The lesson today is aimed at the travellers amongst you. Not particularly the seasoned travellers, although I fear it may apply to some, this lesson is intended to help those less experienced travellers. Let the lesson begin.
The Baggage Reclaim Belt
Great thought and planning has been put into the design and placement of these wonders of modern science. They invisibly transport your luggage from the plane you just got off, right up to your luggage trolley and sweaty grubby hands so that you can trot off into the sunset sipping your piña coladas.
The belt amazingly goes all the way around in a giant circle, this is not a design floor but a little something the engineers thought of to help you. This is especially reassuring if you should miss your bag as it passes you at a sedate 1 mph. Maybe you are in the toilet, getting a coffee or just slower than others to the belt but rest assured, when you get to the belt, your bag will be lovingly waiting for you
The speed of the belt has been carefully calculated to allow people of all abilities the time to approach, lift off the bag and step away from the belt, it’s so simple even children can do it and quite often do.
Those health and safety conscious engineers also designed a ‘safe zone’ around the belt, a safe distance to keep children or loose clothing from getting caught up in the moving belt. This safe zone, usually denoted but a big thick line on the floor (yellow is the norm) also doubles as an optimum viewing point, where people can gather and all have a spectacular view of the belt and its approaching contents.
To be sure that the belt doesn’t unexpectedly trap anyone, prior to its starting, it has a very loud audible alarm and normally a flashing warning light (usually yellow just like the safe zone line).
The engineers intention was to provide a simple safe quick means of re-uniting you and several hundred other travellers with your luggage all at the same time
But they forgot to allow for the fuckwit factor
Etiquette at the belt
Do stay behind the safety line at all other times except when you step forward to grab your bag. Do not induce a mass pile on at the edge of the conveyor.
When you think you have eyeballed your bag, grab it and step bag with it to read the tag. Do not try to read the tag while the bag is still on the belt, you will end up on the top of the pile of muppets who are all standing on the wrong side of the yellow line as the bag drags you around the carousel.
If you are a little older, stay out of the scrum, this will make life generally much easier for you, give you more time to react, while adjusting your glasses to read the label without taking the bag off the belt and you will not cause carnage for everyone else.
DO NOT – step in front of someone who is waiting behind the safety line unless your bag is getting close to you, certainly do not step in front of someone else before the belt has even started. I had always assumed that this was a given but it appears not.
Really DO NOT – step in front of me as I wait patiently behind the line, then try to grab the worlds two biggest cases and put them down on my toes. I will not move for you nor offer you any assistance with your colossal load of shite – you packed it, you carry it, they are my rules.
Trolleys – keep them behind the line too, give yourself some space as you wade through the other bodies with your load, put it on your trolley carefully so that you don’t spin your trolley off in some random direction running down pensioners along the way
Remember – that belt goes all the way round and comes back to where you are standing, if, while man handling your first sack of shite to your trolley, you realise your second bag is already upon you – LET IT GO…..IT WILL COME AROUND AGAIN! The rumour that if it goes around twice, the bomb disposal squad will take it and check it out with a ‘controlled’ explosion is simply not true. Do not chase it, trolley in one hand with the first bag only half on, occasionally stretching out for the second bag on the belt trying to pull it off as it snags the solid edge of the belt and begins a bag like pile up that the M25 in rush hour would be proud of – you look like a demented retard and everyone quite rightly thinks you are just a little bit of a cunt. If you really are so much more important than everyone else at the reclaim and you absolutely have to be the first in the next queue that awaits you as it awaits all of us, walk the other way around. It’s always easier, usually the same way to the exit and by the time you see your bag again, the belt will be human clutter free as they are all bunched up at the delivery chute where your bag first joined the belt.
Parents – If you choose to leave your kids unattended and they do find their way to the belt, only to sit on it when it starts, you should be aware that if a child circumnavigates the belt twice without anyone taking it, the bomb disposal squad will remove the child and make it safe with a ‘controlled’ explosion – now that seems perfectly reasonable to me.
If this is all a bit too much for you, there is still hope – hand luggage only is an option, as is not flying at all.
Next week – tune in again for arrivals hall etiquette – ‘fuck everyone else behind me, I am stopping right here’.
Let me finish with something I read today. On the BBC website they had quoted about the shooting in America at the US Navy building. The BBC are suggesting that ‘ The US gunman had mental health issues’! – Really? Thanks for alerting me to that fact. When did the media dumb down so much? It reminds me of the other year while watching a weather forecast (not the BBC) the presenter said ‘ there is a 50% chance that this summer will be better than last summer’. Sharp that girl was, her university education certainly improved her !
And the Costa Concordia is upright again. This Italian built vessel, built to Italian code, with an Italian Captain and sailing in Italian waters that ran into an Italian island whilst flying an Italian flag is reported to be going back to Italy to be scrapped – has anyone else spotted the common theme here?