siromega
Topic Author
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United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:27 am

http://www.chicagotribune.com/busine...i_united_1019oct19,0,6673281.story

United is looking at charging you not for your bags, but rather to make sure your bags are the first off the plane...

"...introducing a la carte fees for economy passengers who want to purchase new services, like ensuring their luggage is first off the plane..."

This is kinda getting ridiculous. I understand that the CEO is under pressure to find new revenue streams but to offer a "premier" baggage service seems to be stretching it some. And what happens if your bags aren't the first to come off and you paid for it? Do you get a refund? Where will the insanity end.
 
UA772IAD
Posts: 1338
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:36 am

While it sucks to have to pay even more for a service that should be a given, it makes sense. Having worked on the ramp for UA at SFO, I can tell you priority bags are always a nightmare. SFO is the only station that truly makes an effort to sort priority bags (in fact management demands it). The problem is, is that UA has contracted out its skycap service to contract workers. For a small tip, one can very easily get a priority tag (the Orange "Priority" tag that sticks out), and UA has no control over this. They used to tell us on the ramp, that bag tags that had "Priority" printed on the actual white tag were real priorities, and the ones with just the orange were "fake". We would have to dig through cans of 300+ bags just to find these. It sucked, but again, it was for the customer.

Quoting SirOmega (Thread starter):
This is kinda getting ridiculous. I understand that the CEO is under pressure to find new revenue streams but to offer a "premier" baggage service seems to be stretching it some. And what happens if your bags aren't the first to come off and you paid for it? Do you get a refund? Where will the insanity end.

You raise a valid point. Since none of the other stations (outside of SFO) focused on separating priority bags, expecting good results is expecting too much.

UA got what it paid for- with outsourcing skycaps. The real solutiion would be to make it a ramp or CS function again, which of course won't happen.
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:01 am

I think this is ridiculous.. You know customer service and common sense has dropped to a new low when you fork out extra for something that is expected: getting you and your bags from point A to point B.

What's going to make the rampers pulling the bags give a damn about the priority bags on the bottom of the pile in the hold? It will make the bags that the riff-raff' checked without paying for priority even later if the rampers have to drop what they are doing and go digging through the hold for "priority" bags..

It's no wonder that they cant' get bags from United over to US in MCI even though the gates are right next to each other..  Confused
 
CALMSP
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:04 am

what a concept for someone to think of!!!  Embarrassment

To bad we are already offering this service for years here at CO! And we don't even charge anyone for that!! Can you believe that??!!
 
UAL4ever
Posts: 51
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:45 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:05 am

The truth is that even with the priority tags on my luggage they do not consistently come out first, or even towards the beginning. Sometimes they come out last or even get lost. Why would anyone pay for that?
 
Cory6188
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:05 am

I think that this could seriously end up biting them in the butt...

Elite flyers on nearly all the legacies complain about how priority bags often have no "priority" whatsoever with regards to the order that bags come out on the carousel at many stations. However, pax would really start getting ticked off if they're now paying for priority service but the bags still don't come out in front. At least elite members have become resigned to the fact that it isn't going to necessarily make a difference, but at least their not paying extra for it (not directly, at least).

I can just imagine the flood of letters/calls that UA customer service will get as a result....and the problem will be distinguishing between pax whose bags were really the last off the carousel and paid for the service vs. those that didn't really have any problems and are just looking for a free handout from the airline.  Yeah sure
 
aa757first
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:06 am

Priority baggage seems like a good idea for elite customers, when its just an extra free perk. But I really can't imagine ramp staff sorting through the luggage of a 767 in the rain to separate priority tags from regular bags.
 
MMEPHX
Posts: 143
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:54 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 5):
Elite flyers on nearly all the legacies complain about how priority bags often have no "priority" whatsoever with regards to the order that bags come out on the carousel at many stations.

I take that alleged perk as a bonus if it ever happens. It seems to make no difference if you are an elite or not, bags arrive in a random order as far as I can figure. How else do you explain checking 2 bags and they both come out at completely different times in the unload? I don't expect the rampers to go looking for 2 bags with the same PNR or even priority tags, it just highlights that all the time between checking bags and receiving them at the other end has so many variables that tracking priority bags is a difficult and no doubt expensive task.

