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Refused interlining at ZQN without Star Alliance Gold

Refused interlining at ZQN without Star Alliance Gold

Old Feb 26, 2024, 1:43 pm
  #1  
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Refused interlining at ZQN without Star Alliance Gold

I may be mistaken, but I never knew interlining to be a Star Gold benefit and thought it to be a benefit of the Alliance in general.

Flying two tickets same day:
ZQN-CHC (NZ ticket)
CHC-SFO (UA ticket)

The agent flat refused, had a manager come over to tell me they can't see UA flights in their system even with my PNR, when I pressed; "if I was Star Alliance Gold you can", he shut down and directed me to the standard bag check.

I have 2.5 hrs in Christchurch and free bags on all legs, just annoying to play these games.

Last edited by AMRivlin; Feb 26, 2024 at 8:58 pm Reason: Error referencing Auckland
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin
I may be mistaken, but I never knew interlining to be a Star Gold benefit and thought it to be a benefit of the Alliance in general.

Flying two tickets same day:
ZQN-CHC (NZ ticket)
CHC-SFO (UA ticket)

The agent flat refused, had a manager come over to tell me they can't see UA flights in their system even with my PNR, when I pressed; "if I was Star Alliance Gold you can", he shut down and directed me to the standard bag check.

I have 2.5 hrs in Auckland and free bags on all legs, just annoying to play these games.
Simply, AirNZ is under no obligation to thru check bags on separate tickets. As far as NZ is concerned you are a domestic pax to AKL, and why would they take on additional work to manage you bag to the UA flight?

Interlining is really only relevant if all flights are on a single PNR, and mostly irrespective of alliances.

From a system point of view, of course it is quite possible to do this, and some airlines/agents will do so - either as policy (eg for pax with status) or as an exception to policy (kind agent).
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin
I may be mistaken, but I never knew interlining to be a Star Gold benefit and thought it to be a benefit of the Alliance in general.
Negative on both counts. NZ is under no obligation to check your bag through across separate tickets even though the capability exists, *G or not. And *A doesn't have an alliance-wide policy on this.

Originally Posted by AMRivlin
Flying two tickets same day:
ZQN-CHC (NZ ticket)
CHC-SFO (UA ticket)

The agent flat refused, had a manager come over to tell me they can't see UA flights in their system even with my PNR, when I pressed; "if I was Star Alliance Gold you can", he shut down and directed me to the standard bag check.

I have 2.5 hrs in Auckland and free bags on all legs, just annoying to play these games.
A bit of a strange remark by the manager, but it suggests they just weren't willing to do you the favour. Annoying as it is, this is the inherent downside of travelling on separate tickets. Count yourself lucky for making the self-connection as 2.5 hrs doesn't leave you with a lot of buffer.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 2:00 pm
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Thanks all for the replies
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 3:32 pm
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As others have pointed out this is not a published benefit and Air NZ are under no obligation to do this. Even if you were *G Air NZ would not do this for you. If you were on a single ticket they would have gladly done this for you.

If pushed they will occasionally do it for their own Elite HVC but even then it can be a case of YMMV
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 5:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi
Simply, AirNZ is under no obligation to thru check bags on separate tickets. As far as NZ is concerned you are a domestic pax to AKL, and why would they take on additional work to manage you bag to the UA flight?
It's not just additional work they'd be taking on, but additional liability as well. If NZ agreed to through-check to UA and UA subsequently lost the bag, NZ as the check-in carrier is liable for any costs incurred for things like bag tracing, customer reimbursement & compensation, and transporting the bag to its final destination. Even though it would be UA dealing directly with the customer, behind the scenes NZ would be the one paying for UA's mistake.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 5:46 pm
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Even with alliance partners on a single ticket you can have fun and games - their refusal to let me into their lounge even though I was flying NZ metal in J-class and I am gold elite but was flying on EY meant that I will never touch those options again. I've done it twice and had issues at every step of the trip. Neither side recognises the other side or is willing to apply the supposed benefits.

Go back to full IATA rules where everyone played with everyone
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by CHCflyer
Even with alliance partners on a single ticket you can have fun and games - their refusal to let me into their lounge even though I was flying NZ metal in J-class and I am gold elite but was flying on EY meant that I will never touch those options again. I've done it twice and had issues at every step of the trip. Neither side recognises the other side or is willing to apply the supposed benefits.

