How To Avoid Gate Checking Your Carry-On Bag

How To Avoid Gate Checking Your Carry-On Bag

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Many people prefer to travel only with carry-on bags and not checked bags. Among those with carry-ons, one common fear is having to gate check your bag. In this post I wanted to talk a bit more about that, and also share some tips for avoiding having to gate check your bag.

Why do some bags have to be gate checked?

For those not familiar with the concept of gate checking a bag, the idea is that you may have gone through security with your carry-on bag, but are then forced to gate check it when you try to board. This is most commonly for one of two reasons:

  • Your bag is bigger than the maximum carry-on size allowed by the airline
  • You’re boarding toward the end of the boarding process, and the overhead bins are full

Generally speaking when you gate check a bag, it will arrive on the baggage claim belt, just like all other checked bags do. I think fear of having bags gate checked is one of the reasons we see so much crowding of gate areas at the start of the boarding process. In reality boarding is slowed down by people crowding the gate area, but that doesn’t seem to be how psychology works for most people.

It’s worth noting that sometimes when you’re flying a turboprop or small regional jet, you may have to valet check your bag at the gate. This is a bit different than a standard gate check, as your bag will typically be available planeside upon arrival, rather than at the baggage carousel.

Sometimes bags have to be gate checked

Is it wrong to try to “sneak on” a bag?

Before I share some tips, let me address the ethics of this topic more broadly. Is it wrong to try to take a bag that’s larger than regulation size onto a plane? The way I view it, yes and no.

If you’re flying an ultra low cost carrier and try to bring on a full size carry-on that you’re not entitled to, you’re almost always not only going to be caught, but also fined, as these airlines often have higher fees if you have to check a bag at the gate rather than at check-in.

Similarly, I absolutely don’t encourage trying to take on a massive carry-on bag that won’t fit in the overhead bin, and where you’re inconveniencing others.

All that being said, personally I think it’s reasonable to try to exceed the limit in some cases. For example, some airlines have ridiculously low carry-on allowances, especially in terms of the weight requirement. For example, Singapore Airlines limits passengers (including in premium cabins) to carry-on bags weighing up to 7kg (~15lbs).

That’s extremely light. I mean, a Rimowa carry-on case weights nearly 10 pounds empty, technically leaving you with just five pounds until you reach the limit.

Everyone will of course have their own opinion on this, but personally I don’t have any ethical qualms with taking something that’s a bit heavier than that limit. This assumes that you can safely carry the bag yourself (and lift it into the overhead bin), and that you’re not taking up space that would belong to others.

That’s my two cents, but of course I respect that others will feel differently.

Singapore Airlines has a really low carry-on limit

Is there a way to avoid having to gate check a bag?

Is there a way to avoid having to gate check your bag? The obvious tips are of course to not overpack, and to try to board as early as you can, since that addresses the two biggest reasons that bags have to be gate checked.

But what about beyond that? In my millions of miles of flying, I’ve been asked to gate check a bag maybe a handful of times, even though I pretty consistently exceed the carry-on allowance outside the United States (where 15 pound weight limits aren’t unusual).

There are a few easy tricks to minimize your odds of having to gate check a bag:

  • Whenever I approach an airline employee (whether it’s at check-in, the security checkpoint, or the gate), I roll my carry-on on the opposite side of me of where the agent is standing, to decrease the odds of them seeing it
  • When boarding, I always make sure I have my boarding pass and travel documents ready to go when it’s my turn with the agent; if you’re fumbling trying to find these things, it gives them more time to scrutinize your bags
  • If I have a personal item, I’ll always put that over my shoulder on the opposite side of where the airline employee is standing, to minimize the odds of them looking at it too closely
  • If your carry-on bag is just slightly overweight or just barely doesn’t fit into the bag sizer, you can always remove a winter coat or other heavy clothing item, and wear it, so that it doesn’t count toward your carry-on allowance

Now, I have a couple of tips that are likely to be a bit more controversial. The first I’ve witnessed but personally wouldn’t do, while the second happened to me by mistake:

  • When you gate check a bag, a tag will be placed on it, and either the agent will keep your bag, or typically the agent will ask you to carry it to the bottom of the jet bridge and leave it at the door; I’ve seen people carry the bag down the jet bridge, remove the tag, and then take the bag onboard (admittedly this could backfire if you’re caught, so I don’t recommend this, but I have seen it)
  • If you’re told you have to gate check your bag, it will typically be delivered to your final destination, via a handwritten tag; I was once on a review trip and had a complicated itinerary with multiple connections, and the agent ended up saying “never mind” when she realized just how complicated the tag was going to be to write out
Don’t expect to get away with anything on an ultra low cost carrier

Bottom line

It’s not uncommon to have to gate check a bag, either because overhead bins are simply full, or because your carry-on exceeds the limit. Sometimes this is because passengers try to travel with a kitchen sink, while other times it’s because airlines have unrealistically low carry-on limits.

While I wouldn’t expect to get away with anything on an airline that’s punitive about carry-ons (like an ultra low cost carrier), I do think there are some general strategies that can help you minimize odds of having to gate check a bag.

What has your experience been with gate checking bags? Any tips I missed?

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  1. john Guest

    hi there i would like to know how many lugages check in and cary on to viet nam.thanks. and how many pound each lugages check ih.thanks

  2. Kathy W. Guest

    I had my carry on bag confiscated on the jetway at Newark this summer after returning from an international flight. My original connecting flight was late departing, sat on tarmac for almost 4 hours before being cancelled and I was switched to another flight that was going to cause me to miss my connection in Denver that night. I told gate agent I needed my carry on because I'd end up overnighting in Denver and...

    I had my carry on bag confiscated on the jetway at Newark this summer after returning from an international flight. My original connecting flight was late departing, sat on tarmac for almost 4 hours before being cancelled and I was switched to another flight that was going to cause me to miss my connection in Denver that night. I told gate agent I needed my carry on because I'd end up overnighting in Denver and then on to Montrose the next day. They agreed to let me keep my carryon but then decided when I was on jetway at aircraft door to confiscate it. As if that wasn't enough that flight too ended up cancelled and I had to spend the night in the Newark airport wirh nothing but clothes I was wearing and my purse....after being up and on an internatuonal flight for 12 hours! Airlines really need to rethink carryon bag policy for international travelers!

  3. EnviroBK Guest

    A month after ITA loosing my bags for 4 days in Milan, I was weary about checking anything. So, on a trip to New Zealand, my wife and I went with carry-on only: small daypack and roller board. My soft side rollerboard was stuffed and ballooned thicker than normal. The agent at check-in Auckland wanted me to check it, but I was flying business, so he wasn’t very persistent and said that the gate agent...

    A month after ITA loosing my bags for 4 days in Milan, I was weary about checking anything. So, on a trip to New Zealand, my wife and I went with carry-on only: small daypack and roller board. My soft side rollerboard was stuffed and ballooned thicker than normal. The agent at check-in Auckland wanted me to check it, but I was flying business, so he wasn’t very persistent and said that the gate agent might make me check it. Fast forward, guess who the gate agent was - the same guy. Luckily, he just smaller and said something like, have a nice trip. On the return trip (commuter), an agent in Wellington put the bag on a scale and it was over their limit (12 or 15 kg??). I had to check it. So now, I’m working on ways to lighten my load further and find a bag that won’t balloon up when packed (I’m a 2-wheel only snob since we walk long distances with our bags).

