Don’t gate check your coat!

a woman in a red coatThis week, I traveled to Chicago. It was a very productive visit, where I got a lot of work done and I was able to hang out with my sisters. But there was one thing that wasn’t awesome. All of my flights were all on time, which was nice, but they were on small planes. American used to have several direct flights to Chicago every day, all on the Super 80. Not the newest planes, but with a reasonable amount of space. However, now the majority of these flights are on American Eagle planes. Awesome. And since I exhausted my supply of upgrades during my pregnancy and haven’t replenished it yet, I had to sit in coach. Man those seats are tight. But that’s not even the point of my story!

Whenever I travel during the winter, I always put my coat in my suitcase before going through security. It is just way easier to navigate the airport without worrying about tripping over your long coat. Sometimes I will take it out of for the flight (especially if I’m worried about my bag fitting in the overhead bin), but since I knew I would be gate checking I left it in. After dropping my bag off on the ramp I got on the plane feeling so light and free with just my personal item. That continued through the flight, until the very end. See, even though I had appreciated the gate-check at the beginning of the flight, I was less appreciative at the end. Because I had to stand on that jetbridge waiting for my suitcase, and it was cold. By the time my suitcase finally appeared (next to last omg) I was shivering and my teeth were chattering. My cozy red coat would have made the wait much more bearable!

So the next time I fly on a small plane, if it’s cold at my destination I will take my coat with me on the plane. Yes it’s more of a hassle but it’s better than freezing my tail off for twenty minutes!

Readers, have you ever had issues with gate-checking?


  1. The American Eagle gates at O’Hare are the worst! Also, waiting in the cab line can sometimes be brutal (and cold!). Still, definitely worth it – Chicago is an amazing city. Hope you enjoyed your time here!

  2. I don’t like gate checking because you lose one of the advantage of one bag travel – not having to wait for your luggage. I’ll try to use a smaller softer carry on rather than gate check.

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