What Happens To Your Checked Bags At The Airport?

Have you ever wonder what happens to your checked bags at the airport? How do they go from the check-in counter where they're weighed (always over 50 pounds, if you're a diva like I am and have to bring at least three outfits per day of your trip) and tagged, to the airplane, to your final destination? It's particularly mysterious when you have one or two connections — do airport employees just take them out from the bottom of your plane, run them over to your second plane real quick, shoot the pilot the thumbs up when they're finished, and go about their day? And what about security for checked bags? Do they go through the same scanning process as our carry-on bags (and our bodies)? Should I be embarrassed by the contents, some of which may or may not often be the Miley Cyrus poster I bring with me everywhere?

The folks over at Thrillist seem to share our insatiable curiosity about these important questions, so guess what? They actually set out to find where our luggage goes after we check it — and no, the answer is not "directly onto the airplane." Thanks to a camera attached directly to a suitcase at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, though, we can follow its entire journey from start to finish.

Here's how it goes:

1. First, your bag is loaded onto a conveyer belt.

By a mildly handsome man, no less.

2. Then, it goes through a series of flaps...

Does anyone else think they're extraordinarily dark and foreboding?

3. ...Only to come back out on the conveyer belt.

4. Then it goes through what looks like the flippers from a pinball machine...

Super innovative, airport engineers.

5. ...Onto a super-high-speed metal belt.

It's like a rollercoaster for your underwear and liquids over three ounces!

6. And then it does this sideways thing.

Aaaand now I'm kind of lost.

7. Next, then it chills on some more moving belts...

I feel like this is just getting excessive now.

8. ...Until it finds its way onto an elevator with tons of moving parts

It kind of reminds me of the scene with the moving doors from Monsters Inc.

9. Every now and then it launches off to the side...


10. Until it's back on the conveyer belt once more.

Sadly, not much seems to happen behind the scenes of our checked bags; their trips are long, windy, and mesmerizing to watch, but not actually all that eventful. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

Check out the full journey below:

Images:; Thrillist/YouTube (10)