  4. Laurel Guest

    I was forced to get checked bag that fit in the overhead bin it has in the past, and this was no exception. Other people caring more crap than I had were not forced to gate check. Oh, and to those poster that think there’s some Heidi hole in the plane for your bag there may not be! You gotta go pick it up at the carousel.

  5. Ruth Rosenfield Guest

    Because I buy the least expensive tickets, I'm usually in the last boarding group. Unfortunately. I have to bring insulin pump supplies and insulin with me, which are not supposed to be separated from my person. If it's a nonstop flight, I don't mind being gate-checked, although I still worry about someone picking up my carry-on at the other end. But if it's not a direct flight, then I will make a huge stink about...

    Because I buy the least expensive tickets, I'm usually in the last boarding group. Unfortunately. I have to bring insulin pump supplies and insulin with me, which are not supposed to be separated from my person. If it's a nonstop flight, I don't mind being gate-checked, although I still worry about someone picking up my carry-on at the other end. But if it's not a direct flight, then I will make a huge stink about it. I have been told by one airline that I either check my carry-on or miss the flight, even after explaining the situation. In the future, if it's not a direct flight, I'm thinking I'll go up ahead of my group and ask to put my bag on the flight. The whole reason there's not enough room is because of selfish people who bring on oversized bags and take up extra room in the overheads. Since my issue is not one of wanting convenience (I always have to check a bag with my clothes anyway), but rather a matter of life or death at worst, or at best a totally ruined vacation if I land in the hospital, selfish flyers totally pass me off.

  6. Ahmed Guest

    No. 1 tip is don't try to use the bag sizer thing unless you are asked to. I've seen people go up to the bag sizer, try to jam their bag in it, only to have an airline employee notice and come over and tell them to check their bag/pay for a carry-on as the bag is too big to count as a personal item. Don't incriminate yourself. The only time you should use the...

    No. 1 tip is don't try to use the bag sizer thing unless you are asked to. I've seen people go up to the bag sizer, try to jam their bag in it, only to have an airline employee notice and come over and tell them to check their bag/pay for a carry-on as the bag is too big to count as a personal item. Don't incriminate yourself. The only time you should use the bag sizer is to prove yourself right, i.e. an employee tells you your bag is too big, but you know it is within the limits, then you can use the sizer to prove it.

  7. Neil Gmoser Guest

    The biggest problem with most airlines is they DON'T police the carry on bag situation. People are carrying on refrigerators and they don't say a thing. They also stow their bags incorrectly in the bins robbing valuable space. Usually about 3/4s down the line they just make the standard announcement that they'll be checking bags without ever checking the overhead bin space left. And I learned if you can't say anything with a smile and...

    The biggest problem with most airlines is they DON'T police the carry on bag situation. People are carrying on refrigerators and they don't say a thing. They also stow their bags incorrectly in the bins robbing valuable space. Usually about 3/4s down the line they just make the standard announcement that they'll be checking bags without ever checking the overhead bin space left. And I learned if you can't say anything with a smile and a kiss you're not going to get anywhere. You're at their mercy. They always have the "next flight" option!

  8. Susie Guest

    Airlines are passenger carriers, not cargo carriers. Learn to pack light! Stop feeling entitlement!

  9. James Guest

    I've rarely had to gate check in spite of being low priority, and, generally, I'm pretty relaxed about the causes of travel. But it is annoying the number of fliers, particularly frequent, who explicitly ignore the "one bag under the seat" rule and [email protected]# everyone else. I did find it annoying one time when they "hit the limit" right as I reached the ticket taker and required all other bags to be checked. As it...

    I've rarely had to gate check in spite of being low priority, and, generally, I'm pretty relaxed about the causes of travel. But it is annoying the number of fliers, particularly frequent, who explicitly ignore the "one bag under the seat" rule and [email protected]# everyone else. I did find it annoying one time when they "hit the limit" right as I reached the ticket taker and required all other bags to be checked. As it happened the bins in the back (where I always choose to fly) were essentially empty and my (one) bag would have fit under the seat anyway. However, I was heading home and I'm less concerned about risks on that leg.

  10. Justine Guest

    If your advice is to try to hide something from the airline staff, then you know you are doing something you aren't supposed to. If you have money to fly somewhere, then you have money to check your bag. I fly often for work and the amount of times my flight has taken off late because no one will volunteer to gate check their obviously too large "carry on" suitcase is infuriating. Flying economy is...

    If your advice is to try to hide something from the airline staff, then you know you are doing something you aren't supposed to. If you have money to fly somewhere, then you have money to check your bag. I fly often for work and the amount of times my flight has taken off late because no one will volunteer to gate check their obviously too large "carry on" suitcase is infuriating. Flying economy is a terrible experience for just about everyone, no need to make it worse by selfishly trying to "beat the system.". Just check your bag!

    1. Mirza Guest

      This isn't true for many reasons. One, checked bag fees on some ultra low cost airlines can exceed the price of the ticket itself, so your claim that "if you have money to fly somewhere, you have money to check your bag" isn't correct.

      Secondly, gate check isn't about size of the bags. If they run out of overhead space on a plane, people with correctly sized carry-ons are also asked to gate check. While...

      This isn't true for many reasons. One, checked bag fees on some ultra low cost airlines can exceed the price of the ticket itself, so your claim that "if you have money to fly somewhere, you have money to check your bag" isn't correct.

      Secondly, gate check isn't about size of the bags. If they run out of overhead space on a plane, people with correctly sized carry-ons are also asked to gate check. While I agree they should do so and not hold the flight up, I can understand their hesitation. It often takes a while for gate checked bags to be returned at the jet bridge at the other end, and people with a tight connection or an important meeting right after landing might be anxious about the extra time needed. Other people might need access to medication or baby supplies in their bag; it's not always possible to store those in a personal item.

  11. Debbie Guest

    On a recent flight, several people were bringing on two large carry ons each. I had a small purse and a tiny roller bag for items I need on the plane like a neck pillow, travel
    Blanket and small electronics bag for my ear buds and phone stand. I usually pull out the electronics bag before boarding so not to hold up the line on the plane, but because I had 3 items and...

    On a recent flight, several people were bringing on two large carry ons each. I had a small purse and a tiny roller bag for items I need on the plane like a neck pillow, travel
    Blanket and small electronics bag for my ear buds and phone stand. I usually pull out the electronics bag before boarding so not to hold up the line on the plane, but because I had 3 items and not 2, the gate check guy made me step out of line to eliminate one. I told him they all fit in my roller bag. He didn’t care. I stepped aside, put my electronic bag and purse in my roller bag and he let me through. These policies make no sense.

    1. Mirza Guest

      It absolutely does make sense. Keep things in the roller bag and take them out once you get on the plane.

