids in the aircraft cabin has resulted in a lot of extra checked baggage. I’ve heard rumors, but the Chicago Tribune is the first I’ve seen to show actually numbers.

The article shows that on Monday, Chicago/O’Hare saw nearly 61,000 bags checked, up from 46,000 the Monday before – that’s a huge increase.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, a lot more bags being checked probably means longer lines at the ticket counter. Check in online at home and then you can go straight to the baggage drop at the airport. That will save you time.

The big bottleneck that had been anticipated at security isn’t happening. People have less stuff and are moving through security very quickly. It’s baggage checking that can cause delays.

And of course, more checked bags put more stress on the system. This could mean more lost luggage, but we won’t know for sure until the DOT rankings come out in a couple months.

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3 comments on “Lots of Checked Baggage

  1. Airports are a breeze without carryons. Security is faster, boarding is much faster. All in all, it would seem like carriers could get more turns from their planes if they would restrict carryons to one realisitically sized item (not the freaking steamer trunks people try to bring) and then focus on improving the efficiency, security and speed of baggage checking and delivery.

    Any thoughts on why this is such a manual (and poorly run) part of the experience?

  2. In a perfect world, airlines would handle baggage like Fedex handles packages. The technology is certainly there for airlines to use RFID (radio frequency identification) to track bags. They could place a reader at every transfer point to keep track of exactly where each bag goes.

    The problem is the cost. Those little chips aren’t cheap enough to make it cost effective to put them on each bag yet. But the first airline to do it will make for some happy people.

    Some airlines simply haven’t had the resource to upgrade their baggage operation, like US Airways at Philly. They let that go for so long that only now with the America West merger do they have the money to fix it.

    In other cases, like Denver, they installed a new cool state-of-the-art system only to have it fail miserably. In Denver, they ended up turning it off completely.

    So there’s definitely room for airlines to differentiate themselves here. The question is when will it be deemed cost effective?

  3. Amen, anon. One, I feel quite liberated without dragging all that crap. Two, it’s just weird to see people not fighting over the overhead bins. I’ve traveled 3 times since the new regs were in place, and I haven’t had one problem. TSA has been fast and courteous and my bags have been delivered quickly. I hope it stays this way forever!!!

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