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The Tough Tactics to Avoid Luggage Check-In Fees

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William Carroll couldn't believe what he was seeing. People packed in tight around the entrance. At the appointed time, the crowd rushed forward, pushing and shoving, looking ready to trample anyone who dawdled. Employees made repeated announcements trying to control the situation. It was just like Black Friday at Wal-Mart, he thought. Mr. Carroll was simply trying to board a Jan. 5 flight back home to Southern California from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. And the… (online.wsj.com) More...

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xmacfly
ALLEN McLEAN 3
Does any line actually check the bag dimensions? I haven't seen them. Seems like anything short of a golf bag ends up in the cabin.
A bit concerned about the 195lb per passenger calculation for weight and balance I would guess. 195#?? Have you looked around? Huge carryons make the passenger somewhere in the 160-170 range?? Not in a million years, not in the US.
schooner1984
Scott Brooks 1
@Allen - I was in Atlanta last week and there was an agent by the gate door making people put their suitcases in the frame. If it didn't fit, she used the aforementioned bag tag printer and tagged it for the cargo bin.
Ryan198416
Ryan Viveiros 1
I thought they came up with updated numbers, something like 215 or 220 per passenger and luggage? I could be wrong.
Eric97123
Eric Cothern 3
How I avoid check baggage fees- when the gate person annouces that they will check the bag to its final destination for free if you bring the bag up to them, I am first to do it. I have not carried on or paided a fee in about a dozen flights.
EmeraldRocket
Clever one!
StymieHo
Chris Donawho 2
Like others, i wait and let the gate agents check it for free.
ATCguy1
ATCguy1 3
Airlines should start charging for carry on bags and let the traveler check their bag for free. This would hopefully discourage people from taking a bunch of luggage into the cabin (destined for the overhead bin) and thus cut down on the amount of time it takes to board and disembark an aircraft. It should take about fifteen minutes to board a 320 or 73...not 30!
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
The baggage fees have little to do with customer servisc aand boarding ease or problems. Weight = cost and opportunity. It's facinating that all the airlines other than Southwest came up with baggage fees on the same day. Collusion ? Price Fixing? Not even a mention of it. I guess it was a collective thought.
sfjasper
Steve Jasper 1
Here's where the US postal Service could shine. Mail it! If it fits it ships! Have it waiting for you when you arrive. No hassle, through security or check-in or boarding. No one stealing your stuff.
fef99
fef99 1
Just wait near the end of the boarding line, so when you get to the plane, the overhead bins are full, and they will check your bag FREE. They operate on the late in, first out basis, so your bag will be one of the first ones as you exit the plane, or as some airlines do, send it to baggage claim with the other bags.
airjim
jim macke 1
When I showed up for a small regional jet flight with my carry-on the attendant at the counter took a look at it and said it was not going to fit in the bin. She checked it for free.
indy2001
indy2001 1
If it's the lilliputian ERJ135/145, the overhead bins are so small and the space under the seat in front of you so cramped that even traditional carry-on bags don't stand a chance of getting in those cabins. Checking any bag larger than a purse is mandatory, no exceptions. And everyone is affected since there's no First Class cabin. When we travel on AA from Indy, it's either ERJ's to O'Hare or MD-80's to DFW. No prizes for guessing which one we usually choose.
edgehrke
edward gehrke 1
Almost all of my travel is international (actual miles 100K+/yr). Due to several FF programs, I haven't paid fees in years. I also travel light - one checked bag for 1-2 month trips. I do have to carry the maximum allowed on board though. I've had my baggage lost for up to a week (I do a lot of Africa work) and can't afford not to be ready to work on Monday morning. My carry-on though is below the limit - even for Ethiopian Airlines, who check and measure... Sure, I've seen plenty of "carry-on" abuse, especially multiple duty free bags. If luggage was more reliable, I would cut back on my carry-on - don't see that happening soon though.
StymieHo
Chris Donawho 1
Multiple Duty Free bags is not abuse. It's their rules, not ours. You buy duty free items and they bag it and send it to the plane. I have never physically "carried on" duty free bags. Carry them off all the time, but it wasnt my rules that put them on the topside to begin with.
howard1110
Howard Marks 1
Next time, Mr. Carroll should try Southwest Airlines where checked bags fly free. WN flys nonstop to LAX and SNA from MDW. I never experienced the scene he described when flying WN.

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