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Where Does Luggage Go On A Plane? – This May Surprise You

I know that often when I travel I watch my luggage on a baggage trolly move toward the plane. But where does luggage go on a plane? 

Let’s find out the answer to this question. I imagine it is not a simple answer but a process run by a complex system. 

Where Does Luggage Go on A Plane?

Once you place your luggage on the check-in conveyor belt and it disappears, it goes a mile or so to the plane. It is either held until your plane arrives or packed into the cargo hold. The luggage handlers scan your bags on a palette with many other bags somewhere during the mile trek to your plane.

A trained team of airport baggage workers and luggage handlers place your bags on airplanes. They use a complex baggage system to sort and store luggage; however, the technique is different for cargo vs. passenger planes, but today, we are referring to passenger flights.

Complex Baggage System

From the conveyer belt, your luggage enters the complex system of sorting and is placed in storage to wait for your plane to arrive. It travels on a conveyer belt for up to a mile or less, where airport staff sort it. 

Now let’s say you are a person who believes that if you check in early, your bags go onto a plane and sit there but not if the plane you are boarding is not at its destination yet. In other words, your bag will sit in a cold storage place until your plane arrives at the airport for you to board. 

At this time, the complex baggage system kicks into play, and the baggage workers use a notification system, possibly on special cell phones, to locate all of the luggage that will go on the plane you are boarding. The system also finds all the bags coming in on other connecting flights. 

Once the workers gather the luggage, they put it on a conveyer belt which goes to an airline luggage cart. The same cart I have seen when I am waiting to board or sitting on the plane waiting to take off is the luggage cart.

How is Luggage Loaded on Airplanes?

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Here is where it gets fun! The workers then load the baggage onto a luggage compartment under the plane. These are skilled workers and need to load all luggage for even weight distribution. They also need to pack it all so no one’s luggage is left behind. 

It is a tough job for baggage handlers to pack luggage into a plane. It goes in on a conveyor belt into a short undercarriage. In other words, it is a back-breaking job because they must always bend over while loading. 

So they pack all your luggage tight with even distribution with the heavy luggage at the bottom. To put it differently, just because you were there first does not mean your luggage goes on first because the luggage goes on according to weight and size. 

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When the Plane Lands What Happens To Your Luggage?

So your luggage is on the plane, so we all hope and away you go, but what happens when you land? The process repeats itself with the sorting of the bags. Some will stay, and others will travel onto another plane. 

Airline flight crews can locate a bag within minutes with their complex system. Once the system finds your bags, they go on a conveyor belt and travel to you at the baggage claim. 

Where Does Luggage Go On A Plane Video?

At this point, we are in line, holding our breath until our bag shows up, and what a sigh of relief when this happens. 

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Where Does Luggage Go On A Plane: Conclusion

So the next time you are impatient or upset because it is taking too long for the baggage carousel to start up with all the bags, remember how intricate the baggage system is. Additionally, remember how tough the job of an airline luggage handler is and how hard they work to get your luggage where it belongs for you to enjoy your vacation. 

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Laura Fuller

My name is Laura Fuller, I am a fanatic about luggage and all types of travel. I will be your luggage pilot to help you make the right choice for your travel needs.

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