Gate checked bags and green tags

Old Mar 13, 02, 12:20 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 27
Gate checked bags and green tags

Had an interesting experience recently that was probably mostly my fault. Was boarding a J41 to Dulles with my laptop bag (it's the size of a pilot's case - room for 2 laptops).

On J41s I try to make sure I get on the 2-seat side since the bag will fit under there but not under the single seat side. On this particular flight the FA directed me to move (for weight and balance reasons?) to a seat further back and on the single seat side.

I glanced around and saw that all the other 2-seat positions had at least one person already there. Not wanting to be difficult (asking other people to switch or give up their leg space beacause of my carry-on), I moved and grudgingly gave the bag to the FA telling her about the 2 laptops, etc.

Flight was uneventful except for a 15 minute delay sitting on the runway prior to takeoff. I was connecting to another UAX flight so even with the 25 min. connection I wasn't super concerned.

When we landed, my bag was not at the carry-on pickup cart (??). I looked around and saw it sitting on the tarmac by the cargo door and pointed it out to the person there. They said since it was not green tagged as a carry-on they would have to send it to luggage claim. Arrgh! I wasn't given a claim check, but I didn't insist on the bag tagging either.

I argued to no avail about the short connection - that I was not given a tag - blah, blah. Getting nowhere, I said OK send it to bag claim, I'll pick it up, go thru security again, and get rebooked.

At this point a more senior person (based on demeanor and gray hair) walks up and asks what's going on. He confers with the others, scolds me for not insisting on a gate check bag tag, then tells me he's qualified to do security checks and that I could open the bag right there on the tarmac so he could go through it. I do - he goes through it - gives me the OK - and I'm off to the gate for the next flight.

Lessons I took from the situation were:
1) With bag matching in place, always make sure gate checked stuff gets tagged.
2) Some baggage personnel have bag check authority.

Not sure about lesson #2 above. Anyone know better?
trying41K is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 1:16 pm
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Madison NJ; Watopia
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3) Avoid the J41s at all costs.
767-322ETOPS is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 2:59 pm
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago - Dissapointed Former TWA Gold Card Holder Current AA Disadvnatage Member and UA MPI Card Holder
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Sounds like you found a GSC...not all agents are GSC qualified and there is no gaurntee that there is one working in every you sir got very very lucky...but glad it worked out for ya!

Go big U!!

It was a love of the air and sky and flying, the lure of adventure, the appreciation of beauty. It lay beyond the discriptive of words of men-where immortality is touched through danger, where life meets death on an equal plane:where man is more then man. -Charles Lindberg
UATriStar is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 7:29 pm
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Los Angeles
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Posts: 112
Two weeks ago I was boarding a J41 at Dulles to LGA (it had been scheduled for a regional jet, but was changed to a smaller plane). When proceeding out to the plane the gate agent was tagging bags for planeside pickup (even telling passengers they could pick up their bag planeside when we landed) but was handing out the orange tags.

A more senior gate rep informed this person that she was handing out the wrong tags, and went back to the counter to get the right ones, but the first person just ignored this directive and continued to tage bags incorrectly.

I waited for the second agent to come back, and while waiting, depspite my protests, the fist agent insisted on tagging my bag with the orange tag. The lack of acknowledgement by the first person of the instructions from the more senior agent was amazing.

Anyway, I finally got my green tag, and as I walked it out to the plane I removed the orange tag. All worked out fine - at least for my bag, and I was able to get it as we got off the plane at LGA. As for the others, I think they did go back and retag some of them but might not have gotten all of them.
USC_FT@LAX is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 8:18 pm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Anywhere but a middle in coach!
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What is the difference between the green and the orange tags?
UA*AA is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 10:19 pm
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Join Date: May 1998
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Green: Get your bag back at the door of the plane.

Orange: Get your bag back at baggage claim.

In most cases...
auh2o is offline  
Old Mar 13, 02, 11:16 pm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Reno, Nevada
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And watch out for gate checked carry-on bags on CRJs going into JAX. When they use a jetway instead of the plane's stairs, gate checked bags go to baggage claim.

Biggest Little 1K (in The Biggest Little City) In The World
BL1KITW is offline  
Old Mar 14, 02, 11:48 pm
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Pretty much everybody has recapped this correctly. Green tags mean that the bags will be available to the customer planeside, and orange tags mean the bags will be available to the customer at the baggage claim. It's the same ticket you get when you have to gate check a bag on mainline.

The poster who said that airports with jetways have bags delivered to the claim area is correct. In those cases, bags should be orange tagged. Why the difference, I really don't know. If you can't pick up a green-tagged bag planeside, where else can you get it? I suppose the idea is that if you're making a connection, you have to be able to through check your bag.

FYI, if you forget to have your bag green tagged coming into IAD and you're on a tight connection, you can ask the agents if they will orange tag it through to your destination, saving you a trip to the baggage claim.
DHAST is offline  

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