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US Airways -- seems we had to PAY not to check our carry ins.

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In the past couple of years, we've flown US Air a couple times to Florida. We only travel with a legal rolling carryon each. But because each time we've been seated in the middle of the plane, they INSIST at the gate that we check those bags saying we'll be the last to board and there will not be any space available. When I have protested, they gave me a small plastic bag to put my medicines or other "important" things in, but they take our carryons at the gate and then check them, meaning we have to wait for them on the carousel at the other end.

Well, last week when we flew from Philadelphia to San Francisco, we got the same thing. When we booked our seats nearly three months ahead ALL that was available without paying extra for priority boarding was the center of the plane -- which becomes zone 5. Sure enough, they insisted we check our two small carryons and then we had to wait on arrival over 45 minutes for our bags on the carousel, the exact thing we try to avoid by packing and traveling so light. Meanwhile other people board first with two or even three carryons!

So coming home, it seemed the only thing we could do to avoid the checking (and we were arriving at Philly late the night before a work night and really didn't need an extra wait for luggage) was to pay to get seats that allow zone 2 boarding. Sure enough, it worked, and we did not have to check our carryons, but at the gate they were insisting that all those in zone 5 MUST check theirs. The cost? $89 a seat -- or a charge of $178 simply to avoid checking our carryons which in theory do not have to be checked!

Just another reason I dislike US Airways. Oh, and should I mention the falling apart plane where neither of our tray tables worked at all -- they'd simply fall down, but we could balance them on our laps? And the bathroom actually had the sink completely taped over with duct tape and a container of wet wipes on the counter instead -- but it was empty! Geeze.

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