I’ve traveled a lot and waited more than my fair share of time for my bags to come out on the luggage carousel at baggage claim. I’ll never forget the time our bags took 90 minutes at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. That’s no fun anytime but especially not at night with two tired little kids. RELATED: American Airlines baggage handler video goes viral for showing how his job is like playing a real-life game of Tetris

A luggage carousel at baggage claim.It’s times like that when I kick myself for checking a bag in the first place but when I travel with my family, we really don’t have a choice. But before kids, my wife and I traveled exclusively with carry-on only, which every frequent traveler knows has numerous benefits: You can show up to the airport later, you don’t have to pay to check them, you don’t have to worry about an airline employee stealing from them or worry about your bags getting lost. You can also easily switch flights if your flight is delayed or canceled and carry-on makes taking public transportation so much easier. And you do not have to wait for what seems like an eternity for your bags to come out at baggage claim.

In my travels, I’ve also experienced numerous baggage carousels breaking down due to a malfunction or because too much luggage had been loaded at once, jamming up the whole operation in the middle of unloading.

At that point, I don’t care how the airline gets me my bags, as long as they do it quickly. That’s why I can appreciate these baggage handlers (for, I assume, Southwest) in the video embedded below at one of the Houston airports.

I haven’t been to either Houston airport (IAH or HOU) in over 10 years so I can’t say for certain which one this is but I’m guessing it’s the older and smaller William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) since Southwest dominates that airport.

Whenever I see baggage claims that look this bad or are over-flowing, I always wonder what travelers from Asia must think of U.S. airports, and especially our baggage claim areas. In Asia, many airports are so much nicer and more civilized, including having a ‘stand behind’ line around the baggage carousels, about three feet away so passengers can easily just move to the front and grab their bag when it comes out. In some airports, the workers control each bag and some have automated systems that send the bags out in an orderly fashion. Just watch this video of Singapore’s Changi International Airport:

In some countries, they even have a dedicated person wiping the bags down if they’re wet. See the video below:

YouTube video


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