Watch: This is the wild story of what happens to your luggage after you leave it at check-in

Things get much more exciting behind baggage claim.
Things get much more exciting behind baggage claim.
Image: prettydaisies/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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After you’ve stuffed your luggage to the gills, kept its weight down to 49.99 lbs, and checked it, where does it go? A new interactive video from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (the Netherlands’s main international airport) shows the roller coaster of a ride a piece of luggage takes after it disappears behind the black flaps at the end of the conveyer belt. (It looks a lot more fun than this.)

As the video shows, the luggage doesn’t just sit in a room somewhere waiting for workers to manually wheel it onto airplanes. Instead, it travels through a 65-km-long labyrinth of conveyor belts across a space the size of 16 soccer fields, according to Schiphol.

Here’s a quick trailer of the longer video (linked to above):

That’s just one of over a thousand videos from Schiphol, which produces day-in-the life shorts about its staff and behind-the-scenes looks at its operations. A representative from the airport tells Quartz that its luggage and conveyer belt videos are especially popular topics: ”We’re proud of our business, so we like to show what we’re doing and the technological improvements we’ve made.”

See three of our favorites from the airport’s YouTube channel. (They’re in Dutch but they’re entertaining even without audio.)

The room where they keep things that don’t make it through customs (in Dutch):

A glimpse at the 55,000 airplane meals the airport makes per day (in Dutch):

Into the washing machines where 100,000 pillowcases and 160,000 blankets are washed each week (in Dutch):

Image by prettydaisies on Flickr, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.