We've all been there—1 a.m. NAIA baggage reclaim, exhausted from a long-haul flight sat behind a screaming infant, feeling faint on an empty stomach because you couldn't bring yourself to eat the questionable-looking meal that somehow passed health and safety regulations.
The elation you feel when you think you spot your suitcase as it appears from the curtain...only for it to be replaced with despair when you see the Tinkerbell luggage tag protruding from its handle
But have no fear! US baggage handler Thomas Lo Sciuto offered his advice on how to ensure your luggage always comes out first to Quora:
"Your best option is to be one of the last passengers to check your bags. Bags will always be loaded front to back, so if you check in last, your bags will be in the last bag cart—which will make them the last on the aircraft and the first off at your destination.
And the golden rule?
"Remember to be nice to your counter agents and gate agents. The friendlier you are the more likely you will get what you want."
One more tip: when you check your bag in, you can ask the agent if they will put a 'fragile' sticker on it—since luggage marked fragile will often be loaded in last and given more care and attention. Less a tip and more a cheat, really. Buy hey—it's dog eat dog in an airport.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.