So I checked-in for my flight more than 6 hours early yesterday, unable to get any seats on earlier departures home...even though there were at least 3 flights headed there over my 6+ hour wait. On my last UA trip, I had to check bags...and waited roughly an hour for them to come in baggage claim at EWR. If my bag beat me home, I didn't want to wait that long again to see where it was. UA and other carriers sometime have a habit of putting bags on the next flight out regardless of what the tag says, so when it was time for my flight to go, I asked the gate agent whether or not he could determine if my bag made it out sooner. He said "there was no use checking" since as a prior bag agent himself, he knows bags only fly with the passenger. I said check anyway because my experience says otherwise. He looked through the record and noticed my unusually early bag check-in time, but said my bag "would definitely be on the flight" although the way he said it made me think he was lying. I flew to EWR on an uneventful flight. Rather than wait an hour for my checked bag to no-show on the belt, I immediately went over to the baggage office at EWR even before the belt was activated for my flight. Sure enough, the agent told me "oh yeah, your bag came in over 3 hours ago...go over to the QOH deck to claim it." I was able to walk there and get my bag before most of the other passengers on my flight were even in the baggage claim area. I don't know if the origin UA agent was lying or just lacked the info to accurately report whether my bag was scanned on an earlier flight, but it'd sure be nice if the UA mobile app or agents in general had better information about bags too. Had I not been so over-proactive, I'm sure I'd be waiting at EWR quite a while for a bag that was already there.