United Airlines will remove bag sizers from boarding gates by January 23. They say they will be more aggressive at check-in and that sizers will remain at security checkpoints, but that at the gate agents are supposed to ‘use their judgment’.
According to internal memo, @united is removing bag sizers at gates. This could reduce stress, but might it backfire? Some agents will be more zealous than others, and rules at some gates may be different than others. What do you think? pic.twitter.com/cqx5qYyf2x
— Brian Sumers (@BrianSumers) January 17, 2020
This seems like it’s ripe for problems. Already we see plenty of confrontations over the size of carry on bags. The agent says a bag is too large, the passenger says they bring that same bag on flight after flight all year long. The sizer is supposed to be the neutral arbiter. A 21 inch bag may be allowed, but what about when those 21 inches don’t include the wheels?
Gate agents using their judgment will mean greater variance from flight to flight, although it also may mean less enforcement in some cases too. American Airlines had to ramp up auditing of carry on bags in response to FAA demands when the government said that American wasn’t enforcing its filed carry-on baggage program. Will United face similar challenges?
Of course United’s bag sizers have been an inch larger than what’s actually permissible so the sizers allowed customers to bring on bags that the rules said they shouldn’t.