As you begin to make travel arrangements for the holidays, keep this travel hack in your back pocket: there’s a simple way to ensure your luggage will be one of the first on the carousel at baggage claim. Have we got your attention?
Travel + Leisure has a couple of tricks up their sleeve to make sure you’re not spending your vacation waiting for your suitcase to arrive.
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One way is to kindly ask for a “Fragile” sticker from the check-in attendant. Says T+L:
Bags that are marked as fragile will typically be loaded later and come out before the other bags. Plus, they’re also likely to get less wear and tear. The downside with this tactic though is that once in a while, these stickers may not be seen or noticed by staff.
Another tactic, according to ramp worker and gate agent Thomas Lo Sciuto (via Quora) is waiting to be the last person to check in. Says Sciuto, “Bags will always be loaded front to back on the bag carts, so if you check in last, your bags will be in the last bag cart, which will make them the last on the aircraft, and the first off the aircraft at your destination,” adding:
If they are the first off the aircraft, they will most likely be the first on the bag carts and then the first to be unloaded at baggage claim.
So, how does one make this happen? Sciuto says one of the best ways is to ask to gate check your bag.
Of course, these hacks are all dependent on airline, size of the airline and/or baggage handlers. So don’t be too disappointed if you follow these tips and your bag doesn’t get first placement on the carousel.
As T+L explains, there are only two “surefire ways” to guarantee your bags arrive first: either book a first or business class flight or join an airline’s frequent flier club to receive a priority tag on your bag.