I had to try to put my purse into a soft briefcase or pay $50 to check it after I already paid $30 to check my suitcase. At boarding, there were passengers who were allowed to bring suitcases and backpacks (2 items) on board. Unfair. Everybody should have been required to check their additional bags and pay a fee rather than gambling to see whether they could bring 2 items on board if the plane was not full. United should allow 1 bag free.