Once your bag has been scanned, the baggage-handling system tracks its movement. At any time, it knows exactly where your bag is on the conveyor system. When your bag comes to a junction, a machine called a pusher either lets it pass or pushes it onto another conveyor. At the sorting station, baggage handlers load the bags onto carts or into special containers that go right into the airplane. When loading the plane, bags that will be making a transfer after the flight are loaded into separate areas than bags that will be heading to baggage claim. When the bags get to the baggage-claim area, they are loaded onto a short conveyor that deposits them onto the carousel.
The typical baggage claim at an airport or train station involves a rotating carousel where luggage is unloaded from the plane/train and put onto a conveyor belt where it then slides down a chute and onto the carousel where it can be picked up by its owner.
Travel tip: It is a good idea to tie a brightly colored handkerchief to your luggage so it is easy to identify.
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