Thought you had a long schlep to the baggage carousel? Take a look at this new video created by Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
It shows the wild ride your luggage goes on after your airplane hits the ground.
Not all airports are the same, of course – sometimes bags are simply manhandled onto a trolley then pushed out onto a creaky conveyor.
At Schiphol, one of Europe’s and the world’s busiest air hubs, they embark on a roller coaster ride through the bowels of what appears to be a vast, automated labyrinth.
In the video, conveyor belts and elevators, robotic arms and tilting platforms are all used to propel a black shiny suitcase to its destination.
Given the complexity of the route and the technology used to transfer bags at Schiphol, it’s a wonder that they ever manage to get where they’re supposed to go.
Especially since the journey is curiously reminiscent of the white-knuckle mine cart ride endured by Indiana Jones in the Temple of Doom: http://bit.ly/1NxBGyR
Humans and machines
Schiphol in fact handles 50 million pieces of luggage per year (and has the capacity to handle up to 70 million). At peak times it can shift 160,000 per day.
Its luggage transfer network includes 21 kilometers (13 miles) of conveyor belts and a five-kilometer rail system. The longest distance a suitcase can travel is 2.5 kilometers.
Despite the high level of automation, nearly 2,000 real-life people are employed to handle baggage at the airport – so passengers can shake their fists at both humans and machines if their bags ever go missing.
Check out the 360-degree Flash interactive version of the video available on Schiphol’s website: http://bit.ly/1W1rFh9