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1337Delta764
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Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:03 pm

In the United States, generally most new baggage carousel installations seem to be of the sloped plate type, due to their greater capacity, ease of loading from above or below, and the greater difficulty for children to climb on them. This is in stark contrast to Europe, where flat plate baggage carousels dominate.

However, with America's aging population, does anyone think we could eventually see a return to flat plate carousels in the future? I heard that TPA has chosen to stick with flat plate carousels for its baggage claim renovation, citing the convenience for the elderly.

[Edited 2015-01-23 13:05:11]
 
ikramerica
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:08 pm

Flats are peninsulas while sloped are islands you can walk around completely. Most of our airports can't work as peninsulas without rebuilding the terminals. So maybe new terminals can incorporate this ability.
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aklrno
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:52 pm

Maybe a better description is in order. Most sloped-sided carousels (all that I can think of anyway) have the bags fed from the center, either through a belt descending from above or coming up from below . The bags then fall onto the carousel with no human intervention. To make that work you need a sloped carousel with a big bumper/lip at the bottom to stop them. The bags have probably traveled a long way in the ceiling or basement to get there.

Other airports have a belt that disappears behind a wall to the area where the baggage carts are towed from the aircraft. Baggage handlers lift the bags from the cart to the belt by hand.

If you can't get the baggage carts close to the belts then the first way is required. If the carts do pull up to the back side of the belt then I guess either would work but the flat belt would be easier.

There must be a lot of ramp rats here that could verify this.
 
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northwestEWR
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:20 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 2):

Other airports have a belt that disappears behind a wall to the area where the baggage carts are towed from the aircraft. Baggage handlers lift the bags from the cart to the belt by hand.

If you can't get the baggage carts close to the belts then the first way is required. If the carts do pull up to the back side of the belt then I guess either would work but the flat belt would be easier.

There must be a lot of ramp rats here that could verify this.

Yep. The flat style usually just rotate behind a wall where the tug pulls up and we transfer bags onto the belt.

I don't see why you couldn't transport bags via conveyer and instead of dropping them onto the sloped style, dump them onto a flat system. The moving flat belt is going to pull them off the incoming track and around the loop anyway.

That said I can't tell any difference whatsoever. Both are just as easy.
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teneriffe77
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:03 am

Here in SYR we've always had flat style bag belts as far as I can remember even after the numerous renovations that have been done over the years
 
trigged
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:32 am

CYS and CSG have the flat peninsula type. I like it.
 
USAirALB
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:51 am

I believe that the flat peninsula type are more common at smaller, regional airports, while the sloped plate type is generally seen at larger airports.

CLT has both; Baggage Zones A-C are the flat peninsula type, while Zones D-E are the sloped plate type. I believe those in the International Arrivals area are the sloped plate type as well.
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N1120A
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:01 am

I've seen plenty of airports outside the US that use the sloped ones, and I've seen US airports with the flat ones. MSY has the flats.
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ginger727
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:05 am

One problem with flat plate carousels is that the TSA does not like them because of the inherent security issues they cause. Because the conveyor must continuously go between the bag claim area and the ramp side secure area, a person with evil intent can easily ride the conveyor out to the ramp, or can pass weapons out to the ramp. At Wichita's new terminal that will open this spring, the TSA mandated that sloped plate carousels be used instead of the flat plate ones that the existing terminal has. From a maintenance and environment standpoint, the sloped plate types help keep the temperature in the bag claim area more even and the room dryer during storms since there are no access points that must continuously remain open as on a flat plate.
 
L1011dal
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:22 am

Having recently worked very closely with this there are two major considerations.

1 - Capacity
2 - Facility space

Another consideration was security as mentioned however that has been overcome in newer and refurbished designs with bags being merged onto flat plates through a secure wall.

As far as capacity the slope can stack bags however the flat plates with peninsulas/fingers can weaver in and out in a smaller foot print.

Facilities require more space for slope plates in addition to feeds from above or below. The space on a slope plate is generally lost. In addition as mentioned in the Tampa example harder for customers to pick up when their bags are stacked on another bags.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:39 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
I've seen plenty of airports outside the US that use the sloped ones, and I've seen US airports with the flat ones. MSY has the flats.

