Travel Hack- Get Your Checked Bags First at Any Louisiana Airport
When it comes to flying out of Louisiana and catching a silver bird back home Louisiana has some great airport options. New Orleans has recently upgraded its International Airport. And if you haven't seen what they've done at the Lafayette Regional Airport in Lafayette, Louisiana then you are in for a very nice surprise.
That facility has not only built a brand new terminal but the passenger experience at Lafayette went from two vending machines and coffee pot to an airport that any traveler wouldn't mind spending a layover in. Heck, the Lafayette Airport has featured live music in the concourse and displays of artwork as well as expanded shopping.
But this narrative is not about keeping you in the airport longer. This article is about a simple travel hack that I have used on trips around the globe. The headline for this narrative says "any Louisiana airport" but that's not really accurate. I have used this "trick", it's totally legal, in London's Heathrow, the airport in Cairo Egypt, and yes, it even works in Atlanta.
To understand how this "hack" works you have to understand how airlines load the baggage into airplanes. It's not a complicated process. The computers send the bags to the proper baggage carts for the flight. The carts are driven to the plane. The bags are loaded onto the plane. But if you've ever looked out the window while the ground crew is loading the bags, there are always a couple of bags held to the side.
According to an inside source, I have a friend who works at Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, the bags held to the side belong in one of two categories. They are either bags marked priority, aka first class passengers. Or, the bags have a single-word sticker that you can make at home or buy at a hobby store.
Those bags are always loaded last. Which is an important step in getting your bags off the plane at your final destination first. You're familiar with the concept of last in/ first out? That's how they load and unload aircraft. That's why first-class passengers always get their bags from the conveyor belt first.
But what if you don't pay an exorbitant fee to fly first class? How can you get your bags off quickly too? That's where the one-word sticker comes in. That word is FRAGILE. Just like in the movie A Christmas Story. Here's why it works.
Airlines don't like paying for things that get lost or broken. For the lost bags, they really have no recourse but they can prevent broken items by packing bags marked FRAGILE late in the loading process. And since we know last in/ first out is the way things are done guess whose bags will be coming off the plane with the high rollers?
Granted if you fly into Alexandria, Lake Charles, or Monroe, some of our state's smaller regional airports you won't see a big difference in the time it takes to unload the plane because the aircraft are usually smaller. However, in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and New Orleans this simple hack can save you a good fifteen or twenty minutes depending on the size of the plane.
And if you're on an international flight that fifteen-minute head start can save you hours going through customs and border controls. It can put you first in the rental car line. It can make you front and center at the taxi stand too. It's a simple hack. It doesn't really hurt anyone else. And, it could save you time too.
Only in Louisiana Experiences for Visitors
Gallery Credit: Stephanie Crist