You're one of the last people to board your flight, and the first thing you see when you step into the aisle is that most of the overhead bins are closed. You have a choice: pick a spot a dozen rows away from your assigned seat and cram your bag in with no regard for its contents, or leave it with the gate check gods.
It's a problem that anyone who's flown in the last few years has encountered and, today, Delta announced something sounds like a solution: a service called "Early Valet."
Early Valet could speed up the process and save money
Delta already is already running Early Valet on a few dozen flights and the general idea is simple. When you arrive at the gate, Delta employees will take your carry-on luggage and place it in an overhead bin above your assigned seat. By doing the work for you, Delta could save time, stress, and apparently money — a Northern Illinois University study found that airlines lose $30 for every minute a flight idles at the gate, according to the Associated Press.
Whether Early Valet can really make an impact won't be known until it's practiced at scale, and that might take a while. Delta is apparently waiting until August to implement the service at its busiest airports — places like Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle — and even then, Early Valet will only be available on flights with high numbers of vacationers.
Until that happens, boarding a Delta plane will still require a choice. After you decide, you'll sit down and buckle up while Delta serenades you to sleep with a safety video full of your favorite memes.