A recent article from the newsletter Smarter Travel got me thinking about the different issues with boarding planes. I have noticed the myriad different ways that airlines try to control boarding. As they have worked to enforce "zones" or "groups" some have started to create individual lines for those each category to help keep boarding lanes clear. These things I have little or no control over.
What I can control, and the question I have is about carry-on luggage. For the past serval years I have seen three options - Pay to check a larger piece of luggage, which frees me up to carry on a smaller piece that I know will fit just about anywhere, use an airline that I carry a credit card for to get a free checked bag even if it costs more, or take my carry-on and worry about getting it down the aisle and having space for it in the over head.
More and more I have been checking luggage for any trip longer than 3-4 days. As my wife's chiropractor says "You can pay the airline $50 on your trip, or pay it to me when you get home."
Lately I have noticed a third option developing - take the carry-on, because most likely the plane is going to be so full that the airline is going to gate-check through to my destination for free. This requires something of a gamble, and the possibility of repacking to pull my camera bag out of my carry-on if it is going to checked.
What are your thoughts/observations?