Solutions for checked baggage on airlines

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Music_Producer, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    If you've been following the news - almost everyday there is some sort of incident that has to do with airline security, evacuations, bomb threats and so on. Baggage screeners can't possible scan every bag due to time restrictions and the sheer amount of travellers.. especially during holiday season. I do believe that airlines are still very vulnerable to explosive materials kept in checked baggages (if not detected obviously)

    Just a thought.. but.. why not have a separate plane to carry all checked baggage? Lets say you're flying from LAX to JFK on American Airlines. When you check in at the counter, your baggage is bundled with baggage of other passengers flying the to JFK.. on other airlines (like united, continental, etc)

    I mean, I am sure at 7.20 am there are a bunch of flights leaving from LAX to JFK at the same time. So have a plane carry all the baggages of all these passengers to JFK. One plane can easily carry baggage for about 8-20 flights (I'm assuming) so talk about the financial impacts wouldn't arise. Additionally, since the flights with passengers would weigh much, much less due to no checked bags.. they could have less fuel, and save more money.

    All the checked baggage would obviously be tagged with the appropriate information as to what airport they are supposed to go to.. and thats being done now anyway. Basically, just fly with your carry on.. and pick up your checked baggage that comes on a separate plane at your destination. No stress for passengers and security personnel either.

    What do you think? :)
  2. ZoomZoomZoom macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    I don't know about LAX to JFK, but if I remember correctly there are not that many flights at the exact same time (or even within a reasonable time between each other) where several flights all go up at the same time to the same destination. And even if I'm wrong (which I don't think I am - I just got back from the airport, albeit on an international flight), here are a couple problems:

    [1] It's already a pain in the butt to find your baggage on the conveyor belt. Imagine 8-20 planes' worth of baggage.
    [2] Airlines are already operating on razor-thin - and sometimes losing - operating margins. Although I do understand what you're saying about fuel saved (and then gained back) because luggage on those planes would be moved to the single cargo plane, at the end of the day, you're still putting another plane's worth of weight in the air.

    Of course, there's the consequence of "hey, we're going to have risk of bombs in the luggage" but we're currently hoping that x-rays, random screenings, and sniffer dogs are going to take care of that. Currently, though, it's just not financially possible for airlines to do that.

    Side note: I just got off my international flight today. Pretty shocked by the lack of security. I have some medication (in pills and liquids) that I wouldn't want to ship because of cost and the time lag. So, I decided to put it in my carry-on. Absentmindedly put hair gel in my checked baggage too. Everything made it through. There's another post on MR saying that the whole liquid threat might have been a conspiracy; while I don't know enough information to side with or against it, if the liquid bomb threat were real, then I'm pretty sure that not enough security is being taken to prevent the transport of liquids. Also means that a lot of people threw away expensive wines and cosmetics for nothing. :D Then again, it was an Asia->USA flight, and security was more lax; electronics were allowed, and all. (I don't know what the security status is for European->USA flights, haven't kept up with news for the past week.)
  3. kerryliu macrumors newbie


    Aug 26, 2006
    :) :cool:
    It seems like a good idea! But I think since only few people bring large baggages that using another plane for baggages maybe very expensive.
  4. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Kind of like real-time UPS for luggage. Nice thought but would definitely not work. Logistics nightmare. Extra fuel = $$$$$, extra pilots = $$$$$, 1 spare plane for every x000 passengers = $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, maintenance on said planes $$$$$$$$. Pissed off customers due to delays etc. Better solution: walk-through x-ray machines like in Total Recall.
  5. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    True.. but every flight delayed = $$$$, passngers hesitating to fly because of concerns and driving instead = $$$$ (loss for the airlines) an airline actually blowing up due to explosives = $$$$$$$$$$ for the airline company - distribution of finances to the family members of the deceased, law suits, etc etc. Somehow I think the whole cost issue would be balanced.. it would be tough to figure it out initially.. but if done right, it would work.

    Lol @ total recall.. i can see a whole lot of people refusing to walk through those machines :p
  6. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Ps - I don't mean to imply a huge 747 or dc-10 for carrying baggage.. it could be a much smaller plane.. so as to save considerably on fuel costs.
  7. Music_Producer thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Yeah, I'm a little skeptical about the whole airline bomb plot as well. Somehow after the headlines, nothing ever comes out as to what happened, evidence.. who was arrested, etc. Just kinda fizzles away..

    My wife and I are travelling to India this year, and its going to be a 28 hour flight (including stops) All she complains about is not being able to carry lotion on board! :D
  8. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    check this link

    these guys made a machine that will bombard your luggage with neutrons, causing explosive substances (the main component of which is usually nitrogen) to emit gamma radiation. Basically, they're able to determine the exact chemical composition of whatever it is you've got in there...

    pretty cool I thought...

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