Luggage on baggage claim carousel

Best (and Worst) Baggage Claim Carousel Behavior Tips

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Ah, the joys of air travel. The excitement of exploring new destinations, the thrill of soaring through the skies – and the agony of waiting for your luggage to arrive. Yes, we’ve all been there – the endless minutes (or sometimes hours) spent staring at the baggage carousel, praying that your precious belongings will finally make their appearance.

But wait, before you start pulling out your hair in frustration, let’s take a step back and consider some key baggage claim etiquette tips. Because let’s be honest, as much as we all want our checked bags to be the first to arrive, it’s important to remember that we’re all in this together. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, here’s your guide to the ultimate best and worst practices for baggage claim.

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Let’s Start with the Best Tips:

1. Pay Attention to The Overhead Displays

“When I was growing up, my family was so poor we couldn’t afford to pay attention.”

Mr. T

The overhead displays will show you which carousel your flight’s luggage will be coming through. Make sure you pay attention to the flight number, destination, and baggage carousel number to avoid any confusion.

2. Be Patient

“Patience: What you have when there are too many witnesses.”


It’s easy to get frustrated when your luggage doesn’t arrive as quickly as you’d like. But remember – this is a shared experience, and it’s important to be patient and understanding.

After all, you’re not the only one eagerly waiting for your bag, and the airport staff are doing their best to get your luggage to you as soon as possible. So, take a deep breath and relax.

Your luggage will arrive eventually, and in the meantime, you can take advantage of the opportunity to people-watch and enjoy the atmosphere.

3. Respect Personal Space

“You’re in my personal space, so get out of it.”

Carol Plum-Ucci

When you’re waiting for your luggage, it can be tempting to stand as close to the baggage carousel as possible in order to get to your bag first. But this can be a major violation of personal space, especially if you’re in a crowded airport.

So, make sure to keep a comfortable distance from your fellow travelers and give everyone the space they need.

4. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

“Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?”

Erma Bombeck

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, so it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected.

Double-check that you have all the necessary documents and information on hand, in case you need to file a claim or report a lost or damaged item. Make sure that you keep your baggage receipts in a safe place.

Also, be prepared for the possibility that your luggage may not arrive with you and consider packing a change of clothes and any essential items in your carry-on bag, just in case.

There are steps that you can take to reduce the risk of your luggage being lost.

5. Help Your Fellow Passengers

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn

If you see someone struggling to retrieve their luggage, offer to help if you can. It could be as simple as holding their bag for a moment while they fish out their phone or grab their passport.

A little kindness can go a long way and can make the baggage claim process much more pleasant for everyone involved.

6. Respect Your Neighbors

“Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.”

Laurence Sterne

Once you’ve claimed your bag, make sure to step away from the baggage carousel to allow others to retrieve their luggage.

This not only frees up space for those still waiting, but it also helps to prevent any potential bottlenecks or blockages that could cause delays for everyone.

7. Keep an Eye on Your Bags

“I love flying. I’ve been to almost as many places as my luggage.”

Bob Hope

When it comes to your luggage, it’s essential to keep an eye on it at all times.

While it’s unlikely that someone would try to steal your bag, accidents can happen, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to keep your bag in sight and within reach, so you can quickly grab it if it starts to move or if someone bumps into it.

Leaving your luggage unattended in baggage claim can cause security issues and can result in your luggage being removed by security.

8. Use The Baggage Carts Responsibility

“The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise.”

Benjamin Franklin

Baggage carts can be a lifesaver, especially if you have a lot of bags to carry. But they can also be a nuisance if they’re not used correctly. Make sure you only use one cart per person, and don’t block the conveyor belt or the path of other travelers.

Don’t be that person who rams into the back of a fellow traveler’s ankle.

9. Don’t Forget to Label Your Luggage

“Be the one to stand out in the crowd.”

Joel Osteen

Make sure to label your luggage clearly and legibly. This not only helps you to quickly find your bag on the baggage carousel, but it also helps to prevent any confusion or mix-ups with other passengers.

Consider adding a bright ribbon or luggage tag to make your baggage stand out and to reduce the risk of someone grabbing the wrong bag by mistake.

10. Smile and Have Fun!

“A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.”