Go back to full IATA rules where everyone played with everyone
Ah yes. I think many can recall the complexity of the legal situation surrounding the lawyer at Nelson and her family’s access demands to the domestic lounge at Nelson whilst on an SQ issued ticket (that commenced with a SQ-codeshare sector NSN-AKL on NZ metal). And putting aside the ‘dramatic’ elements of the behaviour and ensuing legal action.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin
I may be mistaken, but I never knew interlining to be a Star Gold benefit and thought it to be a benefit of the Alliance in general.

Flying two tickets same day:
ZQN-CHC (NZ ticket)
CHC-SFO (UA ticket)

The agent flat refused, had a manager come over to tell me they can't see UA flights in their system even with my PNR, when I pressed; "if I was Star Alliance Gold you can", he shut down and directed me to the standard bag check.

I have 2.5 hrs in Auckland and free bags on all legs, just annoying to play these games.
AKL or CHC ?
Far easier in CHC as one small terminal.
At AKL is a 12 minute walk or bus ride between the domestic & international terminals
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 8:54 pm
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I do understand the liability point, and in the end it's all fine, this brain trust helped give me perspective. I assumed incorrectly this capability (to interline, especially within alliance) was a helpful benefit they could easily avail as a customer friendly option.

I didn't get the idea the front line staff in ZQN cared about the liability, but were more annoyed I would make such an abnormal ask (the agent I started with clearly had not heard of this request) and the manager dug in feet as not to inconvenience their team, and perhaps avoid risk.

Anecdotally in memory I once flew AUH-DUB-FRA-YVR on multiple tickets and this was no issue. (Granted I was in EY J to start)

In reality CHC today was beyond simple. Domestic bag collection with trolleys is 30 meters to the United check-in. Lost maybe 20min waiting for collection, and had an hour+ in the lounge.

I'll keep this experience and your feedback in mind for future travels with 2 tickets. Ta.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by AMRivlin
I do understand the liability point, and in the end it's all fine, this brain trust helped give me perspective. I assumed incorrectly this capability (to interline, especially within alliance) was a helpful benefit they could easily avail as a customer friendly option.
I do agree with you 100%. A great airline like SQ would be happy to through check your bags onto any carrier that they have an interline with. At SIN they even used to give you a paper folder to put your bag tags and next boarding pass in.

UA has a published policy to through check bags on separate tickets as long as the next carrier is a *A member.

NZ happens to be one of those penny pinching companies unfortunately that would charge you for 0.5kg overweight, anything over 23kg, stuff like that.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Xiaotung
I do agree with you 100%. A great airline like SQ would be happy to through check your bags onto any carrier that they have an interline with. At SIN they even used to give you a paper folder to put your bag tags and next boarding pass in.

UA has a published policy to through check bags on separate tickets as long as the next carrier is a *A member.

NZ happens to be one of those penny pinching companies unfortunately that would charge you for 0.5kg overweight, anything over 23kg, stuff like that.

TG also is very amenable to checking through bags on separate tickets - at least in Thailand. Outstations with contracted staff much less so. Glad it was a smooth transition for the OP.
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Old Feb 26, 2024, 10:18 pm
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It also depends on the agent you get and the status you have with the airline. Travelling AKL-HKG in NZ J and onto EK (which is not part of Star Alliance) from HKG-BKK the agent at the premium check in AKL checked my bags through to BKK. She did that after seeing my onward ticket out of HKG and was happy to do it.
I learnt that this benefit is only offered to J pax and Elites as per this thread where I have posted my experience:

Through Checked Baggage - EK
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 7:29 am
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YMMV.
I am an NZE based in Wellington and often have separate tickets to AKL or CHC then onward in J. NZ will not interline outside of partners (Sq, CX, UA, but not AI) and then it’s hit and miss - maybe 50% of the time. It’s both a policy issue and a training issue. I,e they don’t officially do it, so newer staff are not trained.
QF does not interline on separate tickets, period.

Last edited by SqKiwi; Feb 27, 2024 at 2:53 pm
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Old Feb 27, 2024, 7:53 am
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Wrong. QF will interline to EK or Oneworld on one ticket.
  • Both your flights are booked on the same single booking and;
  • Your flights are all with Qantas, or Qantas and Emirates, or Qantas and oneworld airlines.
In fact, they will even interline to EK on separate tickets.

From their website.
  • QF/QF and QF/EK flights on separate tickets/booking - through check-in is eligible and boarding passes will be issued.
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