Airlines are trying to figure out how to reduce boarding times so that get their planes out faster. With more passengers taking along large carry-on bags because they don't want to spend money to check their bags, boarding times have gotten a lot longer. Some airlines have come up with creative ways of trying to shorten the boarding time. Spirit Airlines is notorious for charging $100 for carry-on bags to encourage passengers to check in a bag. US Airways is willing to check your large carry-on bag for free at the gate. American Airlines is trying out a new boarding process where it will allow passengers who don't have carry-ons to board before passengers with carry-ons. First, American will board First Class passengers, then the elite passengers who are frequent flyers and have achieved some sort of status, then passengers without bags. Finally if you have a carry-on, you are allowed to board last.
I agree with this. I'm tired of waiting for passengers with carry-on bags delaying other passengers to get to their seats because they can't find overhead space. I prefer going to my seat and sitting down and letting those passengers fight it out for luggage space. I've never understood why so many people were either too cheap or too attached to their luggage that they can't check it in. And I'm talking about people who have bags that really should have been checked in, in the first place. If this new boarding process works for American Airlines, it'll be a different world for passengers without bags and passengers with bags.