Priority Bag Tags

By pallmall | Jul 16, 2018, 02:54 PM

Not sure if this topic before but it is one with regards to luggage and priority tagging of luggage. I would be very interested to hear members views and thoughts on this as I am a Qantas Platinum member, have been for a few years, and always get my bag tagged with either a Business or First Class tag.

My question is, why do airlines bother as it is meaningless with regards to priority of bags coming out of the carousel!!! I returned from Singapore in First Class last week, had my bags tagged as such and yet my bag came out well after at least half the un-tagged bags came out – as did many other First Class tagged bags I noticed.

Surely in this day and age of computers and bar codes it is not that hard for them to group all Business and First tagged bags in one (or two)containers and put that container in last so it comes out first?


As I fly 90% of the time with Qantas, not sure if it is just a Qantas thing or is general for all airlines? Just a small frustration of mine at the end of a usually long flight and possibly a little petty after lying back sipping a good glass of red rather then having to sit upright drinking from a platic cup!!!

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By sdtravel | Jul 16, 2018, 03:23 PM
Ive found it can be very hit and miss with QF. I had two bags once and checked in with a Bronze friend. They tagged them all Priority but put my second bag under my friends booking for some reason. My first bag came out and then some time later my second bag came out.

Although on a recent trip arriving in Sydney I went from plane to kerbside in around 20 minutes. Bags came out super fast.

I admit it doesnt work on Domestic at all.
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By silvyvc | Jul 16, 2018, 03:37 PM
I'd say I also have a mixed bag of outcomes. With LATAM when we went to South America they were indeed the first ones (we were in economy but due to status they were priority tagged), with QF back from SCL they didn't even bother tagging them as priority and missed my connection to MEL. With EK and QF trans tasman it has been pretty good.

Domestic it's pretty much like with priority boarding... non-existent
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By CBR boy | Jul 16, 2018, 05:54 PM

On Qantas domestic I agree it is hit and miss - sometimes priority tags seem to come out early but other times not. On the QantasLink Dash8 and Q400 aircraft there is definitely no attempt made to give priority. If you're flying solely on such a service then the bags are not given priority tags.

Recent Cathay Pacific family arrival into Sydney saw us receive five 'First'-tagged suitcases at the head of the unloading so that we got through the whole arrival system in 20 to 25 minutes, including a delay due to declared biosecurity issues. The single biggest speed-up was using the e-passport machines (no queue whatsoever) rather than falling for the trap of using the express path cards kindly handed out by the airline, which would have resulted in a queue.

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By GBRGB | Jul 16, 2018, 06:18 PM
Domestic is non existent, I think the baggage handlers in Australia go out if their way to make sure priority bags come out near last.
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By whoppersandwich | Jul 16, 2018, 07:05 PM
All flights with palletised cargo holds
(A320, A330, A380, B747, B787) will usually have a good chance of getting priority right as they keep a spare container that will be loaded last (and unloaded first) for priority bags. Sometimes, depending on the amount of priority bags - other bags will also be lumped in with the priority section (for maximum cargo efficiency). When this happens you’ll see a fair few non priority bags come out first (as they’ll generally be thrown ontop of the priority ones) but your bags will still be out before the majority of others.

Non-palletised cargo holds in the B717 and B737 are slightly more problematic. Whilst generally handled well - loading the priority bags on last may not necessarily guarantee they’re off first as there’s no dedicated section for the bags. Even so, my experience is that most priority bags come out first - though it’s entirely likely that theres some intermingled with the others; regardless of whether it’s international or domestic.

The Dash 8 situation is practically hopeless, just like the 737 the bags go on last - but due to the layout of the hold it’s unlikely that priority bags will be guaranteed as the first out.
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By Peterb1960 | Jul 16, 2018, 08:22 PM
As a Virgin Gold and Qantas Platinum I must say the priority bag tags is one thing Virgin get right. Bags are almost always in the first few off. Qantas domestic has been a fail since the Q tags were introduced. The other day in Auckland the priority tag had been ripped off and my bag was the last off. Better on the way back.
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By Peterb1960 | Jul 16, 2018, 08:23 PM
As a Virgin Gold and Qantas Platinum I must say the priority bag tags is one thing Virgin get right. Bags are almost always in the first few off. Qantas domestic has been a fail since the Q tags were introduced. The other day in Auckland the priority tag had been ripped off and my bag was the last off. Better on the way back.
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By eminere | Jul 16, 2018, 08:59 PM
I believe it's more airport than airline that affects baggage delivery? I've had better luck at SIN than at SYD, MEL, AKL, CHC and ZQN.

