Round and round the carousel goes; where your bag isn’t, the airline knows

I hate to check bags. I hate the wait to see if the airline has lost my bag. And the wait to talk to the overworked agents who have to deal with grumpy customers.

Because of the idiotic new “security” rules, I checked a bag on my recent trip to Dublin. After more than 40 minutes of watching the bags go round and round I decided mine wasn’t coming and I went to file a report. Another 15 or so minutes of waiting in line got me to the counter where the agent instantly pronounced that my bag was on the next flight.

With positive passenger bag match, the airlines are required to verify that passenger bags loaded on a plane match the passenger manifest. In many cases, they know that your bag isn’t on the plane before it even takes off.

They should share that information with you, instead of making you wait around the carousel for bags that they know won’t be arriving. Maybe an announcement on the flight or a display next to the baggage carousel indicating whose bags didn’t make the flight. They could be even more proactive and have the paperwork started when you arrive at the baggage office.

Although positive-bag match is a fake security measure (it presupposes that terrorists wouldn’t commit suicide), as long as it is in place, airlines should use the data it generates to better serve customers.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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