Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan
Reload this Page >

No Baggage Drop Until 4 Hours Before Departure?

No Baggage Drop Until 4 Hours Before Departure?

Old Feb 6, 2023, 6:56 pm
  #1  
formerly Sleepy_Sentry
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 611
No Baggage Drop Until 4 Hours Before Departure?

I just tried to check a bag at SEA 5 hours before departure to EWR through the F check-in desk and was told no baggage would be accepted until 4 hours before departure. I explained that other airlines will always take baggage if the desk is staffed and was curtly told, Well thats other airlines.

Is this standard practice at other US airlines? Why wont Alaska take my bag, especially if the agents are standing around doing nothing? I have never seen this before and am genuinely baffled.

Its not like I am trying to check a bag 12 hours before departure at Prudhoe Bay. Ive never seen this from a OneWorld airline or any other airline.
danielflyer is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 8:40 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,122
AA has a four hour maximum at SEA and many other airports too.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...e=arrivaltimes

UA has this to say: For flights within the U.S., as well as most international flights, baggage will generally not be accepted for check-in more than four hours before a scheduled flight departure, although this policy varies by airport and daily check-in counter hours

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly/travel/airport/process.html#:~:text=For%20flights%20within%20the% 20U.S.%2C%20as%20well%20as%20most%20international, daily%20check%2Din%20counter%20hours.

Last edited by Aliquot; Feb 6, 2023 at 8:47 pm
Aliquot is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 8:46 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, AS 75k, AA Plat, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, Hyatt Explorer, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 16,390
Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry
I just tried to check a bag at SEA 5 hours before departure to EWR through the F check-in desk and was told no baggage would be accepted until 4 hours before departure. I explained that other airlines will always take baggage if the desk is staffed and was curtly told, Well thats other airlines.

Is this standard practice at other US airlines? Why wont Alaska take my bag, especially if the agents are standing around doing nothing? I have never seen this before and am genuinely baffled.

Its not like I am trying to check a bag 12 hours before departure at Prudhoe Bay. Ive never seen this from a OneWorld airline or any other airline.
Presumably they have limited space to store bags for future flights. Four hours isnt uncommon.

https://community.southwest.com/t5/K...ge/ta-p/100144

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...mum-reqd-times
ACBLtd likes this.
notquiteaff is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 8:47 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Programs: Alaska Mileage Plan - MVP Gold
Posts: 183
Yes, definitely standard practice. At an outstation where an airline only has a small number of flights a day the check-in desk is likely not even staffed outside those times.

Anyway, AA already mentioned above, here's united too

For flights within the U.S., as well as most international flights, baggage will generally not be accepted for check-in more than four hours before a scheduled flight departure, although this policy varies by airport and daily check-in counter hours. United has the right to cancel reservations, deny boarding and refuse the acceptance of checked baggage of any customer who does not meet the applicable check-in time limits, as noted above.
https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...t/process.html

I can't find a first hand link for Delta, but seatguru also reporting as 4 https://seatguru.com/airlines/Delta_Airlines/checkin.php

JetBlue is six
https://www.jetblue.com/help/checking-bags-at-kiosk

Last edited by remyjette; Feb 6, 2023 at 8:54 pm
remyjette is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 9:19 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SEA (the REAL Washington); occasionally in the other Washington (DCA area)
Programs: DL PM 1.57MM; AS MVPG 100K
Posts: 21,247
a few years ago, traveling SEA-SAN-BWI on a 545pm departure, we tried to drop bags ~noon and were told the same thing

I asked the agent if I could check the bags through if I SDCd to the 3pm flight, and the answer was “Yes” … a few minutes later I called in and asked the phone agent to undo the check-in and SDC me back to the original flight

to this day I’m not sure how the system actually hiccuped, but SAN-BWI credited twice
beckoa and ACBLtd like this.
jrl767 is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 10:27 pm
  #6  
formerly Sleepy_Sentry
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 611
Originally Posted by Aliquot
AA has a four hour maximum at SEA and many other airports too.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...e=arrivaltimes

UA has this to say: For flights within the U.S., as well as most international flights, baggage will generally not be accepted for check-in more than four hours before a scheduled flight departure, although this policy varies by airport and daily check-in counter hours

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...ounter%20hours.
Originally Posted by notquiteaff
Presumably they have limited space to store bags for future flights. Four hours isnt uncommon.

https://community.southwest.com/t5/K...ge/ta-p/100144

https://www.united.com/ual/en/us/fly...mum-reqd-times
Good to know! I usually only check a bag internationally and never experienced this before. I assumed if the desk is staffed, checking generally isn't an issue. Airlines must be more lenient with international itineraries.
danielflyer is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 10:27 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: SEA & LMT
Programs: AS100K, AS Lounge+, Marriott Plat, SBUXG, GE, Costco Exec, Amazon Prime, Nat Parks Yearly Pass
Posts: 271
The four hour rule caught me by surprise last month at SEA. I needed to check my bag with large liquids inside and planned to work for several hours in the Lounge. The F checkin agent said I needed to wait about 10 minutes until I could check my bag… but that worked out to four hours before the boarding time. I stood off to the side and after about 10-15 minutes, the same agent called me over and said it was fine to check my bag. As soon as she scanned my boarding pass, there was a problem. It was still outside the four hour flight time, but she did override it and checked my bag. So it’s definitely possible, but YMMV.
the42ndstate is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 11:26 pm
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Ti, LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 56,105
Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry
Airlines must be more lenient with international itineraries.
No, they're not.

