There’s a good, long, informative article about luggage handling in airports in the Independent today.
I must admit I don’t understand why the current system is not being redesigned from scratch.
It’s so clearly a relic from the days when flying was an upper-class activity that of course wouldn’t involve carrying your own luggage around airports.
But these days, it’s a major security risk, it makes it easy for luggage to get lost or rifled through, it’s a hassle, it’s expensive, and people don’t normally have more than 20kg anyway, so it’s not like they can’t move it around themselves.
I think airports and planes should be redesigned to be closer to coaches and trains. What about the following, for instance?
Each departure gate should be separate without access to the other ones. Check-in should happen at the entrance to the individual departure gate. People would take their luggage into the departure gate and then carry it out to the plane. If planes are not redesigned, people would then hand it over to the luggage handlers who would put it into the hold.
Much more secure, much less hassle.