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I consider myself to be a travel expert most of the time. May 1, 2022, was not one of those days. The rest of our travel day wasn't smooth despite enjoying a wonderful flight in the first class section of the airline. We missed our flight due to my confusion over the entry requirements for Qatar, which I wrote about in my previous article. Let me tell you what happened after the flight.

An endless wait at Qatar Airways baggage claim

We decided to check a bag for our trip because we usually only travel with carry-ons. Why? We were there for 11 days, and we wanted to bring a lot of sunscreen because resorts often don't have the SPF we're looking for. Since we were gone for over two weeks, it was nice to be able to pack extra underwear, socks, etc.

The flight arrived around 11:30PM. Immigration went off without a hitch, and we were at baggage claim in minutes. We looked at the baggage claim board and saw that the bags for Male would be arriving at belt number four. That is where we headed.

Doha Hamad Airport baggage claim belt

We waited and waited after the monitor said "Bags En Route". We were waiting for 90 minutes before we knew it.

Qatar Airways baggage claim board

We were wondering if our bags were lost or not. I viewed it that way.

  • I regularly wait over 45 minutes at American Airlines baggage claim
  • It was the last night of Ramadan, so perhaps they weren’t well staffed
  • Our plane was parked really far from the terminal, and Doha is all about connecting traffic, so I imagined that maybe the lowest priority was getting bags for those terminating in Doha
  • The monitor kept showing “Bags En Route” rather than “Bags on Belt” or “Last Bag,” suggesting that bags were still coming

I wasn't completely with it at this point. It was the middle of the night and we were tired, so we napped on the flight. It can take me a long time to be fully awake after taking a nap.

We went to the baggage office to see what was going on after waiting for 90 minutes at the baggage claim belt.

A surprising visit to the baggage office

We went to the baggage claim office and explained that we had been waiting at the belt for 90 minutes and our bags hadn't arrived. After presenting our boarding passes, I had a conversation with a representative of the airline.

Employee: “My colleague just took your bags from the belt and put them in luggage storage because they weren’t claimed.”Me: “Sorry, what? We’ve been waiting at baggage claim four since the flight arrived.”Employee: “Your bags arrived at baggage claim nine.”Me: “But… the board said the Male flight was at belt four.”

Employee: “That was QR677, you were on QR673.”


I'm a total idiot, so there's absolutely no defense here. If you woke up from a nap after eating a lot of Krug, you can appreciate the fact that two flights arriving 20 minutes apart from the same destination with flight numbers that are nearly identical can be confusing.

Also, in fairness.

  • Both Ford and I looked carefully at the board when we arrived at baggage claim, and we both swear we only saw one Male flight listed (perhaps we were wrong?)
  • I guess I should feel even worse for those on QR673, because even after 90 minutes the flight still showed as “Bags En Route,” which also makes me wonder what was going on there

I'm really happy that I can share useful tips, like going to the correct baggage claim belt, because I know many people come to OMAAT for travel tips. May 1 won't go down as my proudest day in terms of travel skills.

Bottom line

After the flight, your bag arrives at a carousel. You have to go to the carousel to get your bag. Your bag won't arrive at the carousel that is for another flight.

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