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FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance, Through-check on AA & Other Airlines

Old Jun 10, 2015, 2:33 pm
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Last edit by: Prospero
How much am I allowed?

Can I check it through?

Im on award travel...

How long can my connection be to through check? Etc.


Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016.

Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

Code:
Through Checked Baggage Policy (AA, 1 Sep 2016)

To align American Airlines (AA) with our oneworld partners
and to reduce baggage mishandlings, we will now only through
check customers and baggage when all the tickets are in the same PNR.

Through check-in will be honored between the following carriers only:
  • Code:
    American Airlines and American Eagle
  • Code:
    oneworld airlines and affiliates


Code:
What if I have separate tickets in the same PNR for itineraries
with American to a non-oneworld carrier?

Our policy on American to non-oneworld airline tickets has not changed.
We will not through check customers or bags even if the tickets are in
the same PNR.

What would be the bag charges if the customer holds separate tickets
in separate PNRs?

American will not through check a customers bag, regardless if it is
a oneworld carrier. The customer will need to collect their bag at
the final destination on the AA ticket. They will pay for the bag on the
second ticket when they recheck it. This may involve exiting the secure
area, then claiming and re-checking the bags. The Minimum Connecting
Time (MCT) will usually not be sufficient when the customer has separate
tickets issued for each airline.

International flights will usually require claiming bags, clearing
customs and rechecking bags on another carrier to be continued to
their next destination.

What will customers be charged if we can through check the bag?

The charges would depend on what tickets the customer holds in the same PNR.

Do JetBlue (B6) and our other codeshare/interline partners count as affiliate airlines?

No, the oneworld affiliate airlines are generally the regional partners
of the other oneworld carriers. If a customer held an B6 ticket and an
AA ticket in the same PNR we would not through check the bag. They
would need to reclaim then recheck their bag with B6.
EXCEPTION: "Customers traveling on separate tickets where one
segment is an award ticket and another has been purchased can
through-check bags. Travel must be on American or oneworld partners,
and not on partners outside the oneworld alliance (like Etihad or Air
Tahiti Nui). Tickets much be in the same reservation."
-Gary Leff, Boarding Area

Link to FT thread: Separate PNR: oneworld AA, protection, through baggage issues as of 2016

Q. Can I check my baggage through?

YES: Due to new rules instituted by oneworld in June, and by AA 1 September of 2016, baggage between the fifteen oneworld airlines on the same PNR are required be through-checked.

NO: However, if the trip is booked ticketed separately, or with non-one world partners, through checking by AA will not occur; baggage will have to be recovered at baggage carousels landside and rechecked at the next operating airline's counter (depending on your initial operating carrier's policies about through-checking on separate booking).

On U.S.A. domestic or regional travel, you will have to retrieve your baggage and re-check the following day if your stop is overnight, or recheck, if your connection is 12 hours or longer. On international travel with overnight connections under the same PNR, you often will be able to through check (as long as the new ticket conditions are met).

If you are flying AA and a non-oneworld partner on separate PNR / tickets, you will have to recover and recheck baggage, particularly on separate PNRs. If there is no interline agreement between the airlines (e.g. AA and Spirit, Southwest, etc.) you will certainly be required to do so.

See Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld no longer required

See Australian Business Traveller article. (Link)

Q. If I'm connecting using AA on a single PNR but have a stopover at my connecting airport, can I check through or recheck?

AA will generally not through check bags or allow you to recheck bags if your layover exceeds twelve hours.

Q. Which carrier's rules apply?

Note: Checked baggage allowances may vary by status, class of service, origin or/and destination, type of baggage. Some AA affiliated credit cards allow one free checked bag on domestic travel - some up to four or eight passengers on the same itinerary.

A. It depends. On separate PNRs AA will collect baggage fees due, and the other airlines will collect what is due under their baggage policies.

On through-checked baggage, USDOT regulations require the marketing carrier of the initial segment baggage rules apply to USA originating (or ending, iirc) flights. E.g. flying QF as an AA codeshare, or QF connecting from AA marketed by AA, AA rules would apply. These take precedent of IATA rules if travel begins (or ends) in the USA.

For IATA governed international itineraries, baggage rules of the Most Significant / Prevailing Carrier apply:

In compliance with the new baggage policy issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), free baggage allowance and extra baggage charges for tickets issued on or after 1 April 2011 which involve one or more flights provided by other airlines will be based on a new method. If your journey includes connecting flights with more than one airline, the baggage allowances and fees of the airline that operates the longer leg of the itinerary (MDC) will apply throughout the itinerary. For example, if you fly a transpacific leg with one carrier and a domestic leg with another, the baggage allowances and fees of the carrier that operated the transpacific leg would apply to the whole journey, regardless of which carrier issued the ticket. (Language from Cathay Pacific.)

