timz
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How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:29 pm

American Aviation 1 August 1955:

"One of the biggest melees in recent times around Washington National Airport occurred when the airlines experimented with the self-claiming baggage system that has been so successful at Denver and other points, and about which we've written before. We're told that the relatively small baggage room at WNA was in a continual uproar as crowds of people tried to find their bags. Also, only one exit door was used, where baggage tags were being checked, and the jam was terrific."

What did this replace? How did passengers retrieve checked bags before this?

When did carousel precursors start? When did carousels as we know them now start?
 
AeroWesty
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:51 pm

Some of the older airports in California that I flew into operated on the basis of a tug bringing trailers of luggage lined up in open bins to an outdoor covered luggage area. Fresno (FAT) was still using this system well into the 1970s/80s. They'd just park the tug in the designated area for your flight, and everyone would just start grabbing their bags off of it.
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DocLightning
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:44 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Some of the older airports in California that I flew into operated on the basis of a tug bringing trailers of luggage lined up in open bins to an outdoor covered luggage area. Fresno (FAT) was still using this system well into the 1970s/80s.

SBA used it into the 2000's. I haven't used the baggage claim at the new SBA, but I'd assume it's conveyor-run.
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:59 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Some of the older airports in California that I flew into operated on the basis of a tug bringing trailers of luggage lined up in open bins to an outdoor covered luggage area

MSY also had this system as late as the 70's. In fact a lot of airports use this basic system even today. They just have conveyors indoors that move the luggage to rotating conveyors for passenger pickup. At ORD you can hear the tugs behind the wall bringing in baggage to the passenger pick up carousels.
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mayor
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:56 pm

Quoting type-rated (Reply 3):
MSY also had this system as late as the 70's. In fact a lot of airports use this basic system even today. They just have conveyors indoors that move the luggage to rotating conveyors for passenger pickup. At ORD you can hear the tugs behind the wall bringing in baggage to the passenger pick up carousels.

As I recall, the first time I flew into MCO after I hired on in the 70s, the system was like this.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:40 pm

I wonder if the airlines way back when had baggage rooms where the passenger dropped off and picked up their luggage the same way the railroads do it at larger terminals?
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zkncj
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:47 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Some of the older airports in California that I flew into operated on the basis of a tug bringing trailers of luggage lined up in open bins to an outdoor covered luggage area. Fresno (FAT) was still using this system well into the 1970s/80s. They'd just park the tug in the designated area for your flight, and everyone would j

Its still this way in many regional airports within the pacific and new zealand.
 
OB1504
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:43 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 3):
At ORD you can hear the tugs behind the wall bringing in baggage to the passenger pick up carousels.

MIA, FLL, and LGA come to mind, too. Baggage that is terminating is just driven to the belt, while connecting baggage is introduced to the baggage system (at least at MIA) to hopefully get to its destination.
 
bohica
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:03 am

Back in 1990 in MCE, baggage claim was opening the gate between the ramp and the parking lot on the side of the terminal and pushing the baggage cart into the parking lot.

BTW in MCE, the ticket counter, gate and the baggage office was all the same. The terminal building was about the same size as a single family house.  
 
mtnwest1979
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:09 am

Quoting bohica (Reply 8):
BTW in MCE, the ticket counter, gate and the baggage office was all the same. The terminal building was about the same size as a single family house.  

LOL, I remember going there for first time in 1979 for an air show. Waling into the terminal reminded me also of a house.
When I returned there in late 1990s, flying SkyWest from LAX, I was not shocked that hardly any changes had taken place. New paint, carpet and United Express sign instead of Golden Gate lol.
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26point2
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:21 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
Some of the older airports in California that I flew into operated on the basis of a tug bringing trailers of luggage lined up in open bins to an outdoor covered luggage area.

MRY does this too.

Departed from KBFF (Scottsbluff, NE) a few weeks ago and enjoyed the same ticket agent/baggage slinger/gate agent/aircraft marshaler/luggage loader and unloader person. She was strong! Great Lakes is certainly getting their value from her.

(Very) Small town airport make flying fun again.
 
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:33 am

Quoting mtnwest1979 (Reply 9):
Waling into the terminal reminded me also of a house

The old terminal at SHV was about that size too. It had the same platform where luggage appeared on the side of the terminal near the front door. The building was now a FBO last time I was in there. I wonder if that's still the case.
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mayor
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:45 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 11):
The old terminal at SHV was about that size too. It had the same platform where luggage appeared on the side of the terminal near the front door. The building was now a FBO last time I was in there. I wonder if that's still the case.

Haven't been back there in quite awhile (not since they remodeled the terminal), so I couldn't say. When I worked there in '80-'82 for DL we had the "newish" terminal and the old terminal was an FBO plus DL's cargo office was located in that building, also. I worked with guys there with enough seniority to have worked in that building.
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ha763
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:49 am

Here's some pictures of baggage being picked up at the old HNL FIS in the 1950's:

http://goo.gl/qFIW3L

http://goo.gl/u15jeE

http://goo.gl/hY4v3A

http://goo.gl/K7OXrF

Here's one from the 1970's

http://goo.gl/sANAvp
 
european742
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 1:29 pm

Hehe, picking bags off the back of a truck, I know this is a much smaller scale but St Mary's airport on the Scilly Isles still does this! Mind you I imagine many airports of similar size still do.
 
a320fan
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:25 pm

I remember pulling our luggage from the trailers at LST in 2007. took a while to sort through a whole 737-800 worth of luggage!
Airliners flowen in: 737-700, 737-800, A320, A321, 777-300ER, 777-200ER, 777-300, 787-8, A330-200, Q300
 
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AirlineCritic
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting zkncj (Reply 6):
Its still this way in many regional airports within the pacific and new zealand.

