“Priority” baggage area Australian international airports

4 replies

New Mint

Member since 24 Feb 2012

Total posts 66

I don't like to whinge but is it just me or is priority baggage non existent at Australian International Arrivals? I never seem to have an issue domestically or overseas, but about the last half a dozen or more flights arriving home internationally I have breezed through immigration and am one of the first at the baggage belt only to stand around waiting an eternity for my bag to show up. I mainly fly into Melbourne but have experienced this at several Australian airports. One such time was a recent fight home via Perth where the bag took so long, and by which time the queues to exit quarantine had built up so much that I nearly missed my connection. Interested to know if I'm just plain unlucky or if this happens to others regularly?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Nov 2014

Total posts 23

No it's not just you. It's happened to me regularly.


Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 05 Sep 2013

Total posts 77

For the most part I find Melbourne to be on the slow side for baggage delivery. Most wide body planes take around 30 minutes from arrival for baggage to start arriving on the belt.

In regards to priority baggage it really depends where the flight originated from and how many people are on a tight connections. If there is a lot of tight connections, priority baggage are not the first bags on the belt (but still in the first third of baggage).

Wide body aircraft load baggage into containers, that are then loaded onto the plane. In Melbourne they normally unload 4 to 6 containers before they take them to the belt. Also note priority freight such as medication or temperature sensitive freight normally will be loaded last on departure, so, first off the plane on arrival. If there is only a small team unloading the plane they will first move the priority freight before offloading baggage. Remember most long hall airlines make money from freight and it is crucial that they have freight to be profitable.

Sydney can be quicker then Melbourne, but for the most part it depends how busy it is, and how many team members have been contacted for a flight, and which handling company company has been contacted.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 May 2014

Total posts 83

In my experience at both international and domestic Australian ports, Priority tags are merely coloured bits of paper to brighten an otherwise dull environment, they mean nothing.


Member since 08 Nov 2017

Total posts 2

Melbourne airport is just about the worst in the Asia Pacific region for everything at the moment. Third world facilities and third world service, including baggage handling and delivery. Forget about “priority luggage handling”, even though you paid for it. I guess this is what happens when you create a private monopoly and don't regulate it well.

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