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American Airlines’ New Boarding Policy Opens Checked-Bag Fee Loophole

Today American Airlines announced that it is instituting a new boarding procedure wherein any passenger who is carrying on only a bag that can fit under the seat — a purse or a backpack, for instance — will be able to board earlier than the wretches daring to drag on their rolling suitcases. The carrier is hoping to speed up its passenger load times.

But what’s this? An added bonus for those whose only reason in declining to check their small suitcase is to avoid the checked-bag fee:

With the new boarding process, customers who wish to board early before Group 2 can gate-check their carry-on bag at no charge.

You’ll have to pick it up at baggage claim after the flight, but you’ll also get to board early. And just think how pleased you’ll be with yourself, knowing you’re $25 richer.