Delta Air Lines is the latest airline to join the bandwagon of implementing a policy of no longer “through-checking” passengers’ baggage when they have been ticketed on separate tickets on separate airlines, effective as of January 15, 2013.
Some FlyerTalk members are angry, frustrated and upset about this policy. Although I do not defend the new policy in any way — as it will be an inconvenience to some passengers — will a significant number of people actually be affected by it?
As documented many times here at The Gate, I do not check luggage. I prefer to carry my bag aboard the aircraft, saving me both time and money where I do not have to wait for my luggage once I arrive at my final destination and do not have to pay baggage fees besides — and I rarely have more than one bag to carry with me. In fact, I do not remember the last time I actually checked luggage. I reviewed my own travel habits, and the conclusion at which I arrived is that even if this new policy had been enforced all along during my many years of travel, I cannot think of one single example where I would have been affected by it.
Regardless, there are times where luggage does have to be checked, even if the weight and number of pieces of luggage do not exceed any limits — such as when carrying bottles of wine or other liquids exceeding the limits imposed by the policies of the Transportation Security Administration, for example. This new policy being implemented by Delta Air Lines still would not affect you if you have multiple tickets on the same itinerary, all on Delta Air Lines. The policy will affect you if you have multiple tickets on different airlines in order to arrive at your destination, but again — because I do not check luggage, this policy does not affect me.
If you are affected by this new policy, it could mean leaving the secure area of the airport to retrieve your baggage just to check them on the next flight on a different airline and then having to be screened through the airport security checkpoint on your stopover. Could it mean additional costs with extra baggage fees? Would you be required to apply for a visa in certain countries?
Still, airlines which belong to any of the three major alliances boast about the travel experience becoming more seamless when you travel on airlines which all belong to the same alliance on your itinerary. Policies such as this one seem to indicate just the opposite effect, as it applies to airlines within the same alliance as those not part of the same alliance.
Unfortunately, some FlyerTalk members do seem to travel regularly on different airlines on separate tickets within the same itinerary. Are you one of them? If so, how will you be inconvenienced by this policy, and how else will it affect you?