Vehicle: Airplane: Luggage: Carousel
Luggage Conveyor Hot Zone   (+6, -1)  [vote for, against]
Putting civility into baggage claim.

You've just landed, some fellow passengers applaud the pilot's feat, presumably because they had bets going with some other lads who didn't think they'd make it this time.

The machine comes to a stand-still, and for some inexplicable reason everyone jumps up from their seat, to spend the next ten minutes hugging their carry-on luggage, uncomfortably hunched beneath the overhead bins.

People's behavior in and around planes is usually far from clever. Another case in point, which I would like to address, is the crowding at the baggage claim.

A planeful of people converges to the flight's designated conveyor belt, and crowds it, everyone leaning slightly more than their neighbour upstream, in order to see their precious luggage a split second ahead of time.

The net effect of course is that nobody can see a bloody thing, everyone gets eye strain from staring down a few square centimeters' worth of conveyor belt (and develops scoliosis for good measure), only to spot one's bag too late, nearly pushing all one's neighbours over to get at the piece, to finally hit someone in the groin lugging it off the belt.

To end these woes, it would take as little as a bucket of the paint used for road marking! Just draw a line around the belt about two meters away from it. People could then crowd around this line and enjoy a clear view of the belt. Seeing one's possession coming in from afar, one could utter a civil "Excuse me", coolly stride to the unobstructed belt, and retrieve the luggage in style.

In some of the more uncivil countries, the Hot Zone could be enforced by mace- carrying agents.
-- placid_turmoil, Feb 26 2007

(?) 3 second rule in basketball
Attacking players are not allowed to just hang around the basket. An painted area underneath the basket (called the key) is taboo! [Jinbish, Feb 28 2007]

Incline to get to luggage. http://architecture...0/29/slanty-design/
About half way down the page. [rfl717, Nov 08 2008]

This is baked in a number of airports. Except no-one seems to take a blind bit of notice. By the way, I agree with you entirely.
-- Ling, Feb 26 2007

// the Hot Zone could be enforced by mace- carrying agents.//
No! Angry geese instead.
-- calum, Feb 26 2007

I was expecting this to be a bit more literal. Either a severly heated floor, or very hot air blowers, so it is not comfortable to stand close to the conveyor for more than a minute or two.
-- MechE, Feb 26 2007

Bun for the intention of this idea; like [Ling], I agree completely.

How about having the nearest metre of floor by the conveyor belt move along at the same pace as the conveyor belt. Easy for people to step onto to claim their suitcase (actually, even easier than at present, since they can take their time once they're on the moving floor, rather than having to yank it off quickly before it passes them by), while making it difficult for people to stand too close, unless they like jogging on the spot.

Angry geese are good too, though.
-- imaginality, Feb 26 2007

Luggage unloading is full of deep mystery, so I was thinking of a sort of giant revolving Schrödinger's Cat box, only instead of cats it's full of all the suitcases or is it ?
-- xenzag, Feb 26 2007

How about having the baggage descend on a conveyor belt from the ceiling? That way it will come in over everybody's heads and you'll be able to see your bag coming without going anywhere near the carousel.
-- moomintroll, Feb 27 2007

How about placing a cordon of human-form glass/perpex grabbing robots, shoulder to shoulder around the hot zone, so that people have to stand back and, when their luggage rolls by, they can wallop the robot on the top of the head and its mechanical arm will shoot out and grab the case, bringing it back to the weary traveller?
-- calum, Feb 27 2007

How about arranging all the luggage in a large glass case and having the passengers queue up and point theirs out to a harried sixteen year old wage-slave. Kind of like picking a pastry at the coffee shop.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Feb 27 2007

Anything that prevents sixteen year old wage slaves serving customers at electronics shops is a good thing. Bun to [G_C].
-- moomintroll, Feb 27 2007

What about having all the luggage in a large glass case and having one of those claw machines to pick your luggage, complete with annoying beeping sounds as you try yet again to pick up your lugg.. no, not that one, the one behind it... NOOOOOOO!
-- TheLightsAreOnBut, Feb 27 2007

You could have a bunch of monitors set back from the conveyor belt that display the belt as the bags enter. Thus reducing the amount of people needed to stand directly by the belt.
-- theleopard, Feb 27 2007

How about dumping all the luggage in a giant replica of one of those fairground games here you put your money in and control a sort of crane-like arm with a grab on the end? Passengers would take turns to attempt to pick up their bags.
-- hippo, Feb 27 2007

//What about having all the luggage in a large glass case and having one of those claw machines to pick your luggage//
is to
//How about dumping all the luggage in a giant replica of one of those fairground games here you put your money in and control a sort of crane-like arm with a grab on the end//
as 1 is to 1. Great minds and all that.
-- imaginality, Feb 27 2007

This might be a huge liability, but good idea [+] You just need individual 'luggage compartments' with 1 bag/compartment and touch screen terminals around the carousel that you browse luggage pics to find yours, which is delivered to a waiting pick up area
-- cpf, Feb 28 2007

-- hippo, Feb 28 2007

[cpf] That is pretty much what the new Denver airport was supposed to do. They could never get it to work and ended up going back to tractors and carts.
-- Galbinus_Caeli, Feb 28 2007

Implement this like a basketball 'key' and the 3 second rule .
-- Jinbish, Feb 28 2007

Many airports are now designing their carousels with this problem in mind. I've seen things like lines painted but those rarely work.

What I have seen work is a different type of floor covering. For example nice comfy carpeting that stops several feet away from the carousel to be replaced with hard tile or stone. People not only get the visual cue but a tactile one where if you stand on tile or stone it is much harder on your feet for any more than a few minutes (and I always have to wait a while for my luggage)

I have also seen ideas for an incline of only a few degrees, a ramp if you will, towards the conveyor belt. Not too steep but enough to make things uncomfortable. The problem with that design is obviously seniors and the disabled. (See the link)
-- rfl717, Nov 08 2008

// What I have seen work is a different type of floor covering. // [rfl717]

Hot coals would work, except in India. Then it would really be the "Hot Zone"
-- theGem, Nov 08 2008

How about a soft dose of Gamma radiation passing through the floor of the "hot zone" (do you like the literal interpretation?). Or x-rays, if you're going to get all sooky about it.

That would definitely make people think twice before loitering in front of the carousel.
-- Custardguts, Nov 09 2008

Let's go the other end of the spectrum and have the baggage pop up like in those "Whack a mole" games.
-- Ling, Nov 10 2008

Sorry, gonna have to give this a fishbone.

There's nothing more convenient then being airlifted somewhere, followed by things handed to you by conveyor belt. No airport on earth so far has managed to create a conveyor belt that has whisked a luggage item past me without my grabbing it, and the cycle of collection is never slow enough to cause me to miss a taxi, train, subway, tube, van, bus, or car -- not the cycle.

The single greatest problem is the delivery of the luggage to the conveyor belt, not the activity at the conveyor belt. The best way to deal with that is to have the airplane come to rest in a slot in the airport. Go downstairs, crawl into the cargo bay, and drag your own luggage out. The more passionate will be the fastest, and evolution can develop a more advanced airplane passenger.
-- mylodon, Nov 10 2008

random, halfbakery