Denver International Airport has decided to shut down their automatic baggage handling system, once thought to be the future of airport operations.
Ten years ago, the new Denver International Airport marched boldly into the future with a computerized baggage-handling system that immediately became famous for its ability to mangle or misplace a good portion of everything that wandered into its path.
I remember that the new baggage system was big news when the airport opened, on two fronts. It was heralded as a marvel, and it delayed the opening of the airport since it wasn’t completed on time. The thing moved bags at about 30 mph and it had a habit of flinging them off of sharp corners and into walls when it first opened. I remember seeing news footage of big lineman-sized baggage handlers with padded shields who had been stationed at the problem areas to knock errant bags back onto the conveyer belts.