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The new BiTB dodge - gatechecking and carrying on

The new BiTB dodge - gatechecking and carrying on

Old May 25, 18, 1:42 am
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The new BiTB dodge - gatechecking and carrying on

Noticed this a couple of times now. Passengers with high group numbers accepting the gate check option, having their bags tagged, getting early boarding, and then instead of leaving them at the gate, carrying them on. I was in 1C on Tuesday at Heathrow watching quite a stream of them going past.

Neat trick really, but I was wondering if mismatch between checked bags and hold contents would cause a flashing red light and klaxon somewhere. Seems not.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:11 am
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Yes I watched this happen earlier this week. 4 people gate checked. At least one of them carried on - I watched this happen at the bottom of the airbridge.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:17 am
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The only discrepancy would be bag checked but not loaded. The only security implication would be the other way around - bag loaded but passenger missing.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:23 am
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However if it's being done to address a specific flight deck issue around weight distribution tat would be another matter I guess.....
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Old May 25, 18, 2:27 am
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It would have an effect on the load sheet. Checked bags are a payload item in themselves, whereas carry on are included in the passenger weight.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:38 am
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How does billing work for checked baggage? I assume that HAL/other airport charge per item, I would be surprised if the baggage handlers count them manually, so could it be that the charge is linked to how many baggage tags are printed and this being the case then it would be expensive for BA having tags printed which are not used.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:45 am
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Didn’t pay much attention at the time but think this is exactly what happened last week on my LHR-ABZ flight. I think about half of the passengers “checked” their bags at the gate and I could see a load of the Group 1s looking on aghast. Pretty sure a lot of those bags never went near the hold.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:53 am
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Have a look next time, it's quite shameless. I don't think the FAs were tuned into looking for tags at the door, and obviously once onboard it would be quite disruptive to turn people round against the flow.
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Old May 25, 18, 2:53 am
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It's when you see the bagtags removed on the airbridge that you know it's definitely happening..
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Old May 25, 18, 3:03 am
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And no-one's simply going up and having a quiet word with the CSD (or even the flight crew) about this? I imagine the skipper might want to know...
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Old May 25, 18, 3:08 am
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Originally Posted by duncgor View Post
aghast
Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
shameless
Originally Posted by ThatT1Feeling View Post
it's definitely happening
And yet BA will also get in the neck if some Group1 person can't get their bag in "their" overhead. There are 2 versions of this: one where BA asks for people to come forward and give their bags over to a central collection area right by the gate agent's desk, so there's limited scope for the dodge there. The passengers concerned then board ahead of Group 1 with their bag still in the main building. The other variation, which is admittedly easier for all concerned, is tagging the bag at the gate, allowing the passenger to board, on scout's honour they will leave the bag at the collection point on the airbridge join point, where in the case of T5 there are signs and pictograms for strollers. I've no doubt that some of BA's beloved passengers then have a senior moment as they walk past.

I hope I'll be forgiven for the selective quotes.
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Old May 25, 18, 3:12 am
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Originally Posted by Pascoe View Post
And no-one's simply going up and having a quiet word with the CSD (or even the flight crew) about this? I imagine the skipper might want to know...
Not on the flight I was on - I was mostly bemused and surprised by the scale of it. It's quite difficult to get to the CSD if you're seated during boarding, they tend to be in the galley behind the flow of passengers. But I think if I was on the airbridge behind someone I might mention to the offender where the drop point is. One other issue possibly is that the drop point is quite a way away from the natural route to the door, so there's probably a reluctance to go down there and come back into the queue. So it will occur to people to try it on on a "what's the worst that can happen?" basis.
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Old May 25, 18, 3:48 am
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I have to say that this situation is rife not rare. I have seen it on many LHR to EU trips and domestic flights from LHR to MAN.
I think a small number of 'culprits' genuinely did not know where to drop the bag and find themselves on the plane with their bag complete with tag. I have also seen some instruct others in their party to remove tags when they get to the airbridge.
BA must realise that they are being played and their status members are seeing the key benefit of priority boarding thrown in their face.
If I were a blue/bronze member and was considering more flights to get bronze/silver, I would question what is the cost benefit if early boarding is important to you - get a take away sandwich meal deal and board first is difficult resist if it is so easy to do.
I see this issue and policing group boarding numbers as no cost fixes for BA to improve customer experience and may drive people to want status in BAEC.
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Old May 25, 18, 3:55 am
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bisonrav, thanks for starting a thread that I was too scared to do myself, in case I was classed as a "Gold whinger".

Apart from the tags being removed on the airbridge, I noted another ploy: As an example, a family of five, a lady with four teenagers (all high teens or low 20s) moved forward and checked a tiny (tiny) roller bag - think Hello Kitty size, of which you could get two under the seat in front. Then they all got to board first. I've seen this other times, families/groups checking one bag then everyone boarding ahead of the Group 1s.

I understand BA's logic to reduce carry-ons and give pax an incentive to do so, but why does one checked bag mean five people get to board early?

Rant over.

Signed,
Gold Whinger.
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Old May 25, 18, 5:25 am
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Not really whinging about this (I don't think), as I was onboard and stowed anyway by the point I was watching this happen. More amused really, though I could probably get irritated if I were in ET at the end of a long day waiting in a queue to board and without overhead space because of group 5 chancers.

The system gamer in me is now evaluating the cost of a sacrificial Hello Kitty bag against the value of priority boarding with carry-ons. If you check one bag you might as well check all of them unless there's a more devious plan in play
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