Your flight has landed at your destination and the seatbelt sign is finally off. At this point, you might be antsy to grab your checked luggage (because we all know someone who absolutely must check their luggage) and make your way out of the airport. But how annoying is it after waiting all that time to deplane only to arrive at baggage claim and your luggage isn’t even there?
The person behind the TikTok accoount @designsecretsss claims that airports have learned to ease this frustration with a few simple design changes. He explains that airlines at the Houston, Texas, airport were receiving complaints about the time it took to get their bags. Even after getting the wait down to eight minutes by hiring more staff to assist, the complaints continued. The executives used a clever trick to make baggage wait-times shorter: Move the baggage claim to the far side of the airport so by the time you’ve arrived your bags are already there. He claims that complaints dropped to zero.
The trick is that unoccupied time feels much longer — waiting around with nothing to do in an era that values immediate gratification is not as effective as providing occupied time. Walking from the gate to the baggage claim feels much shorter and is a necessary evil to get to your destination.
Matador reached out to United, American, and other airlines (as well as the Houston airport), but as of publish time hasn’t received comment on the validity of the claim.
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