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Old Jun 12, 08, 10:55 pm   #1
 
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Let the baggage wars begin!

Hi-

I'm a new poster, but LONG time lurker. Been of elite status with USAir since 1987, so I have watched a lot of changes.

Regarding the latest announcement to charge checked bags, I contend this must have been developed by a non-FF at USAir who has not witnessed the boarding process. I don't see how this new policy will be beneficial from a practical aspect.

Currently passengers carry ons fight to be the first to board to have a better chance of having overhead space for their bags. Those who board later have to act like salmon going upstream to get their bags to the front of the plane so an FA can check it in. There seems to me to be a very high volume of this on flights prior to the new policy.

Now assume that all passengers carry on their bags to avoid the $15 fee. Where will they put their bags? There isn't enough space in the overheads and under-seat areas to accommodate everyone that flies. But everyone will take their bags as carry on. The airline now has the ripe condition of having all the excess baggage manually dealt with by FAs and GAs as tagged bags. The scenario is as such: everyone brings their bags aboard. But only the lucky first ones aboard actually find space for their bags. Everyone else now needs to hand their bags to the FAs who need to tag them and stow below. This creates mass chaos as seen on any flight today without the policy and causes late flight departures and creates many irritated passengers.

Additionally, what fee will be imposed in this case? Will they charge the passenger because he was one of the last to board the plane? Doesn't sound fair nor predictable. So a passenger carries their bags to the plane knowing that it will likely be stowed below simply to avoid the $15 fee. This delays the flight and creates other logistic headaches.

Those of you who have traveled to the UK are familiar with the airport security policy of only one checked bag. Although those who like to carry everything aboard complain, it does have a positive side effect of quick and efficient boarding because there is no wrestling match to see who can get their bags overhead first.

Hence, I think USAir has issued the wrong policy. Rather than charge for a checked bag, I think they should charge those who have more than one carry on to discourage the overhead chaos. Whether I check my bag or take it is carry on, the airplane still weighs the same so the flight operations is the same from a fuel consumption PoV. But the cost of flight is probably more because of the delays and extra handling that will now be necessary.

Alternatively, they could set up wrestle-mania arenas in the gate area for Pacs to duke it out before boarding.....
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Old Jun 13, 08, 4:31 am   #2
 
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Spectacular post.

I was wondering when someone was going to bring this up.

I really see this generating a huge problem. Also the size and weight of carryon bags is likely to increase significantly because of this. Boarding will take longer. There will be more delays.

Gate lice will morph into gate roaches, which in turn will morph into gate vermin, which will then morph into gate wolves, which will then morph into children at a pinata party after the candy spills.

Also I would predict that in addition to now carrying larger bags people will be carrying large sodas to avoid the 2 dollar fee. This will lead to an extraordinary number of spills - so watch out Zone 1ers, get ready for your 3hrs on an ERJ with a lap full of Mountain Dew courtesy of Ma and Pa in Zone 7 who are grappling with their garment bag during the boarding process.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 4:42 am   #3
 
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but AA seemed to be okay

I hear your points about the carry on baggage overflow issue... i believe many others raised this same issue when AA implemented the $15 first bag fee a few weeks ago. As far as I can tell or hear, I dont think the problems have been that bad on AA.

i'm still more upset about losing bonus miles on elite status. (sigh)
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Old Jun 13, 08, 6:17 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiding View Post
I hear your points about the carry on baggage overflow issue... i believe many others raised this same issue when AA implemented the $15 first bag fee a few weeks ago. As far as I can tell or hear, I dont think the problems have been that bad on AA.

i'm still more upset about losing bonus miles on elite status. (sigh)
Give it a month on AA.

It was effective for tickets purchased AFTER the annoucment date. So there are lots of folks out there who still get one free bag. As you get farther from the announcement date then I think you will see the real impact!
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Old Jun 13, 08, 6:30 am   #5
 
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AA's first checked bag fee starts on June 15.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 7:08 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epiding View Post
As far as I can tell or hear, I dont think the problems have been that bad on AA.
Not really a surprise, since it hasn't been implemented yet.

