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Has Premium Luggage Handling Changed For The Better?

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Old Oct 21, 17, 12:51 pm
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Has Premium Luggage Handling Changed For The Better?

Just got back from my trip to Canada. We flew United in Business Class ie Domestic First to Canada. Both in Toronto and at LAX, our three bags, all tagged with the Star Alliance Priority tags and also with "VIP" on the barcode arrived first three on the belt in Toronto and bags 2, 3 and 4 in LAX. Bag 1 at LAX was also tagged priority which belonged to someone else.

So was I just extremely lucky or has United implemented some positive changes for their premium passenger's luggage? Being tagged Priority used to really mean swat for the speed at which you would retrieve your bags at baggage claim.

On our outbound flight to ORD, due to our flight being delayed by hours, the United Club agent proactively rebooked us onto Air Canada for the leg from ORD to YYZ but on arrival in ORD, our original connecting flight was also delayed so we were back flying United on our original connecting flight. Even with the changes back and forth between two different airlines and only 20 min connection, all of our bags made it with us.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 1:23 pm
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It varies, but I have pretty much always seen orange-tagged bags come out first on every one of the (few) segments I have checked bags in recent years. There are usually quite a number of them, so being the first three off the plane is a stroke of good luck.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 1:28 pm
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Not sure it's a premium baggage thing as similar to findark, the priority bags have generally come early. I have noticed baggage coming out quicker in general especially at EWR which I've waited forever in the past for the baggage claim to even start moving.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 1:29 pm
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And don't forget the United app now offers a beta 'bag tracking'!

Although I'm sure 75% of us on here don't take advantage of it since we're terrified of checking bags
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Old Oct 21, 17, 1:33 pm
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I would have to say much better this year. I use as a marking point that this year I've had to carry all my bags. With short layovers and rebookings included. @ 50% of the time last year UA delivered them.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 1:35 pm
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Nope, it's purely luck. I had two *A priority bags with "VIP" tagged from Singapore to New York last week. No priority bags came out first and then most of them came out middle of the pack.

What I don't get is how UA doesn't have a special priority bag tag for GS members like Asian carriers have for paid business/first or LH has.

-RM
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Old Oct 21, 17, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by drew in the air View Post
Not sure it's a premium baggage thing as similar to findark, the priority bags have generally come early. I have noticed baggage coming out quicker in general especially at EWR which I've waited forever in the past for the baggage claim to even start moving.
This. I have had in general much, much better luck with bags the past year and a half or so. No delayed bags (for a while, it was nearly every trip!), and I have not had the hour-long waits at IAD that I used to have. Now, the bags are usually on the belts within 5-10 minutes of my getting there from the gate.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by drew in the air View Post
Not sure it's a premium baggage thing as similar to findark, the priority bags have generally come early. I have noticed baggage coming out quicker in general especially at EWR which I've waited forever in the past for the baggage claim to even start moving.
I've noticed how quickly the bags coming off the plane as well. Last year, we got off the plane, visited the United Club to use the bathroom and have a little snack and when we got to the baggage claim, it still had not started. To have the bags to use within 5-15 minutes after getting off the plane was a big surprise.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:08 pm
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
This. I have had in general much, much better luck with bags the past year and a half or so. No delayed bags (for a while, it was nearly every trip!), and I have not had the hour-long waits at IAD that I used to have. Now, the bags are usually on the belts within 5-10 minutes of my getting there from the gate.
This. The one solid improvement at IAD by UA is in their baggage delivery time. It used to be atrocious, and now the bags get there quickly, and yes, the orange tag seems to work.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:19 pm
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I've noticed no change here at an out(sourced) station - YVR. Still around 40 minutes to get the priority bags out, sometimes with no priority in delivery.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by transportprof View Post
I've noticed no change here at an out(sourced) station - YVR. Still around 40 minutes to get the priority bags out, sometimes with no priority in delivery.
Similar for YYC, another outsourced station - baggage delivery times continue to be abysmal, at 30-60+ minutes, and priority tags seem meaningless.

However I did check a bag on a domestic flight into IAH last week, and was very impressed that the baggage delivery time was very quick (<15 mins) and priority tagged bags were first off.

My impressions are that baggage delivery times and priority handling have improved at UA hubs, but outstatations seem to be a mixed bag.
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:32 pm
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So is YYZ not a outsourced station?
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Old Oct 21, 17, 9:38 pm
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In a handful of times checking bags in the last couple of years, I have had good experiences. Priority tags always off first, and not overly long waits.
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Old Oct 22, 17, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by gcashin View Post
Similar for YYC, another outsourced station - baggage delivery times continue to be abysmal, at 30-60+ minutes, and priority tags seem meaningless.

However I did check a bag on a domestic flight into IAH last week, and was very impressed that the baggage delivery time was very quick (<15 mins) and priority tagged bags were first off.

My impressions are that baggage delivery times and priority handling have improved at UA hubs, but outstatations seem to be a mixed bag.

Yes, the outsourced stations are the outliers IME and are horrible.

Thinking about it, though, I also noticed slow bags at MCO the several times I've been there this year, although the priority tags did come out first. I had chalked the waits up to the general chaos of the House of the Mouse. I assume the ground and bag services aren't outsourced there?
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Old Oct 22, 17, 5:01 pm
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I'll have the opportunity to fly United in December and I'll report back how things are at SNA and SFO.
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