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American Eagle carry-on policy, process, maximums? (consolidated)

American Eagle carry-on policy, process, maximums? (consolidated)

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Old Aug 3, 13, 2:15 am   -   Wikipost
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Most American Eagle flights have very limited overhead compartment space, with normal underseat space. Normal carryon (rollaboards) will not fit; they will be valet checked at the gate (some stations have you deposit the bag near the aircraft door in the jetway), with a tag secured from the GA with your name etc. on it.

On arrival the bags will be unloaded and delivered to the jetway as you exit the aircraft, or in some locations to an airside cart or a cart nearby (landing dock at LAX). The Valey Checked bags are first out, and it usually takes 5 - 10 minutes to retrieve them.

It's an excellent idea to remove valuables from Valet Checked bags and carry them on board (backpack, small bag, etc.) Hardsided camera bags, etc. should be secured.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 7:52 pm
  #1  
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American Eagle carry-on policy, process, maximums? (consolidated)

I have an itinerary with American Airlines this weekend, and one leg of the trip is run by American Eagle. Does anyone know if the AE carry-on policy differs from AA? I'm having a really hard time finding an answer online that isn't wishy-washy. I know AA offers the standard "one carry-on and one personal item", but I halfway remember flying with AE a year or so ago and being forced to check my second piece. I'm planning on taking two small bags (each about 30" in overall dimension) filled with rather expensive camera equipment, and it would be potentially disastrous if I had to put one of them in the cargo hold. Should I just call the airport directly? Would I get a straight answer? If it makes any difference, the plane type is ERD according to my confirmation email.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 8:04 pm
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Two-part answer.

1) AE's carry-on policy is the same as mainline AA.
2) AE's overhead bins are *tiny*, so anything bigger than a soft duffel or backpack must be valet-checked at the gate, just because a standard carry-on won't fit. Especially on the ERDs, which are one of the smallest jets in the fleet.

Sorry.
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Old Jun 11, 13, 8:08 pm
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The carry-on allowance is the same. One 45" bag and one 36" or less that fits underneath the seat in front. http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...nAllowance.jsp

The difference on the AE flights is that the 45" bag won't fit in the overhead so would be valet checked at the gate. Dimensions of the overhead are here, so you can see if your bag meets the criteria: http://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourPl...30-140-145.jsp
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Old Jun 11, 13, 10:25 pm
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The rollaboard I usually carry does not fit on the AE planes. My smallest rollaboard is tight.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 12:09 am
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http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...nAllowance.jsp as of today says:
Carry-on roller board bags, duffle bags, large backpacks, or other personal items that don't fit in the overhead bins or under the seat must be checked at the gate and placed in the cargo compartment on American Eagle aircraft.
Regardless of what the above rule says, regardless of whether the bag fits or not, the gate agent will generally try to make you "valet check" any upright roller, even if it is 17".

Valet check means that the bag is delivered back to you at the arriving gate, not at the belt.

Last edited by carlosdca; Jun 12, 13 at 2:07 am
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Old Jun 12, 13, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
http://www.aa.com/i18n/travelInforma...nAllowance.jsp as of today says:


Regardless of what the above rule says, regardless of whether the bag fits or not, the gate agent will generally try to make you "valet check" any upright roller, even if it is 17".

Valet check means that the bag is delivered back to you at the arriving gate, not at the belt.
Fortunately, what the gate agent does and what the passenger does can be two different things since they happen at opposite ends of the jetbridge/ mrs. brp has a stubby rollaboard that will fit in overheads or under the seat. Even if asked to gate check by the GA, she carries it on, with no problem.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 9:19 am
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so to summarize, no fees, but expect that standard rollerboards will be checked at the plane door, and you'll be waiting in line on the jetway after you land to get your back back. If you have special equipment, you probably want to pack extra small bags or put the vital components in the smaller bag. Gate checked bags are subject to the normal abuse as the rest of cargo, and I've had both TSA and rampers go through the bags moving/losing/damaging things.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 9:24 am
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As noted by others, the carry-on is limited by the type of aircraft and thus the nature of the overheads. E145s and CRJ200s cannot accommodate very much overhead so it's pretty much the basics. E175/190s and CRA700s have larger bins but still not large enough (unless you're in F) to accommodate anything larger than 18"-22" roller cases. However, the standard for AE is to gate tag and use the valet service where you drop your larger bag(s) before entering the plane, then wait for the bags before heading into the terminal upon arrival. No charge for this service which is pretty standard to all regional carriers in NAmerica.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 9:59 am
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OP - Don't let people make more of this than it is. Simply a matter of basic engineering and how to fit one item (a bag) inside another (an OH).