      Your list of "needed items" is also quite broad. Most people don't "need" next pillows or blankets for short flights, and for longer flights the airline gives you one. Unless you have a medical condition requiring the use of pillows and blankets, it really isn't the case that these items are "needed". Ear...

      It absolutely does make sense. Keep things in the roller bag and take them out once you get on the plane.

      Your list of "needed items" is also quite broad. Most people don't "need" next pillows or blankets for short flights, and for longer flights the airline gives you one. Unless you have a medical condition requiring the use of pillows and blankets, it really isn't the case that these items are "needed". Ear buds can just fit in a pocket or a purse, and also aren't needed, strictly speaking.

    2. Silver Guest

      You simply cannot tell a person what they need and don't need. What if the neck pillow is for medical reasons? What if the person is a compromised and requires a germ free neck pillow? Basically mind your business about the contents of other's bags.

  12. steve jenney Guest

    Why oh why do they allow people to exceed the carryon limits on bags? Especially those travellingvwith young children. They roll the stroller right ip to the plane door..unpack all the backpacks for each person..and their carryons..take the stroller with them. Allow the 2 year old to WALK into the plane..(look my baby is walking!) Clog up the cabin..(1st row bulkhead) and then do the same when landing! What makes them..or you...any better than me...

    Why oh why do they allow people to exceed the carryon limits on bags? Especially those travellingvwith young children. They roll the stroller right ip to the plane door..unpack all the backpacks for each person..and their carryons..take the stroller with them. Allow the 2 year old to WALK into the plane..(look my baby is walking!) Clog up the cabin..(1st row bulkhead) and then do the same when landing! What makes them..or you...any better than me who plays by the rules?

  13. CWR Guest

    I fly frequently and believe that the people who habitually try to bring in a roller bag, a backpack and a briefcase or large purse and a carry on are total douchebags. And the ones who expect the flt attendants or other passengers to “help” them lift their overweight bags into the bin are worse. If you have enough $ to fly then u can afford the $40-50 charge to check your
    Bags. If...

    I fly frequently and believe that the people who habitually try to bring in a roller bag, a backpack and a briefcase or large purse and a carry on are total douchebags. And the ones who expect the flt attendants or other passengers to “help” them lift their overweight bags into the bin are worse. If you have enough $ to fly then u can afford the $40-50 charge to check your
    Bags. If you can’t, take a bus or train. If you don’t trust the carrier to get your bag there or can’t be bothered to wait at the claim, pack less or send it ahead. And I completely agree with the person above who said that the people who put their carry ons in the front overheads and then go sit in the aft section ought to Be permanently grounded.

  14. K. Mc Guest

    The last 2 times we traveled with only carryons, we very strictly,observed the specifications and were gate checked anyhow. We noticed they were mostly checking the hardside cases, rather than the odd shaped soft carryons.

    There was still plenty of space in the overheads so I was a little perturbed. We had packed medical devices in those cases, rather than carry them separately, for convenience whilst rushing to connections. I was very nervous.

  15. Bob smillie Guest

    Taking a guitar in a case on board as cabin baggage?

  16. Sheila Guest

    I personally want to check my bag so I don't have to hassle with it. But I don't want to pay to check the bag. So when I arrive at the gate I immediately ask if they will be checking carry-on bags. Only once was I told it was unlikely. But then she told me if I really wanted to check my bag that I could.

    The advantage of checking at the gate rather than...

    I personally want to check my bag so I don't have to hassle with it. But I don't want to pay to check the bag. So when I arrive at the gate I immediately ask if they will be checking carry-on bags. Only once was I told it was unlikely. But then she told me if I really wanted to check my bag that I could.

    The advantage of checking at the gate rather than checking at the ticket desk is you know your bag gets on your plane.

    The only disadvantages in my mind are number one, of course you have to wait for your bag at baggage claim. And number two, your bag is more likely to get damaged because somebody else is handling it rather than you.

    1. Mnnaa Guest

      Gate checked bags are usually returned to you at the jet bridge, not baggage claim. Still, having to wait is a disadvantage.

  17. Alex Guest

    Providing tips on how to circumnavigate a rule that in parts is for safety reasons (bags falling from overhead bins can cause a lot of damage) and partly for reasons of convenience (allow as many guests as possible to take their carry ons with them) is irresponsible. You really should know better.

    1. Mnnaa Guest

      I really don't think a few extra pounds will "cause a lot of damage".

  18. jjmadsen New Member

    There really is something wrong when you can't take compliant items, for which you paid as part of your ticket, on board. Seems like fraud.
    I use my hand luggage to keep valuable, fragile items, that are not suitable for checking in. So taking them out are not an option - how would I carry a DSLR, 4 lenses, batteries etc. without a bag?
    What does seem to work though is to put...

    There really is something wrong when you can't take compliant items, for which you paid as part of your ticket, on board. Seems like fraud.
    I use my hand luggage to keep valuable, fragile items, that are not suitable for checking in. So taking them out are not an option - how would I carry a DSLR, 4 lenses, batteries etc. without a bag?
    What does seem to work though is to put a "Crew" tag on your bag. They think you are an off-duty colleague and leave you alone this way. And I never claimed to be part of the flight crew if anyone asked, could be any crew really.

  19. Jim Guest

    An alternative way to not have your bag subject to gate check is to actually follow the size and weight limits specified by the airline. Read up on the constraints before going to the airport.

    1. Traveler Guest

      Disagree. If EVERYONE followed the size and weight requirements, perhaps. As a frequently low-priority boarder, and always with a carry-on that's within size restrictions, I've been told (along with others) more than once that the overheads were full. But once on board, nope. Plenty of space above and around the cabin. Other pet peeve: why can't gate-checked bags at least be the first ones off the carousel?

  20. DaveM Guest

    Before your flight, make sure to research the carry-on size and weight restrictions of your airline. Also, on certain aircraft, the aisle seats have approximately 1/3 less space to store your personal item below the seat in front of you. So a personal item of legal size may not fit. If you are in a bulkhead seat and board last, the overhead bins may be full, requiring your bags to be checked.

  21. Grey Diamond

    I mean, does any full service carrier actually weigh hand luggage at boarding? I have seen some weigh them at check in before, but you can just say it is your friend's bag you are holding or some other bs excuse. But I don't think that hiding your bag to the other side is the reason you don't get your hand baggage weighed when you fly first and business class on full service carriers. Try...

    I mean, does any full service carrier actually weigh hand luggage at boarding? I have seen some weigh them at check in before, but you can just say it is your friend's bag you are holding or some other bs excuse. But I don't think that hiding your bag to the other side is the reason you don't get your hand baggage weighed when you fly first and business class on full service carriers. Try taking significantly overweight bags on European LCCs and let us know if these magic tricks work to prevent your bag from being gate checked.
    Generally someone who has a top tier status flying in a premium cabin is not exactly a prime candidate for gate checking the bag, so I can't help but feel like the fact that you don't often get asked to gate check your bags is more to do with that, than any special sleight of hand.

    1. Mnnaa Guest

      Slinging your bag on the other side, and not making eye contact with the agent, definitely does work in the US, at least with Spirit and Frontier. Don't know about Europe, but I suspect it's the same.

