Only on 5: Where Does Your Checked Bag Go Before a Holiday Flight?

December 09, 2016 11:12 AM

One of the busiest travel times of the year is upon us, and with millions of people checking bags before their flights, you might be curious: what happens to your bag once it's checked?

Thursday, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS got an exclusive look behind the scenes at the new screening technology at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Terminal 2.


The area is massive, and in fact, checked bags at Terminal 2 travel about half a mile along sophisticated conveyer belts before they reach the plane. The new technology is part of what's called an in-line system, which means it uses an automated network of explosive detection systems.

This year will be the first time it's been around for Christmas travel, and essentially, bags go through up to three security screenings. The first is an X-ray check, the second is visual, and the third, if necessary, is a physical check.

"This entire process is really just to keep the traveling public secure," TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said. "To make sure that there is no item that can be catastrophic on a plane gets on board."

A whole lot of bags go through the process. Nationally, the TSA screened more than 432 million checked bags in 2015, and that doesn't include the 1.6 billion carry-on items they screened in 2015 as well.


Josh Rosenthal

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