What To Do When The Bus Doesn’t Come And You Want To Scream. An Experiment : Krulwich Wonders… : NPR
A few years ago, The New York Times reported that airline passengers in Houston were complaining bitterly about how long they had to wait for their bags at those rotating carousels. Airport officials quickly added baggage handlers to speed up delivery, but though they cut the time to eight minutes (well within the industry average) the complaints didn’t stop. People were peeved, because it took one minute to get to baggage claim, and they had to wait around, doing nothing, for the next seven minutes. In other words, 88 percent of their post-flight time was spent waiting.
So what did the airport do? Officials moved the arrival gates farther away from baggage claim and routed bags to the farthest away carousels, making everybody walk six times longer to get to their luggage. That way, by the time people got to the carousels, the bags were already there. No wait, no stress. ‘Complaints,’ says the Times, ‘dropped to near zero.’ ”