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Delta Basic vs Main Seats Overhead Bins Question?

Delta Basic vs Main Seats Overhead Bins Question?

Old Mar 7, 20, 2:22 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 62
Delta Basic vs Main Seats Overhead Bins Question?

I fly from US to Mexico few times and vice versa. I'm American. Also flown via domestic in the US quite a bit but its international now more. I always fly with either jetblue, american airlines or delta, depending on the price and date. Whenever i fly with jetblue, i always book the option with the seat and 1 luggage. But i notice with american airlines and delta, they have options like main cabin vs basic economy for american airlines and delta has basic and main cabin. I always booked the cheapest price with the seats and i know when you buy those seats, you basically board last.

Last time i got concerned because i heard there is a chance that there is no room to store your carry on luggage on the plane if its way too full etc. But i haven't encountered this case once though. But i recalled whether it was american airlines or delta, they did ask if anyone wanted to check in their carry on luggage... i believe free of charge? I recall they ask me if anyone wanted to and i don't think i saw anyone do that.

I will be booking an international flight from Mexico to the US soon and I wanted to know, has anyone here ever had an issue where they could not put their carry on in the bins because they are full and had to put that carry on in check in etc? My main issue with this is i have a big messenger bag which has my laptop there so obviously it being thrown around like luggage will cause damage to it. Like what happens if you board the flight and there is no space for your carry on? Do you not take a chance with American Airlines and Delta by paying more for the main seat vs the basic seat? I have no problem boarding last and whatever seat i take... like even if you said hey another $10 for a comfort seat, I wouldn't even bother because the seats to me are fine. But my main concern is if there is enough space in to put your carry on etc.

Does anyone know what percentage and how many seats in a delta flight are basic vs main? The same with basic vs main on american airlines?

I guess this can also apply to domestic flights as well. But is there a chance there is no space for your carry on if you are basic? I assume best way would be just line up all the way near the front for basic and that should pretty much mean you are getting place for overhead bins? Now if you are one of the last ones to board on the line, good chance there might not be any overhead bin? The thing is if i just had clothes or whatever on my big messenger bag carry on, its not big difference if they check it in etc. Thanks.
jerry90210 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 8:51 pm
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: MSP
Programs: DL GM, MR Gold, Hilton Gold, National Exec
Posts: 283
If they force you to gate check your bag, there will not be a bag fee charge. They do sometimes preemptively ask for gate checks and offer Main 1 boarding. If you get a Delta Amex, you also get Main 1 boarding, even with basic economy.

One note...you cannot gate check your laptop, as it has a lithium battery, which cannot go in the cargo hold.

All that said, I feel like Mexico is a route more people will be checking, so there is usually more overhead bin space.
bloc0102 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 9:09 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 62
Hi there. Yes i know there is no bag fee charge if i have to check my bag. But i have a laptop there and some electronics. My electronics will get destroyed if its tossed around like luggage etc... That is my main concern.

Then what happens then to my laptop if that is the case since it has a lithium battery? Am i allowed to carry that with me then? What if i have 2 laptops? I usually put everything in my large messenger bag. I even carry powerbank in it etc.

But does delta and jetblue have overhead bins full rare? I read in American Airlines subforum here it happens a lot. But i assume those are domestic flights?
jerry90210 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 9:28 pm
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 340
Would the bag fit under the seat in front of you?
if so, problem solved.
WindowSeatFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 9:29 pm
Join Date: Aug 2019
Programs: DL DM, Marriott Plat
Posts: 20
You’d take the laptop(s) and any other lithium ion batteries (and prescription meds, etc.) out and carry them or consolidate them into your personal item. That being said, odds are that the GA probably won’t think to ask you to remove anything
SunChips is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 9:52 pm
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: DL Diamond 1MM, UX Suma Gold, Marriott Bonvoy™️ Gold, Hilton Gold, Avis Preferred, Hertz PC
Posts: 3,604
Main cabin and Basic Economy on Delta are the exact same seats in the exact same cabin - the only difference is whether you get to choose your seat assignment and what point in the process you are invited to board during.

So there isn't a particular proportion of seats assigned to one or the other, and you could book a Main seat and not get overhead bin space on a full flight, or you could book Basic and there could be plenty on an empty one.

of course, the odds are much better of space being left in Main Cabin...
BenA is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 1:22 am
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 681
I routinely take Delta to and from Mexico from/to LAX in economy and main. There's always room. And gate check is free if for whatever reason they can't find any room at the last minute. It's no big deal about the luggage, however, the only thing is you "may" receive a middle seat. That's all. The luggage isn't an issue at all. I have another Delta flight with basic economy leaving MEX in 4 weeks.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 5:19 am
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Covidsurfing and packing in BOS
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Posts: 1,392
Let's slow down a minute....when, OP, you say 'carry on' item....are you referring to a suitcase/rollaboard bag (suitcase that is 12x22 ish) or a computer bag/small backpack/purse?

The latter can almost always fit into a fully occupied plane, either under the seat in front of you or sandwiched between two bags in the bins. I often take 2 laptops, and still have never had an issue with my laptop bag fitting on the plane. This type of bag is called a personal item in airline lingo (and by many frequent flyers), but many folks also call it a carry on item (because one does, in fact, carry it on a plane)

A suitcase (or large backpack) type bag, aka your carry on (in airline and FF lingo), may or may not fit in the overhead bin, depending upon which boarding group you are assigned to, how many individuals are on the flight, and how many individuals are bringing a carry on onto the plane. Normally, in/around boarding group 2, bin space often becomes limited....so you roll the dice (based upon the other factors outlined above).
navi_jen is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 2:59 pm
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Atlanta Metro
Programs: DL Gold Medallion, AA, UA, BA, Hhonors Gold
Posts: 1,411
You say you have a messenger bag. That should be of a size to fit under the seat. If it isn't, you can: 1) take two bags, including a small bag for your computer that will fit under the seat, or 2) if overhead space is full, take your computer out of the bag, put it under the seat, and check your bag.

(It drives me crazy to see people not use the under-seat space when they have multiple items.)
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hotturnip is offline  

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