Where Does My Bag Go After Check-In?

The baggage system of an airport is different for each individual. There are various technology that help make it easier for the passengers and the employees. When you check in, you’ll see all of the information about your flight. It’s also helpful to have a personalized sticker with your flight information.

Some airlines have bar-coded bag tickets that help sort through the bags. Once they’re on the conveyor belt, it’s time for your epic journey. In one of my blog posts, I talked about how Delta uses a CTX screening machine at Los Angeles International Airport’s Terminal 5. This device scans your bag to make sure it doesn’t contain anything that’s harmful or threatening.

After the security checkpoint has been completed, it’s time to put your bag in the right direction. Remember to arrive on time. Your bag’s bar code will then be scanned by an automated scanner to put it in the right direction. After that, the baggage handlers will load all of your bags into the aircraft.

Although it sounds like an easy process, there are a lot of steps that can go wrong. The staff members at the airport are trained to make sure that you get reunited with your luggage.

If only we could add a GoPro to our bags, we would be able to see how much our bags travel. They’re constantly going through different airports and airplanes that most people will never see.


You can check-in your bags at the airport as long as they are in the same place as the plane.

When you check-in, your luggage or bag will be asked to weigh it and have a label that has a specific flight information and ID. You also receive a sticker that will be attached to your passport that will keep track of all your details.

If you’ve already checked-in online, then you can still check-in using the same process. However, if you’re not sure where to go, you can always go to the baggage drop off point. You’ll then be asked to place your luggage on a belt and have it weighed.


In Amsterdam, the airport has provided us with a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes. While passing through the conveyor belt, your luggage will most likely whizz along the moving conveyor before it gets picked up by robotic arms.

After your luggage has been checked in, it goes through to the next conveyor belt. If your flight is due shortly, your cases will be placed on a platform.

If you have a few minutes left before your flight, your bags will be collected on a per plane basis. If you have more than 60 minutes to go before your flight, then your bags will be taken to a designated hotel.

The process is more laid back than going through the security line or the departure lounge. After your bags are collected, they are placed on a conveyor car and are gently taken away.

After you have checked in, your luggage will be placed on a belt and then taken to the airport’s sorting facility. There, they will either be picked up and taken to the right plane, or they will be stored and ready for later use.

Your bag will then be subjected to security checks before it’s loaded. These checks are usually conducted if they detect any suspicious objects or individuals.

Once cleared, your bag will be taken to the plane ready for its journey. It’s done by ramp agents who monitor the luggage movement and ensure that it gets on the right plane.

Similarly, after you reach your destination, your luggage is unloaded from the plane and placed on the airport’s conveyor belts.

Getting ready for a flight is often the last thing on our minds before we leave the house. However, there are a lot of people who work behind the scenes to make sure that our bags arrive in good shape.

We talked to some of these individuals to get a better understanding of how this process works. They shared their insider tips to make it easier for you to navigate the airport.

Step One: Check-In

People try to get away with various things to avoid paying for something extra. One of these is negotiating. They’ll often compliment you and try to convince you that they’re a good person.

Getting away with carrying more than you should is a bad idea, as planes are often full. The bag requirements are set up to accommodate what the cargo hold can carry.

The ideal passenger is someone who is organized and brief, but who also enjoys talking to people. They can also be bored and want to talk about their culture.

The standard bag is my favorite. It doesn’t matter if it’s a hard shell or a cloth, it should be light and not too heavy. The worst bags are those that are made out of cardboard boxes.

One of the bags that I saw was a Christmas gift: a chainsaw. It was packed like a present. Not in a box.

Tips tips:

  • To avoid additional fees, pack light.
  • If the check-in agents don’t appear to be in the mood to converse, don’t try to sweet-talk them!
  • Avoid backpacks with a lot of loose straps and cardboard boxes.

Step Two: The Conveyor Belt

Your bag goes through the conveyor belt once it has been processed. It takes around 30 miles to get from Dover to Calais.

Depending on the airport, there are various steps involved in getting your bag to the plane in one piece. In total, around 53 million bags are processed each year at London’s Heathrow.

Step Three: The Boarding Gate

It’s important to note down the weights that are important to keep in mind when planning on your weight and balance sheets.

Keep in mind that these are the total physical areas that you will be working with, so make sure that you keep an eye on the weights that will be most important to you.

Being a part of a busy airport can be very funny, especially since there are so many passengers. One particular moment that stood out was when an older woman dressed as a biohazard suit walked into the terminal.

Boarding gate agents are also responsible for handling the luggage of VIP passengers and dealing with the delayed or cancelled flights.

One particular moment that stood out was when a passenger helped slow down the line by buying snacks and a piece of candy for the other passengers. He then paid for all of us and gave us priority bags for the new flight.

Top tips:

  • When measuring your carry-on luggage, don’t forget to include the wheels.
  • When there is an issue, be nice to the employees who are attempting to assist you.

Step Four: Loading And Unloading The Plane

Airport ramp agents are the people who help get your bags on the plane at the right time. One of the worst things I see is people carrying large bags that weigh over a hundred pounds. Due to the fees involved, it’s usually better to check another bag instead of one so overweight.

Also, bags that are already broken usually fall apart. Aside from that, torn sides indicate that the bag should be thrown away. Ideally, bags should be attached to an unrelated piece of luggage. Usually, I treat the crew tags kindly. They often bring food from their destinations.

Sometimes, the baggage handlers and rampies can be unpredictable. They handle all kinds of strange objects and situations. For instance, if you’re moving a human body, it can be a bit unsettling. Usually, people carry well-packaged items, but it can also make them stop and think about their actions.

Mannequins are also very strange since they tend to be placed in random places. Unloading them can make them look realistic, which could indicate that someone died inside the pit.

Top tips:

  • Rather than one large bag, check many bags.
  • If you don’t want your smalls scattered across the tarmac, make sure your luggage is up to par and ready to weather the voyage.
  • Try sticking ‘I love baggage handlers’ stickers on your luggage; you never know, your bag might get additional attention!

Step Five: Lost Luggage

It’s no secret that bags and items get lost all the time. This is why it’s important to make sure that you reunite with those that are lost.

When it gets lost, the office of a travel agency will do its best to get it back to its owner as soon as possible.

One thing that most people don’t realize is that it’s also important to keep a contact information tag inside your bag. This will greatly increase your chances of getting it back.

Most people don’t check their luggage unless they have something to bring back. In the lost luggage office, you’ll often hear strange stories.

A couple of weeks ago, a cat got out of its cage and ran away from the plane when its door was opened. It was eventually found and returned to its owner. There are so many bags that go through the airport’s conveyor belt that it’s inevitable that some will get misplaced. However, if you have a tag with your contact details on it, you’ll have a better chance of recovering it.

Top tips:

  • Place a luggage tag on the inside, not just the outside, of your bags.
  • Electronics and fragile things should not be checked in.
  • If at all possible, only bring carry-on luggage!


The airport is a place that’s made up of amazing people. Next time you’re checking in, spare a thought for the people who make the airport happen.

Aside from the bag’s unloading order, the time it takes for it to reach the carousel depends on the security measures that it goes through.

The size and weight of the bag are also known to determine the order in which it’s loaded. Heavy bags are usually placed at the bottom, while lighter ones are put at the top.

Your bag travels as much as you do. That’s why the airport’s baggage system is designed to run efficiently.

James Newman

James Newman is an air travel fanatic. From the fear of flying, TSA regulations, and saving money on flights & airlines, James has extensive knowledge when it comes to air travel. He hopes to make your air travel experience a better one with his blog flyingcomfortably.com.

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