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airbazar
Topic Author
Posts: 10736
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Fri Dec 17, 2021 5:38 pm

I'm not sure this is the correct forum for this topic but it seems as good as any.

The question is simple: Why is there no overnight bag drop in the U.S. for flights departing early the next morning?
I would happily pay a fee for that convenience so it seems to me like airlines are not only forgoing a potential source of revenue but they're also making an early morning check-in process less appealing.

I can make an overnight connection and check my bags thru to my final destination (which I have done), while I spend the the night at a hotel before my early morning flight but if I'm an originating passenger I can't do the same. This strikes me as a classic Federal government, security by obscurity rule. Is that the case? Or are airlines just not interested?
 
FGITD
Posts: 2014
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sat Dec 18, 2021 12:31 am

I’m going to guess it just wouldn’t be worth it, especially since there most likely wouldn’t be many pax using the service.

Security-Bags would have to be screened when checked in, then have positive control storage over them the entire time. So a locked room, security guard, or some other method.

Liability-more time for the airline to lose your bag or any items in it.

Expense-gotta pay to staff the counters and bag room, plus the storage costs of a room, office or something.
 
ACDC8
Posts: 8354
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sat Dec 18, 2021 5:36 am

Overnight bag drop off? Is that still a thing? :lol:

Haven't seen one of those in some 20 years lol.
 
airbazar
Topic Author
Posts: 10736
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sat Dec 18, 2021 2:56 pm

ACDC8 wrote:
Overnight bag drop off? Is that still a thing? :lol:

Haven't seen one of those in some 20 years lol.


Yeah it's a thing in other parts of the World including some of the busiest airports like LHR.

FGITD wrote:
I’m going to guess it just wouldn’t be worth it, especially since there most likely wouldn’t be many pax using the service.

Security-Bags would have to be screened when checked in, then have positive control storage over them the entire time. So a locked room, security guard, or some other method.

Liability-more time for the airline to lose your bag or any items in it.

Expense-gotta pay to staff the counters and bag room, plus the storage costs of a room, office or something.


It's worth it for enough people if airports in the U.S. used to have it before 9/11 (another hint that it must be a Federal ruling), and airports in other parts of the world have it. Whenever I have an early morning flight, and it's pretty often, I get an airport hotel. The convenience of being able to drop off my bags the night before would be huge.

But aren't all those requirements that you highlighted, also needed for overnight connections? That means the infrastructure to store bags overnight is already in place. And what difference does it make if it's 4 hours vs 8 hours? Last time I flew to Cancun I flew BOS-IAH-CUN where I took the last UA flight out of Boston with a next day connection at IAH to CUN. My bags were checked straight to my destination while I spent the night at a hotel near the airport. How is that any different than someone originating their trip in IAH and wanting to drop off their bags the night before?
 
N1120A
Posts: 27236
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sat Dec 18, 2021 7:36 pm

I mean, the US doesn't require 100% bag matching for domestic flights, so the concept of overnight check in being a "security" related thing is pretty far fetched. It is much more to do with airlines not wanting the liability of losing your bag.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15624
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sat Dec 18, 2021 9:58 pm

airbazar wrote:
But aren't all those requirements that you highlighted, also needed for overnight connections? That means the infrastructure to store bags overnight is already in place. And what difference does it make if it's 4 hours vs 8 hours?


For me this is the crux of the issue. The exact mechanics vary a bit but most hubs have a place where bags go if the outbound flight isn’t yet being made up when they arrive. That happens for a variety of reasons: sold long connections, very delayed outbound flights, illegally long connections booked to deal with IRROPS, etc. There’s no reason those facilities couldn’t be used for overnight drops. The volume of bags likely wouldn’t be that high.
 
Clutch101
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2021 8:49 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sun Dec 19, 2021 5:17 am

Atlanta has a "cold bag" area that was built about 6-7 years ago. It is under the B concourse around B3 to B5 if memory serves me. If you arrive into ATL say around noon and your flight doesn't leave until 7 or 8 in the evening your bag will go to the cold bag area. It's basically an large bag belt system, the system knows when its time for your bag to move to the bag room to be loaded onto a cart. This is usually around an hour to hour and a half from departure time.
 
airbazar
Topic Author
Posts: 10736
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sun Dec 19, 2021 1:33 pm

N1120A wrote:
I mean, the US doesn't require 100% bag matching for domestic flights, so the concept of overnight check in being a "security" related thing is pretty far fetched. It is much more to do with airlines not wanting the liability of losing your bag.

I'm not sure that's it. Like I said what difference does it make if the airline has to store your bag for 8 hours during the night vs. 8 hours during the day? These days, automation and bag tracking is very reliable. Gee, I can see where my bag is just by looking at the airline's app on my phone.
 
debonair
Posts: 4470
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sun Dec 19, 2021 2:31 pm

Overnight bag drop is very popular in Germany. But it comes with lot of problems for the airline. One major concern, the bags are check-in one day in advance and on the day of departure, many passengers come back far too late to the airport - sometimes even right at Boarding Time! So the first flight of the day gets delayed by offloading their luggage, having a knock-on effect on the operations for the hole day!

And don't forget, the service provided is charged by the airport company and handling company - adding additional costs, not only for security storage BUT also for extra man power (check-in staff)!

