This video will make you even more reluctant to gate-check your carry-on

April 19, 2014
April 19, 2014

It’s a common experience these days for air travelers to arrive at the gate and be told that they have to check their carry-on luggage. The overhead bins of planes are stuffed on any flight that’s even close to full, as passengers cart on as much as they can to avoid waiting at the baggage claim or paying extra fees to check any luggage.

Now a video shot by an Air Canada passenger this week is likely to increase reluctance to gate-check carry-ons. (Watch for the bags plummeting after being casually dropped from the stairs by the jet bridge.)

“We are extremely disappointed by the actions depicted in this video,” Air Canada said in a statement. “This clearly goes against our standard baggage handling procedures which dictates that gate-checked bags are to be hand carried down to the ramp. An investigation into this has been launched.”

Checked luggage can get rough treatment. (One anonymous baggage handler says he and colleagues sometimes make a game out of throwing bags around as hard as they can.) But passengers generally expect that their carry-on luggage won’t be subject to that, and put more fragile items such as electronic gadgets in it. In this age of widespread carry-on gate-checking, it’s worth trying to resist it whenever possible and, if that doesn’t work, insist on removing any items that would suffer from rough handling.

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