I flew last week on a carrier that was not my usual one. As a Premier member, I get early boarding on United; on American, I was in the last group on the plane. This only becomes an issue because of overhead baggage space. For a 3-day weekend, we did not need or want to check bags. Every flight, we had to fight for those last spaces for the roll-aboards.
I can solve this problem for the airlines. Really, it could be pretty easy. Since stowing bags is a major factor slowing the boarding process, everyone might be happier.
Charge for roll-aboards. Yup, all travelers get a personal item that fits under the seat in front of them - purse, laptop case, whatever. Give your frequent fliers the perk of a free roll-aboard in the overhead bin. Let everyone have a free checked bag, but make them pay for a roll-aboard. For the convenience of not awaiting my luggage, I would have gladly shelled out $50 each way this past weekend. To have you juggle and potentially lose my bags? Not so much. Have too many people paying for overhead space? Have your computer shunt them to the free checked bag alternative during the check-in process.
A lot of folks will choose to check if the alternative is $25 per bag. Getting on and off the aircraft will go much more smoothly.
At least think about it.