Last year ssindc started a poll http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/polls/1276 asking if you check your luggage or carry it on with you. Some of us like myself and erc (usual suspects) had some fun with him on the checked vs carry-on concept as SS is a check bag kind of man, but I wonder if he might have change his mind after looking at this video?
Several years ago, I changed flights in Seattle to go to Alaska. I was in the Alaskan Airlines club class lounge, which had large windows looking over the plane gates. Very interesting, so I was watching. I saw a HUGE guy - honestly I have never seen such a large guy - loading luggage into the hold. But the word "loading" didn't really apply. He dealt with the main carts of luggage in the normal way, loading baggage onto the moving rollers thingymajig that takes it to the hold. When he had finished the thingymajig was taken away. But then an additional cart with just a few items of luggage turned up. He stood in front of the cart on the ground, took a piece of luggage and literally threw it up into the hold. If it went through the hold opening, someone inside pulled it in. If it didn't, it crashed to the ground, and he picked it up and threw it again. Everyone in the lounge watched - mouths wide open and speechless.
Hey, IAHFLYR, that's my bag!!!! No, actually, my big, heavy bag (with two suits, and week's worth of dress shirts and ties, dress shoes, etc.) is with me in Kuwait. Once again, you make a compelling case for carry-on luggage, but, but....
On my return from LHR last year, I came through Toronto. Clearing US customs was much easier than on the east coast.
Looking at the video, I was glad I checked my bag in London and not at the gate. On the outbound flights, I carryed a 22" carry-on, but to avoid hassles, I checked on the way home. Good thing as I would have had to gate check it from YYZ-CMH. Made me glad my only carry-ons for that final flight were a tiny day pack and the duty-free whiskey, um, I mean "medicine," I purchased in Toronto.
I'm never a fan of gate checking my carry-on, but I understand the need on the smaller planes. There really is no room for anything much bigger than a bread box. (Do people still use bread boxes?)
Saw this on TV today and they said the baggage handlers were or are going to be fired. They also said that the plane was one that they added 100 seats to and didn't add any additional overhead space. I guess it had 3-3-3 and now is 3-5-3. There was a lot more gate checks. There is some sympathy for the handlers trying to get the job done in the allotted time.