Take a photo of your luggage before you let it disappear into that black void. The black void, we've all seen it, where you've placed your luggage onto the moving belt (wheels up, of course) and watched it make its way to the rubber curtains where it gently passes through to the other side. But just what is on the other side - does it drop into a big metal container and get whisked away. Does it travel down an amazing route where it is gently placed into a cargo vehicle? All I know is that it just disappears.
- Yes it is tagged.
- Yes it is secure.
- Yes it is packed correctly.
- But every now and then it simply doesn't make its way to the other side.
- It missed a connection.
- It missed a flight (so what if your other bag, checked in at the very same time, made it to you).
- It got caught up in some strange check and will be arriving on the next flight.
- Its luggage tag dropped off.
It doesn't matter. All you know is that you are standing on the other end, after a 1hr, 5 hour or 3 day trip, waiting for your bag to magically appear. Sometimes is arrives within minutes but more often or not you are cooling your heels, along with dozens of other passengers, praying that the carousel will just start.
According to Wikipedia: A baggage carousel is a device, generally at an airport, that delivers checked luggage to the passengers at the baggage claim area at their final destination. Not all airports use these devices.
The red flashing light starts, oh good, you silently pray, the bags should be arriving shortly.
New energy is released into the room, everyone relaxes just for a moment and, then, the light goes off and the baggage carousel shuts off - but not beofre only one or two lonely bags (with their priority tags) has tumbled its way down the ramp and onto the rotating shelf.
You wait some more.
Check your messages.
Go grab a free cart (thank you Vancouver airport for having free carts).
And hear the hopeful sound of the carousel starting up.
Bags start to tumble out.
Every now and then you wonder how a pair of underwear has made its way to the conveyor belt. And you are pleased that those aren't your undies.
Bags land on top of other bags, black, more black, does everyone has a black suitcase?
They keep coming.
You spy one of your bags.
Finally no more.
And you are left standing there wondering about your bag.
You finally head over to the lost and found counter for the airline you came in on.
And they start to ask the questions: luggage tag number, flight number, was your name on the bag, and so forth. If you are lucky they locate it on their system. If not, well then more questions, colour, type, size, and so forth.
I don't know about you but often I'll have to think if I took the blue suitcase or was it the red one? And I'm not exactly sure how to describe it. Well yes it had wheels (don't they all now?) and it was a particular shade of blue.
Now if you took a photo with it, you now just need to pull out your cell phone, go to the gallery and find that photo that clearly shows which bag never made it. Perfect. So much easier than trying describe some funky bag.
Travel tip: Take a selfie with your luggage