It will be very interesting to see them try to collect $15 from everyone forced to check a carry-on, especially as the number will undoubtedly go up.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 7:09 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usair roa View Post
Hi-

I'm a new poster, but LONG time lurker. Been of elite status with USAir since 1987, so I have watched a lot of changes.

Regarding the latest announcement to charge checked bags, I contend this must have been developed by a non-FF at USAir who has not witnessed the boarding process. I don't see how this new policy will be beneficial from a practical aspect.

Currently passengers carry ons fight to be the first to board to have a better chance of having overhead space for their bags. Those who board later have to act like salmon going upstream to get their bags to the front of the plane so an FA can check it in. There seems to me to be a very high volume of this on flights prior to the new policy.

Now assume that all passengers carry on their bags to avoid the $15 fee. Where will they put their bags? There isn't enough space in the overheads and under-seat areas to accommodate everyone that flies. But everyone will take their bags as carry on. The airline now has the ripe condition of having all the excess baggage manually dealt with by FAs and GAs as tagged bags. The scenario is as such: everyone brings their bags aboard. But only the lucky first ones aboard actually find space for their bags. Everyone else now needs to hand their bags to the FAs who need to tag them and stow below. This creates mass chaos as seen on any flight today without the policy and causes late flight departures and creates many irritated passengers.

Additionally, what fee will be imposed in this case? Will they charge the passenger because he was one of the last to board the plane? Doesn't sound fair nor predictable. So a passenger carries their bags to the plane knowing that it will likely be stowed below simply to avoid the $15 fee. This delays the flight and creates other logistic headaches.

Those of you who have traveled to the UK are familiar with the airport security policy of only one checked bag. Although those who like to carry everything aboard complain, it does have a positive side effect of quick and efficient boarding because there is no wrestling match to see who can get their bags overhead first.

Hence, I think USAir has issued the wrong policy. Rather than charge for a checked bag, I think they should charge those who have more than one carry on to discourage the overhead chaos. Whether I check my bag or take it is carry on, the airplane still weighs the same so the flight operations is the same from a fuel consumption PoV. But the cost of flight is probably more because of the delays and extra handling that will now be necessary.

Alternatively, they could set up wrestle-mania arenas in the gate area for Pacs to duke it out before boarding.....
Great post, the escalation of carry-ons is likely to be a HUGE problem IMO.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 7:37 am   #8
 
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Good point about the carry on.....now are the F/A's and G/A's going to be able to handle credit card payments if they do try to charge for gate/plane checked bags? And with everyone paying now to check baggage, how happy are the many that US loses their bags going to be when they get to the other end and have no luggage?

Maybe if US would grasp how to handle and not lose baggage, more people would trust checking. But that, coupled with the fee now being charged will guarantee late departures due to baggage accommodation.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 7:53 am   #9
 
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This move by AA and US is just a precursor to what comes next... a Euro style weighing of the carry on. Swiss is the worst for this "8 kg is your limit for carry on - weigh now!" That will FORCE people to check bags they intended to carry on (or maybe pay a $15 "oversize carry on fee" that doubles as the checked bag fee if it doesn't make the plane.)

now one bit of relief - I don't think they're going to charge for bags they have to check while on the plane. That would destroy their newly found on time percentages.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 9:18 am   #10
 
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I don't mind paying the fee so much. I do mind but at this point theres nothing that can be done and no use complaining. I usually don't check a bag and if I do I'm fine with paying $15.

What I am going to mind is all the kettles who are going on vacation for a week stuffing everything they own into a carryon bag to save $15. Not only is it going to be a nightmare for overhead space but also at the security lines. The last thing I want to be behind is the kettle family heading to MCO with enormous bags stuffed full of hairspray and sunblock. Then the argument that will come when told they need to get rid of said items. I can envision it now. As well as the zone 7's smacking me in the face with the giant duffle bags on their way onto the plane.