Paying for this feature and almost certainly not receiving it could end up costing the airlines far more than what they charge, in terms of customer satisfaction.
 
RDUDDJI
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
While it sucks to have to pay even more for a service that should be a given, it makes sense. Having worked on the ramp for UA at SFO, I can tell you priority bags are always a nightmare. SFO is the only station that truly makes an effort to sort priority bags (in fact management demands it). The problem is, is that UA has contracted out its skycap service to contract workers. For a small tip, one can very easily get a priority tag (the Orange "Priority" tag that sticks out), and UA has no control over this. They used to tell us on the ramp, that bag tags that had "Priority" printed on the actual white tag were real priorities, and the ones with just the orange were "fake". We would have to dig through cans of 300 bags just to find these. It sucked, but again, it was for the customer.

Sorry, I can let this misinformation fly. UA has done numerous audits, which have found that the failure reasons are less than 2% of flag tags on a non-pri bag. BTW, I'm glad to hear that Management is requiring people to do their JOBS. Now if you work at a hub and want to cry about something...complain about the way inbounds are loaded!!! That is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome. We have some ideas out there to imprve that too.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
You raise a valid point. Since none of the other stations (outside of SFO) focused on separating priority bags, expecting good results is expecting too much.

Even more misinformation. SFO does well, but not even the best in the hubs. Systemwide UA has improved performance by over 55 percentage points (not to be confused with 55%) in the last 8 months. All hubs are averaging above their goals right now. Our Premium customers find priority bag handing extremely important (although you may not). In fact, other *A carriers have approached us about how to improve their pri bag performance.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
National757
Posts: 485
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:37 am

Quoting SirOmega (Thread starter):
but rather to make sure your bags are the first off the plane

Terrible idea. This is the best United can do to generate extra revenue?
 
44k
Posts: 174
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:09 am

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 3):
To bad we are already offering this service for years here at CO! And we don't even charge anyone for that!! Can you believe that??!!

So at CO, you tag priority tags to anyone upon request? Just curious.
 
Maverick623
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:20 am

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
We would have to dig through cans of 300+ bags just to find these. It sucked, but again, it was for the customer.

Which is why this whole "priority bag" crap is just that. It takes just as long to dig through a stack to make sure a few bags get dropped first as it does just to toss the bags in no particular order.

Sure, you're "priority" bag will come up first, but in reality you're waiting just as long.
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
UA772IAD
Posts: 1338
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:35 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 6):
But I really can't imagine ramp staff sorting through the luggage of a 767 in the rain to separate priority tags from regular bags.

Believe me it happens  Smile

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 8):
Sorry, I can let this misinformation fly. UA has done numerous audits, which have found that the failure reasons are less than 2% of flag tags on a non-pri bag. BTW, I'm glad to hear that Management is requiring people to do their JOBS. Now if you work at a hub and want to cry about something...complain about the way inbounds are loaded!!! That is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome. We have some ideas out there to imprve that too.

Sent you a PM regarding my answer to this one.


Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 8):
Our Premium customers find priority bag handing extremely important (although you may not). In fact, other *A carriers have approached us about how to improve their pri bag performance.

As a premium customer myself, I do find it very important.
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:58 am

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 11):
Which is why this whole "priority bag" crap is just that. It takes just as long to dig through a stack to make sure a few bags get dropped first as it does just to toss the bags in no particular order.

There is certainly a big ounce of truth to that, but it depends on the customer. Some priority customers would rather wait an extra 10 minutes for their bags, just so they come out first.
 
ikramerica
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting SirOmega (Thread starter):
"...introducing a la carte fees for economy passengers who want to purchase new services, like ensuring their luggage is first off the plane..."