  22. Siobhan Moraski Guest

    One tip is to purchase the priority boarding option. Worth it if you REALLY don't want to have your bag checked at the gate

  23. FlyerDon Guest

    I’m really disappointed with this article. It may be ok to try to beat the system in Las Vegas but it is not on an airline. Weight and balance computations are based on an average that in most cases assumes carry on weights are at or even below the carry on weight limit. An accurate aircraft weight is critical to every phase of flight including how much fuel is loaded on the aircraft. If an...

    I’m really disappointed with this article. It may be ok to try to beat the system in Las Vegas but it is not on an airline. Weight and balance computations are based on an average that in most cases assumes carry on weights are at or even below the carry on weight limit. An accurate aircraft weight is critical to every phase of flight including how much fuel is loaded on the aircraft. If an airline adds 15lbs to every passenger’s estimated weight to cover carry on bags, but you encourage them to sneak on an extra 5 or 10lbs, those calculations will all be off. You don’t think an extra 500 or 1000lbs makes a difference? Tell that to a crew taking off from LGA on a wet runway with a tailwind. Aircraft weight can be critical. You should know that.

  24. Greg Guest

    Here are my 2 tips that have worked 100% for me.

    1) Book a first/business class seat.
    2) Instead of a rollerboard I use a backpack. My backpack can fit as much as a suitcase and it weighs less than 2lbs empty so can put 13+lbs and still be under the limit.

  25. Stephanie Guest

    Living in paris now, I pretty much flu Air France exclusively and I can tell you 9/10 times they ask me to check my carry on bag as well as others saying the flight is full. My bag and contents weigh around 7 lbs as I travel light. This just happened this week flying to Dubai and I complained to the gate agent. Same thing happened paris- Corsica. We were told to leave luggage on...

    Living in paris now, I pretty much flu Air France exclusively and I can tell you 9/10 times they ask me to check my carry on bag as well as others saying the flight is full. My bag and contents weigh around 7 lbs as I travel light. This just happened this week flying to Dubai and I complained to the gate agent. Same thing happened paris- Corsica. We were told to leave luggage on the ground before going up stairs to plane. I simply refused and brought it in. Turns out there were many empty overhead bins. I’ve flown easyJet where they never do this. Go figure!

    1. DaveM Guest

      This may not be the reason for your issue, but passengers in the last boarding groups (as identified on your ticket) are often told they have to gate check their bag, even though there may be ample space in the overhead bins. This can be a big problem if you are connecting to a longer flight and have needed items in your carry-on bag. I always take a personal item bag (containing medications, valuables, etc) for this reason.

  26. Brad Guest

    If you have expensive items, e.g., camera, in your bag and they want to check it, at a minimum remove the item first. I once was carrying a camera as a gift in my bag and had to check it,
    . I trusted the carrier, but when i retrieved the bag and the camera was gone! Since i coulnd not proove that the camera was originally there, no insurance or compensation either.

  27. NAzhar Guest

    The privilege of carrying on board a larger than regulation carry-on is proportional to your skin tone. Notice that the next time you travel

    1. Baliken Guest

      Nah, not skin tone. Nationality. Americans and Canadians carry on way too much baggage regardless of skin tone. You can see this in North America and also when Americans and Canadians travel elsewhere. Nice try to make this a racist issue.

    2. Silver Guest

      Don't dismiss Nazhar's experience because yours is different. You don't know which country they are from or what they've experienced or saw.

  28. Gilo Guest

    The taking off the tag will get you kicked out of the flight due to being uncompliant.

  29. BookLvr Gold

    The domestic airlines that charge to check even a single bag have made this situation so much worse.

    I'm usually happy to check my suitcase as most of the time I am not in a huge hurry at my destination. I can carry on just a zipped canvas bag with laptop, reading material, snack, drink, and purse. This creates more space in the overhead for someone who does need to carry on a suitcase....

    The domestic airlines that charge to check even a single bag have made this situation so much worse.

    I'm usually happy to check my suitcase as most of the time I am not in a huge hurry at my destination. I can carry on just a zipped canvas bag with laptop, reading material, snack, drink, and purse. This creates more space in the overhead for someone who does need to carry on a suitcase. When airlines charge for even a single checked bag and make a carry on free, however, they have created an economic disincentive for checking luggage. I vastly prefer Southwest's policy on this one.

  30. Henry Young Guest

    One simple trick is to put some Lithium power banks in the bag. Then it can't be checked without some hassle, and increases the chance that they'll move on and pick on somebody else.

  31. Gary Raymond Guest

    Some of the smaller planes like the 175 have undersized iverhead bins. That's not fair to passengers. All planes should have the spec. size overhead bin height.

  32. jon_isp New Member

    Nice picture of ISP

  33. Indopithecus Guest

    There is a lot of inconsistency in how airlines in how airlines handle this. Some check-in agents are like hawks, others turn a blind eye to the 'rules' even for the same flight. Were I a gate agent I would generally ignore weight and be more concerned about size. My carry-ons comply with size but are often a few kilos over the weight limit. I do not know how I can pack in my laptop,...

    There is a lot of inconsistency in how airlines in how airlines handle this. Some check-in agents are like hawks, others turn a blind eye to the 'rules' even for the same flight. Were I a gate agent I would generally ignore weight and be more concerned about size. My carry-ons comply with size but are often a few kilos over the weight limit. I do not know how I can pack in my laptop, headphones, food, and phone and still make a 15 lb cutoff; as Lucky says, the bag weighs a bit, too. What gets my goat is when people bring massive backpacks and stuff them in bins, taking the space of 1.5 to 2 normal carry-ons. That becomes a problem for everyone else but a slightly heavier, regulation bag does not take space from anyone. Qatar allows 15 kg on business class, which must be a nightmare for Sean M but I have never heard of anyone being injured by that policy. Yes, theoretically that weight could be lethal but surely the bins are secure?

  34. Ericka Guest

    Backpacks aren't a guarantee that you won't have to gate check. Lufthansa made me gate check my backpack. What made me mad was that people boarding after us (we had handicap assistance so were early in line) had full size suitcases they didn't have to gate check. I'm constantly amazed at the huge sizes people bring with them. I managed 2 weeks with a 7kg backpack.

    1. Meja Guest

      They want you to gate check a 7kg backpack?? That’s insane!!!

  35. Jennifer Guest

    I had a flight out of Heathrow to Ireland this past week and some BA employee at the security check in asked me to go back and check my carry-on roller bag and I politely declined. He then told me I was only allowed 1 carry-on which I knew wasn't true based on my flight reservation. I also had a small backpack with me. He insisted again that I check my bag and I politely...

    I had a flight out of Heathrow to Ireland this past week and some BA employee at the security check in asked me to go back and check my carry-on roller bag and I politely declined. He then told me I was only allowed 1 carry-on which I knew wasn't true based on my flight reservation. I also had a small backpack with me. He insisted again that I check my bag and I politely declined and said I will check it at the gate if necessary. I get to the gate and board and no one said a word. I did put my backpack under the seat like I normally do. I saw many with a personal item and carry on and all the bags fit on the plane. It's not my first rodeo and I am not the one to be singled out. I have never been stopped at security like that.

