- Baggage claim
The baggage claim area is an
airport terminologythat describes the area of an airport terminal where one claims checked-in baggageafter disembarking from an airline flight. For international arrivals, the area is usually in a restricted zone and within the zone before clearing customs.
A typical baggage claim area contains
baggage carousels or conveyor systems that deliver checked baggage to the passenger. The baggage claim area generally contains the airline's customer service counter for claiming oversized baggage or to report missing baggage.
Some airports required that passengers display their baggage check receipt so that it can be positively matched against the bag they are trying to remove from baggage claim. This serves two purposes: first it reduces baggage theft, and secondly it helps to prevent passengers from accidentally leaving the airport with another passenger's bag that bears resemblance to their own.
In areas handling international arrivals, the baggage claim is typically located after immigration control and before
customs, so that all baggage can be inspected by customs agents, but the passenger does not have to handle heavy baggage while moving through the passport booth. In the United States, all arriving international passengers' baggage is claimed here and can be re-surrendered to the airline for connecting flights on the other side of customs. In most other countries passengers transferring to an onward flight do not need to collect their bags unless their airline does not offer to check their bags to their final destination.
Depending on the airport, the domestic baggage claim area may be located next to or shared with the international claim area, or sometimes located in the public part of the airport alongside
car rentaldesks and airport exits, and only passengers at their final destination claim their bags here. In most large airports in the United Statesand in some small ones as well, the domestic baggage claim is located on a different floor than the ticket counter, usually lower. One of the criticisms (by passengers) of the baggage handlingand claims procedure is that airlines use a LIFO(last-in, first-out) process that rewards passengers that arrived late at their departure destination to retrieve their bags from their arrival destination first.
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