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View Full Version : Bags for an ERJ-145



bchaplin
06-01-2014, 11:34 AM
I'll be flying in an ERJ-145 later this month, on two United flights. With only an hour layover, I can not take the chance of checking, or even gate-checking, my luggage, particularly since this airline can almost always be counted on to be late. (I only chose them because I needed to use up some points).

After grabbing the tickets, I learned that the plane is VERY small, and almost all bags are gate-checked. The overhead bins are tight, and only on one side of the aircraft, so I guess I can't count on getting space there. My underseat area, if I have the correct info, will be 16 x 12 x 9 inches. I am not a light packer, but out of necessity I think I will just take my Synapse 25 or Smart Alec, along with my Co-Pilot. I want to be sure that whatever bag I take doesn't get gate-checked, because I think I'll have to run for my next flight, so even though the Western Flyer or a duffel would technically fit United's requirements, I really can't take the chance that it won't be allowed on the plane.

Has anyone flown on this particular aircraft? It is the ERJ-145 v2, owned by United. I'd appreciate any tips. I usually fly JetBlue, or international flights, which have a generous amount of space, so I don't have a lot of expertise with this type of flying.

It will be a long weekend, but I do need to pack a spare pair of shoes (sandals), two pairs of pants, and a few extra shirts, my iPad Mini and phone, chargers, and a gift. I would like to take a camera as well.

birdio
06-01-2014, 11:45 AM
Have flown one many times. Synapse 25 (and Western Flyer) should do okay in overhead (as long as it's not overpacked). I often use a Patagonia MLC pack on this aircraft and utilize overhead storage. Depending on boarding position, overhead could be full. (Though co-pilot will still fit up top).

Most important thing here is to select the aisle seat on the side with two seats (I believe that's B seat). Reason being, the under seat storage is the largest of the three seats. Single seat space is tight under seat, and window seat is restricted, as well.

Good luck!



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Frank II
06-01-2014, 03:36 PM
I have flown more RJ-145's than I can remember.

All wheeled bags will be gate checked. I don't remember the last time any of my Tom Bihn bags were. Most soft sided, carry-on bags will fit in the overheads. And since most people have wheels, you shouldn't have a problem finding room.

But don't take my word for it...here's a thread from a few years back that has a photo of an Aeronaut in the overhead of an Embraer 145:

http://forums.tombihn.com/bag-reviews/2726-aeronaut-regional-jets.html

Moose
06-01-2014, 04:47 PM
I've taken my WF and TS on really small planes with 1 seat on one side and 2 on the other. I've never had trouble getting them under the seat or in the overhead. There was one time when I had half a fleece in my WF that I had to give it an extra shove to get it in the overhead but it did fit.

snowbot
06-01-2014, 07:33 PM
In my experience, the Western Flyer fits better in the overhead bin than the Smart Alec. The flatter shape of the WF helps in this case. I've never had trouble putting the Smart Alec under the seat in front of me, however.

bchaplin
06-02-2014, 03:34 AM
I have flown more RJ-145's than I can remember.

All wheeled bags will be gate checked. I don't remember the last time any of my Tom Bihn bags were. Most soft sided, carry-on bags will fit in the overheads. And since most people have wheels, you shouldn't have a problem finding room.

But don't take my word for it...here's a thread from a few years back that has a photo of an Aeronaut in the overhead of an Embraer 145:

http://forums.tombihn.com/bag-reviews/2726-aeronaut-regional-jets.html

Thanks, Frank II! Just want to make sure we're talking about the same plane -- I know there are CRJ and ERJ's... I think the space available in the overhead of an ERJ-145 is 17" x 12" x 7"? The Aeronaut is 22" x 14" x 9". Though I suppose if it was half-filled it might scrunch to fit? I also read that there are a few different versions of the ERJ-145, though I'd imagine the bin space would be similar in all of them.

* NOTE: See later posts. I believe the dimensions I posted for the overhead might be incorrect. **

My current strategy, based on what everyone has written, is to use my Synapse 25 or Smart Alec, and first try to fit it under the seat in front of me. If that doesn't work I will remove one packing cube to make it smaller, and put that in the overhead. Hopefully there should be space for something that relatively small, and it seems unlikely that the GA's would target a medium-sized backpack for gate-check.

