Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Travel Topics > Air Travel
Reload this Page >

Forcibly gate-checking allowable carry-ons (United)

Forcibly gate-checking allowable carry-ons (United)

May 29th, 2010, 11:28 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
Forcibly gate-checking allowable carry-ons (United)

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.
WillTravel is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 12:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,483
How did they lose your bag? Every time I gate check, it goes right into the cargo hold from the end of the ramp and is collected at the gate upon arrival. I gate check every time I get on a regional jet. Even with a connection, I always collect my bag at the gate right after we deplane.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 12:35 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,483
I've never been forced by United by way, I do it willingly, as I know my bag won't fit in the tiny overhead, although it will fit under the seat on those particular planes.

Now that I think about it though, Lufthansa once made me gate check a bag and it turned up in baggage claim. That was a pain, because I had to do a last minute rummage to take out what I needed for an international flight.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 01:30 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
In this case, I was supposed to fly PHL-ORD, and then ORD-YVR. When they did the gate check in PHL on Wednesday night, they set it to fly straight through to YVR. When I got off the delayed flight at ORD and discovered I had missed the flight to YVR, I could not retrieve my bag. Nor could anyone else who had been forced to gate-check and was on a connecting flight.

At ORD, they told me the bag had already gone on to YVR, but I found that doubtful, given that the flight had likely left before that could happen. When I got to YVR in the wee hours of Saturday morning, I was told the bag had actually never left ORD, but would be flying out on the next flight. I did get my bag delivered to me on Saturday night.

On my outbound flight, when I was forced to gate check at YVR, the bag did show up at baggage claim in PHL (in that case I and presumably the bag was routed through DEN).
WillTravel is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 03:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,483
Gotcha.
Melnq8 is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 07:00 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 521
I know this sounds anal, but I always check the airlines boarding strategies (United is one of the only ones that does window, middle, aisle...as opposed to back to front) and book my seat accordingly. Just to avoid the gate checking issue!
twiggers is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 07:08 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
<<< 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. >>>

So despite UA not charging anyone for gate checking you think that's why they are doing it????

The actual reason is simple - too many Americans take too much hand luggage and airlines are too scared to enforce their own rules. They need someone like Michael O'Leary to give them a kick up the bum.
alanRow is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 09:31 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
The fact is, if everyone takes the limit allowed by United as carry-on, there won't be enough space. It's not a matter of circumventing United's rules, although that may happen too. In the examples I saw, no one was exceeding the limits.

Despite the fact you save the fee when you gate check, I still wouldn't recommend it, because you lose the major benefit of checking luggage, which is not having to drag it through security and to the gate.
WillTravel is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 11:45 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 81
This happened to my daughter and I on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas last year, and we were in a very early boarding group. It seemed to be random, but we were told the bins were full. We were given a tag to attach to our luggage at the gate, then told to leave it at the end of the jetway. I was feeling a bit feisty that day, and determined in my own mind that only appproximately 25% of the passengers had boarded, so there was no way all the bins could be full. We just stuck the tags in our pockets and carried on all our approved bags as planned. No one noticed, no one said anything.
I think the flight attendants just get tired of helping the late-comers find overhead space, so inconvenience the rest of us instead.
SusieKay is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 12:19 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,315
I agree with the need for 2 bags, even if you are PLANNING going carry-on only. You never know what might happen at boarding. In a smaller bag (oversized purse) I always have essentials like money, cards, prescriptions, glasses, and one clean change (or at least 1/2 a change) of clothes that I know will stay with me regardless.
suze is online now  
May 31st, 2010, 02:42 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 81
Suze, you are so very right. We haven't checked luggage in years, but only put clothes into our approved wheeled carry ons, but all the "essential" stuff goes in a backpack that we can put under the seat. I never carry a purse, just the backpack, but I do have a small tote folded inside that I take out for flight with items I will need during that time.
SusieKay is offline  
May 31st, 2010, 02:56 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,315
Doesn't matter... purse, daypack, canvas tote, whatever - one small carry-all that you know cannot be taken from you, packed very carefully. It's what's inside that's important!

I check my suitcase & still think along the lines IF I *had* to live out of this one small bag for a couple days, what are the things I truly need with me that are not easily replaced/bought.
suze is online now  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 05:06 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,584
I gate-check willingly, but I want to note that the last several times that I have done so the bag has gone to baggage claim at the destination, not been returned to the end of the jetway (like strollers and such).
DancingBearMD is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 05:22 AM
  #14  
LT
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 376
Have you paid attention to your fellow passengers in the boarding area? If you had, you'd see that most of them are carrying those bin-hogging rollaboards. While there are three seats in a row, the bin will usually get full with just 2 of these behemoths. And, add the fact that UA has about 4 levels of "super-duper premium ultra-platinum Star Alliance fliers (most of whom carry rollaboards) who get to board first," and it's no wonder those unlucky to board last get shafted. I've felt for a long time that the bins should be divided into 3 compartments, which would provide guaranteed space for each seat.
LT is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 05:43 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
LT, I like that idea of the compartments being divided! Then each passenger would have an equal amt of space. If it doesn't fit, it goes 'below' period!

I'm a 1K with UA, so I'm among the first to board. What I don't like is when I'm in that first group on the plane, only to find that MY space above my seat is already taken by flt crew!!!! I'm sorry, but they should not be allowed to stow their stuff in the space that paying customers are supposed to use! Rant rant!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 05:45 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Oh, and I always check my luggage (no fee due to my status) and I only carry on a purse and smaller bag... not one of those big rollaboards.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2010, 09:39 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,313
Unfortunately, there are lots of things the airlines tell you NOT to check. And yes, I've had my gate-checked luggage go astray as well.

Medicines, electronics, valuables, etc. - not all of this necessarily fits in a purse, plus a change of clothes, a book, and other things actually needed for the flight itself. My camera alone takes up a quarter of my large purse, as I'm a serious photographer. Battery chargers, cords, backup drives. Sometimes a laptop, and all that goes with that. There is no way I will allow these items to be gate-checked until they can guarantee their safety from damage, theft, and loss. Add to that the fact I will soon have a CPAP to take on board as well. Sigh.
GreenDragon is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 07:14 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
I was asked to gate check a bag because the overhead bins were full and they completely lost my bag. It was a United airlines flight. I could have taken out some clothes to get the bag under the seat and just held onto the clothes. From now on I will never gate check a carry on bag again. The airline personnel are complete idiots. I think what happened was the woman writing out the tag checked the bag to LAX but I was connecting through LAX to BFL and I told her that. She asked me where I was going and I specifically told her BFL. I even asked if she had ever heard of it and she said yes. So why was it that the bag never made it to BFL? The last scan of the bag was in claim area 3 in the United airlines terminal at LAX. The airlines should go out of business. They have the worst customer service out of all the industries.
Paulie99 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2012, 01:00 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 65,375
"From now on I will never gate check a carry on bag again."

That likely won't be your decision to make.
janisj is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Disambiguous
Air Travel
3
Mar 25th, 2015 10:44 AM
glimmer2
Air Travel
2
Jun 7th, 2012 09:42 AM
sshephard
Europe
12
Apr 6th, 2007 01:48 PM
Tony1588
Europe
8
Aug 17th, 2006 05:59 PM
mscarls
United States
11
Aug 17th, 2006 05:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:26 PM.