The Most Significant Marketing Carrier (MSC) is:
  • For travel between IATA areas: The first carrier flying in between two of the IATA areas
  • For travel between IATA sub areas: The first carrier flying in between the sub areas
  • For travel within an IATA sub area: The first carrier crossing an international border


IATA divides Areas and sub-areas. For example:

Area: North America, Central and South America, Hawaii
Subareas:
  • Canada, Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America

Area: Europe, Middle East
Subareas:
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Africa


Area: Asia, Guam, Southwest Pacific
Subareas:
  1. Japan, Korea
  2. Southeast Asia
  3. South Asian Subcontinent / India
  4. Southwest Pacific
Q. Can I through check my baggage if I have an overnight stop?

That will probably depend on your first operating carrier. Some carriers have no problem with through checking bags if you're stopping overnight, e.g. Qatar Airways with an overnight in DOH, but AA uses a maximum of under 12 hours to determine whether you can through check or must recover bags on overnight stops. (However, ground agents may vary.)

Q. What are my AA and oneworld baggage allowances with [_______] status?

See here on aa.com for updates

A. Complimentary bags
In some cases, you won't have to pay the baggage fees for up to three 23 kg / 50 lb bags (32 kg / 70 lb some premium passengers). Find out if this applies to you. EXPs could have to three checked 32 kg / 70 lb bags.

1st checked bag is complimentary for:
  • Eligible AAdvantage Aviator and Citi / AAdvantage cardmembers (on domestic American Airlines operated flights)
  • AAdvantage Gold
  • oneworld Ruby
  • Alaska MVP members


1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Platinum
  • oneworld Sapphire members
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold (AS is a oneworld member now)
  • Confirmed Business Class customers*


2nd and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Confirmed First Class customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald, including Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K
  • Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders (1st - 5th bags free of charge)
  • Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel


Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald are allowed one more checked bag:

*See AA reducing some checked baggage allowance tickets pchs on / after 29 Mar 2016

Note: on through baggage: oneworld policy no longer entitles checking baggage through when using oneworld flights when connecting on separetily ticketed segments. Only AA and MH will still through-check baggage with separate PNRS.

Q. Do I have extended baggage allowance as AAdvantage Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald? (Yes, as of 1 Feb 2013

A. All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

See:Customer Planning Advisory
Subject . . . APS 13002 Extra bag for oneworld Emerald

Date . . . . . . Effective: February 1st, 2013
Issued . . . . .January 31st, 2013

Overview . . .Extra bag for oneworld Emerald
. . . . . . . . . . To improve the travel experience for our top tier customers
. . . . . . . . . . we are pleased to offer all oneworld Emerald members
. . . . . . . . . . one extra bag in addition to their free allowance.

Detail. . . . . All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage
. . . . . . . . . . Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

. . . . . . . . . . Emeralds will have the following allowance:
. . . . . . . . . . First/Business 4 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . Main Cabin 3 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . This applies to both international and domestic travel
. . . . . . . . . . on/after 1st February.

Processing . Please override the excess baggage mask using the OT
. . . . . . . . . . code using the explanation Emerald. Automation for this
. . . . . . . . . . change will be in place later in the year.

<redacted issuing personnel>

Reference . . .APS13002


Q. How many bags can I check?

A. Check up to 10 bags if your trip is:
  • Domestic
  • Transatlantic
  • Transpacific


Check up to 5 bags if youre traveling to / through / from:
  • Mexico / Caribbean / Central America*See footnote
  • South America*See footnote


*There are seasonal and year-round baggage embargoes and restrictions


Q. Can I "split" my allowance? E.g. can I split a 23 kg / 50 lb per bag allowance and check two bags weighing up to 23 kg / 50 lb together?

A. No. Per bag weight maxima or number of bags allowed can not be shared or split.

Q. What are my Overweight Baggage Charges?

A. aa.com: Oversize and overweight baggage

Were pleased to say that your bag can weigh up to 70lbs./32kgs at no extra cost if you are:
  • First Class
  • Business Class
  • Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald

If you are checking more than 3 bags charges will apply.*

Additionally:

Link to checked baggage policy

Link to oversized and overweight baggage policy AA has a "hard limit" of not accepting any baggage that exceeds 45 kg / 100 lb for check-in.


Q. Must I recover and re-check my bags arriving from another country?

A. If you are arriving in the U.S.A. from an international airport, it will depend:

1) If you check in at airports like AUH, DUB, YVR etc. where you process USCBP immigration and customs prior to boarding, your flight will arrive in the U.S. as a domestic flight. Your bag can be checked through (assuming other conditions mentioned above are met), you will be able to proceed to your next flight airside.

