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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:30 pm   #1
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United forcing to gate check a bag to destination

So I'm on a flight tonight, and a we are boarding I have with me my usual normal sized wheeled carryon. My flight is from las Vegas to San Francisco, and connecting to Seattle. My flight out of Vegas is already delayed 15 minutes trimming my connection time down to a nice 20 minutes. As I board in seating area two amidst many other carry on bags exact same size. The agent singled me out and insisted to check my bag to destination. After arguing uselessly she insisted there was no way my bag would miss my connection. So here I sit watching open bin space go unused and plethora of larger carryons being loaded.....will see if my bag actually shows up.

I even told her I'm flying on a mileage run, with alot of stops and did not want to check a bag, since the likely hood of it even getting back to me is slim if it misses any point. since this leg only shows me going to Seattle she wouldn't let me board with it as it showed my "final" destination in Seattle....

Anyone else experience this or similar situation or find a way around it?
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:37 pm   #2
  
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What are the chances your bag will go on some other route...it is being loaded on your flight to SFO, and is labeled SEA. SEA is your destination, UA flies from SFO to SEA...what makes you think it is going to take a different routing? A lot of stops? You are (at least from this point) making 1 stop, and this is the most direct routing on UA, I don't see any major issues.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:37 pm   #3
  
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You have the right to request testing it in the sizer. If, after that, she still insisted, I would have told her that you had necessary Rx and medical devices in your bag and would be forced to deplane if she insisted on you gate-checking
it. I believe that she would have relented under those circumstances, but you can never predict their reactions.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:41 pm   #4
  
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"I am sorry, that rollaboard contains an urn with the cremated remains of my wife. We're going to fullfil her last wish and sprinkle it into the waters of the Strait of San Juan de Fuca tomorrow, and I am sure you understand that I cannot let that bag out of my hands."
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:44 pm   #5
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombietooth View Post
You have the right to request testing it in the sizer.
While I don't agree with what the flight attendant did according to the OP (singling him out and making him check his bag), I'd be careful to claim this as a "right". I'm not sure this so-called right is guaranteed by anything (e.g. law, CoC, etc).

Out of curiosity, what type of plane were you flying on?
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:47 pm   #6
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastair View Post
What are the chances your bag will go on some other route...it is being loaded on your flight to SFO, and is labeled SEA. SEA is your destination, UA flies from SFO to SEA...what makes you think it is going to take a different routing? A lot of stops? You are (at least from this point) making 1 stop, and this is the most direct routing on UA, I don't see any major issues.
I think the issue the OP is concerned about is whether the bag will make the 20 min connection at SFO. It will most likely fly the same route as the OP, but not necessarily on the same aircraft on the SFO-SEA leg.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 9:51 pm   #7
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On two consecutive UA flights in the past three months, our (no status) son was "forced" to check his carry-on, even though there was plentiful overhead space available. He has since switched to Frontier, where FAs do not play the power trip game.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 10:04 pm   #8
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlawrence85 View Post
Out of curiosity, what type of plane were you flying on?
Looks like it was UA 309 (currently in the air), operated by a 757. Departed 13 mins late, expected to arrive 16 mins late into SFO (10:14pm)

Assuming the OP is then connecting to UA 62, currently scheduled to depart on time at 10:36pm, s/he will have the pleasure to hustle from gate 89 to 73A. About as bad as it could get (ignoring the remote possibility of a domestic flight departing from the international terminal at that time of the day)
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Old Apr 14, 11, 10:36 pm   #9
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlawrence85 View Post
While I don't agree with what the flight attendant did according to the OP (singling him out and making him check his bag), I'd be careful to claim this as a "right". I'm not sure this so-called right is guaranteed by anything (e.g. law, CoC, etc).

Out of curiosity, what type of plane were you flying on?
The "right" stems from the announcement, (paraphrased) "that any bag that will not fit in the sizer will have to be gate checked", that we hear all of the time. I have never seen them refuse a request to check a bag in the sizer and I believe that if such a request were denied, the situation could escalate into a confrontation requiring security and possible ejection.

Last edited by zombietooth; Apr 14, 11 at 10:46 pm
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Old Apr 14, 11, 10:38 pm   #10
  
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Tell them your actual destination is somewhere obscure they won't know the code for. Vladivostok, Tashkent, Cotonou, etc. They'll usually let you go rather than looking it up.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 10:52 pm   #11
  
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Tell them your actual destination is somewhere obscure they won't know the code for. Vladivostok, Tashkent, Cotonou, etc. They'll usually let you go rather than looking it up.
"That's no problem, let me see your onward boarding passes or itinerary so we can check it..." That will usually show the person is lying and he will quickly surrender his bag as being a person of untruths. Once proven to be a liar, the fight is usually taken out of a person. Oh, and SU allows a total of 10kg for Y class passengers...your bag is too heavy to be carry on for them, so we will just check it to the gateway so you can reclaim it and check it in with them/pay the fees.
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Old Apr 14, 11, 11:12 pm   #12
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What I don't understand is why ask someone to gate check a bag when it will fit into the overhead bin and there is room for it??

LAX
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Old Apr 14, 11, 11:14 pm   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Looks like it was UA 309 (currently in the air), operated by a 757. Departed 13 mins late, expected to arrive 16 mins late into SFO (10:14pm)

Assuming the OP is then connecting to UA 62, currently scheduled to depart on time at 10:36pm, s/he will have the pleasure to hustle from gate 89 to 73A. About as bad as it could get (ignoring the remote possibility of a domestic flight departing from the international terminal at that time of the day)

This is exactly correct, we just landed now and still have to taxi to gate. Even if I sprint and make it, the chances of my bag making it are iffy. An plus I leave Seattle at 8 am heading to Vancouver, then onward to about 10 other cities over next few days. So.....this could suck not having my bag. Let's hope this ground crew is hopping...
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Old Apr 14, 11, 11:21 pm   #14
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyridoxine View Post
This is exactly correct, we just landed now and still have to taxi to gate. Even if I sprint and make it, the chances of my bag making it are iffy. An plus I leave Seattle at 8 am heading to Vancouver, then onward to about 10 other cities over next few days. So.....this could suck not having my bag. Let's hope this ground crew is hopping...
This gate check thing is clearly the most abused power that these GAs possess.
The capriciousness evident in the varied levels of enforcement is ridiculous.
You should never give "little people" big power, they will almost certainly abuse it. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!

Please update us as your situation develops. These abuses need more exposure, and the negative consequences need to be revealed.

Last edited by zombietooth; Apr 14, 11 at 11:26 pm
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Old Apr 14, 11, 11:24 pm   #15
  
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Good luck. Keep us updated.
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