  

 
Viscount724
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:05 pm

Passengers at SEA waiting for their bags in the 1950s.

http://www.portseattle100.org/images/1950_1959/Baggage%20Claim%201950s.jpg

Photo from the following site.
http://www.portseattle100.org/map-and-timeline/1950-1959
 
maxpower1954
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:44 am

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 10):
Departed from KBFF (Scottsbluff, NE) a few weeks ago and enjoyed the same ticket agent/baggage slinger/gate agent/aircraft marshaler/luggage loader and unloader person. She was strong! Great Lakes is certainly getting their value from her.

(Very) Small town airport make flying fun again.

TURN THE WAY BACK MACHINE to the summer of 1967...46 years ago. I witnessed the same scene at BFF, only it was a very young man as the ticket agent. baggage man/gate agent/ aircraft marshaller/ luggage unloader and loader. Three people got off and one got on the Frontier DC-3 as its days were winding down with FAL. The equipment has changed but small town America air service hasn't changed in half a century....
 
TheCheese
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:38 am

Quoting ha763 (Reply 13):
Here's one from the 1970's

http://goo.gl/sANAvp

I remember HNL looking like that on my first trip to Hawaii, in March 1974. Also the luggage areas on Maui and Kauai being similar, though much smaller than at HNL.
 
cornutt
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:12 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 5):
I wonder if the airlines way back when had baggage rooms where the passenger dropped off and picked up their luggage the same way the railroads do it at larger terminals?

CHA had a baggage room with a claim window, having a low countertop where they lined up bags to be claimed. The window wasn't very big so if you didn't see your bag, you rang a bell and a worker came and asked you what kind of bag you had, and fetched it for you. If you rang the bell and nobody answered, you just let yourself into the baggage room and looked around until you found it. They were still using this system in the mid-1980s, the last time I flew into there.
 
nomadic
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:58 am

Quoting timz (Thread starter):
When did carousel precursors start? When did carousels as we know them now start?

TWA had their first carousels at LAX and the new Trans World Flight Center at IDL in 1962
 
timz
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:16 pm

Airlift, November 1961:

"Baggage Carousel, first of its kind at a U.S. airport, is now in operation by United Air Lines at San Francisco. Unit is 25 ft. in diameter and rotates at 1.2 rpm"

Says the first one was at Montreal's new terminal-- made by Mathews Conveyor Co of San Carlos CA.

LAX's new terminals had just opened-- wonder what they did at the beginning?
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:42 pm

WYS (West Yellowstone, Montana) in 2013:
Yellowstone To Zion On OO: EM2, CRJ And The Subway (by redzeppelin Jul 16 2013 in Trip Reports)

http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r577/bigredzeppelin/subway/DSCN1717.jpg
http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r577/bigredzeppelin/subway/DSCN1724.jpg
 
davescj
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:50 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
They'd just park the tug in the designated area for your flight, and everyone would just start grabbing their bags off of it.

This was true in Lawton OK (LAW) into the 90s.

Dave
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knope2001
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:17 am

In case any of this sound primitively chaotic, it's probably no worse than RJ passengers claiming gate-check bags in the jetway these days.
 
dlramp4life
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:30 am



the old baggage claim area in BLI
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zippyjet
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:06 am

Quoting OB1504 (Reply 7):

Though maybe off topic a bit for this thread; I remember as late as 1976 much of the baggage claim area at MIA was open air! And this may hve been pre-carousel. Eastern's baggagage claim was the first to get enclosed and the carousels circa the early 1970's. Gradually all of the baggage claim was updated with carousels and enclosed with A/C as the 70's ended. I remember flying into MIA in April of 1976 on DL and claiming my bag and the baggage area was still open air. I believe by 1980 it was all enclosed and equipped with carousels. Correct me if I'm wrong with the right facts please.
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:12 am

On DC-3s, I simply walked around to the aft baggage hold, pointed out my bag to the agent and had him hand it to me.
 
aklrno
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:15 am

Quoting timz (Reply 22):
LAX's new terminals had just opened-- wonder what they did at the beginning?

I'm pretty sure LAX had carousels when the current airport opened. The design would not allow for a tug to pull luggage to bag claim, it is underground with respect to the ramp even though it is at ground level with respect to the parking lot. The conveyor system was there from the beginning, so they would have designed for the carousel to hold the luggage as the conveyor delivered it. BTW the carousels were round, not oval so the size was limited. There were no jumbos, and they used 1 carousel per flight.

I have seen a case where that was not as well thought out. A few years ago I was at some domestic Turkish airport where the conveyor extended about 10 meters into the bag claim area. If not picked up as it went by, the bags just fell off the end. This probably worked OK with a very small aircraft, but I was on a chartered 737 with about 130 on board. Bag claim was pure chaos.
 
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RE: How Did Baggage Claim Work Circa 1950?

Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:15 am

In 1967 when Chicago remodeled MDW for the first time they didn't have a true carousel, but one of those tracks with the rotating disk that moved the bag along. I don't know what they had before that.
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