    1. Phillip Gold

      What are BA employees doing at security checkpoints? That’s airport staff territory. Were they actively looking for people to reduce on board cabin bags? Unless all flights are fully booked, they’re more likely going to waste their time rather than help matters!

  36. Marie Williams Guest

    Always make sure to have a way to contact you if your bag gets gatechecked. My daughter was on a trip with 3 plane changes. A storm came up before boarding and several flights were then combined into one for her first plane and her flight was the last to be loaded. there was no more room in the overheads so they took her bag to load underneath, but a sudden storm came up and...

    Always make sure to have a way to contact you if your bag gets gatechecked. My daughter was on a trip with 3 plane changes. A storm came up before boarding and several flights were then combined into one for her first plane and her flight was the last to be loaded. there was no more room in the overheads so they took her bag to load underneath, but a sudden storm came up and somehow her bag was left at the gate, but she didn't know that. She checked at each stop for it but it never showed up. when she got to our home airport, she reported it missing and how it occurred but it didn' t arrive. About 2 weeks later she got a call from the original airport that they had her bag. She didn't have any of her own identification on it, but she did have a decorative tag of the football team she worked for on it and some very nice person tracked her down that way.
    She always puts ID on her carryon since then in case it gets separated from her.

  37. hartd8 Member

    The worst experience was with AA. We were flying FC om a CRJ700 and my Brics bag fits under the seat in front or in overhead bin....But we were forbidden to bring any roller bags onto the plane. No matter how small..NUTs some people brought on bags without rollers that were bigger than my bag and were allowed???? The bag sat on the tarmac in the rain for 1/2 hour and when I get it...

    The worst experience was with AA. We were flying FC om a CRJ700 and my Brics bag fits under the seat in front or in overhead bin....But we were forbidden to bring any roller bags onto the plane. No matter how small..NUTs some people brought on bags without rollers that were bigger than my bag and were allowed???? The bag sat on the tarmac in the rain for 1/2 hour and when I get it back one of the wheels was broken and it was stained with grease...It was a no bag.. I wrote a complaint but was told that is the way it is..sorry bag injured... I had not flown AA in 15 years and probably will never do so again!!!

  38. glenn t Diamond

    Not an option for everyone I understand, but if you fly a full-service airline Business or FirstClass, you will rarely be asked to weigh either carry-on, and never both.
    I think some female check-in agents couldn't contemplate anyone checking in for a longhaul international flight with just hand luggage, so are dubious about the weight of it.
    Even if it's a bit overweight you get a pass. HLO is less work for them...

    Not an option for everyone I understand, but if you fly a full-service airline Business or FirstClass, you will rarely be asked to weigh either carry-on, and never both.
    I think some female check-in agents couldn't contemplate anyone checking in for a longhaul international flight with just hand luggage, so are dubious about the weight of it.
    Even if it's a bit overweight you get a pass. HLO is less work for them afterall.
    Finally, you will be surprised at how little most clothing actually weighs! Restrict shoes, heavy electronics, books, duplicate and 'might need' items and you too can travel HLO.

  39. Neil Postlethwaite Guest

    I’ve never had a carry-on gate checked. Evan an obvs questionable one.

  40. John Guest

    Santonio you flew millions and millions of miles in which airline? Fly in Qatar and see what happens above 15 lbs. Every lb they charge. I have been flying for 43 years and Qatar is the worst airlines for carry on baggage policy.

  41. Mark Guest

    I get annoyed at people that bring a roller and another bag on the flight. Check your other bag. If your time is that important, then fly private. I check 2 bags on every trip (personal stuff and work stuff), and then just have my backpack with computer, headphones..etc. I will always put my bag overhead. If you bring two bags on, and put them both overhead, you are a jag.

    1. Peter Guest

      This is spot on. It bothers me to no end when someone brings a roller bag AND a large backpack and then try to cram it all into an overhead bin. I travel light, with just a backpack, I don't even check luggage. Very frustrating.

  42. dander Guest

    What really pisses me off are the jerks that take bigger than allowed bag, more than one small and one personal and the biggest jerk of them all the ones that decide its fine to put their bags in the first/business/premium economy/preferred seats and stroll to the back. On occasion I see either the gate agent or flight attendant catch them. As for my backpack I will gladly move it out of the overhead if space is needed.

  43. Pj Guest

    I was told once I had to check a complaint carry on because I had something in the side pocket that made it stick out. the agent was mean and miserable about it

    Then I see people bringing on huge backpacks way bigger than my carryin and agent says nothing

    I believe men are favored and those of us traveling alone esp.older folks get singled out and bullied

  44. Steven E Guest

    @Sean M
    Totally agree and this is the general airline consensus - having seen what an “overweight / sized bag does when it hits a persons neck (breaking it ) there is a legitimate reason and not to mention the delays to flights when the lockers are full and the arguments and rage begins

    1. Pam Guest

      I think men are favored and also people with humungous backpacks I have a compliant roll on and have had to ck it when I see folks bringing huge backpacks way bigger than my little rollon

  45. Antonio Guest

    Just as a Christmas joke yesterday I was waiting for checkedin luggage two hours in Frankfurt!!! German efficiency at its best mode... I left T2 at 01:30 am

  46. Sean Guest

    My so-far-foolproof-method to avoid gate checking; use a backpack instead of a wheelie bag. I've been on a large number of flights where the agents would walk up and down the line of people getting ready to board and start picking out every single person with a wheelie bag and asking them to gate check it because they know they don't have enough space for everybody. When this starts happening people with backpacks never get picked no matter how big the backpack is.

  47. Al Guest

    A couple months ago I flew on UA from ewr-sfo round trip on 777-300 both ways. Was boarding group 5 and had to gate check my carry-on both ways

    The next week I flew in e175 from lga-mem and didn't have to gate check in either direction despite having no priority boarding.

    So I guess the moral of the story is flying bigger planes doesn't mean you won't have to gate check

    1. henare Diamond

      well, sure, but that's not always an option. where i live i am *guaranteed* to fly on a smaller jet (or maybe not a jet at all).

    2. glenn t Diamond

      I think your problem was being in boarding Group 5 !

    3. steve j Guest

      I was flying PSP - IAH on UA the other day. 7C. First row of economy+ yet I was group 4 and had to gate check. Apparently on UA where you sit has no bearing on what group you're in.

  48. JetSetFly Guest

    A very recent anecdote. Singapore airline counter agent literally just asked me to put my carry on on their weight machine. She checks in premium economy passengers. I was flying business and all business counter people were busy so she helped me. After I put my def over 15 lbs carry on on the weight machine, she took out guideline sheet and conferred with her business class check in counter colleague. A quick exchange she...

    A very recent anecdote. Singapore airline counter agent literally just asked me to put my carry on on their weight machine. She checks in premium economy passengers. I was flying business and all business counter people were busy so she helped me. After I put my def over 15 lbs carry on on the weight machine, she took out guideline sheet and conferred with her business class check in counter colleague. A quick exchange she came back and smiles and told me where the gate is. This is out of LAX on an international flight.

