There’s no way around it. Having to check a bag at the gate sucks. There are few things worse than realizing that your carry on won’t fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. That means that for the next two hours, your bag and probably your laptop, jewelry, valuables and magazines are going to ride in the belly below you and out of reach for the entire flight. At the very least though, you’d expect that your bag would receive some gentle treatment.
One Air Canada passenger recently caught ground agents tossing bags into a bin 15 feet below the jetway. There is no doubt that some contents in the luggage arrived in bad shape. No word yet if those speedy yet careless ground agents are still employed.