Baggage rules and partner airlines

Old Dec 22, 20, 11:24 am
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Baggage rules and partner airlines

Hey everyone,
I'm surprised by the confusion by Air Canada and United call centre employees as I've been trying to figure out what baggage rules I follow on a return flight home.

I booked Aeroplan via Air Canada (014 stock)
Outbound 1: Air Canada YYZ-ORD
Outbound 2: United ORD-MSY
--
Return 1: United MSY-IAD
Return 2: United IAD-YYZ

I know the rule when flying to/from US-Canada that you follow the rules of the first-carrier/marketing carrier on the itinerary, but is it per direction or the entire itinerary? I followed AC's rules on the way down (self-explanatory), but on my return, am I to follow United's baggage policy or Air Canada as they were the marketing carrier and first segment on the outbound?

United's site shows charges (which should be waived for 50K/*G), but Air Canada's policies are more generous. Thanks in advance, everyone!
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Old Dec 22, 20, 11:39 am
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Are you referring to standard baggage allowance, or your extra entitlements for status? For the latter, on your return leg, you follow United's *G allowances.
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Old Dec 22, 20, 11:42 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330 View Post
Are you referring to standard baggage allowance, or your extra entitlements for status? For the latter, on your return leg, you follow United's *G allowances.
Yes, Iím specifically referring to allowances. I wasnít sure if USDOT rules of following the marketing carrierís policies/first carrierís allowances meant the first carrier of the entire trip or per direction.
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Old Dec 23, 20, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by MasterTravellr View Post
Hey everyone,
I'm surprised by the confusion by Air Canada and United call centre employees as I've been trying to figure out what baggage rules I follow on a return flight home.

I booked Aeroplan via Air Canada (014 stock)
Outbound 1: Air Canada YYZ-ORD
Outbound 2: United ORD-MSY
--
Return 1: United MSY-IAD
Return 2: United IAD-YYZ

I know the rule when flying to/from US-Canada that you follow the rules of the first-carrier/marketing carrier on the itinerary, but is it per direction or the entire itinerary? I followed AC's rules on the way down (self-explanatory), but on my return, am I to follow United's baggage policy or Air Canada as they were the marketing carrier and first segment on the outbound?

United's site shows charges (which should be waived for 50K/*G), but Air Canada's policies are more generous. Thanks in advance, everyone!
there are 2 layers to your question.

1st layer (the base allowance): the answer is entire journey since you go to the US. this doesn't change even if your inbound 1st flight is with a different operating carrier than your 1st flight outbound.

399.87 Baggage allowances and fees.
For passengers whose ultimate ticketed origin or destination is a U.S. point, U.S. and foreign carriers must apply the baggage allowances and fees that apply at the beginning of a passenger’s itinerary throughout his or her entire itinerary. In the case of codeshare flights that form part of an itinerary whose ultimate ticketed origin or destination is a U.S. point, U.S. and foreign carriers must apply the baggage allowances and fees of the marketing carrier throughout the itinerary to the extent that they differ from those of any operating carrier.

2nd layer (allowance due to elite status with the operating carrier, credit card, etc): since you are (50K) with AC if i read correctly on the AC website, this should give you 1st 3 bags at 32kg each free on the outbound. However, on your way back, United, airline that check your bags for your inbound flights, gives only one 1st bag at 23 kg free for star gold.

Last edited by aznfreak007; Dec 23, 20 at 12:54 pm
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Old Dec 23, 20, 12:55 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by aznfreak007 View Post
there are 2 layers to your question.

1st layer (the base allowance): the answer is entire journey since you go to the US. this doesn't change even if your inbound 1st flight is with a different operating carrier than your 1st flight outbound.

399.87 Baggage allowances and fees.
For passengers whose ultimate ticketed origin or destination is a U.S. point, U.S. and foreign carriers must apply the baggage allowances and fees that apply at the beginning of a passengerís itinerary throughout his or her entire itinerary. In the case of codeshare flights that form part of an itinerary whose ultimate ticketed origin or destination is a U.S. point, U.S. and foreign carriers must apply the baggage allowances and fees of the marketing carrier throughout the itinerary to the extent that they differ from those of any operating carrier.

2nd layer (allowance due to elite status with the operating carrier, credit card, etc): since you are (50K) with AC if i read correctly on the AC website, this should give you 3 bags at 32kg each on the outbound. However, on your way back, United, airline that check your bags for your inbound flights, gives only one bag at 23 kg free for star gold.
Appreciate it. Makes sense. Weird thing is the rules for the return direction show following Unitedís bag rules when flight 1 outbound was AC. United said it might be because my entire return direction is only United and not mixed carrier like on the outbound.
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Old Dec 24, 20, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by MasterTravellr View Post
Appreciate it. Makes sense. Weird thing is the rules for the return direction show following Unitedís bag rules when flight 1 outbound was AC. United said it might be because my entire return direction is only United and not mixed carrier like on the outbound.
Greetings from the United side of the house. This may be irrelevant because I'm not sure what weasel-words AC uses in their terms and condition, but UA's corporate position is that elite bags are a "waiver" of bag fees and not an adjustment of the allowance which is the same for everyone in that cabin (e.g. 0 free bags for domestic Y itineraries, etc.) and this is a get-around the US DOT rules. In UA's case, in each of my confirmation emails it is phrased as:

Baggage check-in must occur with United or United Express, and you must have valid MileagePlus Premierģ 1Kģ membership at time of check-in to qualify for waiver of service charges for up to three checked bags (within specified size and weight limits).
This specifically means if I'm checking my bag with any other carrier I can't rely on the "waiver" UA applies, even though they are always [for me] the first carrier on the ticket. If AC is applying similar logic (and is permitted to by the relevant authorities) that could explain some of the confusion.
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