EK does it very well at CDG though, with bags delivered on a separate carousel just for passengers in F and J and those holding Gold status and above.
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By jianga | Jul 16, 2018, 09:10 PM
Domestic flights ~ forget about it. 9 out of 10 times I find there's no particular order in terms of what bags come out first ( VA is slightly better than QF but not by much). No wonder you see more and more frequent flyers trying to squeeze everything into carry ons to avoid checking in bags at all. International flights ~ agree with most of the above, it's a hit and miss. In Australia (at least SYD and MEL) your chances of getting your 'Priority Bags' are usually much less compare to Asian airports, regardless of which airline you fly. I find most Asian airports are quite good when it comes to priority bags, especially in China (even though the airports there aren't great). HKG and SIN are mostly good from my experiences.

Overall this situation is a big shame in Australia, doesn't matter if you walk pass the long queue and be the first to board the plane, you may still be the last one to leave the airport because the last person who boarded the flight may still get his/her bag first and sitting in the non~moving airport ~ city freeway traffic waayyy before you do.
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By Lachie77 | Jul 17, 2018, 08:58 AM
On the topic of Q tags - apparently baggage handlers are not a fan of these when travelling internationally. Travelling ZQN-SYD-BNE a couple of years ago with Business tagged luggage, nothing showed up at the BNE carousel so I followed up at the service desk. They directed me back to the oversized pickup area, where a very cranky baggage handler informed me that Q-tags aren't meant for international travel, as the last destination saved on the tag won't match the final destination on the printed label attached by checkin staff. That was news to me, so now I generally leave them off as the majority of my travel includes an international leg to/from PNG.
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By stmaus | Jul 17, 2018, 02:52 PM
As a Virgin Gold and Qantas Platinum I must say the priority bag tags is one thing Virgin get right.

Correction: one of the many things Virgin gets right.

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By Pallydou | Jul 17, 2018, 10:49 PM
My observation: assuming you are QFF/Macro Polo/ OW and you're flying to the airport which OW is not the flagship airlines (e.g. Singapore Changi), there is a chance the landside gentlemen would not take seriously on your "First" or "Business" tags. I usually get my luggage on second batch in Shanghai or Singapore since their flagship airlines is SkyTeam and StarAlliance respectively.
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By whoppersandwich | Jul 18, 2018, 12:46 AM
In any given major airport there will be multiple companies delivering ramp services to the various airlines that service the destination. Each of these companies will have numerous performance-based contracts to deliver ramp services (including baggage handling).

Even the bottom-of-the-barrel LCC oriented ramp contracts are able to consistently deliver priority bags out of containers, so i can assure you that no major airport has any “airline bias” when dealing with bags.
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By pab2025 | Jul 18, 2018, 01:22 AM
I have never had good experiences with bag tags. I am AAdvantage Exec Platinum (OW Emerald) and it doesn't matter who I fly with (mostly AA), that the bags are never priority.
I flew AA JFK-MAD last week and came out half way.
I flew IB MAD-JFK this last weekend and came out half way...
Same experience with LATAM, QF, BA.

Unfortunately I don't think any airline is unique here.. the only lesson is if you need your bags fast, pack carry on only.
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By Kathbirk | Jul 19, 2018, 02:55 AM
I believe it's more airport than airline that affects baggage delivery? I've had better luck at SIN than at SYD, MEL, AKL, CHC and ZQN.

EK does it very well at CDG though, with bags delivered on a separate carousel just for passengers in F and J and those holding Gold status and above.
Same for EK in Manchester, separate carousel

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