Do priority tags really work?Create Topic

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This topic contains 34 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  FCTraveller 7 years, 10 months ago.

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    At most good Middle East and Asian airports, very rare in Europe and US, and never had it happen when returning to UK.



    In my experience when travelling short haul in Europe it does not work. Especially BA and BMI. When the check-in agent forgets to put the priority tag on the bags, I don’t even bother to remind them to attach them because it is just going to be a waste of time.

    With Long haul (between UK and USA or Asia) then it usually does work. Typically larger aircraft are used where baggage is loaded onto the aircraft in crates. Priority bags are placed in separate crates to the economy baggage. With the economy crates loaded first, it means the priority crates are first to off loaded at the destination.



    But not with BA! Internally, they refer to them as “snob tags” and have long ago stopped doing priority baggage at all. In fact, some agents (thru habit) still put them on – I’d suggest you take them off, as if they are on, it seems to ensure they are delivered last!



    While checking in with BA for SFO – LHR at Business the First desk called me over. On my checked bag he put a first label and suggested he was doing a huge favour for later retrieval. I smiled and thanked him graciously was there any point in shattering this nice mans illusions!



    Lack of Priority Baggage is a bugbear of mine.

    I asked Willie Walsh personally this very question a few months ago, saying if CX, SQ and others can manage is, why can’t you, especially at T5 using a system which is meant to be set up to manage such complex sorting/division of bags.

    His response was “CX and SQ simply don’t have the premium traffic volumes we do”.

    Now I take the point the BA probably does have a higher proportion of First and Club pax combined (just take a look at a BA 777, over half the floorspace is for premium cabins).

    But I really don’t think his argument stands up.

    Personally, I believe the real reason is Trotskyist unions at T5 with their usual class war blather which is holding up any introduction of priority baggage.

    Having said that, baggage delivery has improved markedly at T5, and the majority of inbounds I have had the bags have arrived on the belt in advance of or very shortly after my arrival in the reclaim hall, despite being an Iris user.

    LGW was excellent Monday am, all bags off within two minutes of me arriving in the reclaim hall, and even my F flight on Thursday my bag was fifth off the belt in the outstation, which you can’t complain about really.

    In both cases my bag only had CW tags on as they had run out of F tags and no Priority tags were forthcoming.



    I have found that the priority labels do usually work on long haul, but as suggested in Europe and Domestic there appears no difference.

    Interestingly on two recent domestic QANTAS flights both with priority labels on, on one flight the bags were almost first on the belt but the other flight they must have been almost last.



    My experience with BA in Europe is that the agents often don’t put priority tags on and when they do it offers no guarantee. I like BA and I almost always travel in Club in Europe but Willie Walsh’s reply to Vintage Krug is no incentive to pay the extra for business class.



    A couple of weeks ago I flew with Lufthansa via Frankfurt and I only had about 30 minutes between flights. My priority bags made the second flight, which I suppose is a sign that they do work.



    The coin has two sides; I flew to MAD, first Finnair to CDG and then Air Europa to MAD. I was the only business class passenger in the first leg and my bag was duly tagged. Perhaps that red tag was a sign to somebody at CDG as I lost the suitcase, it was never found.

    And Air Europa who became responsible for the search and compensation was the worst in the world you can ever get to do it. QUE !!???



    Sorry to hear your bags were never located.

    A salutory tale.

    I have learned to always keep essentials, valuables and sentimental items in my hand luggage.

    And to have excellent travel insurance such that any loss turns into a retail bonanza within four hours, and a positive lottery win after eight hours!



    I hoped it too, but Air Europa just couldn’t be bothered. I had to pay my telephone calls to their Lost Baggage Centre in Beaujovais myself. They didn’t bother to compensate. Travel insurance is fine, but I’d rather have my suitcase back. They gave no value to 5 years old run in trekking shoes etc. Tags work -at least in CDG, the black hole of luggage.. ;o)



    I was very interested by Lasse’s comments – I presume he’s a Finn and I can comment on Nordic airlines in general as a regular visitor to, and former resident of, that neck of the woods.

    I found that with Finnair and SAS, Priority-tagged luggage tends to arrive off the carousel at HEL/CPH/OSL/ARN last! I wonder if this is a reflection of the social egalitarian aspirations of these countries…..(and I’m being semi-serious).

    Being wholly serious, I have found that in my experience, my Priority-tagged bags either come out first or last, but very rarely amongst the vast majority of non-tagged bags. They also almost never come off first, with any airline, if I have made a connection with checked-through bags.

    A question for you all on this topic. I flew back to BHX a few days ago on Lufthansa, and my bags were duly Priority-tagged. However, they were also labelled as ‘HOT’. Has anyone any idea what this means? I didn’t have a particularly tight connection at FRA, so I don’t suppose it’s some Teutonic equivalent of “Rush.’ Nor, do I imagine, it was any reflection of either my fashion taste or the temperature of my bag, nor a general observation by the check-in clerk on the prevailing meteorological conditions at the time of check in.



    Have to admit, My KLM EU flights each yr (around 35, haven’t been let down once on Priority Tags. I find Schipol to respect & try to work the system to offer the best loading, but where it can be let down is the destination airport Contractors.

    LHR-T4, KLM provide much baggage Handling to other Airlines, so it is usually pretty efficient. KLM;s ground services are excellent in Schipol as we all know… I always find my 40 minute tight connections make the transfer also at Schipol, & with KLM!

    No Priority Luggage problems with Etihad SQ, MH, NZ.

    Seems to be particular airlines? & perhaps particular Contracted handlers at whichever Terminal at LHR?




    I find that luggage handling in HEL is somewhat erratic, with tags or without. It may have something to do with the fact that baggage handlers are overworked. HEL is a small airport, lots of 2 aisle aircraft arriving and departing within 3 hours (Finnair strategy) and oldfashioned facilities in HEL.

    Obviously Finnair had nothing to do with my lost luggage, but handlers in CDG may know the whereabouts of my suitcase.

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