We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

New England
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Topic
LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

What in Earth has happened to baggage claim at LaGuardia Airport? A NIGHTMARE!

I have traveled around the country and through LaGuardia (which could use a massive update, but that another topic) a dozen times. However, in the last month I had to travel in and out of LaGuardia twice. Both times, claiming baggage at the end of our trip was a struggle I have never had any other airport EVER.

First trip, late September, we arrived back around 11pm. We got our bags and I proceeded to the curb for our driver to get us. I realize my traveling companion is not with me, I turn around to find an elderly man in red uniform demanding his bag claim ticket before allowing him to pass. Now, I have traveled often by air and NEVER before have I had an agency at an airport demand to check my claim ticket (which I throw in my carry on) to exit the airport. Of course, having never had this happen mine and my companions tickets were buried in my carry on.

I turned around knowing it would take me 10 minutes to dig it out and said "Why are you suddenly doing this? I have no idea where I put them?" He screams at me "I have been doing this for 5 years. You should have it ready." to which I respond "Well, you are the first person to do this at any airport in 20 years I have flown... there are buried in this bag. Why don't you check his ID and get this over with?"

Of course, he had not thought of that and after a check of his driver's license to insure his bag was his, he was released. Now, mind you, I and others were streaming by unchecked. Great security measure!

Last night, we return from trip two. I remembered the first experience and had my baggage claim ticket in my pocket. However, upon getting my bag I did not see this man near the exit. I figured it was a one time thing. I almost am at the exit doors when I hear "Sir" and this same man TACKLES ME! He actually grabs both my arms. I pull away and snap "What are you doing?!" He said "No one leaves this airport until I see their baggage claim!" He actually has pulled a sign over blocking anyone else from leaving while he chased after me! I showed him the claim said "SEE, I am not steeling anyone's dirty laundry!" and he let me leave.

I am not one to be rude, but this man was nasty on both occasions and had just physically stopped me from exited the airport. I was actually startled to be grabbed from behind. I have been through JFK, Houston, Las Vegas, LAX, Orlando and just came from O'Hare and NEVER before has an airport had people (rude nasty people, mind you) blocking exit of passengers to check baggage claims. Yes, I realize that is the reason you are given a claim check. I get it.

However, for SMALLEST NYC airport to be acting in this fashion while none of the others I have been to even care is very strange and new to me at LaGuardia. Has someone recently stolen a bunch of luggage?!? So rude, so unusual.

Anyone else?

Likely To Sell Out
Viator VIP: EmptyMet Tour at The...
136 reviews
from US$175.00*
New York City Big Apple Helicopter...
1,111 reviews
from US$199.00*
New York in One Day Guided...
994 reviews
from US$83.99*
Empire State Building Tickets...
2,385 reviews
from US$36.00*
Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
25,842 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

The smallest New York City airport is larger than almost any other airport in the country, and shockingly, New York City is more concerned about security than many. I'm sorry you're offended that the ground staff is trying to prevent your bag from being stolen.

New England
Level Contributor
4 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

No, LaGuardia is not larger than almost any airport in the country. I invite you to research a list of US airports by size and passenger volume.

Your response is not helpful as it is clearly the rudeness and near assault on passengers that is the source of my complaint, which is NOT done at any other major airport I have visited. Had they POSTED SIGNS explaining they would be doing this and why, and hired pleasant and helpful employees it would be different. There is no warning, the employees are rude, etc.

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
25,842 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

LaGuardia is the 20th busiest airport in the country by passenger boardings and passenger traffic. That's out of more than 500 commercial airports. So, yes, LaGuardia is larger than the vast, vast majority of other airports in the US.

You say this man was rude. I'm sure he would say the same thing about you, and based on what you say you said to him, I would agree with him. He wasn't hiding and lying in wait for you on your return trip: you clearly missed the sign and the fact that he was there, checking claim tickets. I'm sorry you don't find that a helpful response. Of course he physically stopped you from leaving the airport: if security requires that you have your claim ticket checked, and you attempt to leave witholut doing so, they HAVE to stop you. I'm not sure what you expected this man to do while you were yelling at him.

DC
Level Contributor
2,219 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

You are the one who was out of line here. I have had my bag checked at various airports, so it most certainly is done. And it is commonly done on a spot-checking basis, just as you observed.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
38,318 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

As someone who once accidentally took someone else's bag ( in TLV) I wish they had been checking luggage tags more carefully. I still cringe ( its' been 28 years) in embarrassment and horror when I think of the anguish I caused a stranger due to my carelessness.

I see nothing wrong with airline personnel checking luggage ownership. It should be more than random. I have to agree with BrooklynBridge--the oneness of rudeness is on you.

US
Level Contributor
1,302 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

I have had my luggage claim tickets spot checked at other airports also. I try to put my claim tickets in a convenient pocket of my carryon. A lot of pain and anguish would have been avoided if you had just taken the time to show him your claim ticket.

Just on a side note, it sounds like you might not have been quite as offended if he had been 25-year-old hottie. :)

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
11,508 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

I've also had my bag tags checked at various airports. Admittedly it doesn't happen often, but it still happens.

8. Re: LaGuardia Package Claim Blocking Exit?!?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 December 2013, 15:18