• About Baggage

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    Every day, more than 128,000 pieces of baggage travel through Toronto Pearson’s complex network of belts, ramps, weigh stations and other machinery that take your suitcase from check-in to plane and back.

    The Toronto Pearson baggage system is like a complex highway that tracks, sorts and processes your bag. We have worked hard this year to improve our system in preparation for the summer rush. We’ve worked closely with our IT experts to upgrade the software and computer hardware that runs our system, making it more stable and easier to manage. We’ve also strengthened the infrastructure that carries baggage, adding additional baggage lines that allow for faster loading and unloading, and implementing a program that speeds the return of bags from arriving flights.

    What happens to my bag after check-in?

    After check-in, your bag is weighed, x-rayed and scanned at the security screening area. The airport’s automated baggage system then sorts your bag by destination city and flight number. The system channels the bag through a series of conveyor belts that use spinning wheels, mechanized flaps and diverting arms to guide your bag to its last stop—your flight. Baggage handlers employed by your airline will load your bag into the cargo hold of your plane and you’re ready to go!

    What happens to my bag when I land?

    A baggage handler team employed by your airline meets your plane at the gate. They unload all the luggage onto a trailer, which is driven onto the baggage roadway underneath the baggage carousels. Your airline’s ground crew begins loading bags onto the belt connected to your baggage carousel lane, and when your bag slides down the chute, its travels are complete!

    What can cause delays in processing my bag after my flight lands?

    There are several common causes of baggage delays. A shortage of airline baggage handlers can cause delays in unloading your luggage. The extensive conveyer belt system at Toronto Pearson can also be fouled by loose pieces of material on suitcases, such as straps, scarves or tags, or jammed when the belts cannot move a suitcase properly. Extreme weather, including heat alerts and lightning warnings, create dangerous conditions that prevent baggage handlers from working outside and collecting luggage for processing.

    Can I do anything to ensure my luggage travels through the baggage system smoothly?

    Toronto Pearson’s baggage system is built to absorb all shapes and sizes of luggage, but you can make your bag the perfect bag. We recommend that nothing hangs off your luggage, like straps, tags or other material that could get caught in the conveyor belts. If you are using the self-serve baggage drops, follow the instructions and place your bag with the wheels up to prevent it from sliding. When sticking on your luggage tag, put it in a flat, unwrinkled area so that scanners can easily read it.

    Last—but not least—weigh your bag! Check your airline’s limits for carry-on and checked luggage so that you can avoid a last-minute scramble to rearrange your belongings.