Do you know what happens with your suitcase in the airport behind the window with rubber cilia after registration?
Passengers leave their baggage when registered for a flight. A label is attached to a suitcase here, it contains information about an owner and his destination.
Oversized baggage may be checked in at a special check-in counter. Here fragile baggage is labeled as “glass” and sent down not on the common conveyor but on a special elevator.
The baggage compartment occupies a huge room looking like a small underground town under the airport. Its space is intertwined with a net of baggage conveyors which length is more than 3,5km. All suitcases are descending here on one of the 6 arms.
First of all the suitcase should be scanned. A scanner reads information on a label, so if you left a label with a bar code from a previous flight it may confuse the scanner and your baggage will go to additional handling where the needed label will be found by hand whereupon the suitcase will be sent to your flight.
Then the suitcase is checked by an introscope if it has any explosives, weapons or other prohibited articles inside.
A “suspicious” suitcase is sent to undergo more thorough check.
This check includes computer tomograph and diffraction.
Dogs are also used to search explosives.
Oversized baggage is examined with X-rays at the special gateway.
After scanning 6 arms unite into 4.
Suitcases pass another scanner on high speed. Here a flight of the suitcase is defined and depending on it the suitcase is sent to the left or right sorter that is usually called “a circle”.
Before coming on “the circle” the computer speeds the suitcase up and throw it on one of the “circle’s” platforms.
From the circle the suitcase is thrown on one of the 70 “gravity slides”.
This system makes an exact calculation when the suitcase should go by a required “gravity slide” and throws the baggage on it.
Look narrowly. Do you see a pink strip over the “gravity slides”? It is a pink suitcase rushing along the “circle’s” platform.
Depending on the number of passengers, 1 or more “gravity slides” may be assigned for one flight. A porter takes off suitcases and scan them with a manual scanner and then puts them on the trucks.
If a plane is too big and there are many passengers on a flight, instead of “gravity slides” mobile lounges are used.
Pay attention: crew team’s baggage is in front.
Trucks with baggage are taken to a plane.
The baggage may be loaded into the plane either on a small stairway-transporter…
Or lifted on a special elevator.
Usually when the plane stops at the airport ramp, a special baggage machine drives to it.
Suitcases are shifted on the trucks and the machine goes to the baggage compartment.
The machine drives up to one of the conveyors and porters shift the baggage on the belt from where it goes up to the baggage claim area.
Oversized baggage carried out separately.
Transitional baggage is marked with a bright yellow label. The airport workers always know in advance if there is transitional baggage on a flight. It is got out and put on a separate truck.