Whatever happens, I guess it will be more data points, and I'll try to snap my own photos.

tangfj
06-02-2014, 04:21 AM
I fly pretty regularly for work and last year flew on ERJ-145's almost weekly. I am able to fit my Aeronaut (stuffed fairly full) in to the overhead bins with no problems. The best part about flying on these small planes is that most people need to gate check their bags so the overheads are mostly empty no matter what seating area you're in...

You should have no problems with either of your bags in the overhead bins. The only bag I've ever had issues with on smaller planes (ERJ's and CRJ's) is the Tri-Star, because when you put stuff in to all three compartments, it tends to pack a bit thick. Otherwise, I've never had any issues with any of my TB bags fitting in the overhead. The gate agent may ask you to gate check and if they do just kindly accept the green tag but then just take your bag on the plane... it'll make your life a lot easier. :)

bchaplin
06-02-2014, 05:20 AM
Thanks for the comments!
They are all very helpful.

Frank II
06-02-2014, 05:39 AM
Where did you get the dimensions of the overhead? It doesn't seem right to me. That seems more like the under seat dimensions.

The ERJ-145 is the Embraer. It stand for Embraer Regional Jet model 145. They also make a 135 and 140. The only difference from the passenger's point of view is the number of rows.

CRJ stands for Canadair Regional Jet. Embraer and Canadair are the names of the manufacturers. Embraer is from Brazil and I'll let you guess where Canadair is from.

As far as gate checking goes, back in the day when I had to gate check, I rarely had to wait for my bag. In some cases, they won't let the passengers off the plane until the gate checked bags are ready for pickup. They don't want passengers milling about the door to the plane waiting for a bag. It's a safety hazard.

I like the ERJ's because the seating is 1-2. I can usually get the seat by myself so I have both the aisle and the window with no one next to me.

Personally,I think you are over-worrying this.

tangfj
06-02-2014, 05:58 AM
Where did you get the dimensions of the overhead? It doesn't seem right to me. That seems more like the under seat dimensions.

The ERJ-145 is the Embraer. It stand for Embraer Regional Jet model 145. They also make a 135 and 140. The only difference from the passenger's point of view is the number of rows.

CRJ stands for Canadair Regional Jet. Embraer and Canadair are the names of the manufacturers. Embraer is from Brazil and I'll let you guess where Canadair is from.

As far as gate checking goes, back in the day when I had to gate check, I rarely had to wait for my bag. In some cases, they won't let the passengers off the plane until the gate checked bags are ready for pickup. They don't want passengers milling about the door to the plane waiting for a bag. It's a safety hazard.

I like the ERJ's because the seating is 1-2. I can usually get the seat by myself so I have both the aisle and the window with no one next to me.

Personally,I think you are over-worrying this.

You definitely have to wait these days... I've missed connections because of it! Some airports are faster than others but in general it takes anywhere from 15-30 mins to get your gate checked bags at the gate. With a one hour connection, with a potential 30 minute wait for your bag plus running to another gate that may be far away, there's a chance that you could miss your connection... especially if there are any delays. Anyway, with a TB bag, you won't have to worry. Just stuff your bag in the overhead bin and forget about it.

bchaplin
06-02-2014, 06:01 AM
OK, thanks again, Frank II and tangfj. It's possible that the dimensions I posted for the overhead are incorrect. I made a note in the post.
As Frank II posted, gate-checking might not be a problem, but I'd prefer to plan well so that I can keep my bag with me. It will make me more comfortable, even if I have less space for my feet. I guess there are some advantages to being 5'2".
I appreciate the clarification on "ERJ" and "CRJ"!

Frank II
06-02-2014, 06:24 AM
Where do you have to wait 30 minutes for a gate checked bag? I've never waited more than 10 minutes.

jmoz
06-02-2014, 06:25 AM
Some of the smallest RJ (I can't remember which) had a tiny overhead with sliding doors on one side and a small overhead (big enough for a TS) on the other side. I wonder if the small measurement is for that tiny bin?

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tangfj
06-02-2014, 06:37 AM
Where do you have to wait 30 minutes for a gate checked bag? I've never waited more than 10 minutes.

