Priority Baggage on BA?

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This topic contains 60 replies, has 33 voices, and was last updated by  Stowage222 19 Aug 2011
at 08:06

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  • Anonymous


    On the few occasions I have had to put some luggage into the hold of an aircraft, the BA check-in assistant has dutifully attached an orange priority label to the bag.

    For every short-haul flight this has not made any difference to speed of retrieval at the other end, and in only one instance on long-haul has my bag been among the first on the carousel – which I am thinking was more of a co-incidence than any preferential treatment.

    This morning on returning from the US I again had a lengthy wait at T5 and noticed that all the priority cases were delivered in the third wave of luggage to be delivered.

    Am I alone in thinking the priority labels are a waste of time ?


    No you are not alone, only the Y passengers are not aware that this thing doesn’t work.


    In fact, you’re better off requested NOT to have a priority tag (or as the staff call them, snob tags)…it means your baggage will arrive ahead of all premium bags.

    BA are about the worst carrier for premium baggage. They manage to have the crew bags ALWAYS arrive on the carousel first – after all, the crew are in a hurry to get to the hotel and go to bed. I’m only a customer in a hurry to get to my meetings, which is the only reason I’ve paid BA (and the crew) to fly. Why those paid get priority over those paying is anyone’s guess. Other carriers, even the US ones, are able to offer decent priority baggage. BA just seem to fail at this – time and time and time again. It really lets the premium side of their product down, and is usually the last taste of your flight experience… which is probably why BA fare worst in popularity votes. I wish it would change.

    Keith Williams, are you listening?


    Priority baggage does not exist at BA and you will often find that the crew bags are first off. In T5 this can be at a different belt to the actual flight, but I have lost count of how many time the crew from my flight have pased me while I wait “impatiently.”

    Sadly no one is listening.


    Don’t EVER land and expect to get away fast with bags at Perth Western Australia…. Priority are always always the last off… happened again yesterday QF BNE/PER.


    I wrongly accept that a ‘priority tag’ comes late.

    My expectations for the ‘higher’ fares that I pay for BA ex LHR are :

    1. A safe & reliable plane.
    2 A seat / bed which is close to ‘market leader’ in space and comfort.
    3. A food service which is tasty & healthy.
    4. A professional crew that are happy to do their job.

    I have no need for free gifts.

    I agree with many of the comments which express occasional disappointment with BA, and as long as they don’t become the norm, otherwise those who refer to ‘snob bags’ will soon be working for the ‘staff airline’.


    I agree that BA priority baggage is laughable, but on my numerous trips through T5, I’ve found that bags in general come through faster than at any other major airport. A huge speed improvement over BA’s long haul era into T4.


    It would seem to be false advertising for any airline to offer priority baggage. One always lives in hope, but it would seem to me that it’s about the same if there was random unloading. I have had a first class bag come off absolutely last; and Qantas in Sydney seem to delight in having J and F looking forlornly at a priority bag – free carousel as most of the Y pax trot off to clog the exits. Is it more an airport issue than an airline issue?


    It’s an interesting question to ask who is responsible. There are a number of parties involved in this. At source the bags are loaded into seperate containers which are then loaded into different aircraft holds. Where are the containers stowed and in what order? They then have to be unloaded at destination. So are “premium” ie F & J (and crew) bags loaded into the same container? Are they loaded in a hold that is first to be unloaded? Do the baggage handlers know which containers have the different bags and do they follow procedure? The question then is does BA (for example) have a policy and is it being followed? Answers on a postcard please.

    However, with the opening of T5C, and the fact that most longhaul arrivals come to T5B, by the time you get to the carousel your bags are rotating.

    BTW sometimes crew bags are last to arrive – USA destinations (MIA?) are worst.


    PerthWA…….spot on …that is if they arrive at all. You will then be trated to the delkights of QF customer at it best…I was called love the last time, having waited for 60 mins for bags that were never coming. And I had travelled First and Business from LHR. Qantas did not have clue.


    It’s probably better if Binman stays at home, as his travels seem to be blighted.

    I flew to Australia on Qantas in F last month; bags on carousel in SYD as I arrived at it.

    Last two longhaul arrivals on BA into LHR (T3, T5) in J and F last three weeks both times, bags on carousel as I arrived at it. Pas de probleme.


    Interesting, 11 posts, 9 posters have a concern about priority baggage but 1 does not. Rather than simply state facts as experienced, as 9 others have done, VK chooses to denegrate those who have the temerity not to experience the world as they do.
    VK your insight and knowledge are invaluable but I would prefer you keep to the subject and refrain from the personal attacks.


    Stow, having worked ramp a few years ago I think I can comment about your questions.

    Airports like LHR, MAN, LGW, EDI and some others have automatic bag systems (BRS) that at the point of loading scan the barcodes. Each ULD or ‘can’, is also assigned a barcode and class type and for some flights an onward destination. When a bag is scanned the system shows green for ok to load, or red for wrong class, destination or even if the bag tag has been invalidated by check-in. Airports without this BRS system have to make do with putting stickers on ‘bingo cards’ and manually check the cards for any improperly loaded bags.
    For instance there maybe a whole can dedicated on MAN-DOH to being only for bags going onwards to MEL. This helps speed things along at DOH and prevents bags going missing in transit.
    Also there are dedicated cans for business and first. These cans should either be at the hold door or nearest to it. Economy bags go in behind premium and cargo right in so its last off.

    Crew bags will be in another dedicated can or in Hold 5 so they are loaded individually and can be delivered at aircraft side for speedy getaway to hotels down route. It also means in the case of arriving back home, the crew bags are also on the back of the bag tug or on a trolley and arrive with the first passenger bags. Crew bags are not mandated to come out on the carousel first, it just happens.

    Where issues arise is when loaders at other stations don’t pay attention to the load plan and load wherever they like, or unload and treat each can with the same priority. Its pretty endemic at LHR with BD loaders not caring, frequently the priority bags would come out of the hold last after half of the economy bags had already been delivered. I’ve personally experienced both BA and BD’s disdain for priority luggage. LX have also been sloppy with delivering my snowboard in GVA, though I think all luggage at GVA takes ages to arrive.


    As I mainly fly into LGW from Europe, and only do an occasional long haul, my experiance is fairly limited compared to you guys, but would have to say, unlike Binman, I generally receive our baggage fairly promptly, but not always, and I must point out that on one occasion our two case’s were the first out.

    Binman, I would suggest. you do not do the lottery, you are clearly very unlucky

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