And one last thing, thanks to COVID19 it is impossible to check-in one day in advance, as the COVID19 certificate might not be older than 24hrs on ARRIVAL at their final destination. Using the bag drop sometimes 24hrs or little less before departure (yes, many passengers do so!) make this rule absolutely impossible!
 
N1120A
Posts: 27236
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sun Dec 19, 2021 3:34 pm

airbazar wrote:
N1120A wrote:
I mean, the US doesn't require 100% bag matching for domestic flights, so the concept of overnight check in being a "security" related thing is pretty far fetched. It is much more to do with airlines not wanting the liability of losing your bag.

I'm not sure that's it. Like I said what difference does it make if the airline has to store your bag for 8 hours during the night vs. 8 hours during the day? These days, automation and bag tracking is very reliable. Gee, I can see where my bag is just by looking at the airline's app on my phone.


Automation and bag tracking has done absolutely nothing to keep the airlines from still screwing up luggage for me at similar rates to the past. I guarantee you that liability limits are something they're looking at, and not "security."
 
FGITD
Posts: 2014
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:44 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Sun Dec 19, 2021 7:22 pm

I’ve spent many long days and nights in bathrooms and I absolutely want my bag to spend as little time there as possible. Problem with leaving bags for a long time is eventually a shift change happens. And that cart moved out to an empty gate, full of bags, gets forgotten, lost in translation between shifts. A few days later someone goes to grab an empty cart and realizes this one actually has a dozen bags in it.

I don’t name carriers but it’s happened with every one I’ve worked with at some point or another.

Security is still relevant because unattended/unaccounted for baggage is still taken seriously at any airport that values security. (Which unfortunately isn’t necessarily every airport I’ve worked at) but you can’t just leave bags out and about everywhere all hours of the day. In rare occasions we did, the cart/can would have to be security sealed and placed in a pre approved area
 
IADFCO
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Mon Dec 20, 2021 1:23 am

This seems to be close to what you are looking for. It's specifically for the IAD area (not inside the airport itself, that's not allowed AFAIK), but if you navigate back to the home page you'll find locations throughout the US.

https://usebounce.com/city/washington-dc/dulles-airport#featured
 
USAirKid
Posts: 1106
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 5:42 am

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Mon Dec 20, 2021 6:31 am

IADFCO wrote:
This seems to be close to what you are looking for. It's specifically for the IAD area (not inside the airport itself, that's not allowed AFAIK), but if you navigate back to the home page you'll find locations throughout the US.

https://usebounce.com/city/washington-dc/dulles-airport#featured


That could be helpful if your hotel won’t hold bags. But it doesn’t meet the OP’s needs, which is not having to deal with checking the bag on an early flight.
 
airbazar
Topic Author
Posts: 10736
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

Re: Overnight bag drop in the U.S.

Mon Dec 20, 2021 2:18 pm

N1120A wrote:
airbazar wrote:
N1120A wrote:
I mean, the US doesn't require 100% bag matching for domestic flights, so the concept of overnight check in being a "security" related thing is pretty far fetched. It is much more to do with airlines not wanting the liability of losing your bag.

I'm not sure that's it. Like I said what difference does it make if the airline has to store your bag for 8 hours during the night vs. 8 hours during the day? These days, automation and bag tracking is very reliable. Gee, I can see where my bag is just by looking at the airline's app on my phone.


Automation and bag tracking has done absolutely nothing to keep the airlines from still screwing up luggage for me at similar rates to the past. I guarantee you that liability limits are something they're looking at, and not "security."


That's false. Misplaced luggage rates have dropped significantly over the last 15 years. In 2019 Delta fared the best by misplacing 1.5 bags per 1000 at a time when it broke all time passenger volumes. The liability argument makes no sense if you can't prove that checking a bag overnight results in more misplaced bags. The reason why I think this smells of a Federal government mandate is because overnight bag drop disappeared overnight across all airlines right after 9/11.

FGITD wrote:
I’ve spent many long days and nights in bathrooms and I absolutely want my bag to spend as little time there as possible. Problem with leaving bags for a long time is eventually a shift change happens. And that cart moved out to an empty gate, full of bags, gets forgotten, lost in translation between shifts. A few days later someone goes to grab an empty cart and realizes this one actually has a dozen bags in it.

That doesn't strike me as something that can't be fixed. If the airline or airport don't have the appropriate infrastructure to keep track of overnight bags then I understand that they don't want to do it at those airports. But I can't believe that all airports in the U.S. have no such capability. As I pointed out, overnight storage is already happening at hubs in the U.S. and it's nothing new.

debonair wrote:
And one last thing, thanks to COVID19 it is impossible to check-in one day in advance, as the COVID19 certificate might not be older than 24hrs on ARRIVAL at their final destination. Using the bag drop sometimes 24hrs or little less before departure (yes, many passengers do so!) make this rule absolutely impossible!

One full day in advance is a little ridiculous. I'm thinking along the lines of "if your flight departs before 7am you can drop off your bags between 7pm and 11pm the night before", type of rule. But your Covid example doesn't make a lot of sense. Test results are required based on the arrival time at destination or departure time at origin. I've seen both. The time at which I do the check-in is irrelevant.
Take my flight next week for example where I'm flying BOS-LHR. The UK requires a negative test 2 days before departure. So I take my test 2 days before departure which is still plenty of time to do the check-in 24 hours in advance. On the return, the U.S. requires a negative test the day before the flight so I have already booked a rapid antigen test (results in 1 hour), for the morning of the day before so I can have the results to do the check-in.

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