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Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Hamilton, Canada
posts: 47
reviews: 7
Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

We are flying from Toronto to Paris with British Airways. The first flight from Toronto flies into JFK (terminal 8) with code airlines American Eagle on a Canadair Regional Jet 700. We are told that our carry on will most likely be 'gate checked' even though our carry on is below the required measurements since they have very little room under seats or overhead bins. Our connection is from Terminal 7 and there is a 2 hour connection time.

First of all, by gate change would our luggage: be then need to be picked up at the carousel? Would it be sent and hopefully make the next BA flight to Paris. Or will we be able to pick it up as we exit the plane on the tarmac or airbridge (whatever that is)

We are concerned there may not be enough time or that it will be lost.. How do we try to avoid any problems? (have a check in bag when we check in at Toronto instead of relying on carry on bags?) .....any suggestions?

10 replies to this topic
NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,297
reviews: 17
1. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

When carry on luggage is taken at the foot of the steps to the plane it is usually returned to you the same way. These aircraft are usually entered by you walking up steps and actually being on the Tarmack. If you have checked luggage and it is checked to Paris if you pre-cleared American immigration in Canada. Otherwise like anyone else coming in on an international flight you will have to get your luggage and go through customs and then recheck. ( there is usually a desk to do this.

I am confused what does Gate change mean or have to do with anything.

Edited: 2:21 pm, October 24, 2013
Boston...
posts: 1,654
reviews: 92
2. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Every time I have flown American Eagle it has worked exactly as rdglady has described. Leave our bags at the steps to the plane and pick them up before walking up the jetway.

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,283
reviews: 8
3. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Actually, gate checking is probably much more secure than normal check-in. As noted, when you gate check your bag it is tagged at the gate (usually a red tag when flying AA) and taken from you planeside. When you get off the flight, you wait outside the door of the plane until your bags are delivered to you. Depending on the number of passengers and the size of the plane, this may take an extra 5 or 10 minutes. You then proceed to your next flight.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 45,711
reviews: 14
4. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

What will happen on the American Eagle flight to JFK sounds a lot like the process for short hops from YVR to SEA.

As has been said, you will walk out on to the tarmac and board the flight by walking up a few stairs. There will be a trolley at the foot of the stairs, with ground agents there to accept and tag bags that would usually be taken on board but won't fit in the tiny overhead lockers on the CRJ 700. On arrival all pax will be asked to wait on board until the bags have been unloaded on another trolley, from which pax will collect their bags before walking to the terminal building. It sounds complicated but has been painless in my experience at YVR and SEA.

If your flight from JFK to CDG is nonstop then be aware that it will be operated by American Airlines, with BA as a codeshare. If your flight is via LHR then it may be with BA (to Terminal 5) or AA (to Terminal 3) with another change at that airport as well.

Hamilton, Canada
posts: 47
reviews: 7
5. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Sorry I meant GATE CHECKING not changing.

Thank you for all the information. If this process only takes about 5-10 min. then we should ( hopefully) make our connection from Terminal 8 to Terminal 7 in the 2 hr. period. The next flight is nonstop to Paris on British Airways (Open Skies) not another AA aircraft.

Also, if our carry on baggage is 'gate checked' what size of a personal item (purse) is acceptable on the aircraft? I would need to carry on essentials such as medicine, camera etc.

Nova Scotia
posts: 129
reviews: 44
6. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

I usually bring a big purse or small to medium knapsack for essentials - something that will fit under the seat.

I too have found gate checking to be fast and easy - certainly easier than finding an empty overhead bin!

Edited: 5:09 pm, October 24, 2013
Hamilton, Canada
posts: 47
reviews: 7
7. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Thanks, appreciate all the information.

Lake Crystal...
posts: 233
reviews: 13
8. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

When I have been on the little planes (Embraer 135s-145s) only roller bags and very large bags (big backpacks) and hardshell bags get gate checked. You still get your 'second item' which becomes your 'first item' if they gate check your large bag. I fly carry-on only with a backpack and laptop bag and have never had to gate check anything on AA or United.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 24,297
reviews: 17
9. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

While I still carry my purse I am not as concerned with bags getting lost in a gate check situation on these small planes. You literally watch them put it on the plane and watch them take it off.

Also, if you are flying from Canada to JFK and then on to Paris you need to clear immigration/customs at JFK unless you pre-cleared in Canada. You also need an entry permit to the US--same as if you were staying here as a tourist. The US doesn't do transit status passengers.

Hamilton, Canada
posts: 47
reviews: 7
10. Re: Gate changing with American Eagle Airlines

Thank you. Someone has mentioned that we will go through customs in Toronto, however, do we go through customs again at JFK or is it just security that we go through when we depart from Terminal 7 to Paris? Where would I get an ENTRY PERMIT to the US? Do I ask for it when I check in at the airport in Toronto or on the plane?

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