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Forcibly gate-checking allowable carry-ons (United)

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On my past few United flights, everyone in Zone 4 has been told they have to gate-check their carry-ons, even those that are clearly within the limit, even tiny ones on wheels. The reason is that bin space fills up, and there is simply no more space.

I'm sure the fact that United is now charging $18/bag each way has something to do with this, of course. So far, I haven't seen anyone charged for gate-checking carry-ons, so it can be a way to avoid the fee, even if you did want to check your bag.

The problem is, when you are doing carry-on only, is that you can lose stuff you really want to keep if you are separated from your bag. As noted in my other thread, I was initially delayed by weather and missed a connection, and my gate-checked bag was unretrievable. I was therefore stuck without clean clothes and toiletries and my cell phone charger.

So I advise, for carry-on only people -- have one carry-on not on wheels with your super-duper essentials, and one carry-on for the other stuff.

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