What happens to your checked luggage at the airport?

Ever wondered what happens to your checked luggage at the airport? This will give you all the answers.


Flying in an amazing experience. Going from one place to another in the shortest possible time but with utmost luxury is a feeling that’s second to none.

To make this possible there are many people who put in their hard work and labour. They ensure that we have a comfortable and safe flight and begin our trip on the right note. While we may see some of them, there are those, both man and machine, who work behind the scenes. Like those who take care of our baggage.

Have you anytime wondered what happens to our baggage once we check in? Read on to know.

After you leave your baggage in the capable hands of the executive at check-in, your baggage disappears behind a rubber curtain. This is where it merges with the bags of other passengers and airlines. At a large international airport, this could mean thousands of bags an hour. It then goes through a series of conveyor belts till it reaches the sorting office.

At the sorting office, bags are set priority based on the time for take-off. Those on flights due in the next few minutes are taken first; those due in the next hour, second, and so on. At the sorting office, bags are also screened for prohibited items. If for any reason the security staff needs to open them, they will. Bags may also be subjected to other precautionary checks, like sniffer dogs, X-rays and laser scanners to detect traces of contraband substances. The discretion lies completely with security staff and the destination you are flying to, domestic or international.

After getting an all-clear, your baggage is then loaded onto belts where they are directed to your flight. It whizzes along high-speed belts before being picked up to be loaded onto a wagon. The wagon is then driven on the tarmac to the aircraft where its contents are packed into the hold of the aircraft.

At the destination, the bags are offloaded from the aircraft and onto the designated belt to be picked up by the passengers.

Have a look at the featured video above, shot at the Schipol International airport in Amsterdam to get an insider view of all the internal workings when a bag is checked in.

So next time when you fly, remember what happens to your checked luggage at the airport. Just like you, your bags have gone through a lot. So show them some love 🙂