PHL, IAD, ORD, and ATL are the places where I've usually had to wait the longest but generally speaking anywhere that is a major hub can be bad. PHL and IAD were probably the worst offenders in my experience. Part of the problem for me is that I'm usually one of the first to board the plane since I am usually in boarding group one... most of the time bags are first in, last out and I'm usually one of the last people in the jet bridge waiting on my bag. Plus if you ever have traveled on busy days for business travel (monday AM and thursday PM) then you'll know that 99% of the people boarding the plane have carry on luggage and most people will be waiting in the jet bridge for their bags. In any case, ever since I've discovered TB bags I no longer have that problem!

Duster
06-02-2014, 09:55 PM
One variation of "gate checking" that I often encounter with Dash 8 and Q-400 aircraft (which have notoriously small overhead bins) are "Sky Check" carts (or whatever the different airlines call them). It's very easy to drop the bag on the cart and then board the aircraft and the bags are usually waiting when the first passengers disembark.

Until now I've been using an Air Boss which will not fit either the bins or underseat (partially my fault due to the amount of gear I pack), so the Sky Check system has worked well. I now have a shiny new TriStar so I'm anxiously awaiting an opportunity to try it out to see how it works on the smaller aircraft.

One other question - has anyone ever seen an Excel (or whatever) chart that lists each of the TB bags and which aircraft they will easily fit into (assuming "normal" packing of each bag)?

bchaplin
06-03-2014, 02:14 PM
I get the feeling that on the really small planes, because so many people have to gate-check, they have a very efficient process to getting the luggage back out. Does the Sky Check cart go directly into the hold, or are the bags still loaded manually and then unloaded at the destination?

Either way, due to my very short layover I'll stick to my plan to carry on, but I'll be interested to see the process.

A spreadsheet comparing bags and airlines/planes would be great! I've never seen anything like that. I started my own list of the airlines I fly, with their published allowances, but to do a really comprehensive job would be a massive undertaking. It can get complicated. For instance, EasyJet has two sizes: one smaller set of dimensions that is guaranteed cabin space, no matter how crowded the flight, and another size for which you won't be charged a fee, but the bag could be gate-checked if the bins are full.

scribe
06-03-2014, 02:36 PM
A spreadsheet comparing bags and airlines/planes would be great! I've never seen anything like that. I started my own list of the airlines I fly, with their published allowances, but to do a really comprehensive job would be a massive undertaking. It can get complicated. For instance, EasyJet has two sizes: one smaller set of dimensions that is guaranteed cabin space, no matter how crowded the flight, and another size for which you won't be charged a fee, but the bag could be gate-checked if the bins are full.

Also they keep changing aka tightening them - keeping such a spreadsheet up-to-date would be a full-time job! Not to mention that it depends on how full you pack your bag - s TS or WF can easily conform to the length and width limits but fail the depth limits if you pack them full.


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tangfj
06-03-2014, 02:52 PM
I get the feeling that on the really small planes, because so many people have to gate-check, they have a very efficient process to getting the luggage back out. Does the Sky Check cart go directly into the hold, or are the bags still loaded manually and then unloaded at the destination?

Either way, due to my very short layover I'll stick to my plan to carry on, but I'll be interested to see the process.

A spreadsheet comparing bags and airlines/planes would be great! I've never seen anything like that. I started my own list of the airlines I fly, with their published allowances, but to do a really comprehensive job would be a massive undertaking. It can get complicated. For instance, EasyJet has two sizes: one smaller set of dimensions that is guaranteed cabin space, no matter how crowded the flight, and another size for which you won't be charged a fee, but the bag could be gate-checked if the bins are full.

From experiences over the last few months domestically in the US, most places manually load and unload. As far as a sky check cart, those are usually only used at smaller airports or as Duster mentioned on smaller aircraft that are unable to use a jet bridge.

One other issue that I've encountered is that sometimes people are waiting in the jet bridge for a long time just for somebody to go get the bags. I think some airports may be understaffed, especially during peak times... this of course, is just my opinion... but nonetheless, you can bet that if you're plane pulls up to a jet bridge that the bags will be manually unloaded from the plane and then either walked up to the jet bridge one or two at a time or sent up a conveyer belt one by one.