UA, AA, etc. have no exception for international itineraries. It shouldn't be surprising that airlines are not interested in providing free baggage storage. Not only do stored bags take up valuable space, the longer they hold a bag, the greater the likelihood the bag will get lost or pilfered, resulting in an unhappy passenger and monetary liability.
irishguy28 likes this.
Kacee is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 12:01 am
  #9  
formerly Sleepy_Sentry
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 611
Originally Posted by Kacee
No, they're not.

UA, AA, etc. have no exception for international itineraries. It shouldn't be surprising that airlines are not interested in providing free baggage storage. Not only do stored bags take up valuable space, the longer they hold a bag, the greater the likelihood the bag will get lost or pilfered, resulting in an unhappy passenger and monetary liability.
Ive never run into this issue at international hubs. It seems like very poor customer service.

Some European airlines will even take a bag overnight before check-in to reduce crowding the next morning.
danielflyer is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 12:03 am
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Over the Bay Bridge, CA
Programs: Jumbo mas
Posts: 38,354
Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry
Do you have any evidence of this? Ive never run into this issue at international hubs. It seems like very poor customer service.
I recently had LATAM refuse my bag around noontime for a night flight (arriving from another airline) - SCL Premium counter flying up front.
Eastbay1K is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 12:05 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: ANC
Programs: AS MVP, Club 49, Global Entry, National Emerald Club, Hilton Silver
Posts: 1,379
Originally Posted by Kacee
No, they're not.

UA, AA, etc. have no exception for international itineraries. It shouldn't be surprising that airlines are not interested in providing free baggage storage. Not only do stored bags take up valuable space, the longer they hold a bag, the greater the likelihood the bag will get lost or pilfered, resulting in an unhappy passenger and monetary liability.
In Hong Kong on CX I got to drop my bag off way early, I didnt even have to bring it to the airport, it was awesome. They have a bag drop off building in the city, and somehow the bag makes it to the airport and onto the plane. They accept bags up to a day before the flight.
Visconti and beckoa like this.
AKLifetimeFlyer is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 6:14 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: CA > SEA > Northeast Corridor
Programs: Elite: Alaska, Hilton; Formerly Southwest, United, and Uber (LOL)
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by jrl767
a few years ago, traveling SEA-SAN-BWI on a 545pm departure, we tried to drop bags ~noon and were told the same thing

I asked the agent if I could check the bags through if I SDCd to the 3pm flight, and the answer was Yes a few minutes later I called in and asked the phone agent to undo the check-in and SDC me back to the original flight

to this day Im not sure how the system actually hiccuped, but SAN-BWI credited twice
Lucky you for getting a transcon credited twice!
I can confirm this also works with AA. I SDCd to a later flight at the counter and my bags were still checked. Though it is possible that the agent took the bags first, knowing Id be just outside four hours, and then changed my flight after accepting them.

Last edited by EastCoastAS; Feb 7, 2023 at 6:56 am
EastCoastAS is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 6:49 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: CA > SEA > Northeast Corridor
Programs: Elite: Alaska, Hilton; Formerly Southwest, United, and Uber (LOL)
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by the42ndstate
The four hour rule caught me by surprise last month at SEA. I needed to check my bag with large liquids inside and planned to work for several hours in the Lounge. The F checkin agent said I needed to wait about 10 minutes until I could check my bag but that worked out to four hours before the boarding time. I stood off to the side and after about 10-15 minutes, the same agent called me over and said it was fine to check my bag. As soon as she scanned my boarding pass, there was a problem. It was still outside the four hour flight time, but she did override it and checked my bag. So its definitely possible, but YMMV.
I have also had the experience of an agent overriding an alert on their end. I arrived with a group heading off to different destinations and it was clear I wasnt just trying to stick them with a bag. Im not sure how close I actually was to the four hours, but Im guessing that they need to reconcile 4 hours somehow and, similarly, including the boarding time wouldve made sure to meet that number (I definitely wasnt at the counter 4:40 early). While my itinerary/circumstances allowed for some sort of override, one I wasnt going to question, I wouldnt ever rely on that (not that I usually arrive more than an hour before departure anyway)
EastCoastAS is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 10:56 am
  #14  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: PHX
Programs: AS 75K; UA 1MM; Hyatt Globalist; Marriott Ti, LTP; Hilton Diamond (Aspire)
Posts: 56,105
Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry
Ive never run into this issue at international hubs. It seems like very poor customer service.
To repeat, UA, AA, etc. have no exception for international itineraries. Carriers in other countries may have other rules, but we are talking here about an experience with a US carrier. The expectation that they would take your bag at any time the check-in desk is staffed was neither consistent with the published rules nor realistic.
Kacee is offline  
Old Feb 7, 2023, 12:08 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwest
Programs: UA Gold 1MM, AS 75k, AA Plat, Bonvoyed Gold, Honors Dia, Hyatt Explorer, IHG Plat, ...
Posts: 16,390
Originally Posted by Sleepy_Sentry
I’ve never run into this issue at international hubs. It seems like very poor customer service.

Some European airlines will even take a bag overnight before check-in to reduce crowding the next morning.
Different airlines, different rules and business models. Did you tell those airlines that it was very poor customer service to not upgrade elites into open EuroBusiness seats? And that 8kg carry-on limits are very poor customer service when your empty rollaboard already 7 lbs?

If you want to fly an airline that does everything to your preferred rules, you may have to start one
notquiteaff is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.