May 30, 2005 by

The family went to Orlando this weekend, so I wasn’t able to attend or enjoy the Seven Devils party nor the afterparty at the Saint.

Pisser. That’s a lot of cool people I didn’t get to meet. And as a rockin’ late night watering hole, the Saint has few peers.

Anyway, whenever I return to Louis Armstrong Int’l– especially when coming from another tourism mecca– I always notice the same thing: it takes at least 10-15 minutes longer at MSY to get your bags versus any other comparable airport. In the larger scheme of things this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you do the math it adds up. Back of the envelope calculations suggest our one million visitors are wasting around 200,000 tourist-hours per year waiting for their luggage. That is way too much time to be spending in that soulless dungeon they call a baggage-claim area. Visitors sense this, too, and it makes for a really bad first impression to the city.

MSY has no shortage of skycaps with handtrucks, though. If you need help with your oversized parcels, you’ve come to the right place. Occasionally, I’ve had need for their services, and have happily tipped them well for making my life easier. But there’s far too many of them, especially since most travellers now have wheeled luggage.

So, I would propose adding personnel (and equipment) to hasten the bags from plane to claim, and not hiring more skycaps. This seems like an area where a modest investment could yield large returns. Efficiently getting tourists out of MSY and into New Orleans as soon as possible is the goal, right? What visitor wouldn’t want an extra fifteen minutes to consume art and alcohol in the French Quarter?

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