Lucky they don't do a lot of Florida flying, because in that state, those tags seem to ensure your bags are last off the plane. I consistently experience that in MIA, TPA, SRQ and MCO on AA and CO. I have no idea why this happens other than baggage handlers purposely offloading the "wrong section first." It's bizarre. In other locations, it doesn't happen like that.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
tcfc424
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:10 am

As a ramper for UA, I can explain some of the issues regarding PRI bags. (Realizing I think it would be a mistake to charge for this service...in some cases there are more PRI bags than regular bags)

1) Same PNR Bags are not loaded as a pair. They should be in the same pit, but depending on bag size/shape/weight, it is going to be placed accordingly, which is likely not together. Second, whoever is unloading the pit is simply grabbing what is nearest.

2) Priority bags are not sorted in the pit, unless they are loaded separately (which line stations LOVE!!!). They are either sorted when they come down the belt (and placed in the front section of the first cart) or at the drop-point (where it is very possible to overlook a PRI tag if it is not easily accessible.

3) Not all "tagged" PRI bags are truly priority...only the when PRIORITY is printed on the ABT is it TRULY a PRI bag. On the flip side, some PRI bags are not tagged...wonder why they don't make it first...

4) Some stations (and eventually all) will become wireless with bag scanning. In DFW, when they drop bags, there is a gauntlet of scanners that reads the ABT. They are given real-time data as to the "priority" of PRI bags. They have to be very careful to read each tag and get the true PRI bags on the belt first, or they fail.

5) The easiest way to make PRI bags come out first (at least at a line station arrival with mostly terminating city bags) is to load them in pit 2 or 5 so they are the first to come out, as a group. Sometimes SFO will stick them all in 6 for us, but usually they are terribly fragmented...2 in 2, 4 in 3, 6 in 4, 1 in 5, 1 in 6, etc.

As a general rule, we all try very diligently to get the PRI tags out first. Unfortunately, sometimes with operational needs and time constraints, etc, it becomes more important to get a flight out on time, etc than to sort those PRI bags. In AUS anyways, the last bag is usually on the belt before the first passenger arrives at the claim area...so how would anyone know? (Answer: Our managers check periodically.)

Hope this gives some insight, and here's to hoping your PRI bag comes off first every time.
 
UA772IAD
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:14 am

Well put, Mike. Thanks for providing clarification.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 7:48 am

Quoting 44k (Reply 10):
Quoting CALMSP (Reply 3):
To bad we are already offering this service for years here at CO! And we don't even charge anyone for that!! Can you believe that??!!

So at CO, you tag priority tags to anyone upon request? Just curious.

I would so love to hear the answer to that question. The silence is deafening!
 
ltbewr
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:25 am

First of all, isn't all baggage of 1st class pax 'pirority' baggage? What about delicate baggage, like sensitive electronic equipment or personal items that need special handling as easily damaged by normal handling? You also have people who need priority as changing a/c at a hub to another airline where not inter-airline transfer arrangements and limited time to do that. Charging pax extra for priority baggage treatment, unless adopted universally by all airlines, will mean a probable loss of some pax to others who won't have that charge and most likely the charges not lasting for long.
 
halls120
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:39 am

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 8):
Our Premium customers find priority bag handing extremely important (although you may not). In fact, other *A carriers have approached us about how to improve their pri bag performance

One of the reason I am a UA FF is that more often than not, my bag is one of the first unloaded, and I do appreciate that.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 11):
Which is why this whole "priority bag" crap is just that. It takes just as long to dig through a stack to make sure a few bags get dropped first as it does just to toss the bags in no particular order.

Sure, you're "priority" bag will come up first, but in reality you're waiting just as long.

Well, when you've just arrived on an international flight, and you are facing the prospect of a long line at customs, I'd rahter have my bag early than late.

Quoting Tcfc424 (Reply 15):
Hope this gives some insight, and here's to hoping your PRI bag comes off first every time.

Most of the time, my bag does, and I appreicate it.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
BrianDromey
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:08 pm

Im not a ramper, BUT I would imagine that the easiest way to do this would be something like this....

On aircraft fitted with baggage ULD's all priority baggage could be placed in one can, and this would be the last loaded and thus, the first unloaded.

On aircraft without this feature, the bags simply get loaded last, and thus unloaded first.

