New American Airlines Top Tier Elite Benefit: Priority Gate Check Bag Delivery on Regional Jets

Smaller regional jets often don’t have big enough overhead bins to fit a standard sized rollaboard. Instead passengers are forced to ‘gate check’ their carry on bags, leaving those bags on the jetway and waiting for them to be returned after the flight.

With American Airlines that means one cabin planes like the Embraer ERJ-140 and 145s and the Bombardier CRJ-200s, as well as Bombardier CRJ-700s and 900s which are larger, with a first class cabin, but still not as big as the Embraer ERJ-175s.

Customers flying first class on regional jets have traditionally been given a ‘yellow tag’ for their carry on. The purpose is so that those bags get priority. In theory they’re supposed to be returned to the jetway first at the end of a flight, so first class customers – who are getting off first – don’t have to wait as long.

Starting November 11th these yellow tags will become an Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey benefit. Instead of just being available to first class passengers (on regional jets with first class), according to an internal memo they’ll also be a top tier elite benefit when those customers are flying coach.

This change will provide expedited valet bag service for ConciergeKey and Executive Platinum customers who are travelling in the main cabin on American Eagle flights operated by CRJ-200/700/900 and Embraer 140/145 aircraft.

On Monday, November 11th we will allow the First Class/Priority Valet tag to be used for all ConciergeKey as well as customers with a Group 1 or 2 boarding pass regardless of the class of service they are traveling in.

Since the yellow tag will no longer be just for first class passengers, it’s also getting a new name “Priority Valet.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Checked baggage with “priority” tags foe elites is supposed we delivered to the baggage carousel first as well but that rarely happens. I predict more disappointment for American Airlines elites.

  2. How long before these are on sale for $5 on ebay?

    Who is gonna know youre not entitled to a yellow tag. Just put it on after the gate.

  3. Well, Parker said he wanted to effect change. This is classic Parker: doesn’t change anything, doesn’t cost anything, will inevitably lead to disappointment.

  4. @Rjb

    Considering it already works for regional first class, I’m pretty sure it’ll work for CK/EXP in economy as well. That said, it’s not hard to clear an upgrade into regional first class considering the seat ratios on most AA regional jets, so the main benefit will be on the 50 seat planes that don’t have first class at all.

  5. I’ve done a lot of Eagle flying this year and I have been pleasantly surprised that the yellow tagged valet bags are almost always brought out first.

  6. You’re talking about valet, not gate check. Gate checked bags are put into the baggage hold with other checked bags and delivered to baggage claim groundside. Valet bags are put aside during boarding and delivered back upon deplaning, airside).

  7. I just got off a flight, in first class, and had the yellow priority tag. My valet checked bag was the last to come to the jetbridge…

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