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Is it OK to wait 2-3 hours before claiming checked bags? to visit the UC for awhile?

Is it OK to wait 2-3 hours before claiming checked bags? to visit the UC for awhile?

Old May 12, 12, 7:08 am
  #1  
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Not collecting luggage right away, staying in United Club. Problem?

After another 2 week stint away from home, I'm heading home today. I arrive at SFO mid-afternoon, and my wife and kids would like to pick me up. One issue -- because of the little one's normal nap, they might be there about an hour after I arrive. I'm okay with this as long as I can use the United Club as a type of arrivals lounge (new Club member).

The problem = I have one piece of luggage that will be checked. Using the club means that I would leave it at the carousel for about an hour after I arrive. After a recent issue at DEN where someone else took my bag and I had to wait about 24 hours for it to be returned and delivered, I'm thinking twice about this.

Has anyone else done this? I see bags lined up all the time after the carousel stops. Should I just leave it, and then pick it up when my family arrives? It seems unlikely that I can get someone else to collect it for me -- by asking at the Club, for example -- but are there any other strategies you've used in similar circumstances?

Thanks,

Enki
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Old May 12, 12, 7:46 am
  #2  
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Things that could go wrong:
- someone steals it. It is unlikely airport security will check bag claim tags
- someone mistakes it as their bag (you mentioned this)
- TSA is called to dispose of bag
- UA baggage department secures bag for you, and it takes a long to locate it

If you can't bear to sit around, then don't check a bag.


What do you expect to happen when you don't claim your property?
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Old May 12, 12, 7:46 am
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I don't think it should be a problem. They will collect your bag and keep it in the "Luggage Services" office where you will have to claim it. I did this once in LAS when my flight arrived an hour before my friends and I posted up at a bar in the terminal rather than hanging out in baggage claim. Though the risk of someone else mistakenly picking up your bag does increase a bit.
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Old May 12, 12, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by mre5765
If you can't bear to sit around, then don't check a bag.

What do you expect to happen when you don't claim your property?
Well, I wouldn't have checked a bag, but as I indicated in the original post, I've been on the road for 2 weeks (all business). I have not yet mastered the art of packing for 2 weeks in one carryon that wouldn't either (a) fit, or (b) cause an issue because of how long it took my to store it in the overhead bin.

As for what I expect, I suppose that's why I posted here, to see if there are any alternatives to just leaving my stuff lying around.

I appreciate the caution in your post, but suggest you ease off on the judgement, just a bit.

And thanks to the second poster, who provides an example of how it might work. I'm still a bit nervous, and if that's my only option I may not decide until I land and see how long the wait might be.
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Old May 12, 12, 9:46 am
  #5  
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I've never had a problem leaving my bags at baggage claim, while remaining in the lounge, or grabbing some food.

When you get to the RCC, you could always try asking the agent if they would call down to baggage and ask for it to be brought into the office.. that way you won't have any problems.
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Old May 12, 12, 10:14 am
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I would use some distinctive tape around your bag then the looks like mine syndrome is taken care of....In HNL I went to the UC and did some work...my phone rang HNL baggage claim wanted to know if I went to another island, and could they be helpful in forwarding the bag? Very proactive! Love it! I said, Oh no, I'm upstairs in the Club; they said I could pick it up whenever I wanted in the office...

So why fly home..fly to HNL, take some personal time, Let your little one sleep an extra hour...or spring for a cab [s].
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Old May 12, 12, 10:16 am
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Edited version:

Originally Posted by nova08
I don't think it should be a problem. They will collect your bag and keep it in the "Luggage Services" office where you will have to claim it. I did this once in LAS when my flight arrived an hour before my friends and I posted up at a bar in the terminal rather than hanging out in baggage claim. Though the risk of someone else mistakenly or intentionally picking up your bag does increase a bit.
Personal experience: My bag was stolen at LAX when UA put it on an earlier flight from ORD than the one I was on.

Just a caution.
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Old May 12, 12, 10:49 am
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The suggestion that the TSA disposes of the bag is highly unlikely - it is not uncommon for bags to be left at a carousel at all. There are many reasons this happens unintentionally - bag sent to wrong destination, bags put on an earlier flight than the pax, pax not making a connection that a bag does, bag being taken off at a hub when it should be through-checked to final destination, etc.

I've done something similar before at ORD (though it was quite a few years ago). Most airports have a place to securely store bags that aren't picked up. I know at CVG, they have a big locked case that they are put into - at ORD, there are similar locked cabinets between every two or three carousels. The thing I don't know is how often they are picked up to be put in there. At smaller stations, they probably do it after most flight where bags are left, but at stations like ORD, where carousels are used for several flights that constantly arrive, I'm not sure how often they do that.

The theft possibility is still there, of course, but that is possible even if you are waiting for the bag. Someone mentioned the (unlikely) possibility that security may check bag tags - I say that is a large overstatement - the last time I had this happen to me personally was probably about 15 years ago at LGA.
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Old May 12, 12, 10:52 am
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I don't see any problem other than slightly higher risk of bag being stolen.
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Old May 12, 12, 12:09 pm
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Bring your bag to the gate and gate check it. Then you get it on your way off the plane and you don't have to worry about it.
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Old May 12, 12, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by nova08
I don't think it should be a problem. They will collect your bag and keep it in the "Luggage Services" office where you will have to claim it. I did this once in LAS when my flight arrived an hour before my friends and I posted up at a bar in the terminal rather than hanging out in baggage claim. Though the risk of someone else mistakenly picking up your bag does increase a bit.
Originally Posted by FriendlySkies
I've never had a problem leaving my bags at baggage claim, while remaining in the lounge, or grabbing some food.
I've done the stop by the RCC, er, United Club post-flight a # of times. Had the same experiences as the 2 posters above.

Cheers.
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Old May 12, 12, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by revigik
Bring your bag to the gate and gate check it. Then you get it on your way off the plane and you don't have to worry about it.
Depending how large the bag is, this is a decent strategy. That said, I've stay in the RCC a few hours waiting for the rest of my family to arrive on a different flight and never have had a problem.

I do think as others have posted, a bag just sitting there unattended until someone from the service desk notices it can be a tempting target.
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Old May 12, 12, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by revigik
Bring your bag to the gate and gate check it. Then you get it on your way off the plane and you don't have to worry about it.
I don't think you can do this on mainline UA. It's my understanding they only do gate delivery of strollers, wheelchairs, and the like. I don't know if this is a policy thing or what. I wouldn't count on this, most likley you'll gate check it and it will be delivered to baggage claim. I think gate checking increases the risk of something going wrong either with your bag not making it in to the plane from the jetbridge or the handwritten tag causing problems.

I agree with others that you're fine sending it to baggage claim. The only risk is a slight incrase in the chance of theft. This is how all miss handled bags are delivered...they fist go to baggage claim and then an agent pulls the leftover bags off the belt and figures out what to do with them. Yours will likley just end up in the cage since there will be no lost bag report to match it to.
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Old May 12, 12, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by revigik
Bring your bag to the gate and gate check it. Then you get it on your way off the plane and you don't have to worry about it.
This won't work at all. I'm presuming the OP's back is too big to be brought through security in the first place, and even if it was small enough a gate check does the same thing as checking at the counter on mainline. It goes to the carousel.
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Old May 12, 12, 3:42 pm
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Originally Posted by TerryK
I don't see any problem other than slightly higher risk of bag being stolen.
+1
Agree.
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