The system means extra work for someone though, but if the bags are loaded correctly there should be little need for "sorting". But what does "PRI' actaully mena, in teh first XX% of bags to come out, or is it a time thing, say out within 5 minutes of teh first bag, or does it mean all PRI bags must be on the belt before any non-PRI bag? How will customers know if the service they ahve purchased meets/missed the target.

Seems liek a giant headaceh to me.....

Brian.
 
FLYACYYZ
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:35 pm

Maintaining the integrety of Priority Baggage, continues to be one of the things that airlines have on-going issues with. Just read the number of posts involving this issue on a.Net and Flyertalk. Until the exisiting system is perfected for frequent/eligible travellers, United shouldn't touch this one with a ten foot pole.

Frankly, they don't have the manpower to deal with an area with service guarantee issues, processing refunds, etc.
Above and Beyond
 
Maverick623
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RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 12:55 pm

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 13):
There is certainly a big ounce of truth to that, but it depends on the customer. Some priority customers would rather wait an extra 10 minutes for their bags, just so they come out first.

And the other 135 pax on the plane are going to be pissed when it takes 30+ minutes to do a local bag drop. Yes, folks, I've seen it happen.

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 19):
Well, when you've just arrived on an international flight, and you are facing the prospect of a long line at customs, I'd rahter have my bag early than late.

I can understand that one!
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15061
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:23 pm

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 13):
There is certainly a big ounce of truth to that, but it depends on the customer. Some priority customers would rather wait an extra 10 minutes for their bags, just so they come out first.

I am only pissed when I'm one of the last 5 people standing there and waiting for my bag, and again, this happens in Florida a lot. I have no idea why.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2190
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:36 pm

Oops, forgot it above...but I too am not a fan of charging for the pri bag product. I think it dilutes the significance and would hinder the overall perceived benefit to high level FF'ers. Not to mention the volumes would become unpredictable and therefore somewhat unmanageable...
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14278
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:55 pm

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 6):
But I really can't imagine ramp staff sorting through the luggage of a 767 in the rain to separate priority tags from regular bags.

If the ramp can successfully separate local and connecting bags, adding a third category shouldn't be much of a problem.

I am opposed to this idea for other reasons, but laziness or failure to adhere to company policy on the part of ramp employees really shouldn't be part of the equation.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
sq_ek_freak
Posts: 1180
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:48 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:38 pm

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 8):
All hubs are averaging above their goals right now. Our Premium customers find priority bag handing extremely important (although you may not). In fact, other *A carriers have approached us about how to improve their pri bag performance.

Flew several times on UA PS service in Business this past summer, all between LAX and JFK - on all instances bags were among the first ten to twenty percent of bags to come out. Though that being said, JFK is not a UA hub, and also, non-tagged bags also came out before mine, and obviously after too.
Keep Discovering
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14278
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 9:52 pm

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 8):
All hubs are averaging above their goals right now.

In my experience (as an NW elite) hubs tend to do far better than outstations with priority bags. I'm not so sure that this statistic says much about the system as a whole given that outstations are the relevant stations more than 50% of the time.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Boston92
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:56 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:32 pm

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
While it sucks to have to pay even more for a service that should be a given, it makes sense

How can you make sure everyone's bag is off first?

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 2):
I think this is ridiculous..

Why?

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 3):
To bad we are already offering this service for years here at CO! And we don't even charge anyone for that!!

Uhh...No...Wrong...try reading the article again.

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 2):
You know customer service and common sense has dropped to a new low when you fork out extra for something that is expected: getting you and your bags from point A to point B.

Its for PRIORITY baggage handling, to get your bag on the belt first, they are not charging extra to get your bag there.

What is so hard to understand?

[Edited 2007-10-22 16:39:23]
 
platinumfoota
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:39 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:35 pm

Quoting CALMSP (Reply 3):
what a concept for someone to think of!!!

To bad we are already offering this service for years here at CO! And we don't even charge anyone for that!! Can you believe that??!!

Not true, CO does not offer priority baggage handling to everyone.