Mignon McLaughlin

Finally, baggage claim can be a stressful experience, but it’s important to remember that travel is supposed to be fun!

Try to stay positive and make the best of the situation. After all, you’re one step closer to your destination!

And Now, for the Worst Tips:

1. Cut in Line

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them”

Mark Twain

There’s nothing more frustrating than waiting in a long line, only to have someone cut in front of you. This is not only disrespectful, but it also disrupts the flow and causes confusion among other travelers.

So, if you want to be the ultimate line-cutter, go ahead and do it. Just remember, karma is a real thing, and you may end up being the one stuck waiting for hours on end.

2. Block The Carousel with Your Bags

“I have a theory that the answer to bad behavior lies at the end of a leash.”

Groucho Marx

Once you’ve grabbed your bags, make sure to place them right in front of the baggage carousel. This will make it difficult for others to retrieve their bags, and they’ll have to navigate around your bags just to get to theirs.

Bonus points if you can block the entire carousel with your bags!

3. Fight Over Luggage

“The test of good manners is to be able to put up pleasantly with bad ones.”

 Solange Nicole

We’ve all seen it – travelers grabbing bags that don’t belong to them or arguing over who claimed which suitcase. This is not only unproductive, but it’s also disruptive and creates an unpleasant environment for everyone involved.

So, if you’re unsure whether a bag is yours or not, take a step back and calmly check the labels before making a claim.

4. Be Disrespectful to Airport Staff

“There’s a natural law of karma that vindictive people, who go out of their way to hurt others, will end up broke and alone.”

Sylvester Stallone

The airport staff are there to help you, so it’s important to be respectful and understanding of their role. They are doing their best to get your luggage to you as quickly and efficiently as possible, so there’s no need to be rude or impatient with them.

If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to ask them politely and they will do their best to help you.

5. Crowd Around the Baggage Carousel

“The worst thing about being a tourist, is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist!”

Russell Baker

When it’s time for your bags to arrive, it can be tempting to gather as close to the baggage carousel as possible. However, this is a recipe for disaster.

Crowding around the carousel makes it difficult for others to retrieve their bags, and it also increases the risk of accidents and lost luggage. Stand back and wait patiently for your bags to arrive, giving others plenty of room to do the same.

6. Take Multiple Bags at Once

Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race.

William E. Gladstone

Taking multiple bags at once may seem like a smart idea, but it can quickly become a hassle.

If you take more than one bag, it can be difficult to carry them all, and it can also slow down the process for others who are trying to grab their bags.

7. Leave Your Luggage Unattended

“I travel for the chance to be lost, and found.”


Leaving your luggage unattended can be a major security concern and may result in it being removed by airport security.

So, if you want to create chaos and delay your travels even further, leave your luggage unattended while you go grab a coffee or use the bathroom.

8. Take Forever to Decide on Which Luggage is Yours

One of the few things that can’t be recycled is wasted time.

Sean Covey

Everyone wants to claim their luggage as soon as possible, so it’s important to be prepared and know what your luggage looks like. However, if you want to test the patience of your fellow travelers, take your sweet time deciding which luggage is yours. Stand there and ponder, check every single piece of luggage, and don’t hesitate to hold up the line.

9. Complain About Everything

“There’s a lot of whiners in every crowd.”

R. Lee Ermey

No matter what, make sure to complain about everything. Complain about the wait for your bags, the condition of the baggage claim area, and anything else that you can think of.

This will make sure that everyone around you knows that you’re not happy, and it will make their experience at baggage claim that much worse.

10. Yell At the Baggage Handlers

“Acting like a monster and treating people like dirt is never funny. Being funny and making people laugh is a gift.”

Jim Carrey

Baggage handlers are the unsung heroes of air travel, and they work hard to get your luggage to you as quickly and efficiently as possible. Yelling at them is not only unproductive, but it’s also rude and disrespectful.

If you have a problem with your luggage, speak to the airline staff in a calm and professional manner.

Final Thoughts

The baggage claim may be the end of your journey, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your good manners. By following these best tips (and avoiding the worst ones), you can ensure that the baggage claim is a stress-free and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

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Hands Off My Suitcase
Hands Off My Suitcase
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