How Long Does Baggage Claim Take?

As your flight landed, there is still a long ride ahead of you (unless you are traveling carry-on only ), you will need to make it to the baggage claim to retrieve your precious luggage.

Some passengers get terrified with just a 10 minutes delay at the baggage claim. If that happened to you, no worries, I’m sure your luggage is safe, and it still in its way to the luggage carousel.

In most cases it will take for the bags to get to the baggage claim about 10 to 45 minutes, even though; sometimes it may take longer ( on international flights ) or less depending on the airport and if passengers have so many bags, because that will take more time to unload the bags.

If you read this article carefully, you will never get worried when you get to the baggage claim at any airport, because we will walk you through everything you need to know.

How long does it take for luggage to come out after landing, and what will happen if you don’t pick up your luggage at the baggage claim.

Let’s find out.

A young man waiting for his baggage at the baggage claim
How long to get luggage after landing

How Do I Find Out Baggage Claim At The Airport?

Whenever you deplane from your flight, most of the time you will find a sign outside the jet bridge that will direct you to the baggage claim.

So just follow the signs and other passengers. Some baggage claims may serve multiple airlines, so you will need to pay attention to the direction signs and you will find out which luggage carousel will deliver your bags.

Some large airports offer underground transportation, do not hesitate to use the it to get the baggage claim area as quick as possible.

Why Does Baggage Claim Take So Long?

There are so many factors that affect how much time the luggage can spend before it gets to the luggage claim after landing, and why sometimes it takes so long.

The first is the amount of checked luggage, for example, let’s say a Boeing 787 have a capacity of 219–318 passengers and just half of them have a single checked bag, that is about 100 suitcases if each bag take 20 seconds to unload and placed in the luggage carousel that is 20 minutes for 100 suitcases.

An d I’m sure it will take them more than 20 seconds to unload and place the bag to the luggage carousel.

In addition if it is a large and crowded airport, that will add up some extra delays.

However sometimes you may not even need to wait, and your luggage will be there waiting for you especially in large airports like Denver airport for example, where it will take you some significant time to get to the baggage claim.

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

How To Find Your Baggage At The Baggage Claim Quickly?

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We have already mentioned that one of the advantages of having a colored and different suitcase is it is easy to spot in the luggage carousel.

But beside colorful suitcases there are also many ways to make your suitcases easy to find in the luggage carousel and we have already covered them in this post, and the most common one is to use a unique luggage cover, or personalize your suitcase.

Here is some of the tips we have covered.

  • Use a colorful Luggage cover, you can either make one for your suitcases or buy it in a nearby store or on Amazon.
  • You can attach a scarf to your suitcase handle, just make sure that it is not loose, so it won’t get stuck somewhere in the luggage carousel, this tip is not common but some passengers still like it.
  • Wrap it in plastic, wrapping your suitcase in plastic will not just make it easy for you to identify it but also will protect it from scratches and dirt.
  • Use luggage straps, luggage straps are stylish and they will help you minimize the time you can wait or looking for your bag, just like plastic warp they will protect your bag meanwhile make your suitcase distinguishable.

Traveling with carry on only will solve all these issues, you don’t need to check in your bag, or to wait at the luggage carousel, and the best of all you will not have to lug around with a heavy suitcase at the airport.


What To Do If You Don’t See Your Suitcase At The Luggage Carousel?

If you are at the baggage claim but your suitcases didn’t show up, don’t rush and declare a lost bag, because sometimes it may even take longer as you think.

In the other hand if you notice that all your fellow passengers leave the baggage claim with their bags but yours isn’t anywhere, there three possible options that may happen:

  • You suitcases is mishandled at the airport you come from.
  • someone else took your bag by mistake or maybe deliberately before you arrive.
  • your luggage is still in the airplane hold.

Here is what to do:

  • Do not panic : wait for few additional minutes until you declare that your bag is lost, sometimes luggage can take more that the usual time, there are maybe an issue with the luggage carousel or it gets stuck in the luggage conveyor belt, overall don’t react quickly, it is better to wait until that you are sure that the suitcase isn’t in the luggage carousel.
  • Ask airport staff: if you notice that your luggage is taking forever is not showing up it is better to ask the airport staff if there is another luggage carousel, or you can just follow the signs, sometime if the bag is mishandled it can go in another direction, so just ask for assistance your bag may be placed by mistake in another luggage carousel.
  • Claim missing luggage: if you waited for more than 45 minutes and you already feel that you luggage isn’t coming there is more chance that it is missed, the airline either mishandled it or they left it behind in the airport or the airplane, so it is time to head to the airline luggage desk where you can claim lost luggage, and remember it is maybe the airline fault, but not the fault of the guys in the luggage desk who are willing to help you, talk to them kindly and they will do their best to assist you and find your bag.
  • Fill the luggage claim: If you receive the lost luggage report paper, ensure that you provide every detail about your luggage, information, color, brand, type of suitcases is it soft-sided luggage, hard shell or aluminum any info will help them identify your bag quickly.
  • Ask for compensation: it is always risky to place necessary items inside your checked bag, if that happens and you lost your luggage, do not hesitate to ask your airline for a compensation, for both a delay or loss, you can use Airhelp to check how much the airline owes you for either delaying or missing your suitcase, sometimes it may happen that the airline will discover immediately your bag and if it is stuck in the airport somewhere, if that happens i do recommend to to ask them to deliver your bag because it is there fault.

There are many items that some airlines will not cover or compensate items like jewelry or any other valuables like electronics (expensive items). It is not also a good idea to place some of your toiletries and necessary items in your checked bag unless you are traveling somewhere where there is a lack of shops or items are too expensive.


What Will Happen To Your Luggage If You Forget It In The Baggage Claim?


There are three things that will take place if you forget to take your suitcase from the baggage carousel.

  • The airline will contact you: if you provide specific info about your luggage tag, do not worry the airline will contact you, and sometimes even deliver your bag to your home.
  • Some random passenger will take advantage of it: some people are always waiting for opportunities , so there is more chance that someone will still your bag and you will never see it again, some people know there airports well and they may have an eye on the luggage carousel all the time without the security notices that, so do not give them a chance and make sure to get your luggage as soon as you can.
  • If you don’t show up the airline will donate or sell you bag: if you don’t provide proper info or your luggage tag is missing there are more chance that your airline will not have a way to contact you unless you call them, but if you don’t and they can not identify the baggage owner they will have to store it form some days, and if the owner still didn’t contact them they will either sell it in an auction for a small fee or donate it for a charity.

Final Thoughts

Now as you know how long does baggage claim take, you don’t have to worry about anything, most of the time you will find your luggage waiting for you.

To easily identify your bag it is better to take a different or colored bag, otherwise you can use a luggage cover or plastic wrap your bag.

If it happens that your luggage didn’t show up in the baggage claim, do not panic, you can wait, sometimes it can take longer because it is mishandled or there are so many bags that need to be unloaded.

We hope this helps.

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