Packed baggage carousels are a familiar sight for most frequent travelers, though these days, they seem to be fuller than ever. There are probably a few reasons why: There are more people flying, airlines have reduced the number of employees working and passengers are checking more bags since gate agents are cracking down on carry-ons. RELATED: American Airlines Flight Attendant Warns: Doing This With Your Luggage Tag Could Put You at Risk

Suitcase gets shredded at Newark Liberty International Airport.
To give you an idea just how many Americans are traveling: According to the TSA, their officers screened 2,229,271 people at airport checkpoints nationwide yesterday, March 26. One year ago, on the same day that number was 2,039,138. It’s the 41st day straight of numbers higher than 2023. It would have been 61 days if not for February 14, which, in 2023, had only 59,000 people more.

I always recommend not checking a bag for number of reasons:

-You don’t have to show up to the airport extra early.
-You don’t have to pay astronomical fees to check them (the major airlines just raised their bag fees to $35 for the first bag and $45 for the second bag.)
-If your flight is delayed or canceled, you can easily jump on another flight.
-You don’t have to worry about your items getting lost or stolen (though there does seem to be an uptick in in-flight theft.)
-You don’t have to wait around for what seems like an eternity for your bags to come out. Last year, my family and I waited 90 minutes for our bags to come out after an Air Canada Los Angeles to Toronto flight.
-You don’t have to worry about your bag being damaged like the one in the video below.

@joeymoawad They say first impressions are the most important. Welcome to the US Newark airport. Was taking a video to show the staff there’s a problem when this happened. Let’s get this reel to the green bag owner. EWR you can do better than this… #usa #newjersey #newarkairport #ewr #turkishairlines #baggage #broken #greenbag #fail #wheresthestaff #shame ♬ original sound – Joey

I know it’s easier said than done to travel with carry-on only, especially when you have little kids (like me), if you’re headed to cold weather or if you’re traveling for a long period of time. 

And when you do check a bag, you definitely don’t want to see what TikToker joeymoawad, posted yesterday from Newark Airport with the caption: “They say first impressions are the most important. Welcome to the US Newark airport. Was taking a video to show the staff there’s a problem when this happened. Let’s get this reel to the green bag owner. EWR you can do better than this …”

I’ve seen packed baggage carousels like this one often and one airline employee who left a comment on the video blamed the baggage handlers for throwing the bags onto the belt too fast. “Those bags were thrown onto the belt way too fast … they’re supposed to be put on with a certain amount of space between each bag to prevent this very thing from happening.”

When this happens, I almost always try to help out and shift the bags to an empty spot or even pull them off the carousel. Airlines should do this but as a good traveler, it just makes sense for passengers to help out (if you can do so without throwing your back out!) I also do it for selfish reasons because I realize that if the carousel gets too full, and the agents upstairs realize, they will just stop unloading so they can go downstairs and unload the bags off the carousel before going back to the aircraft to resume. That adds time to everyone’s trip and baggage claim is one of the worst spots to be delayed along your journey.

Some people commented that you should never touch another person’s bag at the airport, which generally, is good advice. But when you see a problem like this, I think it’s only reasonable to help find a solution instead of standing around and just watching. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott addresses this and more in this piece for USAToday:
Another Travel Headache: How Do You Feel About the Luggage Carousel Crowding?

This video also demonstrates why it’s important to travel with a durable bag. These conveyor belts are powerful and can easily tear cheap luggage to shreds. That’s why we always travel with hard-sided luggage and one of our favorite brands is ROAM Luggage. Read our review and get a promo code here.

If your bag ever does get damaged or lost, it’s imperative that you do this before leaving the airport.


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An Airline Executive’s Number One Tip for Avoiding Lost Luggage When You Fly

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