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Gate Checking a Bag

kasey97
Active Member

Is there a standard/hard fast rule about who/when a bag can be gate checked? I have a tracheostomy and usually pre-board; and also chronic back issues and wear a brace to help me with the weight of my carryons.  I have a backpack filled with my medical supplies, which sits atop my carry-on suitcase.  It seems that some flights the agents invite/accept gate checks; other flights no.  I would prefer to gate check my suitcase.  The times that I have rolled it onto the plane, I'm usually in the plane without other passengers around - since I preboarded- and no on I can ask to help me.  Let me add....some flight attendants are VERY helpful and offer to help me hoist my suitcase into the overhead bin; and some are either busy preparing for the flight; and still there have been a few who see me struggling with my suitcase and just watch me.  Again, all to ask:  what is the gate check policy, what to expect?

4 REPLIES 4

Re: Gate Checking a Bag

jksobonya
Rising Star

A fair question, and one I am not sure of the answer to, myself; the only time I see gate checking as an option is when the flight is very full and all the overhead bin space has been filled. Anyone else with carryon bags would need to gate check them. Southwest also says that any carryon that does not fit in the overhead would need to be gate checked:

 

https://www.southwest.com/html/customer-service/baggage/carryon-bags-pol.html 

 

--Jessica

Re: Gate Checking a Bag

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Usually people do everything they can to avoid having to gate check and item so I had to read this a few times.  What I think I'm reading is you want to gate check the suitcase.  There's no reason you can't ask the gate agent for a tag and drop it off with the strollers and such on the way down the jetbridge.  No need to wait until you are on the plane and try ask a flight attendant to deal with it, just ask at the desk when you get to the gate.

 

Since you have done this before, you may know better than me, but you may not get the suitcase back until you go to baggage claim at your destination.  It seems you want it to carry your backpack around on it?  Would that create a problem if you had to get to baggage claim before getting your bag?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Gate Checking a Bag

kasey97
Active Member

No that wouldn't be an issue.  My backpack weight is pretty manageable in transit to baggage claim.  Although most times when I gate check, I have to wait on the jetbridge while suitcase is unloaded; or retrieve it off the rack at top of the jetbridge.  Its really a flight by flight decision for me, depending on whether I also have a checked bag.  For my flite tomorrow I have boarding group B8; so I may board with the group instead of pre-boarding and hope a kindly fellow passenger helps me get my suitcase and backpack into the overhead.  (My backpack has the DOT official Medical Equipment tag on it; so it qualifies for a second carry-on; and as such can also go in the overhead compartment)

Re: Gate Checking a Bag

CupCrusher40
Active Member

I agree stressful and sad. Finger crossed bag rampers keep job