Frank II
06-03-2014, 04:50 PM
American Eagle used the carts at LGA for a long time since most passengers deplaned onto the tarmac and walked into the terminal. The carts themselves did not go into the hold.

As far as a spreadsheet is concerned, do you mean something like this:

Airline Carry-on Bag Policies - Airfarewatchdog (http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/10460865/airline-carry-on-bag-policies.html)

nukediver
06-03-2014, 05:52 PM
I've flown a lot of RJs in the last year and have either used my Co-Pilot with an Aeronaut or a Tri-Star. Not once did any gate agent even bat an eye as I headed toward the plane. Even with the bags stuffed, I was able to fit them in the overhead. Also, since most everyone else had to check their rollers, there was plenty of overhead space :-)

6514

Duster
06-03-2014, 08:44 PM
@bchaplin,

The "Sky Check" cart is a large wheeled cart with two levels of racks, located near the door of the plane in locations where passengers have to cross the tarmac to board. Passengers with larger carry-on items simply drop their bags on the cart on the way to the door and then board. When everyone is aboard, the ground crew wheel the cart a few feet to the door of the cargo hold and load the bags. When the plane arrives at destination, these bags are always first out of the hold and are placed on another cart which is then located near the door of the plane so passengers can grab their bags on the way to the terminal. Three of the airports I often use have this system (YLW / SEA / PDX) often with Q-400 or Dash 8 aircraft.

I've also encountered a slight variation of this method in places where a Sky Bridge is used. In that case, the Sky Bridge is fitted with a small ledge and a door which opens to the runway. Any passengers wanting to use the Sky Cart service simply place their bags on the ledge and the ground crew takes them from there to the cargo hold. At the arrival airport, either a similar system is used with a door in the side of the Sky Bridge, or a Sky Check cart as described above if the passengers are deplaning on the tarmac.

@Frank II,

Yes, that's similar to what I had in mind, but I wondered if there was anything specific for TB bags. I agree, it probably would be a lot of work to keep the chart current. Maybe I'll try to work on something using just the dimensions of the bags (when I get some spare time).

bchaplin
06-04-2014, 03:14 AM
American Eagle used the carts at LGA for a long time since most passengers deplaned onto the tarmac and walked into the terminal. The carts themselves did not go into the hold.

As far as a spreadsheet is concerned, do you mean something like this:

Airline Carry-on Bag Policies - Airfarewatchdog (http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/10460865/airline-carry-on-bag-policies.html)

Wow - awesome. LOVE that chart, and the comments column, which tells you what the airlines do in practice, is very useful. @Frank II, on the Mac, for some reason I can not find a way to see the right column, which has the dimensions. The right sidebar covers it. Do you have a way around that?

scribe
06-04-2014, 03:47 AM
@Frank II, on the Mac, for some reason I can not find a way to see the right column, which has the dimensions. The right sidebar covers it. Do you have a way around that?

Ack, that's some crappy web design/testing (says the pro). I can get rid of the sidebar using FireBug, but it's not a technique for the non-techie user. However those tables are all images, so you can just right-click on them and open them in a new page or tab. I'd rather not post the images here as it's a flagrant breach of copyright, but I guess I could link to the image URLs?

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/t/ta/take2carryons1.png

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/t/ta/take2carryons2.png

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/t/ta/take2carryons3.png

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/c/ch/chart1.png

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/c/ch/chart2.png

http://i.slimg.com/sc/aw/photo/c/ch/chart3.png

Frank II
06-04-2014, 04:17 AM
Wow - awesome. LOVE that chart, and the comments column, which tells you what the airlines do in practice, is very useful. @Frank II, on the Mac, for some reason I can not find a way to see the right column, which has the dimensions. The right sidebar covers it. Do you have a way around that?

I suggest you write to Airfarewatchdog and ask them. BTW, if you're not familiar with the website, you might want to follow them. They find all the best airfares and deals around.

jmoz
06-04-2014, 05:30 AM
I should mention, as a follow-up, that USAir "encouraged" me to gate check my TriStar (reasonable thickness on the way there, and too thick on the way back) on recent short RJ flights. My wife was gate checking anyway, so I didn't bother trying to argue, but I'm sure it would have fit in the overhead on the way there and think it might have fit on the way back. USAir's customer service was, to be blunt, pretty awful.