And You Thought All Black Luggage Looks The Same…

Filed Under: British Airways

For those of you who check luggage when flying, you’ve probably heard the “many bags look alike” announcement at baggage claim, urging people to verify their claim tag before taking their bag with them.

Heck, on a recent flight I had this issue even without checking bags. After the flight I removed my 20″ Tumi from the overhead, which is easy to identify based on my Executive Platinum tag and Singapore Airlines first class tag (since it’s red, so stands out). I took it out of the overhead, and the lady across from me said “excuse me, I think you have my bag.”

I confidently said “no, I’m pretty sure this is mine.” Then I looked at the Executive Platinum tag, and realized it wasn’t mine. We had exactly the same tags. Oops!

So I can’t even imagine how confused Team Great Britain was when they flew back from Rio to London after the Olympics on the same British Airways flight. Uniforms and branding seem to be a big part of the Olympics, and I’m guessing luggage was part of that deal as well. However, I don’t think they fully thought that through…

Oops! Now in fairness, the correct system was probably to have one person read the names written on each tag as it came out of the belt, to avoid this massive pile up. But perhaps the bags just came out before many people arrived, or perhaps they didn’t really consider the challenges until it was too late.

And in case you were wondering, the Olympics British Airways charter positively looked like the most British thing ever:

(Tip of the hat to Deadspin and reader Jayson)

  1. I gather that the idea was that First would be reserved for Gold Medal holders, but there were too many for the 747 to accommodate.

  2. It boggles the mind the lack of common sense that seems to prevail. There’s an entire luggage/travel industry devoted to making various ribbons and elastic bands and other baggage accouterments just to avoid such a clusterf*ck.

    Further, anyone who’s ever been in the military – of most any country – and has deployed anywhere knows exactly what to do: an inexpensive roll of electrical or duct tape in a unique color will literally solve 90% of this problem. The team’s logistics person should be fired.

  3. Basically medal holders got first, business and premium economy seats, and those without medals and staff were in coach. Although I think the hockey team were also in coach despite winning gold because there were too many of them! I saw pictures of some gold medal holders in first and some in business.

    Also it wasn’t the whole of team GB, many had already left earlier with the likes of Andy Murry and Justin Rose already in other parts of the world competing in other tournaments

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