The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Good planning key to hassle free flying

By Sarah McVean/nw news editor

After getting to the airport, you spend 30 minutes finding a parking place in Egypt, only to arrive at the terminal to wait in line to check your luggage. Then you go through security procedures, which sometimes is all but a striptease.

Finally, you get to your plane seat, where you plan to relax and listen to your iPod for the next four hours. But a mother with a screaming baby is to your left and an old man with b.o. to your right. You make it to your destination in one piece and wait at the luggage claim. Everyone has received luggage and left, but not you.

Traveling by air is enough hassle as it is without having to wonder where your luggage is once you have finally reached your destination.

Between May and July, more than one million pieces of luggage were pilfered, damaged, delayed or lost.
In 2002, 3.84 reports of mishandled bags were filed for every 1,000 passengers. In July the reports were 7.93.

The new restrictions of gels and liquids in August 2006 led to an increase of checked bags. Analysts and airline representatives cite this may be a factor contributing to the situation. Several years ago airlines aggressively cut jobs after the industry’s historic downturn. That layoff has left fewer employees handling luggage and customer service issues.

One problem often over looked is major carriers’ reliance on hubs, which are the transfer points of connecting flights. These hubs increase the probability that baggage will not make its flight on time or get misplaced.

With the upcoming holiday season, winter storms will only make connecting travelers and luggage harder.

The airline industry said the majority of the bags are not mishandled and attribute a large part of the problem to weather delays and an antiquated air traffic control system.

“ The primary reason behind mishandled bags is delayed and misconnected flights,” David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, said.

Here are some tips from me, a frequent flyer, for traveling. Wear shoes that are easy-on-easy-off because you have to remove them to go through security. Ladies, check your good make-up because you cannot get into the terminal with liquids. Keep jewelry in your purse to save time at security. Finally pack light. Try to fit your stuff into one carry-on to reduce the risk of lost luggage.

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