by: Lanny Hintz
Different airlines and airports have different standards for how they process luggage. Although many new rules have been put into effect due to recent world events, some things remain the same. All luggage, regardless of its owner, size, shape or seeming safety is subject to search. This rule is more of a deterrent than anything else. If luggage is more likely to be searched without cause, it is less likely that possibly offensive or dangerous items might be placed in the luggage for travel. Furthermore, airlines usually have a policy that they can refuse luggage, without warning, for a variety of reasons including but not limited to size, weight, character or condition.
The condition can be particularly important. Well made luggage that looks sturdy will have a better chance of making it through a flight than luggage in a questionable condition. They will also refuse luggage if the inclusion of the luggage would harm or inconvenience other paying customers aboard the flight. There is usually a luggage cut-off time. This is the time at which luggage is no longer allowed onto the aircraft or into checking. This is because the luggage must be loaded within a certain period of time prior to the aircraft taking off. This cut-off time is usually 40 to 60 minutes prior to departure. International flights are usually on the higher end of the spectrum, time-wise.
If a customer is unable to check the luggage within the amount of time allotted they run the risk of having their luggage and sometimes they placed on another flight out. If this cause’s additional expense to the passenger, the airline will rarely deem themselves responsible for this additional expense and the expense will fall to the customer. Checked luggage is fitted with luggage tags. These tags are meant to identify the luggage in order to get it onto the correct flight and to insure, should the luggage be lost, that it can be returned to the correct passenger. The passenger should remove this tag after the trip as future trips may be confusing if the luggage in question has multiple tags. After the luggage is tagged and checked in it is placed on a conveyer belt and sent towards the loading area where it will be put into the belly of the place. If all goes well, the luggage will arrive in the same destination as the passenger when the passenger can go to baggage claim, pick it up and begin his or her trip.