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Travel Lightly: American Airlines to Let Customers Without Suitcases Board First

The airline, which serves the Des Moines Airport, is trying to speed up its boarding process by letting those without suitcases board first.

Ever been stuck in an airplane aisle waiting for the person in front of you to find a home for their carry-on suitcase?

Well, American Airlines is trying to remedy the problem.

Last week, the company that serves many airports, including Des Moines International Airport, said people carrying just a personal item that fits under the seat — in other words, no rolling suitcases — will be allowed to board before most other passengers, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The article also said the change will allow flights to take off sooner and make for a smoother board process, helping the airline improve its on-time performance.

American tested the new boarding procedure at seven airports earlier this year and began applying it to all flights Thursday, according to the AP report. Passengers carrying just a personal item such as a purse, backpack or computer bag that fits under the seat will board right after Group 1 premium passengers and before groups 2, 3 and 4.

Want to bring your roller bag anyway? The airline said in the report it will let passengers check a carry-on bag at the gate at no charge, but it will have to be retrieved at baggage claim.

What do you think? Will this deter you from carrying on your bag? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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