I think the free bag idea is backward …

November 13, 2013

This article confirmed something that’s been on my mind for the last 300,000 or so miles I’ve flown: why don’t the airlines let you check a bag for free and charge you to take one on? Not only would it reduce wait times, but I think it would also reduce stress levels at the gate. What happens now is that, as soon as the agent begins his/her spiel–and sometimes sooner–a crowd begins to form at the jetway entry. While I think some guys (and it’s always guys) want to subtly show that they’re seated in first class, everyone else joins the scrum because they are worried they won’t be able to get all their stuff stuffed into a bin.

It’s easy for me to say this because I’m assuming Delta will not charge me, a Diamond with a Delta AMEX card. But I’ll add that on trips home, when I’m less worried about my bag getting lost, when I’ve not been upgraded, I have volunteered to check my bag through. These gate checks are free, and I do it in part to reduce my stress–even though there’s always room when I board.

A related note: few things make me grind my teeth more than watching a fellow frequent flier abuse his/her early boarding privilege and store two items overhead. It’s unfair, it violates the flight attendants’ and gate agents’ instructions, and it unsubtly shows a lack of respect for the late-boarding passenger who has to gate-check a bag due to a lack of overhead space. Bonus grinding: when said FF is sitting in an exit row. He/she already has leg room the rest of us would pay for, and yet you’re still not comfortable enough? Shame on you!


One comment

  1. You are absolutely right! This seems like a no-brainer. And the only thing worse than those abusing early boarding privileges are those Southwest Airlines flyers ‘faking’ sickness/injury to board early.

    I was able to take advantage of this nice service earlier this year when I was post surgical. The flight attendant shared that on a recent flight three young, obviously healthy men boarded early. She was powerless to do much but did whisper in one of their ears that they were something that rhymes with ‘bathetic’.

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