Crew Bags in Overhead - Gate Lice

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Old Oct 8, 10, 9:02 am
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Crew Bags in Overhead - Gate Lice

If there were ever a reason to be a member of the Gate Lice it was on AS 536 last night.

After going over to the N Terminals only to find out that the Gate changed to D10, we went back over to board the slightly delayed flight to ONT.

Having no status (but thinking of changing from CO Gold), the 3 of us managed to board as early as we could in the rush for Y passengers and proceeded to our seats in Row 25 only to discover that the overheads on our side were completely full with crew bags (they filled part of Row 24 as well). I managed to get my wife's computer bag and my computer bag up into the bin across the aisle right beside the safety equipment that half-filled that bin.

As others boarded it became clear what the $20/bag policy and the full bins at the back were causing as this had to be one of the longest boarding flights I have been on for some time because of people vainly searching for overhead space. In my view, an additional 10-15 minutes at least was lost as people tramped to the back, found the bins full and had to 'swim' against the tide to find bin space back up toward the front. It had all started with the crew bags filling up 1 1/2 bins in the back coupled with the safety equipment taking most of the bin right across. Eventually the bins were all full and at least 1 or 2 carry-ons were gate-checked - adding more time.

As a direct result of this nonsense, deplaning also took about twice as long as I thought normal because of people having to haul out their monster bags as well as people in the back having to figure out where their bags were ahead.

Surely they have bag sizers in SEA. Surely crew bags don't have to take up what is already limited space at the rear of the 737-400. Why can't crew bags be interspersed all along the plane?
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Old Oct 8, 10, 11:19 am
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Msp 37

We just fly from MSP to SEA on 37 last Wed. Gate agent was trying very hard to limit carryon's:: several PA announcements about 2 carry ons per passenger etc.
A couple ( who had been standing in FC line for 45 mins before borad process started) stuffed laptops etc in rollers but they still had 5 carryons plus a shoulder bag. when boarding started . The gate agent told them they had too many bags, attached bag check tags to 2 of the rollers and set them aside . She came back to scan their board passes:::: as the couple headed to the jetway the man grabbed the 2 checked rollers:: saying" I'm a Silver Diamond and I always carry my bags on board" No staff stopped him as they went on down the jetway with 5 + carryons.
My wife and I got boarded also in FC (pd First btw) and found this couple had taken up 2 overhead bins as their rollers were too lg to go in wheels out only sideways. crew had to fit rest of FC passengers bags all over. I had thoughts of :: IS this a Delta Elite upgrade on an Alaska flight ???
There was a mess in coach also as many of the rollers were too large causing space to fill quicjly and the swim against passengers to get bags checked slowed down the boarding process. Some passengers grumbled about small plane overheads.
Stewardesses were trying hard and maintaining an Alaska smile as they struggled to get all sorted out to close the doors. I gave a cert of Thanks to the Stewardess who struggled the most with this mess but still held it together . Alaska flight crews are the best.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by glacierbear View Post
as the couple headed to the jetway the man grabbed the 2 checked rollers:: saying" I'm a Silver Diamond and I always carry my bags on board" No staff stopped him as they went on down the jetway with 5 + carryons.
Classic DYKWIA. idiot.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian View Post
Surely they have bag sizers in SEA. Surely crew bags don't have to take up what is already limited space at the rear of the 737-400. Why can't crew bags be interspersed all along the plane?

Crew bags go into one designated bin at the back of the airplane. They are designated for that spot, rather then to be interspersed through the cabin, so that the crew can monitor their bags - especially during deplaning. Crew bags have been known to walk off the plane with customers and thats the reason for keeping them within our eyeshot at the back of the plane. I understand your frustration with the limited overhead space back and don't have an easy answer but I think it's reasonable that there be a space for the crew bags where they have the ability to monitor them.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by glacierbear View Post
as the couple headed to the jetway the man grabbed the 2 checked rollers:: saying" I'm a Silver Diamond and I always carry my bags on board" No staff stopped him as they went on down the jetway with 5 + carryons.
That guy is an A$$hol* and I would have politely requested the FA or the GA come onboard and retcify this situation if I was in the same cabin. I don't give a flying rat's ... if that guy is a "silver diamond" [which does not exist ] and nobody has the right to demean the AS staff and their crew members like this. I know the crew members has to be cordial and friendly, but we don't have to

It will make things easier sometimes if we, as passenger, who CAN be more blunt to our fellow passengers and request the FA/GA to take care of this matter. So the crew can say "he is right, every passenger can only bring two carry-ons onboard, so we will gate check your two roll-ons". So the so-called "silver diamond" will be angry with me and I won't care so it is a win-win situation for everybody and the airline.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 2:08 pm
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It is inconsistent, but from time to time I have seen AS FA's and occasionally DL FA's watching the bins like a hawk. They identify bags put in inefficiently such as rollers sideways, and move them. I've even seen them take smaller items, as who they belong to, and give them to the pax telling them they need to utilize foot space to preserve overhead bin space. I so appreciate it when they do this. I know it is a huge pain for them to go back and forth as people try to board, but when they do it helps the overhead bin space immensely.

