Author Topic: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines  (Read 13000 times)

Paul C.

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Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:53:42 AM »
My wife and I went on vacation earlier this month and noticed something other passengers were doing that we dubbed "The Green Tag Scam".  I think this probably only works on the smaller type airplanes, but may work on larger planes or fully-booked flights.  Here's the outline:

  • Take a carry-on bag as large as you can get away with.
  • Don't check it.
  • When boarding, gate agent notices your large carry-on bag.
  • Gate agent gives you a "Green Tag" to put on your bag.
  • Bag gets checked free of charge while boarding plane.
  • Pick up bag when arriving at destination and leaving plane.
  • Save $25.

Question:  Is this being frugal or being dishonest?  Opinions?

drg

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 09:09:20 AM »
If your carry-on baggage is too big, don't you get charged anyway for gate checking it?  Per United's baggage policy:

Quote
Please note: All carry-on items must be stowed under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. Items may not be stowed in the seat back pocket. Any item in excess of carry-on baggage size or allowance requirements as listed above will be checked to your final destination and may be subject to applicable checked baggage fees.​

http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/travel/Pages/BaggageExcess.aspx

rockstache

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 09:18:18 AM »
Some carry on bags are larger than other but the all have to be under a certain size. If the passenger is taking a bag "as large as they can get away with," then it is technically under the required size. If the gate agent thinks there won't be room on the plane for it, or the person wants to gate check it, they are not doing anything dishonest at all. I am not sure how you can consider this a scam at all.

ToeInTheWater

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 09:19:21 AM »
this is "fair game" if it's a true carry on.  many of the smaller planes (3-5 seats across total) don't have the space for the "roller carry ons" on both sides, so they have you gate check.  No extra charge (assuming it's a 'real carry on' - i've never seen anyone get charged.  YMMV)

other consideration, you're still stuck with the same amount of liquids you can take through security.  so if you typically pack shampoos, conditioners, makup, etc that's over the limit for TSA, this won't work for you.

b

unpolloloco

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 02:03:08 PM »
My wife and I went on vacation earlier this month and noticed something other passengers were doing that we dubbed "The Green Tag Scam".  I think this probably only works on the smaller type airplanes, but may work on larger planes or fully-booked flights.  Here's the outline:

  • Take a carry-on bag as large as you can get away with.
  • Don't check it.
  • When boarding, gate agent notices your large carry-on bag.
  • Gate agent gives you a "Green Tag" to put on your bag.
  • Bag gets checked free of charge while boarding plane.
  • Pick up bag when arriving at destination and leaving plane.
  • Save $25.

Question:  Is this being frugal or being dishonest?  Opinions?

Gate checking has been standard practice for years (even before the days of baggage fees) - smaller planes (and some larger ones) simply do not have enough overhead space and some travelers (esp. business travelers) prefer not to have to wait for baggage on the other side.

KatieSSS

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 02:37:13 PM »
I do this all the time. In fact, unless I fly internationally, I never check a bag. I use the same carry-on bag for every flight, and it just depends on the size of the plane if I have to gate check it or not. When the charge to check your first bag started, I switched to carry-on because I didn't see the reason why I should pay $25 to ship my full bottles of shampoo or extra items, etc.... It also helped me really prioritize what I need to pack and what I just want to pack.

I have noticed, though, that because I am a frequent flyer on United, I am usually in one of the early zones (2 or 3) so I usually don't have to gate check the bag. However, when I fly US Airways, I always have to gate check because I'm way back in zone 4 or 5. Which brings up another question, does anyone else understand the way airplanes board? I've never been able to figure it out, because you would think that the earlier zones have the window seats and then they move outward. Not true. I can't tell you have many times I've been in the later zones and have had a window seat.
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stubby

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2013, 02:56:46 PM »
I do this all the time. In fact, unless I fly internationally, I never check a bag. I use the same carry-on bag for every flight, and it just depends on the size of the plane if I have to gate check it or not. When the charge to check your first bag started, I switched to carry-on because I didn't see the reason why I should pay $25 to ship my full bottles of shampoo or extra items, etc.... It also helped me really prioritize what I need to pack and what I just want to pack.

I have noticed, though, that because I am a frequent flyer on United, I am usually in one of the early zones (2 or 3) so I usually don't have to gate check the bag. However, when I fly US Airways, I always have to gate check because I'm way back in zone 4 or 5. Which brings up another question, does anyone else understand the way airplanes board? I've never been able to figure it out, because you would think that the earlier zones have the window seats and then they move outward. Not true. I can't tell you have many times I've been in the later zones and have had a window seat.

