Small trick how to reduce the number of complaints about baggage wait times


A while ago there were plenty of complaints regarding baggage claim time that Houston Airport executives had to face everyday. They tried to deal with the problem by putting more baggage handlers on that particular shift and it reduced the average wait time to 8 minutes, well within industry standards. But the complaints persisted.

After the airport authorities analysed the situation more thoroughly they found that it took passengers a minute to walk from their arrival gates to baggage claim and seven more minutes waiting for their bags.

So the airport decided on a new approach:they moved the arrival gates away from the baggage claim area. Passengers now had to walk six times longer to get their bags. It resulted in complaints reducing to almost zero.

“Often the psychology of queuing is more important than the statistics of the wait itself,” notes the M.I.T. operations researcher Richard Larson. Thus, occupying their time by making them walk longer gives them the idea they don’t have to wait as much.

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