I think PHX used to have flat carousels in Terminals 2 and 3, but they have since been replaced by sloped ones. T4 on the other hand has always had the sloped carousels as far as I know.

I also know that ORF used to have flat carousels when I lived there, but now has sloped.

[Edited 2015-01-23 20:42:12]
 
Viscount724
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 4:41 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
This is in stark contrast to Europe, where flat plate baggage carousels dominate.

All carousels at GVA are sloped and fed from the center.
 
AMALH747430
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:27 am

Both Terminal A (opened in 1984) and Terminal B at SAT (opened November 2010) have the flat plate carousels. AMA, MAF and HOU also have flat plate carousels. IAH, DFW, AUS, DAL and LBB have sloped plate carousels. It would seem that the bigger airports seem to have the sloped design and the smaller airports the flat plate. SAT and LBB being the exceptions. It iz worth noting that the design of the LBB terminal is basically a carbon copy of othe design of the original DFW terminals.

[Edited 2015-01-23 22:38:46]
 
RottenRay
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:34 am

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Thread starter):
with America's aging population, does anyone think we could eventually see a return to flat plate carousels in the future?

That would be very nice indeed - a flat carousel to match the condition of my luggage!
 
N1120A
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:45 am

Sloped carousels seem to have more issues with getting stuck, thanks to the bottle neck at the bag exit point.
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CARST
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:24 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 1):
Flats are peninsulas while sloped are islands you can walk around completely. Most of our airports can't work as peninsulas without rebuilding the terminals. So maybe new terminals can incorporate this ability.

You can have islands too with flats or outward sloped carousels Lots of examples here in Europe. The bags come from the level below or above, too.
There is either a small wall where the bags come onto the carousel to stop them from "flying over" the carousel and dropping down or there is a laser system installed which only puts a new bag onto the carousel when it can not hit another bag come back around.

Example video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dq1HvYAkt_I
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bigb
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:11 pm

Quoting AMALH747430 (Reply 12):
Both Terminal A (opened in 1984) and Terminal B at SAT (opened November 2010) have the flat plate carousels. AMA, MAF and HOU also have flat plate carousels. IAH, DFW, AUS, DAL and LBB have sloped plate carousels. It would seem that the bigger airports seem to have the sloped design and the smaller airports the flat plate. SAT and LBB being the exceptions. It iz worth noting that the design of the LBB terminal is basically a carbon copy of othe design of the original DFW terminals.

Terminal A and B at IAH have flats
 
bogota
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:30 pm

Quoting ginger727 (Reply 8):
One problem with flat plate carousels is that the TSA does not like them because of the inherent security issues they cause. Because the conveyor must continuously go between the bag claim area and the ramp side secure area, a person with evil intent can easily ride the conveyor out to the ramp, or can pass weapons out to the ramp.

Not in the modern ones. The new BOG terminal has sloped on the international concourse and flat in the domestic. The flat ones are circular inside the pax terminal area and are fed by a second conveyor which comes from the back. Similar to what happens with the mini conveyors at check-in desks, which feed the back conveyor that takes the bags to the plane.
 
JHwk
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:48 pm

It seems like some sloped carousels are more accessible than others; BKK feels much easier to get a bag off of than LAX T7 as an example. Really though, I think another paradigm will come with the bag tracking. The current setup is inefficient in terms of space, passenger flow, and customer satisfaction, while being capital efficient.

With better bag tracking, the likelihood of being able to get bags to a passenger at a specific point and time should be the target. It should be possible to actually put all of a passengers bags on a cart for them automatically, and charge them for it.
 
HPRamper
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:05 pm

Quoting JHwk (Reply 18):
With better bag tracking, the likelihood of being able to get bags to a passenger at a specific point and time should be the target. It should be possible to actually put all of a passengers bags on a cart for them automatically, and charge them for it.

