In days gone by you didn't have to travel to the airport at least until the flight was scheduled to arrive. With so many flights being delayed, and luggage usually taking so long to get from the airplane all the way to the baggage lounge in arrivals there didn't used to be any chance that you could be later.
Air flight has changed though. These days you cannot simply assume that someone will take an hour or so to clear security and get their bags after their flight has touched. These days, the time from touchdown to being stood outside the airport can be only ten minutes these days. This of course is causing chaos around the world with people waiting for flights from Dallas to Calgary or flights from Phoenix to San Juan finding that they have to make it to departures in a much more timely manner than they are used to.
So what is the blame for this sudden change in the speed with which people are able to speed through arrivals? I personally think that a lot of the blame has to lay with the airline authorities. Airline authorities' desire to charge customers for every single thing they can has caused people to take less luggage, as this is often something that airlines choose to levy and additional fee forluggage that is placed in the hold. So subsequently many people, including myself on regularly flights or similar length to flights from Atlanta to Miami will only take hand luggage.
This strategy allows me to not have to pay an additional fees to the airline. It's a shame that it also has the in fact of having to wait longer at the airport when people are coming to pick me up: I'm able to fly through arrivals by not having to wait for luggage.