The Path of the Luggage

I guess everybody who ever flew with an airplane, was probably hoping that also his/her personal luggage would reach the desired destination airport and would not get lost along the way. The fear to spend two weeks on holiday or on a business trip without fresh clothes and personal items is always present in the heads of the passengers.

And this fear is not baseless. Since 2008 almost ~ 33 million baggage items got lost.

Maybe now you will ask yourself: How does the Luggage get into the airplane to fly with you around the world?

The luggage’s way starts at one of the numerous check-in desks; where it gets a board card like a traveller. The barcode on this banderol holds information about the respective weight of the luggage, the destination, the flight number, the interchange and the passengers name.

After a laser camera scanned the barcode, the luggage gets into the baggage conveyor system, where it races 5m per second with a deafening noise along its way to the airplane. The baggage will be transported in plastic tubs and passes a number of security check-points, where it gets controlled by a X-ray machine. In case it includes any suspect content, a special airport employee will open the luggage.


The whole transport within the baggage conveyor system is automatized and barcode readers guide the items to the respective baggage compartment by scanning the container number and luggage number.

From this point, the items will be loaded into the airplanes cargo area.

Directly after the landing, first, the unloading of the baggage for the passengers that have to reach another airplane starts. Afterwards, the luggage of the first-class passengers will be handed out and at last the items of the remaining passengers will be processed.

The most common causes for a loss of the luggage are changes in booking, customs control, mistakes during the loading or old banderols.

The passenger can increase the chance of getting back the luggage after it doesn´t reach the destination by adding a name plate.

So always make sure to include your name tag! 😉



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