Why does baggage need to be handled?

One of the many comments posted on the end of Graham Boynton's Daily Telegraph ire-provoking article (published yesterday on their website) about lost airline luggage, really made me sit up and take notice...

The answer, of course, is for airlines to re-equip with some of the wide-bodied Iluyshins I travelled on in Russia. These come fitted with a "left luggage room" under the passenger cabin. We boarded with our all our luggage, left it in in the luggage hold, then walked upstairs to our seats, collecting the luggage as we disembarked. No luggage check-in, and no hanging about waiting for the handlers to finish their tea/strike/football pools. Wonderful.
Posted by John Bienias on August 7, 2007 7:41 AM

Brilliant, out-of-the-box thinking!

Why do airlines and airports need to handle luggage in the first place? Is it just because they always have?

Why don't passengers take all their luggage on board themselves?

Think of the advantages (I mean just immediately off the top of my head)....

  • No carousels or waiting in the arrivals hall
  • No check-in. (Just think, BAA, of all that space freed up for retail!)
  • No lost luggage (well virtually)
  • No baggage handlers (which also means no baggage handler strikes). Maybe just hireable porters (skycaps) to assist if needed.
  • No delayed flights because bags belonging to missing passengers won't have to be found and removed from aircraft hold before take-off.
  • One set of security checks for all your bags.
  • Less luggage overall because if they have to carry it through through the airport, passengers will be more economical with their packing.

I can't see it happening anytime soon, but it does deserve serious discussion. Isn't it time we re-examined some of the fundemental systems of air travel to see if they are even logical or sensible in this day & age?


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