This is what happens to your suitcase after you check it in at the airport
For all the joy that comes with traveling, actually getting to your final destination can be very stressful. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve inherited my mom’s airport anxiety: If I’m not at my gate at least two hours (preferably three) before boarding, I’m probably in a panic. From long security lines to missed flights, airports can be incredibly stressful places. But thanks to Thrillist, we can now put one of our biggest travel questions to rest: What happens to our bags after we check them in?
In a video posted to YouTube, Thrillist shows one bag’s journey into the great underworld of check-ins at Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol. This isn’t just your run-of-the-mill airport, however: Schiphol has an incredibly sophisticated sorting facility, including a “large baggage handling robot arm” and a Mechanical Unloading Module (MUM). The bag’s journey actually looks more fun than a few roller coasters I’ve been on — and it’s absolutely mesmerizing to watch.
The suitcase speeds along through twists and turns, up hills and down elevators. There aren’t a ton of humans around, and the whole process is mostly done by machine(s). At times, it reminds me of that scene in The Cabin in the Woods where — spoiler alert — we see all the “monsters” in their cubes, constantly being rearranged.
According to a recent study, lost luggage is on the rise: CBS reports that over 24 million bags were “delayed, damaged, lost, or stolen” last year alone. Aviation communications and tech company SITA estimates that 10% of bags are damaged or looked through; and 5% are just flat-out stolen. Videos like Thrillist’s give us some insight into where exactly our bags go once they’ve passed the black rubber curtain.
For safety and privacy reasons, these kind of video check-ups probably won’t become the norm — but we appreciate Amsterdam’s transparency in letting Thrillist (and the rest of us) take a peak behind the scenes. Check it out for yourself below, and the 360-degree version of the journey here.
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(Image via video)