The airlines really need to address this and figure this out. Since the charges for 1st bag went through, people are carrying ridiculous amounts of stuff on board. I do wonder if the charges have offset the delays in boarding time. I know AS went from a 30 minute pre departure boarding time to 40 minutes - clearly they recognize that the boarding time is becoming less efficient. The question is, is it hurting the bottom line more than helping it? If each plane needs an extra 10 minutes of ground time to accommmodate boarding mainly secondary to carry on luggage, that's going to overall decrease the efficiency of fleet use, and affect on time performance. When an inbound aircraft lands a few minutes late, it's going to become harder to make up that time by turning it around quickly.

So far no one has gone ala Spirit and charged for cabin luggage...but you've got to wonder if it's coming.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by AS Flyer View Post
Crew bags go into one designated bin at the back of the airplane. They are designated for that spot, rather then to be interspersed through the cabin, so that the crew can monitor their bags - especially during deplaning. Crew bags have been known to walk off the plane with customers and thats the reason for keeping them within our eyeshot at the back of the plane. I understand your frustration with the limited overhead space back and don't have an easy answer but I think it's reasonable that there be a space for the crew bags where they have the ability to monitor them.
Once again disregarding the paying customer is what this tells me since sitting 4 or 5 rows away from their bags is one of the effects. The primary reason I left ErrorCanada (AC) years and years ago.

Given they don't serve meals why not reconfigure the galley for their bags to be stored?

Last edited by ProudEdmontonian; Oct 8, 10 at 3:29 pm
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Old Oct 8, 10, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian View Post
Once again disregarding the paying customer is what this tells me since sitting 4 or 5 rows away from their bags is one of the effects. The primary reason I left ErrorCanada (AC) years and years ago.

Given they don't serve meals why not reconfigure the galley for their bags to be stored?
This isn't just on AS. This is standard practice on WN, and I'm pretty sure on many other airlines as well on their narrow body planes. It was explained to me the WN FAs keep their bags in the bins near them because their manuals need to be within reach during the flight. It wouldn't surprise me if AS had the same requirement.

If sitting 4 rows away from your carry on is an issue....well...I'm not sure what to tell you.
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Old Oct 8, 10, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian View Post
Given they don't serve meals why not reconfigure the galley for their bags to be stored?
AS does in fact sell meals on flights over 2:30. Maybe there just happen to be a catering mishap on your flight due to its gate shifting and delay. AS could always remove the food and beverage cart from their planes but it isn't ever going to happen because passengers take advantage of the services.

Moving the crew bags somewhere else in the overhead bins doesn't magically create more overhead bin space. Just extra space above the specific seats you were in. Until the airlines start selling assigned overhead bin space its shared and there is no guarantee your bag will go over your row. The FA's usually (at least all the fights I've been on) close the overhead bins when they are full to give a hint to the passengers where there is space left. Of course that doesn't stop passengers from opening every overhead bin they see hoping space magically appeared.

In regards to leaving the plane, if people would remember where they put their stuff it wouldn't be so hard to find. Considering the back fills up faster then the front there shouldn't be so many people swimming upstream to remove their bags.
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Old Oct 9, 10, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian View Post
If there were ever a reason to be a member of the Gate Lice it was on AS 536 last night.

After going over to the N Terminals only to find out that the Gate changed to D10, we went back over to board the slightly delayed flight to ONT.

Having no status (but thinking of changing from CO Gold), the 3 of us managed to board as early as we could in the rush for Y passengers and proceeded to our seats in Row 25 only to discover that the overheads on our side were completely full with crew bags (they filled part of Row 24 as well). I managed to get my wife's computer bag and my computer bag up into the bin across the aisle right beside the safety equipment that half-filled that bin.
Well I'm sorry that you had to stow your bag in a different row and that your flight was ten minutes late leaving and an entire minute late arriving, but the crew has to put their bags somewhere and it might as well be in the back of the plane as opposed to in the First Class bin space. This SOP on a number of airlines including WN. Maybe the A flight attendant could fit crew bags in the forward coat closet, otherwise I'm not really sure where else they could put them. Aside from this, bin space gets full on full flights even when passengers do observe the carry-on allowance and sizes.
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Old Oct 9, 10, 6:30 am
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I guess I ought to have been more specific in my first post.

As a very experienced traveller over the past 40 years I have been flying (back in the days when no luggage at all was allowed in the overheads, only outerwear and purses), I was pleased to have been a member of the gate lice in this instance that so many deride as I was fortunate to find bin space close to my seats so that I could keep an eye on our carry-on bags and have them nearby for access during the flight so I could do some work. We had checked our main bags for $20 per.

