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the most important aspects of flying are done by the least important people

the most important aspects of flying are done by the least important people

Old May 5, 15, 7:38 am
  #1  
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the most important aspects of flying are done by the least important people

But I guess that is true of life in general.

I made it off my flight into New York (from Europe), made it through immigration quickly due to Global Entry, and then waited for my bag.
And waited, and waited. I thought about how priority tagged bags always come last.
Then I started wondering if they had lost my bag. But finally it came.

Baggage handlers may not be hired directly by the airline, but they sure matter to the tired, grumpy passenger at the end of a daytime trans-Atlantic flight.

Same thing with plane cleaners, security agents at the airport.

I know the airlines say it is out of their control, but it really affects their product.
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Old May 5, 15, 8:22 am
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the most important aspects of flying are done by the least important people

I think that should read 'least appreciated' not least important.
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Old May 5, 15, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
But I guess that is true of life in general.

I made it off my flight into New York (from Europe), made it through immigration quickly due to Global Entry, and then waited for my bag.
And waited, and waited. I thought about how priority tagged bags always come last.
Then I started wondering if they had lost my bag. But finally it came.

Baggage handlers may not be hired directly by the airline, but they sure matter to the tired, grumpy passenger at the end of a daytime trans-Atlantic flight.

Same thing with plane cleaners, security agents at the airport.

I know the airlines say it is out of their control, but it really affects their product.
I occasionally have this problem with UA arriving in SFO from Asia. Never had the problem until UA dropped BKK and now it's ANA connecting in NRT. What sometimes happens is that when ANA is passing luggage to UA they are getting the priority bags into the correct containers. At SFO all the luggage handlers can do is to unload the containers in the theoretical correct order.

Bottom line, if there's a problem it wasn't the handlers at the arrival airport that caused the problem. It's the handlers at the airport that last loaded luggage onto your plane.
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Old May 5, 15, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
Bottom line, if there's a problem it wasn't the handlers at the arrival airport that caused the problem. It's the handlers at the airport that last loaded luggage onto your plane.
DFW is my home airport. In my observations, some airlines ALWAYS have the priority bags come out first, and some airlines almost never do. If what you say is true, then all priority bags on the FRA-DFW route should come out first. Yet somehow LH manages it and AA doesn't. And vice versa, when I fly ex-DFW, my AA bags are a total crapshoot as to whether they will come out first or last at my destination, while some carriers originating in DFW always manage to get priority bags out first when I arrive.<shrug>

I think if the airline really cares about it and makes it a priority, it will happen, no matter what the airline and route.
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Old May 5, 15, 3:04 pm
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I have the highest respect for all of them, but especially for cleaning crews. Given the state some of my fellow passengers leave the airplane and the quick turnaround times, I am always amazed by the fact that I find my seats and cabin clean and properly set-up.
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Old May 5, 15, 3:07 pm
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I think it has more to do with the order the bags are unloaded and delivered to the belt at the arrival airport.

Some stations just get it. For example, regardless of what airline I've flown into NRT (UA, DL, AA, or JL), from any destination (JFK, EWR, DTW, DFW, ORD) my priority tagged bags are ALWAYS within the first 10 or so down the chute.

Coming back to the US - total crapshoot.
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Old May 5, 15, 3:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Ryan Duffy View Post
I think it has more to do with the order the bags are unloaded and delivered to the belt at the arrival airport.

Some stations just get it. For example, regardless of what airline I've flown into NRT (UA, DL, AA, or JL), from any destination (JFK, EWR, DTW, DFW, ORD) my priority tagged bags are ALWAYS within the first 10 or so down the chute.

Coming back to the US - total crapshoot.
Not only that, but I never have to wait for my bags in NRT. They are always on the belt by the time I get through Immigration, and usually lined-up nicely in the Priority bag area.

Somehow, the Japanese can unload the baggage hold of a widebody in 15 minutes, while, here in the "Land of the Free", I have had several instances where my bags took an hour or more to come out. DEN seems to be one of the worst.
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Old May 5, 15, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by moseslin View Post
I think that should read 'least appreciated' not least important.
I'd also put flying the plane a bit further ahead of baggage handling on the list of "most important aspects of flying". Make that "way ahead".
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Old May 5, 15, 4:26 pm
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I find my home airport, Schiphol, a bit of an annoyance in this regard.