You mean separate out each passenger's bags for them so carousels aren't needed? It will never happen. Right now generally the best you get is elite's baggage gets sent to the carousel first, but this is not even policy but really just a gesture. Separating bags out would be a logistical nightmare, time/space consuming and not worth whatever premium they might charge for it.
 
TransIsland
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:36 pm

While I don't recall any sloped peninsulas, I have seen flat islands. TXL comes to mind.
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TWA772LR
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:59 am

Quoting BigB (Reply 16):
Terminal A and B at IAH have flats

No, only B is flat. All other terminals including FIS are sloped.

A and C have their bags come from the top, while FIS has them come from below.

Some airport terminals, like the little shack UA and DL used to be in in DAL, only had one belt that didn't lead anywhere. It just jetted from the wall and only had the bags on them and when the belt ended, the bags fell off if they weren't claimed by then.
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UALFAson
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:25 am

Quoting Bogota (Reply 17):
Not in the modern ones. The new BOG terminal has sloped on the international concourse and flat in the domestic. The flat ones are circular inside the pax terminal area and are fed by a second conveyor which comes from the back. Similar to what happens with the mini conveyors at check-in desks, which feed the back conveyor that takes the bags to the plane.

Thanks for posting this, Bogota. I was about to say we have the same thing here in BNA--flat, T-shaped (usually) carousels where the bags run along the back of the inside wall if they're not claimed after the first lap. They're fed by a one-way conveyor from outside with a sensor that will stop that belt from shooting another bag out if one is about to come 'round again. It's kindof fun to watch!
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bogota
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:33 am

Quoting UALFAson (Reply 22):
Thanks for posting this, Bogota. I was about to say we have the same thing here in BNA--flat, T-shaped (usually) carousels where the bags run along the back of the inside wall if they're not claimed after the first lap. They're fed by a one-way conveyor from outside with a sensor that will stop that belt from shooting another bag out if one is about to come 'round again. It's kindof fun to watch!

That is exactly how it works in BOG, the sensors exist also in the sloped carousels. Nice to hear from BNA, long time not been there. Beautiful Nashville.
 
JHwk
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:04 am

Quoting HPRamper (Reply 19):

With the systems today it is impractical, and would slow delivery of bags. But, it isn't that much extra equipment to sort by customer-- you simply track position of the bag at all times, and try to optimize placement based on the endgame. It requires the ability to store both inbound and outbound bags. Storing bags in a handling mezzanine is much more efficient than having the floor space dedicated to both people and equipment.
 
bwwt
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:35 am

Slightly off topic, but why does the US not use mini conveyor belts at check in? Rather they have a scale and someone moves the bag to the belt behind them?
 
LFutia
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:01 am

Terminals 1 2 and 3 at ORD are flat but T5 (Int'l) is sloping.

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ikramerica
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:11 am

I like the old eyw system where there was a sloped tray along the wall with garage doors against the apron. Then the carts would drive up along the side of the building, they would open the garage doors and throw the bags in the terminal and then close the doors and leave. No belts at all.
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jsnww81
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:56 pm

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 27):
I like the old eyw system where there was a sloped tray along the wall with garage doors against the apron. Then the carts would drive up along the side of the building, they would open the garage doors and throw the bags in the terminal and then close the doors and leave. No belts at all.

A lot of airports in the US had this system up through the 1970s and early 1980s. The original baggage claim hall at DAL had sloped shelves and was used by everyone but Braniff and Texas International before the move to DFW in 1974 (can you imagine an American DC10 unloading bags on one of those shelves?) After 1974, Southwest used the sloped shelves until carousels were finally installed in 1987.

I'm not positive, but I believe the old ATL terminal had sloped shelves right up to its closure in 1980 too.
 
tom11
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:57 pm

At MCO, the vast majority are flat carousels. However, they have 2 carousels (one it Terminal A, and one in Terminal B) that are sloped. I think VS uses the one in A. They are on the rental car level of the airport, as opposed to the rest of the carousels which are on the Baggage Claim level of the airport.
 
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Vasu
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RE: Return Of Flat Baggage Carousels In The U.S.?

Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:18 pm

Quoting tom11 (Reply 29):

Is there a reason why two carousels are so separated from the others?

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