Well as a UA Ramper here are my concerns... First operationally priority bags are improving system wide, but the problem is that not every station is separating their bags. On narrow bodies normally the bags are separated plane-side while loading, they are placed on the ground and loaded last. On widebodies we build Priority Cans that contain nothing but Priority bags and can be placed close to the door for eazy unloading, the problem is that not all stations are doing this, specialy line stations. Most inbound island flights are not loaded this way so we have to dig through cans to look for these bags which is time consuming and slows things down, not only that but you also have other flights arriving with bags waiting to be dumped. The problem is to make this work United is asking their employees to work harder but not giving anything back to them. It is possible to make it work but it will take time.

Now for our customers i dont think it is fare for a First Class or our Elite members to pay thousands of dollars which includes this service, to get their baggage as the same time a Economy pax who payed just a couple of dollars for this service. Priority bags should be for Priority pax.
Never forget United 93
 
Boston92
Posts: 2603
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:56 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Mon Oct 22, 2007 11:38 pm

Quoting Platinumfoota (Reply 29):
Not true, CO does not offer priority baggage handling to everyone.

Right...there have been a ton of misunderstandings in this thread. No airline offers Priority baggage to everyone, becuase it would not be priority. How do you take everyones bag off first??
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6955
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:04 am

CO's priority bag handling is to any EliteAccess customers, so anyone in a premium cabin, OnePass Elite or SkyTeam Elite, plus passengers on a full-Y fare. They've always done a good job with it too for me - I wish Delta would implement this. (Though my bag was there on the belt when I got off my flight in GSO this morning; then again, the idiots decided to keep us on the plane until they off-loaded valet bags instead of letting those with valet wait on the tarmac like I've done at several other airports....frustrating to no end when you don't have a valet bag).
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 12):
Believe me it happens

Well, not on my flights, .. so evidently not often.

2 problems ....

1. In 20 years of flying with 'priority' checked baggage, I've never, ever (except see below), seen much difference ... and many non-priority bags always arrive on the carousel first.
*** One time I actually got a bag with a priority tag AND a 'last bag' tag  Smile

2. IMO .. and I really will be ready to be corrected by rampers ... that an increase in priority bags, and more strict procedures .. probably means that the bags will be loaded slower (or require more effort/time/staff) .. and 'on average', all bags will get to the carousel slower than if everyone was the same priority.

BUT ... I arrived at BOS a few weeks ago, after travelling First Class LH from FRA, and my wife's and my bags were 1,2,3 & 4 off the carousel .... great stuff !!!!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:12 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:20 am

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 28):
Why?

I thought I explained it enough.. people shouldn't be conned into being nickel and dimed for a "priority" service that probably wont be much of a priority anyway. As some other posters have stated that when their bags are priority they often come off after non priority bags anyway. I Just think it is insane for someone to pay extra for a service that wont be any different than what they are already getting.

Plus I am assuming that bags that are tagged as priority are going to be treated better by the rampers i.e. not thrown around and destroyed and more likely to not get misconnected / disappear. Hence my point of this is a service you should already have: you and your belongings going from point a to point b and arriving in one piece.
 
UA772IAD
Posts: 1338
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 7:43 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:25 am

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 28):
How can you make sure everyone's bag is off first?

What is supposed to happen is when an inbound flight arrives, the bags are sorted by "stage" in the pits (cargo holds) 1,2,3 in front and 4,5,6 in the rear. "Hot" transfers (which have a close connection time) are placed nearest to the cargo doors. Next come the "cold" transfers which have a longer transfer time. Then city bags, which terminate at the said airport. [b]this procedure actually does occurb]

Now, here's what's supposed to happen with city bags: if it's a narrowbody (no cans, such as an Airbus, guppy (737) or 757, a ramper from the inbound bagroom (unloads all bags to the baggage claim), will meet the flight with a string of foreman carts. He'll stand at the bottom of the beltloader, and ensure that all priority bags are loaded in their own cart. Since the priority bags should already be separated, this shouldn't be to hard. Depending on the number of bags (and if he's in a generous mood  Smile ) he will either wait for all the bags and take them to inbounds, or leave with just the priority bags and the ramp crew will bring down the rest.

