We don’t know about you, but one thing that we always worry about when it comes to a holiday abroad is ‘What are we going to do if the suitcase gets lost?’
Luckily, it’s not something we’ve ever had to deal with as – even though there have been occasions when it’s been the last case to appear and the panic levels have risen – our luggage has always joined us at it’s end destination.
Now one thing that we haven’t really considered is just how much work goes into making sure that that suitcase has followed us through the airport onto the right plane, and has then been delivered back to us at the other end.
Let’s just say it’s a lot more than simply being thrown onto a trolley, taken out the plane and loaded onboard – particularly when you consider just how many bags an airport will have to deal with.
Heathrow Airport for example dealt with a daily average of more than 206,000 passengers per day in 2016 – which is a hell of a lot of suitcases to reunite with the right person.
Which begs the question, how do our cases get where they need to be?
When you head for the check-in desk and your suitcase goes onto the conveyor belt, you don’t see it again until it reaches the arrival hall at the other end of your trip but it’s safe to say that your luggage has been on a much more action-packed journey…
Once you’ve checked in, your luggage gets given its own special barcode that details where you are going and on which flight. As soon as it disappears from view, it then heads off through the airport via a special network of conveyor belts to reach the workers who are then responsible for taking them out onto the plane.
Sounds simple enough?
You might take an alternative view if you watch the video below, which was filmed at Manchester Airport, to give an idea of the kind of trip your luggage will take.
More than eight miles of baggage belts are located in terminal two alone and the length of the journey might go some way towards explaining why you sometimes face a wait for your case…