There’s nothing worse than waiting at theat the airport for your suitcase and watching everyone from your flight head out before you — especially when you know they’re beating you to the taxi line. If you want your bag to be the first one out, try these tricks.
When you’re at the check-in counter at your departure airport, ask the representative to attach a fragile sticker to your bag. According to Travel and Leisure, suitcases with these stickers are typically loaded later as a form of protection, meaning they’re the first bags to be unloaded too. But this isn’t a fool-proof system, as sometimes airport personnel miss the stickers and forget to reserve your bag for the end of the loading process.
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Another option: be the last person to check-in (or drop your luggage off, if you’ve already checked in online). “Bags will always be loaded front to back on the bag carts, so if you check in last, your bags will be in the last bag cart, which will make them the last on the aircraft, and the first off the aircraft at your destination,” ramp worker and gate agent Thomas Lo Sciuto wrote on Quora.
“If they are the first off the aircraft, they will most likely be the first on the bag carts and then the first to be unloaded at baggage claim.”
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Granted, this strategy is more risky, because if security lines are long and you miss your flight, you’ll end up wasting even more time than what you were going to experience at the luggage carousel. Not to mention that not all airports follow the same processes.
So if you’re really impatient, you might want to book a first class ticket or join the airline’s frequent flier club and use a priority tag instead.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.