Annoying! I Gave Delta $30 to Check My Bag, Then Saw 20+ People Get Their Bag Gate-Checked for Free (and What I Plan to Do About It)

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Annoying!  I Gave Delta $30 to Check My Bag, Then Saw 20+ People Get Their Bag Gate-Checked for Free (and What I Plan to Do About It)

MeghanAnnoying!  I Gave Delta $30 to Check My Bag, Then Saw 20+ People Get Their Bag Gate-Checked for Free (and What I Plan to Do About It)Million Mile Secrets Team

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I’m normally a no-frills kind of gal.  I travel light and refuse to pay extra fees if I don’t have to.  But on this particular occasion, I decided to check my bag because I knew I was facing a short layover that would require me to change terminals.  And I’d stuffed my bag to the brim with goodies from a recent work conference.

I was tired, and I just didn’t want to deal with running through the airport with a cumbersome bag.

Upon checking in, Delta charged me $30 for my bag.  I have a couple of the credit cards that get you free checked bags, but none connected to Delta (like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, or Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express) because I don’t fly Delta that often.

What I didn’t consider was what happened next when I arrived at the gate!

Sometimes the Challenge of Running Through the Airport With a Heavy Bag Is Just Too Much to Handle

Delta Was Checking Bags at the Gate

If you’re a frequent Delta flyer, it makes good sense to keep a card like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, or Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express which come with a free first checked bag for yourself and up to 8 companions on the same reservation.

At my home airport, it’s almost always a guarantee they’ll offer free checked bags at the gate.  Because many of the flights out are on small regional aircraft where even a standard sized roller bag doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment.

But this flight was from Charlotte to Minneapolis on a plane big enough to carry 100+ passengers, so it didn’t occur to me that they’d be asking folks to check their bag for free at the gate!  In fact, I’d checked the seat map when I checked in online and saw that the flight wasn’t full.

Sure enough, though, about 20 minutes before boarding began, the gate attendant asked if anyone wanted to check their bags.  And if so, said they could do so for free.

Ugh!  I was super ticked.  Had I just waited I could have avoided paying the $30 fee.  Plus, I felt a duped into giving them extra money.  I mean I saw the agent let what seemed like over 20 people check their bag.  That’s a LOT of free bags!

Of course, I didn’t throw a tantrum or say anything to the gate agent.  But I was frustrated!  Especially because it feels like airlines are always trying to nickel and dime us passengers however they can.

I know life isn’t fair (and that’s a huge bummer 😉 ), but I thought it was a story worth telling because I’m sure many of you can relate!

So what’s my plan?  I plan to send Delta customer service a note to see if I can get my checked bag fee refunded.  I’m not very optimistic they’ll actually do anything about it, but it’s worth a try.  Maybe they’ll kick back a few bonus miles or something.  Either way, I’ll keep you posted on their response.

Has this ever happened to you?  If so, did you send in a complaint, or do you just consider these sorts of things the luck of the draw?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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So… you said you didn’t want to lug your luggage through the airport so you chose to pay to check. You got what you paid for. You were clearly aware of the possibility that gate checks could be free. You chose not to gamble. You could have chosen to play the lottery. Now you are mad your number came in but you didn’t bet.

Then the people can pay for the bag at the gate. It’s easy to set up a credit swipe system, it’ll stop this free bag program quick.

And, they should charge more for people who want to pay at the gate as it takes more time and effort for the gate agents.

100% agree and was just going to say exactly the. same – paid so didnt have to lug thru airport and those that checked at gate did. Soooo…what’s the issue here?

Author

You’re totally right, Dmodemd. I’m not a gambler because admittedly, I’m not a very good loser. Ha! But I said it was simply annoying, not totally egregious. 🙂

No.u said you weren’t aware they’d be checking in free at the gate.:) so you’re right

1.) People checking their bags for free at the gate have carry-on size luggage. They don’t have huge bulky suit cases.

2.) I fly often and would say on about 90% of my flights they offer free checked bags. Maybe you don’t fly that often to realize this.

3.) You admitted to being lazy and not wanting to deal with a problem so you we’re willing to pay. Jokes on you for caving in.

And I bet you’re one of them people that would be the first to bitch if your flight is delayed fee do to weather and expect a free voucher too. If people would follow the rules checked in luggage rates would be a lot cheaper.

Some of the people’s bag are large….they carry them to gate because they know the will check it free….

Most airlines offer free check in of carry-on sized luggage at the gate specially if the aircraft is full because the overhead bin won’t be enough to accommodate all the carry on luggages of all passengers.

Author

Thanks for weighing in, Tony. My bag was carry-on sized, I just chose not to gamble with getting my bag checked for free at the gate. It was my choice, yes, but it still feels a little off. Why not offer free checked bags at the counter prior to security if they know the plane is full? Just food for thought…

If airline asked you to check bag for free at the counter what is the purpose of them implement the bag fee for. Food of thought.

The thing with checking at the gate is that you had to log your bag there. Not to mention checking in at the gate with Delta generally means you pick it up at the gate and have to lug it around for your layover too. With that said, I bet Delta will offer you something. Delta does actually have good customer service

Yes!!! I agree!! If the airline really cares about us as people , passengers they would say!

If any business care about their customer the should provide free services. Even better if you really care about your job you should work for free.

Take it as a learning experience.

I often approach gate and ask them if I can check a carry-on and they usually say yes, but I always no there’s no guarantee and need to be prepared to lug it around!

Yes, this same scenario happened to me. Like you, I didn’t throw a tantrum but I wish I wouldn’t have contacted customer service. In the past, I only became more frustrated with CS so I purchased a bag that was easier to maneuver.

Yes it has, both ways I paid. I think they should let you check the first bag free and go back to the small metal example at the gate, if it was to big you had to check it. But that’s kinda like the jerks that don’t stay seated for the people that are about to miss their connecting flight. Life is short we can’t let this drive us crazy. Merry Christmas

Do you live under a rock. It has been that way for years.

If you checked your bag at the gate, you’ll probably have to pick it up to make your connecting flight. Basically, you paid for the convenience of not having to deal with it.

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