Your kid’s airport-related questions answered

Both my kids and I miss travelling, so once a month we host a “day in another country” from the comfort of our home. This means – making food from other countries, listening to foreign music, or simply talking about certain aspects of that country. Recently, my children have been asking more and more about a very specific part of travelling – the airport.

How are planes prepared before we board them? How do suitcases get to the right plane? What happens to lost luggage? Do airports ever close? These were the type of questions that my kids were interested in, so I thought I’d share the answers with you in case your kid’s are wondering the same. To help me answers these questions, I’ve partnered up with ground support equipment supplier Aviation Spares, who provide aviation equipment to airports and fixed base operators worldwide.

How are planes prepared before we board them?

As this article on Clear Lifestyles explains,“before boarding, an army of airport and airline staff swarms the plane to get the aircraft ready and safe for passengers to board.” These professionals will restock the bar, refuel the aircraft, clean the aircraft and complete a variety of pre-flight checks. Once all of this is done, passengers can start boarding the plane.

How do suitcases get to the right plane?

If either you or your children have always wondered how (most) suitcases get to their destination, today is your lucky day! Let’s set the scene… you’ve dropped your bag at the check-in desk and the airline staff attached a tag on it, placed it on a short conveyor belt and there it goes!

Your bag is on its way to the Baggage Handling System, where its tag will be scanned, so it can be automatically sent in the right direction. This system is composed of various conveyor belts that go up and down, right and left, taking each passenger’s suitcase into the right baggage collection area. In this area, a baggage handler will can your bag’s tag and put it in a baggage cart amongst the other suitcases.

As Tantrums to Smile explains, baggage carts transport cargo and luggage from the baggage handling system to the airplane. Once the baggage gets to the plane, it will need to be loaded and that is were belt loaders come in – these are conveyor belts that carry luggage into the plane.

What happens to lost luggage?

As this article on Motherhood the Real Deals mentions, “lost luggage that hasn’t been claimed for 90 days will, most likely, end up at an auction house that sells luggage, with profits going to charity.” So, if you’ve lost your luggage and left it at the airport for longer than 90 days, you will most likely find it at an auction house.

Do airports ever close?

Even though most airport terminals are closed for passengers, airports worldwide stay open overnight for maintenance, cleaning and to complete other airport tasks to ensure everything is running smoothly for the next day.


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