Tagged Gate Check Bag brought on board....

 
Old Jun 30, 13, 10:29 pm
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Tagged Gate Check Bag brought on board....

Strange question, but here goes....What is the consequence of a bag tagged for gate check not left at the end of the jetway but brought on board instead?

So, here's the background. Earlier this week I was flying back to Philly from MIA via CLT. I decided to go standby on an earlier flight and didn't clear standby until well into Zone 3 boarding. As I was handed my ticket, the GA also tagged my bag for gate check (off topic but in the past when going standby i usually get a valet tag, was this just GA going A&B?). With tagged bag in hand I bypassed the long line at the gate by using the preferred access lane and made my way down to the jetway.

Upon reaching the plane I left my bag at the end of the jet way and started to board when I noticed several overhead bins still empty. I started to get my retrieve my bag when the FA told me I wouldn't be able to carry it on without letting the GA know since it was already scanned. I just said fuhgetaboutit, since by the time I went back there any remaining space would be gone.

As I settled into my seat, I started to second guess my actions. Would carrying my bag on really cause an issue? I can't imagine they would have held the AC if the bag didn't show scanned onto the plane.

In the end I rolled with it since in the big scheme of things I got home early and later found out my original flight was delayed over 3 hours.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 3:31 am
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You just had a yellow gate check tag put on your bag?

If so, no consequences for taking it on board; I do that frequently.

Or was the tag something else?
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:01 am
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There has been many reports on this board that sometimes the GA's begin to gate check bags too early. The theories (as to why) range from the GA having an automated system that estimates how many bags have been brought on board based on how many BP's have been scanned -- to wanting to make sure a plane leaves "on time" so that the staff doesn't get in trouble for a late push back.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:11 am
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I was the first person with a bag tagged at the gate for checking, once in the jetway i just removed the tag, brought the bag on board, and stowed it in the bin about 5 rows behind my seat. Nothing unusual happened and the flight pushed back on time.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:14 am
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After running across airport I had an agent automatically tag my bag since it was late in boarding. I left my bag on the jetway as instructed--wasn't comfortable because of my connection to UA express in SFO. I also found quite a few bins with space & the FA sent me out to get my suitcase. She said that if it was still there to get it and bring it on as there was room. Unfortunately it was already gone. So, I assume there is no issue with bringing a bag tagged to be checked on board as long as the FA let's you.

I did get mad when, after I was in my seat, they let several non-revs bring their suitcases onboard.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:11 am
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I figured as such but didn't want to go against the FA's direction. Lesson learned, next time I will just rip the tag (baggage tag not yellow gate check tag) off and load up a bin.

I was surprised at the number of non-revs on my flight considering there were several potential miss connects to include internationals. To be fair one non-rev sat in the FA jump seat, that can't be comfortable.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by tommyleo View Post
There has been many reports on this board that sometimes the GA's begin to gate check bags too early..
Don't know if it's still in effect, but there was a program of starting to gate check larger carry-on bags - i.e. wouldn't fit under the seat - once a certain number of passengers had boarded. While I don't remember the number, it was something like 2/3 or 3/4 of capacity.

The theory was that on average that percentage of passengers would fill the overhead bins. Obviously not every group of passengers meets the average. On some flights the bins would fill before that percentage boarded while on other flights there would be bin space open on a full flight.

Jim
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Old Jul 1, 13, 9:07 am
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I believe non-revs flying for official purposes (i.e. positioning crew) get preferential treatment WRT overhead bin space, since they need their crew manuals on their assigned working flights and are not supposed to check them.

UA has started rolling out mobile bag-tag generators for the gate agents, so if you have to gate check a bag you get a proper barcoded bag tag just like if you'd checked it at the check-in desk. I could imagine some bags being barcoded and not turning up in the cargo hold could cause issues but I'll have to ask my GA friend next time I see him. Short advice though would be it's probably far less of an issue with the yellow paper tags than with anything computer tracked. FWIW UA is starting that because apparently the yellow tagged bags make up a huge percentage of the bags that arrive late or get lost, and getting the barcodes on them will hopefully lead to better tracking and more consistent routing.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by dcpatti View Post
I believe non-revs flying for official purposes (i.e. positioning crew) get preferential treatment WRT overhead bin space, since they need their crew manuals on their assigned working flights and are not supposed to check them.
Something else that may have changed since I retired...

At that time, must rides were supposed to have their bags handled differently - loaded last and and unloaded first. The baggage handlers were supposed to get the bags from the jetway then return them ASAP to the jetway at the destination.

A lot of crew members ignored the policy and took their baggage on board. You may have noticed crew members boarding before passenger boarding began. Some of that is so the overheads will be empty.

Jim
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Old Jul 1, 13, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
Something else that may have changed since I retired...
Or could be a UA thing. All my friends who are FA's are UA FA's so I have a lot more "insider info" from UA than from US.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 3:04 pm
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Thats how the old LAS-PHX midnight flight used to be. There were sometimes literally 5-6 rows of bins full of crew bags from crews deadheading back to PHX.
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Old Jul 1, 13, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by dcpatti View Post
Or could be a UA thing.
I wouldn't be surprised if airlines had similar policies for what's called "crew bags" - bags for deadheading crew members. The carrier would prefer that all crew bags - working and non-working - go in the cargo hold since OHB space is limited so letting passengers have as much as possible is a consideration.

Back in the day, deadhead crew would carry their own bags to the cargo bins, but FA's don't have access to the ramp since heightened security so they took their bags on board. Pilots could and can access the ramp - some of their bags go underneath and some prefer to take their bag on board. FWIW, a really really legal carry-on will fit beneath the seat on most mainline planes.

The current (in 2006) policy is sort of half way - deadhead crew bags can go underneath without the FA's having ramp access, freeing up some OHB space. Still, not every crew member follows the policy.

Jim
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Old Jul 1, 13, 9:34 pm
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Just to close the loop all the non-revs had their bags Valet Checked at the gate. In other words, their bags were brought to the jetway when we landed.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 1:08 pm
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I've had two different experiences with this. Routinely, if I am flying ex-Europe with my US-sized carry-on, and the agent makes a fuss over it and I have to check it, I will take it off the belt while clearing C&I in the states, and rip up the tag. I've never had a problem with it.

Also, recently flew PHL-BRU, but had a problem with my ticket. Though I got to the gate an hour before departure to talk with a gate agent, I was only able to board just as the other GA announced that all larger carry-ons will be checked to the final destination. The GA I was talking to offered to blue tag my bag, until the other GA said that they aren't allowed to blue tag internationally (I'm assuming all TATL/Brazil, excluding Canada/Central America). I then asked if I could just try to find an overhead bin, because the flight wasn't 100% full, and I should probably be able to move stuff around to find a space on the 757. The other GA said "Go for it, but I better not see you come back up here". There was room for at least 5-7 rollaboards when I got onboard, so it ended up being a non-issue.
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Old Jul 2, 13, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by usAir View Post
The GA I was talking to offered to blue tag my bag, until the other GA said that they aren't allowed to blue tag internationally (I'm assuming all TATL/Brazil, excluding Canada/Central America).
Can't speak for outbound INTL from the US, but on inbound INTL, CBP prohibits anything other than wheelchairs, walkers, and strollers from being returned to a passenger before Immigration screening (Canadian inbounds, being pre-cleared, are excluded).
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