Dear Passengers Standing At The Luggage Belt…

Dear Passengers Standing At The Luggage Belt,

There’s a few things I need to get off my chest. I don’t want to fight with you (Lord knows this is neither the time nor place) but you’ve been doing a few things recently that are ruining the airport experience for a lot of us and I feel it’s time that these problems are addressed.

To start, I feel you should know that the gap I left between myself and the belt was a deliberate courtesy for my fellow passengers, not a hole I was reserving just for you to squeeze into.

So here’s a tip; if we all stand back just a little, we all can see what’s coming AND (prepare to have your mind blown) can step forward one at a time to claim our bags WHEN we see them.

Also, you may not have noticed, but the bags travel ALL AROUND the carousel. They go right around that big circle. All piling up at the point that the bags pop out kind of defeats the object of the carousel.

And, I’m really sorry to tell you this, but, unless you’re a smug sod like me whose airline status gets them priority luggage or you’ve been lucky enough to travel at the pointy end of the plane, your bags are not going to come out straight away. Do yourself a favour and pop to the loo or take a seat and rest up until all the priority passengers have left.

Children. I know that as I’m not a parent myself it is a little out of turn for me to address you. BUT I really feel I should warn you that I have a suitcase which is positively bigger than us both. Unless you want to be in the firing range when I swing it off the belt it might be a good idea to move. Far away.

If/when I have a family of my own (and feel brave enough to travel with them) I think I’m going to follow the example set by my Mum. Whenever we travelled as a family of 6, Mum would take us 4 kids and find the nearest seat or corner to carefully park us in. She’d sit with us, checking that she still had all our passports and pulling up the paperwork we’d need to catch our transfer outside. Then my Step-Dad, who is a big, strong man and more than capable of identifying the bags he loaded into the car boot hours earlier, would stand by the belt with a trolley, ready to catch all the bags much faster than us small ones could. Sometimes as the eldest I’d have to step in and say, ‘No Peter, mine’s a pale pink, that one in your hand is fuchsia’, but most of the time he did real good all on his own. (Single/solo parents, I’m sorry I have no advice for you. If you’ve made it as far as the luggage belt you deserve nothing but high fives and help from fellow passengers.)

Passengers coming into Australia: I want to give you a heads up about a few sucky procedures. Firstly, you need to declare all natural and food goods on your customs slip. If you bought a tonne of Galaxy chocolate in the UK (just me?) you’ll need to state this. I tend to tick the box for foodstuffs and write ‘chocolate’ next to it. The important thing is that you declare it, which means you will need to keep this piece of paper handy for when you head towards the exit. Also if you came through an E-gate at passport control you’ll need to show the little slip the machine spat out at you. I suggest you keep both pieces of paper, plus your passport, in a coat pocket or front pouch of your bag so you can easily reach them whilst struggling out the door with your overloaded trolley. If, for some reason, these papers are proving a little illusive, maybe step away from the exit line until they’re located.

I hope you will not be offended by my suggestions. I merely hope we can work together for a more successful travel experience in future.

Yours sincerely,

A frustrated frequent flyer

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