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GATE CHECKING

Talent312

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Knock on wood we've never had a bag lost or even delayed.

We flew into Madrid and ran for our connection to Toulouse, France.
However, our bags did not have legs and stayed behind in Madrid.

We washed our undies in the sink and found a pharmacy for toiletries.
The next day, after a wine tour, we found a store for new underwear.
When we got back to the hotel, we found our bags waiting for us.

Frankly, we rather liked our new souvenirs and didn't pursue it further.

.
 

mcsteve

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Several years ago we connected in Dallas on our way to Monterey. While sitting on the tarmac in Dallas watching the baggage being loaded, I saw my bag placed aside and the rest of the baggage loaded. After the handlers departed I call a flight attendant to let her know my bag was still sitting there and she assured me that it would be loaded. As the plane pulled back from the gate I again called the attendant and she kept insisting I was mistaken as that would not happen. Guess what, we arrived in Monterey and my bag did not. AA delivered it to my hotel 3 days later but I had to do some shopping to cover my needs for those days. AA was good about reimbursing me for what was spent.

Even with similar experiences on 2 other trips Over the past 30 years of flying I will check a bag at checkin if I'm traveling for more than a few days. I also take advantage of gate checkin on shorter trips when I see a very large crowd at the gate as I know space is limited even in the larger planes. I hate fighting for overhead space and if possible I like to keep the under seat area free because of my height (long legs).

I keep meds, toiletries and 2 days worth of cloths in my laptop carry on so I don't need to worry about It.
I fly mostly with Delta now and with Air Canada if I can’t get a Delta flight. Both are always eager to gate check if you ask and I’ve never been charged extra when I do. I understand that some people don’t want to deal with lost bags so they try to keep the bag in hand at all times but the reality is that very few bags actually get lost when you consider the vast number of bags that get handled. Chances are your bag will arrive safe and sound with you at the baggage claim.

The Luggage Lost report claims that Delta has the best record of most US based airlines with only an average of 1.55 bags out of 1,000 misdirected or lost (1.55%).
 

isisdave

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Watch a few episodes of Smithsonian Channel's "Air Disasters" and you might change your attituded on that. Fires on an aircraft has caused several fatal crashes, and lithium batteries has been the known causes of some of them. If they are in your carry-on and they combust, there is a very good chance the fire can be extinguished. If they are in the cargo hold, not so much.

Kurt

I didn't mean that it wasn't a good idea to take Lithium batteries out of checked luggage. I meant that people arrive at the gate tired, having lugged their carry-on and maybe toddler and stroller, and get offered a gate-check. I am not likely to remember to ask spouse "Honey, did you bring any extra Lithium batteries for your camera, and if so are they in the carry-on? Which one? Which pocket?" My point was that I'm pretty sure a lot of small lithium batteries get sent to the cargo hold this way.

The discussion led to the idea "Hey, someone should invent a save carrying container for such batteries!" and of course Amazon has them. Most are lunchbox size, some are pencil-box size [why does pencil-box have a hyphen and lunchbox not?] and a few are smaller. Since the principal risk in batteries consumers are likely to have is short-circuiting, there should be some kind of small, rigid, transparent box to put them in individually. Like the box you use to put a wet bar of soap into. Or you could tuck one battery into a rolled-up pair of socks.
 

chellej

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I had to Fly to Seattle this week for work and usually am on one of the computer flights that most roll ons get checked as you board but on my return I was on a regular size airplane and all I could think while boarding was this would be so much faster and easier if people didn't have roller bags. I hate dragging the luggage through the airport and would rather wait the 20 minutes at the end of the flight to get the luggage. I have traveled alot over the years and can only think of several times I have ever had a delay in getting my Luggage.....i usually stick clean underwear and jammies in my backpack....missed connections has happened way more than lost luggage
 

klpca

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I check my bag almost every time because like @chellej I hate toting my bag around the airport. So far (knock on wood) it has never been lost. I bring a pretty good size dayback that stays under my seat that has everything that I need for the next day.

