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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 Apr 10, 2021, 8:02 am
  #241  
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Correct, 3 bags as an Emerald. If your companion is on the same PNR then they should be allowed 3 bags as well. The fact that you made the booking with Avios doesn't matter.
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Old Apr 10, 2021, 8:54 am
  #242  
 
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wonderful, many thanks for the quick response.
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Old Apr 26, 2021, 11:09 am
  #243  
 
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Allowance on BA operated economy flight connecting to AA business

I am flying to the UK. I need to max out my luggage allowance on the way back. With the baggage, returning from MAN with a connection to LHR would be more convenient than getting to LHR. But I've been trying to figure out if as an Executive Platinum using a SWU I'd still get an allowance of 3x70 lb bags if the flight back originates in MAN. Have spend some time Googling and now my head hurts. Does anyone here know the answer?

The SWU only applies to AA operated flights, so the MAN-LHR legs would stay in economy. So I'd be checking in in MAN for a MAN-LHR flight operated by BA, sold by AA as an AA codeshare number in "main cabin" economy that connects to an AA business segment LHR-ORD.

I believe that AA rules apply both because the flight ends in the US and the transatlantic segment is the main one. I read that the BA policy is that the more generous allowance applies to both flights. But if the check in agent applies the AA rules would I get the same results?
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Old Apr 28, 2021, 7:16 am
  #244  
 
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Posts: 4,435
Intl F Class Bag Weight Limit

I just booked two first class award tickets SMF-LHR with a connection at LAX and LHR-PDX with an overnight connection at LAX. Normal weight limit for international F is 70#. I just printed my tickets and weight limit is shown on both as 50#. Any idea why?

Last edited by JIMCHI; Apr 28, 2021 at 7:25 am
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Old Apr 28, 2021, 8:23 am
  #245  
 
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This seems to be one of these long-persistent glitches in their IT they haven't bothered to fix in forever. Had the same thing happen to me several times as far back as 2012.
Check-In staff should be aware of the 70-pound rule for premium cabins and accept all bags up to 70 pounds with no questions, though.
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Old Apr 29, 2021, 4:59 am
  #246  
 
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Is domestic still 50 pound max for first class?
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Old Apr 29, 2021, 5:21 am
  #247  
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Originally Posted by ranran
Is domestic still 50 pound max for first class?
NO. "For all regions except " then it goes on to say First is 70 pounds. I do see anything saying domestic is something other than 70 for first/business.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...age-policy.jsp

Last edited by mvoight; Apr 29, 2021 at 5:31 am
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Old Apr 29, 2021, 7:07 am
  #248  
 
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I did contact AA and they said there was some glitch and I am allowed 70#. They did something to correct the problem in my reservations but I doubt they made a permanent fix.
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Old Apr 30, 2021, 9:14 am
  #249  
 
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Originally Posted by mvoight
Emeralds get 3 bags at up to 70 pounds each. Platinums get 2 bags of up to 50 pounds in economy
I would not take "read somewhere" as valid unless that somewhere was the baggage section of aa.com
Related q- I'm OW Emerald and my wife is OW Sapphire. We're travelling together, domestic, Main Cabin coach. Is our checked bag allowance 3 and 2 pieces respectively @ 50 lb each, or is it merely 50 lbs total for all checked luggage per each of us, or something else altogether? I've read through the checked bag policy and it just seems ambiguous/incomplete in spelling out OW benefits. In the "What Will It Cost" section it does address One World members but it tags on ...."And when travelling to these destinations" which are all international only, ie. it's silent on domestic itineraries unless I'm missing something. Yes it'd be a bit absurd to not have international privileges also apply to a domestic itinerary, but to your point if it's not written in the policy then it's left to interpretation- which is never great when you're at the airport and basically committed to sending whatever you show up with.
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Old Apr 30, 2021, 9:17 am
  #250  
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Originally Posted by commontraveller
Related q- I'm OW Emerald and my wife is OW Sapphire. We're travelling together, domestic, Main Cabin coach. Is our checked bag allowance 3 and 2 pieces respectively @ 50 lb each, or is it merely 50 lbs total for all checked luggage per each of us, or something else altogether? I've read through the checked bag policy and it just seems ambiguous/incomplete in spelling out OW benefits. In the "What Will It Cost" section it does address One World members but it tags on ...."And when travelling to these destinations" which are all international only, ie. it's silent on domestic itineraries unless I'm missing something. Yes it'd be a bit absurd to not have international privileges also apply to a domestic itinerary, but to your point if it's not written in the policy then it's left to interpretation- which is never great when you're at the airport and basically committed to sending whatever you show up with.
OW Emerald has 3x70lbs ( 3x32kgs ) baggage allowance on AA flights ( I could verify this ) and this baggage allowance would apply to everyone on the same reservation ( up to 9 people ). So if you and your wife are traveling on the same PNR, you would have 6x70lbs free baggage allowance.
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Old Apr 30, 2021, 9:31 am
  #251  
 
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Cheers ISTFlyer- appreciate that.
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Old May 13, 2021, 3:55 am
  #252  
 
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Baggage allowance for F/Y mixed ticket

Hello. I booked a web special, domestic, F ticket that includes one Y segment. I would think the fact that it was priced/booked as a F ticket confers the F baggage allowance of 2 free bags, regardless if there is a Y segment. However, according to the confirmation email, the Y segment has NO free bag at all, only the F segment has free bags. Is that correct or just a clumsy mistake? I thought somewhere in the booking or research process it said "if you have a mixed class ticket, the more strictive rules apply." However, I cannot find where I saw that, and anyway that's contrary to anything I've ever booked.

The email does say "Bag fees apply at each Check-in location. Additional allowances and/or discounts may apply." Does that mean if I check the bags through (there's only one 5hr layover), there should be no charge?
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Old May 13, 2021, 6:15 am
  #253  
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You will get the full F allowance even if one segment is in economy. Forget about whatever the email said.
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Old May 13, 2021, 9:21 am
  #254  
 
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In my experience, if any leg on a given day of travel has F, then you will get the F baggage benefits. However, if all the legs on a given day are in Y, then you will get the Y baggage benefits. For example, if one were to buy F on the outbound and Y on the return, they would get free bags on the outbound but have to pay on the return. At least, this has been my experience with weight limits where Y has a 50 lb weight limit and F has a 70 lb weight limit. What's not clear from OP's post is whether that one segment in Y is standalone or part of a connection where the other segment(s) are in F.
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Old May 25, 2021, 6:41 pm
  #255  
 
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AA through checks bags on two separating bookings (both AA operated/marketed)???

I just heard that AA does not through check bags even if both flights are operated/marketed by AA? is this true? I am considering booking HNL-PHX first class on 777 using BA avios, and then pay cash PHX-SNA in economy (my real destination is SNA and there is sufficient connection time in PHX cuz AA sells the same routing, just with much higher fare).

So AA won't check my bags from HNL to SNA even if both flights are operated by AA?
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