  49. simmonad Guest

    I was on the final leg of a ACE-LHR-ABV-LHR-ACE itinerary (March 2022) and BA had already lost my hold baggage between LHR and ABV. For LHR-ACE, we were advised that plenty of bags would need to be gate checked, so I had my lost luggage paperwork with me and asked the gate attendant to take pity on me and let me take my cabin bag on board. Thankfully, he did!

  50. yepnope Guest

    My carry on bag is a duffel that is small enough to fit in the seat infront of me. On US domestic flights, if you board towards the end there's a good chance there's going to be no overhead space. I wish the FA would actually do a better job of managing that space. People either have bags up there WAY above size limits or waste space with a bunch of small bags that should...

    My carry on bag is a duffel that is small enough to fit in the seat infront of me. On US domestic flights, if you board towards the end there's a good chance there's going to be no overhead space. I wish the FA would actually do a better job of managing that space. People either have bags up there WAY above size limits or waste space with a bunch of small bags that should be underneath a seat. I don't use a wheeled carry on bag anymore, it just increases the chance of being forced to check it in at the gate.

    1. Steven E Guest

      You wish the F/A would do a better job - seriously why is it their job to manage your bag that you have brought on , so let’s say they have “lots” of people just throwing their bags in the overheads and they are reaching up moving, pushing heavy bags around on each flight, it’s called Occupational health & Safety, and it’s a no no if they intend to work for many years without back injuries

  51. James Guest

    What’s wrong with checking a bag? I have never had a problem. BTW, years ago I read an article in a travel magazine about the best luggage to buy to avoid theft. I bought the same luggage recommended which was the luggage brand most used by airline crews. Who would steal it. But your new, expensive designer bag, yup.

    1. Richmond_Surrey Guest

      Possibility of losing the bag or being delayed by waiting to pick it up. I only check-in my bags when flying to cold countries with bigger suitcase.

      And once I had to check in my carry on on Taiwan, because they had issue with small alen key for tripod and didn't want to let it at security. The only airport that ever noticed the key in my backpack. I even forgot it's there.

    2. Pj Guest

      I was told once I had to check a complaint carry on because I had something in the side pocket that made it stick out. the agent was mean and miserable about it

      Then I see people bringing on huge backpacks way bigger than my carryin and agent says nothing

      I believe men are favored and those of us traveling alone esp.older folks get singled out and bullied

    3. Origami Guest

      I'm glad you have never had a problem. If you fly regularly, consider yourself the lucky outlier and not the norm. Eventually, your number will be up and you'll be stuck missing your bag/waiting an hour+ for luggage.

      Except when I must bring specialized gear or bring home goods overseas I never check a bag. And, unsurprisingly, when not checking a bag I also never have a problem and am out of the airport faster than anyone checking bags.

  52. Fargo Longway Guest

    Just have some loose lithium batteries hidden in it. Not going to look for them.

  53. Fargo Longway Guest

    Just have some loose lithium batteries hidden in it or say you too.

  54. Aran Guest

    I just flew AF from IAD to CDG. At the ticket counter they made everyone weigh their carryon + personal item. They allowed 20kg for both. At the gate, they went around checking with a scale and grabbed many offenders and made them check their bags. There were some very large bags, I guess that people witnessed the ticket counter agent and checked in while a friend held their carryon.

  55. Richmond_Surrey Guest

    Lufthansa does weight bags and they have very low limits. I avoid LH and KLM for that reason. BA doesn't have weight limit on hand baggage.

    You did not mention any excuses which could be used: valuables or electronics in the bag, powerbanks which can't be put in the hold, etc

    1. grichard Guest

      I've often wondered about that--especially, for example, somebody traveling alone with a carry-on and no "personal item". The gate agent says "bins full, must be gate checked." The passenger says "It's got a laptop, a battery charger, and my epipen in it." What happens then?

    2. Donato Guest

      With my experience at FRA, LH will tell the passenger to remove items and then do a gate check.

    3. Ericka Guest

      EpiPen can't be checked as it's essential medically. When I was forced to gate check I put my meds in with my medical equipment and they have to let you take it with you.

    4. Kaleb_With_A_K Gold

      When does LH and KLM weigh the hand baggage? Right before boarding?

    5. Richmond_Surrey Guest

      Yes, during boarding process. They have scale at the gate at Heathrow. I also saw scale at AMS at KLM gate.

      They don't do this every time, but it happens.

    6. Ben H. Guest

      I don't know about outstations, but at both MUC and FRA you have self-check-in counters and those never ask you to weigh your carry-on... My guess would be that if LH does weigh them (which hasn't happened to me in my 15 or so intra-EU flights), it would be in the gate.

  56. MKH Guest

    I don't fly nearly as often as many here, but for European airlines I've only ever seen wheeled bags "spot checked" for weight. Not once have I seen a backpack verified. We recently flew TAP and saw some obviously overweight bags (and may have been carrying some on our backs...)

  57. Andrew Guest

    Put a lithium ion battery in the bag. "It can't go in the hold, it needs to go in the cabin for safety reasons".

  58. NT Guest

    I have an etiquette somewhat related to this topic and curious what others think.

    A few months ago I paid to check my bag as I wanted to try to sleep as well as possible on my flight and wanted to have the area under the seat in front of me clear. I put my backpack in the overhead bin, A few minutes later the the FA asked who's backpack it was and if...

    I have an etiquette somewhat related to this topic and curious what others think.

    A few months ago I paid to check my bag as I wanted to try to sleep as well as possible on my flight and wanted to have the area under the seat in front of me clear. I put my backpack in the overhead bin, A few minutes later the the FA asked who's backpack it was and if it could go underneath the seat in front of me to make room for a roller bag. I (politely) said that I paid to check a bag so that could have this space free. She said "Fair enough". Then the guy who was trying to store his bag tried to argue with me saying that I HAD to put my backpack underneath the seat, I put my headphones in and didn't engage.

    Just curious what others think if you only have a personal item is it alright to go in the overhead bin or does it HAVE to go underneath the seat?

    1. Mark Guest

      Oh you definitely have every right to put it overhead. I only have a backpack as my carry-on (but about $3k of electronics in it), and 99.99% of the time it goes in the overhead. You get to put one overhead, no matter how small it is.

      I had a person one time (regional jet, and in FC), ask if I could put mine under the seat because he needs space for both of...

      Oh you definitely have every right to put it overhead. I only have a backpack as my carry-on (but about $3k of electronics in it), and 99.99% of the time it goes in the overhead. You get to put one overhead, no matter how small it is.

      I had a person one time (regional jet, and in FC), ask if I could put mine under the seat because he needs space for both of his. I said no...he got all upset. I called the FA over, told her the situation. She made his gate check one, because neither could go underneath the seat. I despise people like that...

    2. Phillip Gold

      I agree too. As far as I’m concerned, if the crew need to ask someone to put something under the seat in front of them, it should be someone with more than one item in the overhead bins!