Excuse me for being harsh but I can forsee this happening. Soon. Very soon.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 10:06 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMark View Post

now one bit of relief - I don't think they're going to charge for bags they have to check while on the plane. That would destroy their newly found on time percentages.
Not if they leave behind the folks whose carry-ons won't fit.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 10:45 am   #12
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And i just bought a new carry-on suitcase. Of course its designed for carry-on only and will get destroyed when checked. Just need to make sure were on time for the boarding process and keep to the front of the line so we have a place to put our bags.

Its nice to see that we will have a sneek peek at how it works with AA before it kicks in with US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CPRich View Post
Not really a surprise, since it hasn't been implemented yet.

It will be very interesting to see them try to collect $15 from everyone forced to check a carry-on, especially as the number will undoubtedly go up.
Just say you dont have any money and see how that goes
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Old Jun 13, 08, 11:28 am   #13
 
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So if someone has to now gate check a bag because there wasn't enough room on board in the overheads, will that person be charged $15 to gate check? I would think the $15 only applies to folks checking luggage into the belly of the plane.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 11:42 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usair roa View Post
Hi-

I'm a new poster, but LONG time lurker. Been of elite status with USAir since 1987, so I have watched a lot of changes.

Regarding the latest announcement to charge checked bags, I contend this must have been developed by a non-FF at USAir who has not witnessed the boarding process. I don't see how this new policy will be beneficial from a practical aspect.

Currently passengers carry ons fight to be the first to board to have a better chance of having overhead space for their bags. Those who board later have to act like salmon going upstream to get their bags to the front of the plane so an FA can check it in. There seems to me to be a very high volume of this on flights prior to the new policy.

Now assume that all passengers carry on their bags to avoid the $15 fee. Where will they put their bags? There isn't enough space in the overheads and under-seat areas to accommodate everyone that flies. But everyone will take their bags as carry on. The airline now has the ripe condition of having all the excess baggage manually dealt with by FAs and GAs as tagged bags. The scenario is as such: everyone brings their bags aboard. But only the lucky first ones aboard actually find space for their bags. Everyone else now needs to hand their bags to the FAs who need to tag them and stow below. This creates mass chaos as seen on any flight today without the policy and causes late flight departures and creates many irritated passengers.

Additionally, what fee will be imposed in this case? Will they charge the passenger because he was one of the last to board the plane? Doesn't sound fair nor predictable. So a passenger carries their bags to the plane knowing that it will likely be stowed below simply to avoid the $15 fee. This delays the flight and creates other logistic headaches.

Those of you who have traveled to the UK are familiar with the airport security policy of only one checked bag. Although those who like to carry everything aboard complain, it does have a positive side effect of quick and efficient boarding because there is no wrestling match to see who can get their bags overhead first.

Hence, I think USAir has issued the wrong policy. Rather than charge for a checked bag, I think they should charge those who have more than one carry on to discourage the overhead chaos. Whether I check my bag or take it is carry on, the airplane still weighs the same so the flight operations is the same from a fuel consumption PoV. But the cost of flight is probably more because of the delays and extra handling that will now be necessary.

Alternatively, they could set up wrestle-mania arenas in the gate area for Pacs to duke it out before boarding.....
You're making the assumption that of all bags that are currently checked, there are a number of them that are small enough to carry on but the owner chooses not to.

I'm sure there are some but I'd be surprised if it's a large percentage.

Might some people now decide to go out and buy a smaller bag and pack less to avoid the $15 fee? Absolutely. Where are they going to put them? Same place as they currently put the carry-ons that have nowhere to go in the cabin.

In other words, that already happens.

A lot of FF already don't check bags unless they have to. The non-FF who's going on vacation most likely needs more than a carry on holds and will have no choice but to check. Will they be allowed to bring a suitcase that size through security? Probably not, so they will have to check it.

I'm not agreeing or disagreeing the the $15 charge. I'm just saying that I don't think you'll see the problems to the extent that you think you will. Or at least no more than we already see.
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Old Jun 13, 08, 12:32 pm   #15
 
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I always carry on ONE rollerboard. But, it holds my laptop, and all my other junk I need for the week. If they start instituting having it fit in that metal DOES YOUR BAG FIT device, Im screwed.

But I agree, OP, you raised some excellent points. Mainly with how many will now try to bring their items on board...
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