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Flat Vs. Incline Airport Baggage Carousels  
User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6532 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

Does anyone know what are the pros and cons to flat vs. incline airport baggage carousels?

In the United States, it seems that incline is the more popular type. Four major airports that I know use flat ones are MCO, TPA, LGA, and ORD. What are the pros and cons to each type?


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19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

Really comes down to whether you want continuous carousels or ones that are only accessible for a portion of their length. If you want continuous ones, it'll have to be an incline. Otherwise, a flat belt is probably going to be more cost-effective. But a continuous carousel will be more economical space-wise.

-Mir



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User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2292 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2630 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
Really comes down to whether you want continuous carousels or ones that are only accessible for a portion of their length.

Can you explain this? What do you mean by this? You can certainly have flat carousels that are accessible for the entirety of their length!


User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 3094 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2619 times:

I prefer the flat ones. SJU has the inclined ones for all airlines except American Airlines. The flat one is lower and the bag is easier to grab. Plus, on the flat one the bag is placed whereas on the inclined one the bag is brought up and slides down to the belt, potentially causing some damage to any fragile items inside.


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User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21625 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2605 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 2):
Can you explain this? What do you mean by this? You can certainly have flat carousels that are accessible for the entirety of their length!

I've never seen one. Having the incline makes it a lot easier to get the bags on the belt in the first place after they come up or down from wherever the staging area is.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2592 times:

The only flat ones I remember seeing are in Brazil, and one positive is that the bags don't pile on top of each other. You don't have to raise the bags either, dragging them off works.

[Edited 2012-06-11 18:44:53]


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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3522 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 2574 times:
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I like the ones where everyone stands at least 6 ft away from it so you can see your bag when it comes around... lol

Seriously why do people need to stand right next to the carousel while they wait for their bag?



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User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2292 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2570 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 4):
I've never seen one. Having the incline makes it a lot easier to get the bags on the belt in the first place after they come up or down from wherever the staging area is.

I disagree. If they're coming from "downstairs", it's easier to get them on a flat belt. They don't have to go up then down. We don't waste any potential energy.

To be honest, I've never thought about this subject, but looking back, the flat ones are so much easier to work with. I don't see why inclined ones even exist. I see less potential for damage using flat ones... Also, you can control better how to get the bags on the belt, even automatically stopping the belt if necessary, so bags don't crash into other bags coming on the belt. I guess you can do this on the other ones too, depending on configuration, but friction might not be enough to hold them in place where necessary.


User currently offlineaznmadsci From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 3667 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2524 times:

It seems most airports that have inclined carousels do so because the bags enter from above or below floor level while flat ones are sent out at the same level.


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User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6029 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2447 times:

Quoting aznmadsci (Reply 8):
It seems most airports that have inclined carousels do so because the bags enter from above or below floor level while flat ones are sent out at the same level.

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

Suffice to say, a flat carousel can ALSO be used when filled from above and below, but it's not as efficient since the flat belts are not as wide to keep passengers from climbing on the carousel itself, and thus, the final arrival belt has to wait for an opening on the carousel to shunt the bag onto.

That said, there's one type of carousel where it's both loaded and retrieved from on the same level---and that's with a ski carousel (DEN, for instance.)



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User currently offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5696 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2432 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 6):
I like the ones where everyone stands at least 6 ft away from it so you can see your bag when it comes around...

I haven't travelled in a while, they must be a new innovation, I've never seen one of those. !!



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User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2292 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2425 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 9):
Suffice to say, a flat carousel can ALSO be used when filled from above and below, but it's not as efficient since the flat belts are not as wide to keep passengers from climbing on the carousel itself, and thus, the final arrival belt has to wait for an opening on the carousel to shunt the bag onto.

Ah so what you're saying is: "Let's just squish other people's bags so we can get our own bag 5 seconds quicker".

Very good. Might I say a very "me me me" attitude indeed.

I'd rather not have my bag squished by your junk, thank you very much!

Imagine that, waiting a few seconds more so no one's bags get squished... What an outrage!