Once downstairs, the crew is supposed to look at each orange priority tag to ensure that the white bag tag has "Priority" printed across it. This is how we know if their "real" or "fake". As I said, tipping your skycap often land you the orange priority tag, even if you're not a "priority" customer.

With a widebody, with cans, the cans are supposed to be separated: with priority bags in their own separate can. We have paperwork that tells us how many priorities are on a flight, in each can, etc.

Where it falls apart is in two places: with narrowbodies- if the priority and non priorities are mixed, and someone from inbounds doesn't meet the flight (leaving the ramp crew to sort), the bags aren't usually separated in the carts, as the ramp crew is busy and has other job functions. With widebodies- since they don't like to send cans empty, or near empty, it's not uncommon to find 2-3 priority bags burried at the very back/bottom of a can full of regular bags. More often than not, we would have all 3-8 cans down in the bagroom within 15 minutes of the flight blocking in. However, we would literally have to empty all of the bags onto the floor, first, to dig for priorities. That would be another 15 minutes, and comes close to the airline's goal of having the first bag out into the claim area within 30 minutes of arrival.

Since a network of scanners tracks each bag, priority percentage is tracked. It only takes one "fake" to come before a "real" priority for the flight to fail. So, if you found a few real priorites after you sent the rest up, you would have to be "creative" so that the scanner couldn't read the tag. We also found we had to hide the real priority tags from the scanners when hand delivering odd size, because those went up last.

Quite complicated isn't it?  Smile
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1652
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:30 am

bond007,
your problem#1 issue,
in 23 years of being a crossed utilized employee i can tell you i always make an attempt to get the priority tagged bags off first. does every priority bag make it first??no but i do try...the reason you had a priority tag and a last bag tag attached to your bag tag was you were in the premium cabin or a *alliance gold/silver...and you were the last one to check in for your flight, we use them all the time to let the bag room know that we are done checking in a particular flight.
Bus Driver
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:39 am

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 35):
...the reason you had a priority tag and a last bag tag attached to your bag tag was you were in the premium cabin or a *alliance gold/silver...and you were the last one to check in for your flight, we use them all the time to let the bag room know that we are done checking in a particular flight.

LOL e.e.cummings....no, believe me, it was because it was the last bag to be loaded on the carousel. It wasn't UA.

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 35):
in 23 years of being a crossed utilized employee i can tell you i always make an attempt to get the priority tagged bags off first. does every priority bag make it first??no but i do try

I don't doubt it. But unless every 'crossed utilized employee' (and those that aren't), does it, then it's almost useless. It's a joke amongst some 'priority tagged' customers, that they are always last on the belt .. and of course they certainly aren't man-handled onto the aircraft any differently (nor should they be).

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1652
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:52 am

bond,
not one us carrier attaches a last bag tag on the last bag to enter the claim area.....ive seen delta put a 15x15 inch wooden placard on the belt to say that all bags from flt123 have been delivered. if you have had that happen, pm me i d like you to email a picture of it ok....
Bus Driver
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:04 am

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 37):
not one us carrier attaches a last bag tag on the last bag to enter the claim area.....

This was a while back ... trust me. I'm trying to remember the carrier .... possibly TWA.
I actually remember seeing it on at least 3 occasions that I can remember, so it wasn't what you described.

...also.... it obviously WAS the last bag on the carousel, so there was no doubt it's purpose.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Super80DFW
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 10:03 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:07 am

What is happening to the airline industry!
EAT'EM UP EAT'EM UP KSU!!
 
ptugarin
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:09 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:11 am

Is there a limit on how many "priorities" they will sell per flight? Just curious, because if everyone on a particular flight opted to pay for their bag to be delivered first, everyone would be paying for nothing  Smile
 
platinumfoota
Posts: 213
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:39 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:46 am

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 34):
What is supposed to happen is when an inbound flight arrives, the bags are sorted by "stage" in the pits (cargo holds) 1,2,3 in front and 4,5,6 in the rear. "Hot" transfers (which have a close connection time) are placed nearest to the cargo doors. Next come the "cold" transfers which have a longer transfer time. Then city bags, which terminate at the said airport. [b]this procedure actually does occurb]

