I’ve run into this a few times with US Airways now and I realized a simple search after each flight on US Airways can save you from needless waiting.
Your baggage does not necessarily fly on the same plane as you. If you check in early and there’s room on the flight before you, your baggage might get to “move up” for free, even if you don’t!
When this happens–at least on US Airways–my baggage lands early and tends to end up in the baggage office. A few times, I waited a while at a baggage carousel for a bag that never came.
My baggage lands sooner than me on most of my shuttle flights on US Airways (DCA-BOS usually). When the plane land, I proactively pull up the baggage tracker and find my bags:
I went straight to the baggage office and found my bags. When I passed by the luggage carousel for my flight, I saw some people looking at the bags coming out with confusion and I suggested they check the baggage office. There were a lot of bags there and I don’t think it is intuitive to check there first when your flight has a baggage carousel attached to it!