Want Your Bags to be First Off the Plane? Do This Before Boarding
Other than not crashing there are just two things I require when I fly. One that my carry on bag has a space for me to store it in the cabin during the flight. Two, my checked baggage was among the first bags off the flight at baggage claim. Other than those "minor" requirements I am an easy flyer of epic proportions.
In this new frontier of the "friendly skies" there appear to be two kinds of travellers growing in popularity as we begin our post-pandemic return to seeing the planet. There are those who don't check bags and attempt to stuff a minivan's worth of items into a Vera Bradley oversized tote. And there are those who put everything in a checked bag and then complain about having to wait at the baggage claim.
You carry on crazies, I have no help for you. You're just going to keep clogging up the aisles while we try to board the aircraft and then you'll be blocking the exits as we try to leave. So, thank you for your service in adding anxiety to my already turbulent fears of flying.
For baggage checkers, we do have some helpful hints that can actually speed up your departure following your arrival. The trick is, how to get your bags loaded on the plane last so they will come off the plane first. For hint number one, we will need to enlist the aid of a procrastinator.
This hack works on the principle of last in first out. It's kind of like when your company hires people. The last guy hired is usually the first guy fired. Except, in this case, we're talking about suitcases. All you need to do is delay your arrival at the airport and check in for your flight at the very last minute. But don't be too late or your bags won't even make the plane.
This won't cost you any extra other than anxiety medication. If you don't mind paying a little extra to get your bags off the plane then simply buy a first-class ticket. The same courtesy usually applies to business class ticket holders too. The airlines know how much you paid for your flight and they want to make sure when you pay it again it will be with them.
Now, if you don't want to spend the extra money and you don't like showing up at the airport late there is one more hack I have used on several flights to make sure my luggage is off the plane first. I simply tell the check-in clerk where I check my bag that the suitcase contains items that are fragile. I then ask them to put a "fragile" sticker on the bag.
Bags that are marked fragile are usually loaded last on the plane. They are also among the first items offloaded too. The airlines don't want your breakable items "in their hands" any longer than it has to be. So, they move the fragile stuff quickly and with greater concern than just "normal" luggage.
I also find that brightly colored luggage gets treated a lot nicer than the run-of-the-mill black suitcase does. I think the more attention a suitcase draws the more likely it is to be taken better care of. At least, that's been my experience and I have had the pleasure of putting my feet on six of the seven continents. It would have been seven but there was an issue with some penguins.
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