Gate-checking is not the same as checking your bag at the counter/curbside. You leave your bag as you enter the aircraft (whether on a jetway or via air stairs) and you get it back at roughly the same type of locating as you arrive.

I would suggest having a small bag which holds medications & valuables such as jewelry. That comes out of your larger carry-on and stays with you in the cabin. While losses on valet-checked bags are uncommon, they do happen.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 12:13 pm
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I have found at least out of ORD that is very FA dependent. I have a Tumi backpack that I know fits very well in even the smallest planes. I have been forced to valet check it sometimes and others I have no issue bringing it on. Quite frustrating. I am in the first group to board so it is not a space issue

B.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 12:16 pm
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Since this is somewhat germane to this thread I'll go ahead and ask.

I changed my carry on routine for the first time over 12 years recently for one of my weekly trips (which involves Eagle). I previously would carry on a full size roll aboard and one of the Tumi laptop bags (which are quite large but still laptop bags OR I would just bring the laptop bag. In those instances I would gate check the roll aboard and put the laptop bag in the overhead.

I've changed to that same laptop bag and a very small bookbag. Obviously I don't want to gate check the laptop bag. On CRJs I had been putting the book bag under my seat and the laptop bag overhead but recently I was forced to gate check. I tried to gate check the book bag but the gate agent forced me to check the laptop bag as it was larger. The resulted in me pulling out all the computer equipment from the laptop bag, placing that under my seat and putting the book bag up top. The net space savings was zero as I still ended up using the overhead bin.

So was this a one-off with a gate agent or should I prepare for this before each flight. Does anyone else carry two small non-rolling carry ons for AE flights?
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Old Jun 12, 13, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Fortunately, what the gate agent does and what the passenger does can be two different things since they happen at opposite ends of the jetbridge/ mrs. brp has a stubby rollaboard that will fit in overheads or under the seat. Even if asked to gate check by the GA, she carries it on, with no problem.

Cheers.
Sure enough.

I always get my small 17" roller red-tagged but I really don't care so I just turn it in. I doubt it fits anyway.

And I guess how strict they are depends on the airport.

In SAN, the gate agent red tags the bags to be valet checked, but then the handler on the runway (we have no jetbridge for Eagle in SAN) does not care to make people drop their bags off on the cart.
But sure enough, lots of smart people skip the cart and then they are standing in the middle of the aisle with a lost look realizing the bag does not fit. Probably there are others that manage to make the bags fit. Anyway, those overhead bins are tiny.

Last edited by carlosdca; Jun 12, 13 at 12:39 pm
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Old Jun 12, 13, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP - Don't let people make more of this than it is.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would suggest having a small bag which holds medications & valuables such as jewelry. That comes out of your larger carry-on and stays with you in the cabin.
Did you read the original post? Both of his / her bags are completely full of valuables.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 1:04 pm
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If it doesn't fit under the seat in front of you, it probably won't fit in the tiny overhead. Would you be able to get a Pelican case to protect your gear? Then valet check that at the gate.
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Old Jun 12, 13, 8:23 pm
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Thanks for the reply, everyone. It's too late at this point to get a heavy-duty case for my camera equipment. Although I am almost positive both bags would fit (one under seat, one overhead) it's just not worth the risk, so I think I am going to leave one of the bags (my large format system) at home. Kind of sad since I am headed to Yellowstone and will be looking to take a lot of landscapes. C'est la vie.
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