  59. Lee Guest

    My standard carry-on used to be a soft-sided duffel. The challenge tended to be on the CRJs. Even in first class. On one particular route that was always a CRJ, on occasion, a gate agent would look at it and say that it would not fit and would have to be checked. I would (truthfully) respond that I fly the CRJ twice a month and it will absolutely fit in the tiny overhead. Only once...

    My standard carry-on used to be a soft-sided duffel. The challenge tended to be on the CRJs. Even in first class. On one particular route that was always a CRJ, on occasion, a gate agent would look at it and say that it would not fit and would have to be checked. I would (truthfully) respond that I fly the CRJ twice a month and it will absolutely fit in the tiny overhead. Only once had a gate agent insist on me checking it. Now, after years of hunting, I have a near-regular-sized spinner that actually fits under the seat. (Briggs & Riley Compact Baseline)
    Big, big plus.

  60. Donna Diamond

    Since the introduction of space saver bins on AA just before the pandemic, and even now with the return of full domestic flights, I have not once heard a gate announcement saying “we have a full flight, we will check your bag for no fee….” The only time I’ve seen any challenges lately is with obvious breeches of size and/or two bags so large both would have to go in the overhead bins. As for weight limits, never seen it enforced at any gate with any airline.

    1. Lee Guest

      I hear it. Not infrequently. Even more so when it's a regional jet.

    2. Donato Guest

      Weight rules are enforced quite often in Europe.

  61. Santastico Diamond

    I have flew millions and millions of miles. I never ever saw anyone weighting a carry on bag. Never!!! Last summer my family of 4 were flying Delta One to AMS and KLM from there to Italy. Because of the nightmare situation at AMS we decided to travel with carry on only. I researched a lot to find 4 carry on bags that would comply with KLM European rules. It was not an easy task...

    I have flew millions and millions of miles. I never ever saw anyone weighting a carry on bag. Never!!! Last summer my family of 4 were flying Delta One to AMS and KLM from there to Italy. Because of the nightmare situation at AMS we decided to travel with carry on only. I researched a lot to find 4 carry on bags that would comply with KLM European rules. It was not an easy task to fit 2 weeks of clothes on those. We got to the gate in AMS and I could not believe the sizes of carry ons that people were bringing on board. I was pissed because it took me a long planning to male sure we were complying and nobody cared. I agree with @Tom below, the trick is to have backpack or duffel. Nobody checks those.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      At SFO I’ve had non-US airlines with low carry on weights (KLM? SAS? I forget) demand to weigh carry ons at the check in counter landside.

      Maybe it’s happened 2-3 times in 25+ years, since I only go to the check in counter when the reservation requires it for a document check.

    2. Super Gold

      A sincere thank you from the rest of the considerate flyers out there then, for doing your part. It's always frustrating seeing so many people get away with flagrantly breaking the rules, but your actions means that some other people didn't have to gate check their bags, or stuff their bag rows behind their seat because there was no space left overhead.

    3. Sean M. Diamond

      @Santastico - never seen carry-on bags being weighed? Mine have been weighed twice this week already!

    4. Santastico Diamond

      Where? I never seen it. Also, maybe saw two or three times people using that frame at the gate to measure the bag. I think it depends on the mood of the flight crew.

  62. GUWonder Guest

    I’ve had luggage fall on my shoulder — would have been my head a couple of times if my situational awareness and reactions times were worse — because of the lack of consideration by some other passengers when using bins. But cabin baggage weight wasn’t the problem.

    1. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      Once I’ve pulled my roller bag out from the overhead and a couple of backpacks that somebody shoved in after me fell on the lap of someone. The “victim” had the gall to yell at me.

    2. red_robbo Guest

      Are you for real?
      If you "pulled out" your roller bag which was behind backpacks put in after yours. then it clearly was carelessness on your part.

  63. Tom Guest

    Ah, missing information! Ben, you left out the most important trick: I've never seen anyone have to gate or valet check any reasonably sized no-wheels soft duffel bag. The magic is no wheels. And, besides, a no-wheels bag weighs maybe three pounds (often less) empty, rather than your ten pounds.

  64. OTC Guest

    And you never consider that gaming the system causes flights to take delays because of loading late gate check bags. Multiple that by 3 legs and you have a plane 30-45 mins behind schedule during the afternoon rush when most international connections get blown. Planes are tightly scheduled and you make it sound so simple when in all reality, the scheme causes delays

  65. Donato Guest

    This all assumes the airline follows their regulations. On multiple experiences I found LH at FRA imposed stricter rules. On one particular flight i was forced to put my bag in the measuring sizer. After it fit the gate manager probably did not like my smirk and still insisted the bag be gate checked. When I verbally protested I was threatened with police action.
    While this was one extreme example, i had multiple incidents...

    This all assumes the airline follows their regulations. On multiple experiences I found LH at FRA imposed stricter rules. On one particular flight i was forced to put my bag in the measuring sizer. After it fit the gate manager probably did not like my smirk and still insisted the bag be gate checked. When I verbally protested I was threatened with police action.
    While this was one extreme example, i had multiple incidents at FRA LH. Clearly there is some self imposed rule there.

    1. Anthony Guest

      At SAN, they had two gate agents at carryon sizer and they were quite serious. I would love to see that on domestic carrier with some of the duffle bags I’ve seen——I suspect the fliers would go bat sh*t crazy when rejected

  66. R Turn Guest

    For me, declaring what you have inside your carry-on can prevent them from going into the hold.

    Almost all the time when I'm asked to check-in my carry on at the gate (usually due to lack of bulkhead space as flight is full), I'll just delare that my carry-on has high value items (my laptop etc) and some essential medication.

    Although there was one incident which one uncaring ground staff insisted that I should check...

    For me, declaring what you have inside your carry-on can prevent them from going into the hold.

    Almost all the time when I'm asked to check-in my carry on at the gate (usually due to lack of bulkhead space as flight is full), I'll just delare that my carry-on has high value items (my laptop etc) and some essential medication.

    Although there was one incident which one uncaring ground staff insisted that I should check it in or I'm denied boarding.

    So well, I took my out laptop, ipad and medication bag out on the spot, they didn't care and tagged my bags. But when I reached the plane door, the flight crew immediately assisted in retrieving my backpack back when they saw my holding my items and asked me about it.

  67. Never In Doubt Guest

    “a Rimowa carry-on case weights nearly 10 pounds empty”

    Yet another reason not to buy one of those overpriced pieces of junk.

    1. UGC Guest

      That’s the Alu version. Salsa (now essential) Light is less than 2kgs

  68. Jeff Guest

    I leave my rollaway with a fren at a cafe. And just check in with a backpack at the service desk. After i get my boarding pass. I go back the cafe and collect my rollaway from my fren. That skips the bloody 7kg rules cos my rollaway is minimum 12kgs.
    The plane will survive.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      That 'smart' technique makes you a prime candidate for a gate-check, if that's where they are at.

  69. Icarus Guest

    So you actively try to cheat the system. You realise excess cabin bags are a safety risk. Americans often try to take huge amounts of baggage on board

    It’s possible to take a small bag to fit under the seat in front, if you adhere to the Marie Kondo art of packing. It’s amazing what you can fit in a bag with dimensions of 115cms.

