Why do people crowd shoulder-to-shoulder around baggage-carousel to watch for their luggage? They stand right next to the conveyer belt, even craning their necks and bodies over the belt to see what’s coming, often with those large self-serve carts gangling behind them. I always stand back, wait for my suitcase to actually appear out of the chute, and then come forward to claim it. Invariably, I must push my way through carts and passengers, saying “Excuse me” as I snake a hand between two people who refuse to back up and often glare at me as though I am trying to take their place in line. They still don’t move as I hook my suitcase by the handle, yank it up, and then reel it in over someone else’s unclaimed bag, landing it onshore like a flailing grouper before reaching back through the crowd to snag the next one.
Wouldn’t it make much more sense if we all stood behind a yellow line, perhaps three feet away from the conveyer belt? All passengers would then have a good view of the luggage as it comes around the belt, and could step forward calmly when they see their own bags, instead of fighting their way between two carts, three grannies, and four kids sitting on the floor listening to their iPods. I’m not saying there oughta be a law; I’m just saying there oughta be some common sense and courtesy.