Depends 100% on the airline, Southwest gives you a boarding position based on order of checkin (or if you pay extra), then you get whatever seat you want. Pretty much every airline boards Priority (frequent) flyers first, then it's usually by order of checkin or a system (reverse pyramid, back to front, outside to inside) depending on the airline.



Frankies Girl

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 02:57:04 PM »
My carry on is a standard sized one, and I LOVE when this happens as it's one less bag I have to keep up with on the plane and I get it back right at the exit. As long as it fits the limits of a carry on, then it's not a scam.

I learned to pack more efficiently so I don't have to check bags at all. I have never checked a bag and I've gone on trips for close to two weeks. Roll your clothes, don't fold, make sure stuff can be worn in many different configurations,  and there is always bringing a little laundry soap (in a shampoo bottle) so you can sink or tub wash and hang your clothes while on the trip itself if you have to.
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stubby

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 02:59:06 PM »
Gate checking can also speed loading and unloading of the plane, less people trying to find a spot in the bins and less people having to try to fight their way down an aisle if their overhead was far away from their seat when they landed.

stubby

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 03:05:02 PM »
My carry on is a standard sized one, and I LOVE when this happens as it's one less bag I have to keep up with on the plane and I get it back right at the exit. As long as it fits the limits of a carry on, then it's not a scam.

I learned to pack more efficiently so I don't have to check bags at all. I have never checked a bag and I've gone on trips for close to two weeks. Roll your clothes, don't fold, make sure stuff can be worn in many different configurations,  and there is always bringing a little laundry soap (in a shampoo bottle) so you can sink or tub wash and hang your clothes while on the trip itself if you have to.

My wife is the opposite, we always have to check her bag, which always leads to an extra 30 minutes at the airport.

I use a Timbuk2 Wingman http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/wingman-duffel-bag that can be used with a shoulder strap or as a backpack, has a shoe pocket and laptop pocket, combine that with a packing cube for rolling and compressing and a packing folder for pants\dress shirts I can get 10-14 days of clothes with a pair of shoes and sandals and my laptop in my carry on.

I understand some people can't physically handle carrying a bag, but the rolling carryons annoy me to no end, you lose 10-20% of the volume of the carry on to the wheels and the handle, just pack lighter and carry a bag!

sheepstache

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 03:45:54 PM »
I understand some people can't physically handle carrying a bag, but the rolling carryons annoy me to no end, you lose 10-20% of the volume of the carry on to the wheels and the handle, just pack lighter and carry a bag!

Seriously!  And it seems so unergonomic to me.  Particularly if you're at all tall, it's uncomfortable to be pulling the weight behind you constantly and then all the times you can't roll it, like stairs, and you have to awkwardly hoist it.  And then there's all the odd surfaces you might travel over outside the airport--but right, most people probably use a car or cab door to door. 

Sometimes I see people with a second bag with handles that slide over the rolling one and sits on top.  I guess that's a good deal.  If you need that much stuff.  But a lot of times the bag on top is constantly sliding off.

BlueMR2

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 10:14:17 AM »
Some carry on bags are larger than other but the all have to be under a certain size. If the passenger is taking a bag "as large as they can get away with," then it is technically under the required size. If the gate agent thinks there won't be room on the plane for it, or the person wants to gate check it, they are not doing anything dishonest at all. I am not sure how you can consider this a scam at all.

The max size for carry-ons is based on the larger airplanes.  Some of the small ones don't actually have that much room.  Last time I flew we all took carry-ons, but a couple of people from our group ended up having them "green-tagged" because the seats they were in didn't have big enough storage spaces to completely contain their carry-ons (even though the luggage fit easily in the "max size" tester at the gate).  Mine probably should have gotten tagged too, but I just put my feet on top of the part sticking out and the stewardess ignored it.  :-)

No scam, just the reality that a single standard doesn't really apply across all airplane types.

Gerard

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 04:13:47 PM »
Which brings up another question, does anyone else understand the way airplanes board? I've never been able to figure it out, because you would think that the earlier zones have the window seats and then they move outward. Not true. I can't tell you have many times I've been in the later zones and have had a window seat.