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6029 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2373 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 11):
Ah so what you're saying is: "Let's just squish other people's bags so we can get our own bag 5 seconds quicker".

Very good. Might I say a very "me me me" attitude indeed.

I'd rather not have my bag squished by your junk, thank you very much!

If you pack your things in a semi-rigid or hard-sided case, there really should be no worry about your bag being "squished" on the baggage claim. In fact, if you're so inclined to worry about your bag being "squished", then the baggage claim is the least of your worries.



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User currently onlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3585 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2370 times:

I prefer the flat ones, with the inclined ones, a case can often end up with another on top of it making it difficult to extract your bag, you have to physically push the other bag up the belt to get yours off.

User currently offline1337Delta764 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Interesting that many users here prefer the flat ones, considering that most new installations in the United States seem to be the incline type (I think PHX originally had flat carousels at Terminals 2 and 3, but they have been replaced by incline ones a few years ago). However, I heard that flat carousels are still dominant in Europe.


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User currently onlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2355 times:

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 9):
Suffice to say, a flat carousel can ALSO be used when filled from above and below, but it's not as efficient since the flat belts are not as wide to keep passengers from climbing on the carousel itself, and thus, the final arrival belt has to wait for an opening on the carousel to shunt the bag onto.

Tthe belts at OSL are flat, the bags come from below, it works pretty well IMO.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Baggage_claim_at_Oslo_Airport%2C_Gardermoen.jpg/800px-Baggage_claim_at_Oslo_Airport%2C_Gardermoen.jpg


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2292 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2326 times:

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 14):
Interesting that many users here prefer the flat ones, considering that most new installations in the United States seem to be the incline type (I think PHX originally had flat carousels at Terminals 2 and 3, but they have been replaced by incline ones a few years ago). However, I heard that flat carousels are still dominant in Europe.

Well the USA is a society where people don't think outside the box. It gets really annoying when you need help and the person simply does not know what to do.

So don't expect any great innovation in the baggage claim area, as it's something people don't think about, even inside the box. It is what it is and it won't change.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 15):
the belts at OSL are flat, the bags come from below, it works pretty well IMO.

This is very similar to the OTP ones. In style at least. Continuous and flat, looks like. Hard to understand for Americans who've "never seen one", maybe? Where are the imagination skills? Oh wait, that's right, see above.

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 12):
If you pack your things in a semi-rigid or hard-sided case, there really should be no worry about your bag being "squished" on the baggage claim. In fact, if you're so inclined to worry about your bag being "squished", then the baggage claim is the least of your worries.

Personally I try to avoid checking in bags. It's simply a hassle. And US airlines even try to charge you for allowing them to lose your bags (on domestic itineraries). Thus having bags squished is the least of my worries, like many people's least worries are things like the property and wellbeing of others.

I just don't see why you'd not want to minimize that risk.


User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6029 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 16):
Thus having bags squished is the least of my worries, like many people's least worries are things like the property and wellbeing of others.

I just don't see why you'd not want to minimize that risk.

If you want to worry about other people's problems, start a charity. Otherwise, if someone decides that a plastic trash bag is perfect to hold their belongings, advise them about the dangers, but you can't stop them from making that stupid mistake.



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User currently offlinetype-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 5033 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2260 times:

Personally, I don't care which kind I use. But the flat baggage belts always seem to attract kids who want to use them as a threadmill. The parents usually don't say anything. I want to swat them off like flies.


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User currently offlinePs76 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 2072 times:

Hi!

It's been a long time since I've flown on anything but a low cost airline with hand luggage but I prefer flat because there's no wall in the way you have to lift your bag over when you're taking it off. But like said I think it all depends where the baggage is coming from. One thing I noticed is sometimes on the flat ones you can look through the screen and see the guy throwing the suitcases on from the other side. And sometimes he throws one and it falls off. If that's your bag you have to wait an eternity because you're not allowed through the screen and he's too busy to pick it up until the end! This is why air travel fascinates me!

Many thanks,

Pierre


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