I flew basic economy on AA in Dec on a one hour flight to Phoenix and had to gate check (I expected that since the flight was full and I was in the BE boarding group 9!!). So I didn't have to pay to check and everyone who wanted their bag in the overhead bins had space, so it seemed to be a win for everyone. Well except for AA who I am sure wanted me to pay to check that bag, but I am not too sympathetic for them.
 
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bnoble

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I tend to check bags at the counter most of the time for trips more than a single night or two. I don't pay for checked luggage, but I also have early boarding so finding carry on space is never an issue. Checking reduces the stress of getting through the airport and on the flight for me, for example giving me the flexibility to stay in the lounge a few extra minutes if I am in the middle of something. That outweighs the few extra minutes I'd gain not having to wait for checked luggage (which seems to be more efficient these days in any event.)

I also do keep one day's clothing plus essentials in my carryon, at least most of the time. That hasn't been necessary more than once or twice. Once it also was not sufficient--for example, I can tell you with certainty that the Swedes are a thin people, after having my luggage delayed 2.5 days on a flight to Stockholm.
 

geist1223

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The Airlines (knock on wood) have only lost my bags twice in 60 years of flying. The first time was in 1988 when my family (myself, 1st wife, 3 small kids) were returning from 3.5 years in Europe. All our bags made it from Germany to LAX but 5 out of 10 bags were lost from LAX to PDX. Over the next couple days they trickled in and were delivered to us.

The 2nd time was in 1994. I was in the Army Reserves and going to a summer Course at the U.S. Army JAG School in Virginia. Bag with uniforms got to me a couple days late. The first day of Class I was wearing Dockers and an Aloha Shirt. While on a break I went to visit the Army Colonel in Command of the JAG School. I had worked for him on Active Duty. When I walked into his office he started to question my lack of Uniform. Then stopped and said: "If you are authorized to wear those clothes at the JAG School I am probably not authorized to know where you work." He assumed I worked somewhere that was highly classified. I explained to him what happened.

Now I always carry any medicines, swim suit, 1 pair of pants or shorts, several days of socks, toiletries, and several days on underwear.
 

Luanne

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I used to be diligent in making sure our personal item, our under the seat bag roller bags, each had two tops, a pair of pants or shorts depending on where we were going, a, two pair of underwear and socks and in mine a bra. Depending on where we were going I included a swimsuit and sandals. Also our toiletries, vitamins, any medicines and for me makeup and jewelry. That way if our checked bag ever got lost we would be fine thanks to the units having the washer and dryer without having to immediately run right out and shop. My husband would frequently remind me that because he needed no makeup and very few toiletries that he could fit in another t-shirt and a pair of lightweight coach's shorts or pants and be done with it for the entire vacation. So could I if I absolutely had to but unlike him I wouldn't be exceedingly happy to do just that. I've gotten lazy about taking the clothes, underwear and swimsuits. I guess the difference is that now we are retired so I wouldn't begrudge having to waste precious vacation time to go shopping if our bag got lost or delayed. Although after the last time I was shopping and came home empty handed because I didn't see anything I liked enough to buy I should give some serious thought to going back to the way I used to pack.

Knock on wood we've never had a bag lost or even delayed. Do they make you wait a few days to see if your bag turns up before they determine that it is in fact lost and compensate you?
After my bag was delayed and I had to buy new everything dh came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea. We bring a duffel that has a couple days stuff for both of us. Then if a bag is delayed we'll still have enough to get by. I reminded him he always checks the duffel as well. His response was, "well they won't lose all of the bags". :p

About the begrudging time to go shopping, we were only in Quebec City for a few days. Besides the time it was hard to find places in the old city that had affordable clothes that I liked. I did find Simon's department store and that is where I had the best luck.

As to your question about how long you have to wait before your luggage is declared lost, I found this:

At a certain point, if an airline can't locate your bag, its status will change from delayed to lost. For domestic flights, the amount of time varies by airline, though it shouldn't be more than a few weeks. For international flights, luggage must be declared missing if it doesn't show up within 21 days.
 
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