2) If you are otherwise arriving from an international airport, you will generally be required to pass USCBP immigration, recover your baggage at the indicated carousel and process through Customs. As you depart the Customs hall, you can re-check your baggage for your continuing flights prior to departing the airside part of arrivals. You will generally have to produce a valid boarding pass and pass through TSA Security to return airside to continue your travel.

3) DFW, MIA (only) in the USA allow through ("ITI") checking for certain passengers arriving internationally and departing on another international flight. This will result in an "ITI" (International to International) check with ITI sticker on your boarding pass, and baggage will not have to be collected and rechecked. ITI passengers may still be required to pass through immigration, exit through customs gate and pass back through security. See this FT thread.


Helpful resource links:

Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

AA: American Airlines a Checked baggage policy (includes infant assistive and medical devices, mobility devices, pets and specialty sports items).

See No More Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld

See Change to through-checking Oct 2014 (interlining) baggage on separate tickets

oneworld: oneworld Extra baggage allowance (status / class of service)

Please see FT: EXP / Emerald extended baggage / luggage allowance 1 FEB 2013 (master thread) if you are AA Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald.


Link to archived thread with older posts.

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FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance, Through-check on AA & Other Airlines

Old Dec 11, 2019, 2:47 pm
  #136  
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Posts: 14,865
Originally Posted by Blumie
Please excuse my jumping in; I'm sure this is answered elsewhere, but it's easier for me to ask in this thread.

For citi credit card holders, how does the free checked bag work? Is it automatic if you pay with the credit card? Do you need to show the credit card at check in? Can you utilize this benefit if you've paid with a different credit card?
All that is required to get the credit card baggage waiver is that you have the Citicard and that your AA number is attached to your reservation at least 7 days before travel. You don't have to have paid with the credit card or show it at check in.




What I suspect happened here is that the system incorrectly assigned the OP's status waiver to the receipt (not a credit card waiver). No matter why it happened though, she should've been charged the fee ($0.00) that was on the ticket receipt.
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 2:50 pm
  #137  
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Originally Posted by wrp96
All that is required to get the credit card baggage waiver is that you have the Citicard and that your AA number is attached to your reservation at least 7 days before travel. You don't have to have paid with the credit card or show it at check in.
Does that mean that my extra card holders (who now are entitled to lounge access) are not entitled to this benefit because their AA number is not tied to the card?
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 3:43 pm
  #138  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I believe that legally in the US, the fees for checked bags are required to be on the ticket receipt

With the receipt saying a fee of zero, I believe that the airline needs to charge that fee
Just to clarify, with or without?
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 3:49 pm
  #139  
 
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Originally Posted by Blumie
Does that mean that my extra card holders (who now are entitled to lounge access) are not entitled to this benefit because their AA number is not tied to the card?
That is correct, they would only get a free bag if they are flying on an itinerary with the primary card holder.
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Old Dec 11, 2019, 6:43 pm
  #140  
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Originally Posted by enpremiere
Just to clarify, with or without?
With the fee being $0.00 on the ticket receipt, that is what should be charged - i.e. 1st bag has no cost
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Old Dec 14, 2019, 2:38 pm
  #141  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Posts: 1,002
Originally Posted by siankaan1
I submitted it to Refunds, we'll see what they say.
To close the loop: AA Refunds refunded not only her first bag fee ($30) but also her second bag fee ($40). And it was prompt! So that's all a surprise, but no complaints.

My best guess on the $0 first bag fee is that earlier this year she had a Barclay's Aviator card (canceled last summer) and it's still in her account that she has it. I'd forgotten about it until ya'll mentioned that as a possibility.

Thanks to everyone who replied.
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Last edited by siankaan1; Dec 14, 2019 at 2:47 pm
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Old Dec 25, 2019, 1:34 pm
  #142  
 
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Executive Platinum (EP) Baggage Inheritance?

I have a reservation on AA, international, business class. We are 5 travelers on the same reservation. I am Executive Platinum. Will other travelers on my reservation inherit my baggage/luggage allowance?

It was this way previously.

if still the same, where can I find this on their website in case the agent argues with me?
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Old Dec 25, 2019, 3:04 pm
  #143  
 
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Originally Posted by aragno
I have a reservation on AA, international, business class. We are 5 travelers on the same reservation. I am Executive Platinum. Will other travelers on my reservation inherit my baggage/luggage allowance?

