How to Make Baggage Claims More Efficient

I don’t like checking bags. Checking bags means that they’re liable to be late or lost, unscrupulous baggage handlers might rifle through your stuff, your bags can be damaged en route, etc. But one thing that I think is unnecessarily aggravating about checking bags is the baggage claim experience.

It annoys me to no end when people wait right at the edge of the baggage carousel waiting for their bags. It’s as if they believe that the closer they can get to the carousel, the faster their bags will come out. Why do people do this? It boggles my mind every time.

When people stand so close the carousel, it makes it hard for those people who are stuck behind them, both because they impede the view of anyone behind them, but also because if someone behind them actually spots his/her bag and needs to retrieve it, then he/she needs to wade through them to get the bag, and those people waiting right next to the carousel hinder these movements.

Baggage claims could be made so much more efficient if airports would just paint a colored outline 5-10 feet away from the edge of the carousels and have a sign saying something like, “Please wait behind the colored line until you spot your bag”. This way, by moving the waiting line just a couple of feet back, more people can wait around the baggage carousel with their views of the bags unimpeded, and once they actually need to retrieve their bags, they’re not hindered by the surrounding throngs of people who are just idly standing there with gaping mouths.

Am I crazy here? Or are there legitimate reasons for people seemingly humping the baggage carousel while waiting for their bags?

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