    It’s also a problem on code shares where the...

    So you actively try to cheat the system. You realise excess cabin bags are a safety risk. Americans often try to take huge amounts of baggage on board

    It’s possible to take a small bag to fit under the seat in front, if you adhere to the Marie Kondo art of packing. It’s amazing what you can fit in a bag with dimensions of 115cms.

    It’s also a problem on code shares where the operating carriers rules prevail. So Delta has almost no restrictions, whereas Air France and KLM are 12kgs. So when you transferring from one to another at Paris or Amsterdam you need to consider that.

    I’m addition, many airports are filled with airside shops selling luxury goods which then adds to the volume of baggage. You see some people with a roller bag, back pack and then two Louis Vuitton shopping bags and a baby stroller, who then start arguing with the staff at the gate as to why they can’t take everything onboard potentially delaying the flight.

    Also consider what happens if that bag falls out of the overhead into someone head. Therefore it should be under the seat in front of you.

  70. Kalen Guest

    I think the "squishability" of the bag also has an effect. From my experience, carrying a large soft-sided bag is almost always successful because it can be stuffed into the overhead bins instead of a similar-sized hard-sided suitcase. It has disadvantages, but I always opt for soft-sided bags when going on carry-on-only trips. I agree with your other tips. When scanning my boarding pass, I always place my bag on the opposite side of the gate attendant.

    1. glenn t Diamond

      'Squishability" is a double-edged sword! Given that your carry-on contains things you cannot afford to have go astray or damaged, including electronics, travel docs, valuables and fragile items, having a zealous FA slam your softside to the end of the bin to squeeze in some random's hardshell bag is a real possibility. Which type is better then?

  71. Sean M. Diamond

    Sorry Ben but I must disagree with you. Weight limits for carry-on bags exist for a reason. If you've ever seen what a 15kg bag falling out of an overhead bin can do to a human being, you'd probably agree.

    7-10kg is a perfectly reasonable weight for carry-on luggage, especially if you have an additional personal item.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Sean M. -- I hear you, and I can appreciate that there are overall weight limits for bins, which could have safety implications. The fundamental issue here is that most US airlines have no weight limits for carry-ons (just size limits), while other airlines have very strict limits.

      Admittedly there probably should be some limit, but I feel like the right number is probably somewhere between 15 pounds and infinity. After all, it's not...

      @ Sean M. -- I hear you, and I can appreciate that there are overall weight limits for bins, which could have safety implications. The fundamental issue here is that most US airlines have no weight limits for carry-ons (just size limits), while other airlines have very strict limits.

      Admittedly there probably should be some limit, but I feel like the right number is probably somewhere between 15 pounds and infinity. After all, it's not like people are dropping dead on American Airlines from carry-ons...

    2. John Guest

      I agree with Lucky on this one. Sinngapore doesn’t actually weigh carry ons consistently and most passengers with full-size carry ons are certainly going over this weight limit. I think the limit exists frankly to give their gate agents more discretion to require people to check large bags. No need to fumble with a bag sizer — the gate agent can just demand that any large bag be weighed and since *everyone’s* carry on is...

      I agree with Lucky on this one. Sinngapore doesn’t actually weigh carry ons consistently and most passengers with full-size carry ons are certainly going over this weight limit. I think the limit exists frankly to give their gate agents more discretion to require people to check large bags. No need to fumble with a bag sizer — the gate agent can just demand that any large bag be weighed and since *everyone’s* carry on is over the stated weight limit, surprise surprise, anyone whose bag is selected to be weighed will be way over and won’t have a basis to argue against being made to check it.

      I don’t think they’re really worried about safety since it’s pretty unusual for bins to pop open and bags to start flying (and frankly heavy items people normally have out in the cabin like laptops are probably a bigger danger if you’re experiencing turbulence severe enough to turn objects in the cabin into projectiles).

      The SA policy is an example of bureaucrats creating policies that aren’t intended to be followed.

    3. Icarus Guest

      Many people are in fact injured from items falling out of overhead bins. Just because you didn’t read it, doesn’t mean it didn't happen. There are incidents of concussion and serious injury. Even one is too many.

      Americans are generally the worst when it comes to cabin baggage. Everything doesn’t have to be big.

      There simply isn’t sufficient space so they should fit under the seat in front.

    4. STEFFL Member

      SQ is NO good example!
      As SQ is NOT known well, for any inflight acidents and falling luggage as they got enought space in ther planes, compared to most US or EU airlines!
      If you have ever seen somebody getting hit by an accidently opened overhead bin and a falling gab with just about 20-30 lbs . . . you would think WAY different!
      If you think you need to stick your...

      SQ is NO good example!
      As SQ is NOT known well, for any inflight acidents and falling luggage as they got enought space in ther planes, compared to most US or EU airlines!
      If you have ever seen somebody getting hit by an accidently opened overhead bin and a falling gab with just about 20-30 lbs . . . you would think WAY different!
      If you think you need to stick your entire household in 1 bag like almost ALL UNITED airlines Cabincrew, then i would understand you . . . but since the "NORM" on a global basis is different and it's simply safety!!!!
      . . . . i would say it is simply HUMAN and a crecaution NOT to have a 30lbs carry on (no matter if weight limit by the carrier or not!) in an overhead bin!
      . . . . non existing airberlin was a GREAT example for that, too heavy, you put that bag under the seat in frint of you and you suffer well with your feet space! If you think you need to carry it all in 1 bag and load to the Max.
      On most premium cabins you do have 2 carry ons so pack lighter and be a good example fo others especially if YOUR bag might fall from the overhead compartment, if your bag hurts somebody, it could get expensive . . . estecially in the US, where people like to have a lawyere for any case as a BEST friend! ;-)

    5. Sean M. Diamond

      It isn't a binary situation. A single 15kg bag in a bin is less likely to fall on a passenger than one of many packed haphazardly into a bin. Bags in economy tend to be less carefully stuffed into overheads than those in premium cabins. Different bins have different loading limits. A policy has to be written to capture as many probabilities as possible, and will invariably err on the side of caution.

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Sean M. Diamond

Sorry Ben but I must disagree with you. Weight limits for carry-on bags exist for a reason. If you've ever seen what a 15kg bag falling out of an overhead bin can do to a human being, you'd probably agree. 7-10kg is a perfectly reasonable weight for carry-on luggage, especially if you have an additional personal item.

5
Mark Guest

I get annoyed at people that bring a roller and another bag on the flight. Check your other bag. If your time is that important, then fly private. I check 2 bags on every trip (personal stuff and work stuff), and then just have my backpack with computer, headphones..etc. I will always put my bag overhead. If you bring two bags on, and put them both overhead, you are a jag.

3
dander Guest

What really pisses me off are the jerks that take bigger than allowed bag, more than one small and one personal and the biggest jerk of them all the ones that decide its fine to put their bags in the first/business/premium economy/preferred seats and stroll to the back. On occasion I see either the gate agent or flight attendant catch them. As for my backpack I will gladly move it out of the overhead if space is needed.

3
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