Now, here's what's supposed to happen with city bags: if it's a narrowbody (no cans, such as an Airbus, guppy (737) or 757, a ramper from the inbound bagroom (unloads all bags to the baggage claim), will meet the flight with a string of foreman carts. He'll stand at the bottom of the beltloader, and ensure that all priority bags are loaded in their own cart. Since the priority bags should already be separated, this shouldn't be to hard. Depending on the number of bags (and if he's in a generous mood ) he will either wait for all the bags and take them to inbounds, or leave with just the priority bags and the ramp crew will bring down the rest.

Once downstairs, the crew is supposed to look at each orange priority tag to ensure that the white bag tag has "Priority" printed across it. This is how we know if their "real" or "fake". As I said, tipping your skycap often land you the orange priority tag, even if you're not a "priority" customer.

With a widebody, with cans, the cans are supposed to be separated: with priority bags in their own separate can. We have paperwork that tells us how many priorities are on a flight, in each can, etc.

Where it falls apart is in two places: with narrowbodies- if the priority and non priorities are mixed, and someone from inbounds doesn't meet the flight (leaving the ramp crew to sort), the bags aren't usually separated in the carts, as the ramp crew is busy and has other job functions. With widebodies- since they don't like to send cans empty, or near empty, it's not uncommon to find 2-3 priority bags burried at the very back/bottom of a can full of regular bags. More often than not, we would have all 3-8 cans down in the bagroom within 15 minutes of the flight blocking in. However, we would literally have to empty all of the bags onto the floor, first, to dig for priorities. That would be another 15 minutes, and comes close to the airline's goal of having the first bag out into the claim area within 30 minutes of arrival.

Since a network of scanners tracks each bag, priority percentage is tracked. It only takes one "fake" to come before a "real" priority for the flight to fail. So, if you found a few real priorites after you sent the rest up, you would have to be "creative" so that the scanner couldn't read the tag. We also found we had to hide the real priority tags from the scanners when hand delivering odd size, because those went up last.

Quite complicated isn't it?

Well, put and must i add on narrowbodies ALL bags are scanned plane-side which also takes a bit more time. When we started this service i remember complaining about the total time it will take for us to get all the bags to our customers, turns out now that we are delivering priority at a higher percentage of completion we are falling behind in the total time it takes to deliver the whole flight, in other words people who dont have priority bags are waiting longer for their bags. I would have to agree, it gets pretty complicated at times.  headache 
Never forget United 93
 
44k
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:07 pm

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:49 am

I like it they way AA does - no priority tags to anyone, except for Premium cabin International travelers. This eliminates many headaches to rampers as well as no disappointment with the travelers.  Wink
 
b777a340fan
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:42 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 10:21 am

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 2):
I think this is ridiculous..

I don't think it's ridiculous. If people really want their bags to come out first so they can be on their way, then they can pay. Of course, this service should remain complimentary for first and business classes. However, I don't think it's unfair, it's a rather ingenious way to generate more money, which to me, isn't a bad thing.

Quoting SirOmega (Thread starter):
This is kinda getting ridiculous. I understand that the CEO is under pressure to find new revenue streams but to offer a "premier" baggage service seems to be stretching it some. And what happens if your bags aren't the first to come off and you paid for it? Do you get a refund? Where will the insanity end.

I believe you would get a refund, yes.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 1):
We would have to dig through cans of 300+ bags just to find these.

That sucks. Maybe if UAL adopts this method it will start to separate between priority and non-priority luggage.
 
bond007
Posts: 4428
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 2:07 am

RE: United Airlines Considering Priority Baggage

Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:43 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 32):
and 'on average', all bags will get to the carousel slower than if everyone was the same priority.



Quoting Platinumfoota (Reply 41):
we are falling behind in the total time it takes to deliver the whole flight,

Yes, there we are  Smile

Unless you hire more staff in order to provide this service (which won't happen), I feel that the overall service will decline because of it.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!

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