To begin with, it's always quite the walk to the baggage claim area. But hey, I'm fit and a fast walker. The route is well-marked, but the stairs leading down always give me the impression that I'm making a wrong turn.

Anyway, I usually breeze through passport control... and then I wait. And wait. One time when there was a somewhat longer queue, I wondered whether I should get the 'Privium' card (kind of like Global Entry) to skip the line at passport control, but what's the point if that just means a longer wait for my bag?

Final annoyance is that the announcements on the screen above the belts like "First baggage on belt", "Last baggage put on belt" seem to not mean the conveyor topside, but someplace somewhere in the dungeons of Schiphol, where they unload the bags. There's a discrepancy of minutes between "First baggage on belt" and when the bags actually appear. Similarly, when you've not gotten your bag and it says "Last luggage on belt", you start to vaguely worry, while the system actually is most likely to spew out your suitcase just when you give up hope.
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Old May 5, 15, 4:37 pm
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Heh, if the OP thinks the baggage handlers are responsible for the most important aspect of flying I don't want to work for him/her. A pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer having a really bad day could definitely produce a worse trip outcome than anything a baggage smasher can do.
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Old May 5, 15, 7:14 pm
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I think what this really illustrates is how little we appreciate what we have (and I'll be the first to point the finger at myself for being guilty of it as the next person!)

We take for granted flying to begin with - what would have seemed like a miracle to just a couple of generations before us. Someone steps off of a ~7-8 hour flight across the Atlantic from Europe to eastern North America - instead of the two months or so that a wooden sailing ship took (assuming you weren't one of those onboard who died from disease enroute), or even the few days that steamships spent crossing in the early 20th century...And the passenger's complaint is that they had to wait a few extra minutes for bags to be offloaded.

I don't mean this towards the OP in particular and like I said, I am just as guilty...like tonight I caught myself getting impatient waiting 4 minutes for the microwave to heat something up for dinner! It's just funny when you think about it and how quickly human minds adjust to new levels of expectations.
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Old May 5, 15, 11:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sseuorosal View Post
I am always amazed by the fact that I find my seats and cabin clean and properly set-up.
This is especially impressive on WN, given how fast they turnaround a plane.
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Old May 6, 15, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by SpannerSpinner View Post
Heh, if the OP thinks the baggage handlers are responsible for the most important aspect of flying I don't want to work for him/her. A pilot or aircraft maintenance engineer having a really bad day could definitely produce a worse trip outcome than anything a baggage smasher can do.
Yes...the OPs choice of words is not quite ideal.

That said, baggage delivery is the last interaction, and thus last impression the airline leaves you with, so they should make it a priority to get right.
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Old May 6, 15, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by JTCz View Post
I have the highest respect for all of them, but especially for cleaning crews. Given the state some of my fellow passengers leave the airplane and the quick turnaround times, I am always amazed by the fact that I find my seats and cabin clean and properly set-up.
There is no job that doesn't deserve respect. Not working, that I don't respect. But someone who is doing the best they can in a job that may not be particularly glamorous or rewarding but they do it to provide for their family (rather than being a parasite on society) deserves respect.

Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
I think what this really illustrates is how little we appreciate what we have (and I'll be the first to point the finger at myself for being guilty of it as the next person!)

We take for granted flying to begin with - what would have seemed like a miracle to just a couple of generations before us. Someone steps off of a ~7-8 hour flight across the Atlantic from Europe to eastern North America - instead of the two months or so that a wooden sailing ship took (assuming you weren't one of those onboard who died from disease enroute), or even the few days that steamships spent crossing in the early 20th century...And the passenger's complaint is that they had to wait a few extra minutes for bags to be offloaded.

I don't mean this towards the OP in particular and like I said, I am just as guilty...like tonight I caught myself getting impatient waiting 4 minutes for the microwave to heat something up for dinner! It's just funny when you think about it and how quickly human minds adjust to new levels of expectations.
Louis CK take on exactly what you're saying: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFsOUbZ0Lr0

Last edited by Tchiowa; May 6, 15 at 9:13 am
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Old May 6, 15, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by JTCz View Post
I have the highest respect for all of them, but especially for cleaning crews...
I only admire those who do their job efficiently and thoroughly ...
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