Very frequent flyers, especially business types, seem to prefer aisle seats. Easier to get to/from the can and to get stuff like laptops out of the overhead bin, more leg room when the aisle's not in use, very slightly faster to get off the plane (to make tight connections), and they're over the whole scenery thing. Even if they like the window seat, remember that they're often being sent off to the Fargo office at the last minute, and recreational travellers have already bought and chosen the window seats.
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MountainFlower

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 03:17:01 PM »
Our current "scam" is carseats.  Airlines don't charge for them.  I refuse to trust my kids to seats at the rental agency so we bring them.    We purchased 2 car seat bags ($16/each).  After the carseats go in the bag because of their awkward size, there is a TON of room for other stuff.  I see other parents using those plastic bags supplied by the airlines for carseats and I think, wow, you just lost a golden opportunity for free baggage.  LOL!

Gate check is awesome.  Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on.  Makes my  3 and 5 year old a lot happier to spend less time on the plane...and me too!  I do it when I'm traveling alone.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2013, 03:40:15 PM »
Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on. 
How else are they going to find the time to read the shopping mall magazine from cover to cover?

dragoncar

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2013, 03:52:09 PM »
Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on. 
How else are they going to find the time to read the shopping mall magazine from cover to cover?

To get a spot for their carry on or to get a good seat on southwest

MountainFlower

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2013, 04:01:30 PM »
Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on. 
How else are they going to find the time to read the shopping mall magazine from cover to cover?

To get a spot for their carry on or to get a good seat on southwest

I've never flown Southwest...but if I wait until the bitter end, does that mean someone else will have get to sit next to my 3 and 5 year old?  LOL!

Left

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2013, 09:22:19 PM »
Since the seats are assigned most of the time, I wait to seat towards the end of the group, even past my group A/B 1/2, because I know my seat will be there for me anyways. I rather not sit next to someone while waiting 15 minutes for someone else to walk past. I rather be the one to walk past :)

Forcus

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 11:31:50 AM »
Based on how I've seen them toss the bags, I'll keep it on me and pack lighter, thank you very much :)
Note, these opinions are from someone who is half-mustachian at best. Please consider my comments in that light.

stubby

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2013, 06:59:25 PM »
Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on. 
How else are they going to find the time to read the shopping mall magazine from cover to cover?

To get a spot for their carry on or to get a good seat on southwest

I've never flown Southwest...but if I wait until the bitter end, does that mean someone else will have get to sit next to my 3 and 5 year old?  LOL!

No that means the rest of the plane will have to wait 10 minutes while you try to convince people to move so you all can sit together.

Joshin

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2013, 07:44:40 PM »
I also think the gate people hate charging the fees. We flew on Delta a month or so ago for a competition the kids were in. We had one carry-on and one checked bag that held their competition props, which were too big to fit the max carry-on size. Went to check it and the gate person told us to try taking it on the plane, if it was an issue they'd work it out there. No issues, they didn't even gate check it. Same thing happened on the way back. I was surprised, although thankful to safe the fee.

Granted, we were on a bigger jet with more than enough overhead storage, and between the three of us we only had one other carry-on, so we probably weren't even using our "allotted" overhead storage.

dragoncar

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2013, 08:07:25 PM »
Also, why does anyone WANT to get on the airplane first?  I always wait until the bitter end before getting on. 
How else are they going to find the time to read the shopping mall magazine from cover to cover?

To get a spot for their carry on or to get a good seat on southwest

I've never flown Southwest...but if I wait until the bitter end, does that mean someone else will have get to sit next to my 3 and 5 year old?  LOL!

The point is somewhat moot on Southwest, since you can check 2 bags free.

giggles

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 09:34:54 AM »
My family's trick for getting away with a carry on as our only bag:  Bring all your old clothes on vacation, and throw them away after wearing instead of bringing them home!  We have some interesting outfits in our family vacation photos.  I have not been able to convince my husband to carry on this tradition ;)

KatieSSS

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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2013, 09:59:22 AM »
Based on how I've seen them toss the bags, I'll keep it on me and pack lighter, thank you very much :)

One time I was forced to gate-check my bag and it came out with all the rest of the checked bags in luggage claim. When it came around on the ramp, an entire chunk of my bag was missing on the bottom, including one of the wheels! I was so pissed. So I try to get a space if I can in the overhead bin, and just hope if it is gate-checked that this doesn't happen again!
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Re: Airplane Green Tag Scam - United Airlines
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2013, 11:40:25 AM »
I only ever take a large gym bag as hand luggage. Never been given a tag, but never had any questions :)