It was this way previously.

if still the same, where can I find this on their website in case the agent argues with me?
https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...s-benefits.jsp expand "Benefits at the airport" and it's under "Checked bag fee waived".
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Old Dec 25, 2019, 3:18 pm
  #144  
 
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Originally Posted by MADPhil
https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...s-benefits.jsp expand "Benefits at the airport" and it's under "Checked bag fee waived".
Hi MADPhil,

i read the section that says fees are waived in main cabin but no mention of inheriting status, etc. I remember the PDF I would access when hitting ExPlat level but I cant find the old emails.

Checked bag fee waived

The checked bag fees will be waived for all elite members and guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations) for travel in the Main Cabin on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or marketed by American or American Eagle.

The number of waived bag fees depends on your highest status level at time of ticketing or check-in. If your status level is:
  1. Higher at ticketing than at check-in, show your ticket receipt to the airport agent
  2. Lower at ticketing than at check-in, current benefits will automatically apply
Oversize or overweight bags may incur additional fees.
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Old Dec 25, 2019, 10:03 pm
  #145  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by aragno
Hi MADPhil,

i read the section that says fees are waived in main cabin but no mention of inheriting status, etc. I remember the PDF I would access when hitting ExPlat level but I cant find the old emails.

Checked bag fee waived

The checked bag fees will be waived for all elite members and guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations) for travel in the Main Cabin on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or marketed by American or American Eagle.

The number of waived bag fees depends on your highest status level at time of ticketing or check-in. If your status level is:
  1. Higher at ticketing than at check-in, show your ticket receipt to the airport agent
  2. Lower at ticketing than at check-in, current benefits will automatically apply
Oversize or overweight bags may incur additional fees.
I failed to notice the Main Cabin restriction for you and the other members of your party. I don't know whether this is a new rule but, like you, I thought that the benefit was extended in other cabins and elsewhere they do state that the person with status gets the benefit in each cabin: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...age-policy.jsp
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Old Jan 18, 2020, 10:30 am
  #146  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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will bags be checked though (to merge)

Hi flyer talkers... just a question on bags being checked thru to final destination.....I will be flying on an AA award flights on AA metal CLT to LAX, then from LAX to BNE on Qantas metal, all on the same "PNR"....Will my bags be checked all the way through or will I have to reclaim the bags at LAX and check in with Qantas?
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Old Jan 18, 2020, 10:33 am
  #147  
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Originally Posted by OKImready
Hi flyer talkers... just a question on bags being checked thru to final destination.....I will be flying on an AA award flights on AA metal CLT to LAX, then from LAX to BNE on Qantas metal, all on the same "PNR"....Will my bags be checked all the way through or will I have to reclaim the bags at LAX and check in with Qantas?
Your baggage will be through-checked to Brissie. On the return, youll have to collect baggage after immigration at LAX, process customs and turn it in at the recheck facility.

We will merge this into the existing thread soon. /Moderator
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Old Jan 18, 2020, 10:38 am
  #148  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Thanks....
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 12:32 am
  #149  
 
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oneworld Emerald AA baggage allowance on mixed class trip

I am one world emerald (BA GGL) flying CLT->DCA in domestic first (booking code I) then LGA->PIT in economy (booking code N) "Plane Type : ERD" on the same PNR. Almost unheard of for me, I will be checking luggage. I'd have booked the second leg in first but apparently there are no flights on that route with domestic first. I am finding the checked bag policy on AA's website confusing particularly with regard to the LGA->PIT leg. Does the highest booking class on the PNR/Ticket apply? Or is it per leg? When the website says "And when traveling to these destinations" does that mean you have to be of a status listed on the list immediate above AND travelling to one of the destinations, or does it mean "OR travelling to these destinations" (which would make more sense but is not what is written). Or to be more specific, how many bags can I check without charge on each leg?
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 1:00 am
  #150  
 
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Originally Posted by abligh
I am one world emerald (BA GGL) flying CLT->DCA in domestic first (booking code I) then LGA->PIT in economy (booking code N) "Plane Type : ERD" on the same PNR. Almost unheard of for me, I will be checking luggage. I'd have booked the second leg in first but apparently there are no flights on that route with domestic first. I am finding the checked bag policy on AA's website confusing particularly with regard to the LGA->PIT leg. Does the highest booking class on the PNR/Ticket apply? Or is it per leg? When the website says "And when traveling to these destinations" does that mean you have to be of a status listed on the list immediate above AND travelling to one of the destinations, or does it mean "OR travelling to these destinations" (which would make more sense but is not what is written). Or to be more specific, how many bags can I check without charge on each leg?
As an Emerald, you're allowed three bags. Look at this page under "1st, 2nd and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for...". That's really the end of what you need to know.

Your allowance excluding any elite allowances should be shown on the e-ticket.
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