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Thread: Why go with an underseat bag?

  1. #1
    ceb
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    Why go with an underseat bag?

    From American Airlines via MSN Money
    The airline said Thursday that people carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat no rolling suitcases will be allowed to board before most other passengers.American said that the change will speed up the boarding process and allow flights to take off sooner, helping the airline improve its on-time performance.

    Airlines have been seeing a buildup in boarding times since they began charging fees for checked baggage as more people fight for limited space in overhead bins.

    American tested the new boarding procedure at several airports earlier this year and began applying it to all flights Thursday. Passengers carrying just a personal item a purse, backpack or computer bag that will fit under the seat will board right after Group 1 premium passengers and before boarding groups 2, 3 and 4.The airline said that it will let passengers check a carry-on bag at the gate at no charge. That means savvy travelers will be able to move up in the boarding order and avoid checked-bag fees $25 for the first bag, $35 for a second on flights within the U.S. although they'll have to retrieve their bag at baggage claim after they land.

    Kevin Doeksen, director of customer planning for American, said the change speeds up boarding, because fewer passengers stop in the aisle to hoist a bag into the overhead bins. The difference is about two minutes per flight, "which doesn't sound like much, but it adds up throughout the day," he said.

    If the change results in fewer big bags being rolled on the plane, it could reduce the number of flights on which the overhead bins fill up. When the bins are stuffed, gate agents or flight attendants must ask passengers in the last boarding group to surrender their bag for gate-checking an awkward situation all around.

    Competition for bin space has also made travel more stressful. Passengers in the last boarding groups often creep forward and jockey for position to be the first in their group on the plane.

    "They're anxious because they've got a big roll-aboard (bag with wheels) and they're worried about having no space in the bin," Doeksen said.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ceb View Post
    The airline said that it will let passengers check a carry-on bag at the gate at no charge. That means savvy travelers will be able to move up in the boarding order and avoid checked-bag fees — $25 for the first bag, $35 for a second on flights within the U.S. — although they'll have to retrieve their bag at baggage claim after they land.
    Not that anyone here ever checks a bag, but if you did, this means you could either pay $25 to check a bag at the counter, or just stroll up to the gate and check it there for free? This is the interesting part for me. If I'm only carrying a single personal item, I'd prefer to board last anyway. If you don't need to join the rush to claim overhead space, why would you want to prolong the amount of time you are sitting in the plane?

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator Badger's Avatar
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    For me, getting to board early means not having to stand in the aisle waiting for people to cram their crap into the bin. For some reason, standing there provokes my claustrophobia something fierce.

  4. #4
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    I got to board early due to no stowing last month and it made me feel like a rock star. Oh, and it was nice to go ahead and get settled without standing, too. (Had a not-full Smart Alec and Ristretto for iPad, and they fit nicely under the seat.)

  5. #5
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    There was a thread a while back which gave a million germy reasons not to...... :-)


    .. and sadly I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that a wheely thing will be part of my next trip - alongside my many TB items ...

    so I thank all of you under-the-seaters for leaving the overheads for us less abled folk.
    List under construction ....

  6. #6
    Registered User bchaplin's Avatar
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    I'm not in a rush to get on the plane either, unless it is to find a place to stow my bag. This is a very convoluted boarding policy though.

    I fly JetBlue whenever possible because their system is quite simple ("More Space" seats, then back to front). The boarding seems to happen pretty quickly, perhaps because they don't charge to check bags, though a lot of people still carry on large rollers.
    Last edited by bchaplin; 05-18-2013 at 10:31 AM.


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