If you’re trying to breeze through the airport, then don’t check a bag. That’s simple. But sometimes, you can’t help it, and even the savviest travelers are left waiting for their suitcases to flop onto the carousel at baggage claim. For decades, people have wondered how to get their luggage off that return belt first. But is there really any way to do it?

According to Emily McNutt, associate editor of The Points Guy, a website dedicated to points, miles, and travel tips, there’s no reliable way to game the system. While some frequent travelers swear the timing of check-in matters, arguing that earlier or later gets bags out of the cargo hold first, loading and unloading systems vary by aircraft, airline, and baggage handling teams. Some airplanes are loaded using large crates of bags, which bag handlers balance in the plane’s belly to ensure even distribution, while others are stored loosely in the cargo hold as individual pieces. Screening by the Transportation Security Administration also throws off the timing theory, as it can slow a bag’s journey to the plane with a security stop en route.

Since passengers don’t know the behind-the-scenes process their bags will go through on a given flight, it’s nearly impossible to manipulate the system for a more expeditious result. There are, however, exceptions—if you’re willing to pay for them.