At One Airport Checked Bags are Cleaned Before They’re Returned to Passengers

When you check a bag your things may get stolen. Employees may hide drugs in your luggage.

I avoid checking bags whenever possible because I don’t trust United’s baggage handlers not to get caught in the cargo hold and I don’t want my bags there anyway since British Airways has had to ask staff to stop urinating in the cargo holds.

The best you can hope for usually is that your checked bag makes it to your destination. This man checked a can of beer as luggage, and it made it.

However in Japan checked bags — like all other forms of service — can be taken to the next level.

A Japanese airport employee was filmed actually cleaning luggage before passengers picked up their bags. Each and every bag gets checked for scuffs or marks on arrival and taking a white cloth to those bags which needed it. No doubt in some cases bags are being returned in a better condition than how they were checked.

The video doesn’t tell us which Japanese airport this is unfortunately. But it’s hard to imagine this just about anywhere else.

(HT: Secret Flying)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Where is this happening? At many airports in Japan, I’m sure. But it isn’t only Japan where you won’t get your luggage back covered with sticky tar or some other gunk. I never see that kind of crud when picking up my checked bags in other Asian countries either. Does everyone have a luggage cleaning staff? Heck no. Your bags probably land in decent, gunk free condition just because the crews in Asia aren’t tossing them like footballs.

  2. I have to admit after years of traveling to Japan I have never seen them clean bags as shown in this video. They do, however, turn the bags so that the handle is out and the bag can be easily removed from the belt.

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