"Gate check-in" ?

Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 07:55 AM
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"Gate check-in" ?

Hi everyone,

I called United Airlines directly, but they claimed they didn't know the answer to my question.

I am flying on a United Express flight from Sacramento to San Francisco. All I'll have with me is a carry-on backpack, but I understand that these planes are pretty small and have no real room to store bags. They told me they do "gate check-in" whereby they'll take my backpack and store it under the plane and I'll get it back as soon as I get off the plane.

Here's my question: at what point do they take my carry-on to store it under the plane? When I first check in at the counter in Sacramento, or just as I'm ready to board the plane? (I'm hoping it's the latter, as I have a weird fear of them taking my bag at the check-in counter and losing it in a pile somewhere)

Thanks for any help.
Liquidsunshine is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Plane-side check in on UX is done right as you are boarding the plane - either in the jetway if they are using one, or on the tarmac before you climb the stairs to board the plane. The bags will be placed in the same location (jetway or tarmac at bottom of stairs) at arrival. Very easy - much better than regular checked luggage.

FWIW - I don't know the size of your backpack, but a reasonably sized daypack will fit under the seat and possibly in the overhead of the regional jets I've been on.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 08:19 AM
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I don't know about United, but I did encounter this as I was about to board a small plane on NW. We stepped outside the terminal and onto the tarmack, and the FA pointed out a cart near the plane. She told us that if our bag is bigger than a brief case, then put it on the cart. This was pre-911, I don't know if that matters or not.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 09:51 AM
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UX/Skywest uses both Canadair Regional Jet and the Embraer Brasilia EMB-120 turboprop on these SMF-SFO flights.

If you're on a turboprop, then I'm almost 100% sure you'll be boarding via stairs from the tarmac. On the CRJ, then it depends on airport setup.

There are tiny overhead bins in each type, and will fit small backpacks. And underseat space on these planes are almost as good as on a mainline.

If you do "gate-check" (that's what it's called, not "gate check-in"), make sure you don't forget to wait for the bag at the plane door at arrival. It's easy to forget and keep walking straight to the terminal. Wait!
rkkwan is offline  
Old Sep 2nd, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Thank you, everyone. I feel better now.
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