What I was commenting on was the fact that the entire boarding process was very delayed because of the need for other passengers to turn around and look for forward bin space once they arrived and found the back bins near their seats were already full. I guess this is something that AS - and from the comments here many of its regular customers - feels is okay.
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Old Oct 9, 10, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
That guy is an A$$hol* and I would have politely requested the FA or the GA come onboard and retcify this situation if I was in the same cabin. I don't give a flying rat's ... if that guy is a "silver diamond" [which does not exist ] and nobody has the right to demean the AS staff and their crew members like this. I know the crew members has to be cordial and friendly, but we don't have to

It will make things easier sometimes if we, as passenger, who CAN be more blunt to our fellow passengers and request the FA/GA to take care of this matter. So the crew can say "he is right, every passenger can only bring two carry-ons onboard, so we will gate check your two roll-ons". So the so-called "silver diamond" will be angry with me and I won't care so it is a win-win situation for everybody and the airline.
uh yeah I most likely wouldve said something to both him and the GA. Probably a DL silver and added the diamond part to sound cool and bad a$$. What I get a lot is when Im in the F/Elite line snobby better than thou people attempt to go past me. I probably dont look the part of their perceived idea of what an elite or FC passenger looks like in their mind. I just politely go right back around them. Had one lady say excuse me Im a gold member and tried to go around me. I said oh thats nice....so am I and stepped back in front of her. She muttered something and then sighed loudly and for some reason went and sat down. Later as Im in 2D it was even better watching her board, I smiled at her and when she was beside me looked at the guy in 2F and said man Im glad I got upgraded on this 5 hour flight. As she headed back to Y somewhere.
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Old Oct 9, 10, 11:02 am
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discretion better part of valor

Well it's true I did consider saying something to the gate agent. at first I thought maybe he was surely going to be asked to drop the bags at plane door for gate check pile. We were about 8 or 9 back in line to board but clearly heard his "Silver-Diamond" comment as he said it pretty loud. by time we got on board this couple were already seated after stuffing bins full. Then the stewardesses started to push FC passenger bags around and others tried to get by to go to coach it turned into a mess.... in the asile. And it got worse as lg rollers had to come back to front to be gate checked.
I decieded at that time best to stay quiet and let the flight crews just deal with it. I didn't want to get into a war of words if you will as we all know how that turns out or is preceived in this era of airline security. There were plenty of too LG rollers to deal with not just this couple's.
I did however thank the stewardesses for handling it the way they did ( with Alaska smiles too) after the flight finally got airborne . Plus gave a Thanks Cert. to the one who had the hardest time getting it all sorted out and get us airborne..
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Old Oct 9, 10, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian View Post
Once again disregarding the paying customer is what this tells me since sitting 4 or 5 rows away from their bags is one of the effects. The primary reason I left ErrorCanada (AC) years and years ago.

Given they don't serve meals why not reconfigure the galley for their bags to be stored?
Oh please. Just stop. Nobody is "disregarding the paying customer". No matter where the crew puts their bags somebody may have been able to use that space for their own bag. In this case, I guess it's going to be you. Overhead bin space is shared space and it is limited. Just because there is a bin directly over your seat doesn't mean it's necessarily yours and there is no promise of overhead space at all. Crew have no other options. They often use the closet if it's available but that space is designated first for any wheelchairs that come on board, then for the pilots and then for customer bags as needed. It's not always available for the crew. In order to provide some security for the working crew and their belongings, there is ONE lockable bin at the back of the airplane in which they are allowed to stow their items. THERE IS NO OTHER SPACE. You can certainly put your items under the seat in front of you if they are that important but FA's do not have that option. Not everything on the plane is meant for passenger use - the one lockable bin for the crew is not yours.
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Old Oct 10, 10, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by AS Flyer View Post
Oh please. Just stop. Nobody is "disregarding the paying customer". No matter where the crew puts their bags somebody may have been able to use that space for their own bag. In this case, I guess it's going to be you. Overhead bin space is shared space and it is limited. Just because there is a bin directly over your seat doesn't mean it's necessarily yours and there is no promise of overhead space at all. Crew have no other options. They often use the closet if it's available but that space is designated first for any wheelchairs that come on board, then for the pilots and then for customer bags as needed. It's not always available for the crew. In order to provide some security for the working crew and their belongings, there is ONE lockable bin at the back of the airplane in which they are allowed to stow their items. THERE IS NO OTHER SPACE. You can certainly put your items under the seat in front of you if they are that important but FA's do not have that option. Not everything on the plane is meant for passenger use - the one lockable bin for the crew is not yours.
I can make any comment I want. Too bad it doesn't fit with your belief system.

If baggage fees are the norm then a solution ought to be found. Why aren't FA bags gate-checked and brought up immediately for example?

Last edited by ProudEdmontonian; Oct 10, 10 at 7:34 am
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