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Let's Talk About "Priority Handling"  
User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4274 times:

Alright, here's how it goes. I work for an airline that doesn't offer "priority handling" of luggage. Nor, have I ever obtained frequent flier statues to earn these privileges; thank you non-reving. Yet, everyday I see bags with these priority handling tags on them from other airlines. I also see other airlines treating the bags the same as they do the rest, i.e. not putting them on the belt first, not separating them into a different bin on the a/c, etc.

So basically, please explain to me how your airline handles these bags differently. Obviously they're not going to be screened any quicker by the TSA or other responsible agency depending on country of origin. I can see them maybe going into a different container on int'l flights and being offloaded first, but that's about it.

NTS


United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4253 times:

It's a myth for the most part. The little orange tags stuck to your bagtags are there to make the passenger feel privileged, but once the bag disappears into the gaping maw of the terminal, they mean about diddly. Automated baggage handling systems don't recognise them, the bag just goes into whichever bin happens to be handy, and gets loaded onto the aircraft as and when.

User currently offlineINTENSS From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 317 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4023 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (reply 1):
It's a myth for the most part. The little orange tags stuck to your bagtags are there to make the passenger feel privileged, but once the bag disappears into the gaping maw of the terminal, they mean about diddly. Automated baggage handling systems don't recognise them, the bag just goes into whichever bin happens to be handy, and gets loaded onto the aircraft as and when.


That is incorrect. At SFB, every UK charter company had a priority baggage system. These bags would be loaded into separate containers and would be loaded on to the aircraft last so that they could be unloaded first at their destinations in the UK....thus the "priority" passengers would receive their bags first off the belt.

It was the same for aircraft arriving INTO the SFB from the UK. Priority cans off first....dumped first onto the belts.

We had our share of carriers as well... Air Atlanta, Thomas Cook, Britannia, First Choice, MyTravel, and Monarch.

Don't know about the skeds though...

-Rich


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3994 times:

Quoting INTENSS (reply 2):
At SFB, every UK charter company had a priority baggage system


But WHYYY ?? UK Charter flights are wall-to-wall cattle class, they don't have FFP's, why would they care about whose bags come off first ? Unless its for their pseudo "premium" products where you get 0.25 inches extra legroom and 3 choices of awful meal instead of 2. Hardly worth the bother, I'd say.


User currently offlineFlyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3960 times:

I am a CO Platinum Elite and the Elite tag that gets put on the bags each time you check in does indeed work...most of the time. I have found that at most destinations my bag is always one of the first delivered to the carousel. In a few airports it does not seem to make any difference. One CO employee told me that at the airports where the baggage is handled by contract employees, they have had a little more trouble getting the system to work.

When it first started, I would agree with that assessment. Now, even the contract destinations are doing better. In the last 20 or so flights that I have taken, my bag has been near the first off on almost every one. Yesterday, it was the third bag down the chute.

Mike


User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24925 posts, RR: 56
Reply 5, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

JGPH1A, better service on a charter airline than you probably get on scheduled airlines anyway  Big grin


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineFlpuck6 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2122 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

I have had the pleasure of having priority tags on my bags a few time with a major European company. While they haven't been the very first bags on to the baggage belt, they were certainly among the very first few.

It's easier with containerised aircraft because airlines "usually" dedicate one container exclusively for Priority handling. That container is also loaded right at the doorway, with the exception of short connection containers in which case the Priority container would be right behind the short connection one(s).



Bonjour Chef!
User currently offlineAirbusfanYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2002, 1434 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3872 times:

As a Star Alliance Gold member I have found that when travelling on international flights my luggage always is among the first to arrive onto the belt. The best is always when you're at a major Star Hub (i.e. FRA, YYZ, ORD etc.)
However, sometimes on domestic runs it's hit and miss.

Cheers,
Kaz



t.dot photography
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3821 times:

As a *A Gold, the only time I've had to wait for my baggage (about two mins and I was the first passenger through) it was one of the first two or three to come through the curtain. The other times it has always been waiting for me, or even at Dulles it was being looked after by a rather nice chap with a trolley  Big grin

On British Airways the experience is very hit and miss. Flying into San Francisco I was amazed that even though it took only a couple of minutes from the door opening to me reaching the luggage belt my bag was there waiting for me! Alas BA in my experience don't seem to have a systemwide priority baggage handling system and the Priority tag I do have is pretty rare!  Big grin I've waited at Dulles almost 30mins on numerous occassions and this is after going through a mid-afternoon line for immigration! Alas no priority tags on any bags, F/J/Elites or othewise. LHR is equally useless, to be honest I wouldn't expect those silver Club World tags and white First tags to do any good.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Priority does work. The bags are "usually" last on the a/c and and the 1st to come to the pick up belt for passengers.


THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3785 times:

Quoting Fbgdavidson (reply 8):
Alas BA in my experience don't seem to have a systemwide priority baggage handling system


No they certainly don't. As you say I've found it very hit and miss when flying Club - certainly poor compared to business class on other European carriers. Actually (perhaps to the surprise of many here) its Iberia who I've always found to be the best at ensuring my bags come out first when flying business class. AF do a pretty good job too.

Incidentally, according to the AEA's figures, BA's record at losing baggage in 2004 was really quite shocking - far worse than any other member carrier.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineVSLover From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1897 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3703 times:

on AA i rarely ever check luggage, but the few times i have--the bag has been one of the first 5 coming down the chute...again though, i dont have enough experience with checked bags on AA to know. i am especially loathsome as i leave from JFK primarily, and you have to get your bag tags (scan, and priority tag) then wait on line with everyone else to have your bag scanned then bring it back to the counter. a royal pain--so i just skip checking bags.

on VS however, everytime i have flown upper class and get the tag slapped on, my bags have always been one of the first off. always.

it is one of those things you dont think about really, but in retrospect it is a quite nice courtesy.


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

CO has the best Priority Baggage record in my book. UA not so great. And US and AA are in the middle somewhere.

I've always had any checked bag within minutes of arrival at Baggage Claim. Most often, it's already on the belt going around and around . . . .

That said - this occurs usually at major hub or destination airports. I've found when travel is initiated at or terminated at an "Express" destination - where for instance CO is represented by CO Express of US is represented US Express, it's definitely luck of the draw. The express carriers just don't appear to give a hoot whether the bag is tagged priority or not.


User currently offlineSlider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6793 posts, RR: 34
Reply 13, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3678 times:

It's difficult to manage and execute on, to be honest.

One of the complicating factors is that Priority bags typically go in the fwd bins, along with gate checks. Well, since they're on last, space has to be made for gate checks, checked bags (depending on load plan for cargo, local bags, connect bags) and then P-Bags on last.

Given the logistics of connecting too, one must realize that P-bags, just like any other bag, may arrive planeside early, ontime, or late in the loading process.

P-bags are supposed to be reported to the load planner as part of the closeout for CO and denoted so the upline station is prepared to download those first and get them to the carousel.

It's not perfect, but we strive for consistency and it is a great value-added service for our valued Elite customers!


User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3663 times:

Thanks everyone for the info. Like I said, I've seen them around, espicially since DL's baggage carousel is right next to ours, but typically I don't see them being treated any differently. I guess a lot of that has to do with the fact that the ramp is contracted out here at BWI.

NTS



United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
User currently offlineSchipholjfk From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 579 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

As a NWA/KLM platinum elite for the last seven years, I can tell you from my personal experience that those "Priority Handling" means didley squate... nothing. As someone said earlier they are just meant to make us the passengers feel good. In general, 1 out of 10 flights MAY BE when I get baggage ahead of most people. It simply does not work. In my experience it also seems like it all depends on how the baggage handlers themselves decide to deal with the baggages. For example, at Beijing Capital Airport baggage comes of randomly. Where as in Indian airports (DEL, BOM), airport personnel tend to pull the the business class and priority baggages off the carousel and line them up next to the carousels for easier identification. At my home airport JFK Terminal 4, good luck! Never works. Last week I flew JFK-ATL-EZE-ATL-LGA on DL and my baggage where hardly a priority (business class + NWA elite tag + a priority handling tag - all on the suitcase). It's a big myth!


The fun of flying... love it !!!
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3706 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3546 times:

Quoting Cornish (reply 10):
No they certainly don't. As you say I've found it very hit and miss when flying Club


Although the strange thing was when checking in at LHR I didn't see them do this but the bag arrived at SFO with a bright orange British Airways logoed Priority tag and it worked! It is the only time I have seen them in the last three or four years and seems very odd that they'd only have Priority handling on certain routes, and even if they did SFO doesn't seem an obvious choice.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Quoting Cornish (reply 10):
Incidentally, according to the AEA's figures, BA's record at losing baggage in 2004 was really quite shocking - far worse than any other member carrier.


That's probably largely due to the truly appalling baggage transfer system at LHR - of the T1-T4 and vv transfers I've done over the years, my luggage has only made the connection 50% of the time. This should improve when all BA operations move into T5.


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