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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 customer’s 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 you’re 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

We’re 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 Jun 24, 2021, 12:25 pm
  #271  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BMI
Programs: AA EXP, Delta, Amtrak, Hertz PC
Posts: 672
Originally Posted by Ipswich1984
We booked flights via BA to Orlando to fly in October, but all the flights are with American Airlines.

We are flying indirect Via Miami, so we are on AA39 from London to Miami then AA1695 to Orlando, we only have an 1 hour and 37 mins between flights.

We flew indirect previously on the same route but our first flight was BA.

As both flights are on American this time then would our bags be checked through?
You bags should be checked through. However, since you are flying in from London you will have to collect your bags to go through customs then recheck them in Miami (if they are checked through, you just drop them as you leave customs, if they are not checked through you would have to go to the AA check in counter). You will then have to re-clear security in Miami. 1:37 is really tight to do all of this. The minimum connection time in Miami for an international to a domestic flight is 1:35, so you are right at the minimum. I would see if you could get a later flight to Orlando.
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Old Jun 26, 2021, 6:42 am
  #272  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 159
Originally Posted by KBMIFlyer
You bags should be checked through. However, since you are flying in from London you will have to collect your bags to go through customs then recheck them in Miami (if they are checked through, you just drop them as you leave customs, if they are not checked through you would have to go to the AA check in counter). You will then have to re-clear security in Miami. 1:37 is really tight to do all of this. The minimum connection time in Miami for an international to a domestic flight is 1:35, so you are right at the minimum. I would see if you could get a later flight to Orlando.
Thanks for that, wasn’t aware that we were so close to the minimum connection time, couldn’t get through to BA by phone but have sent an email asking what our options are. I assume if we are delayed and miss the flight we would be moved to another flight later (if available?)
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Old Jun 26, 2021, 1:50 pm
  #273  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Hawaii & Texas
Programs: AA ExPlat / LT Plat / 3MM, Delta Plat, Bonvoy LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,109
Minimum connection time in PHX? On AA the entire trip but two different PNR's. HNL-PHX PHX-AUS so will have to retrieve bags, check in with bags, and go back through security.
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Old Jun 26, 2021, 1:52 pm
  #274  
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Posts: 14,186
Originally Posted by EXPLAT
Minimum connection time in PHX? On AA the entire trip but two different PNR's. HNL-PHX PHX-AUS so will have to retrieve bags, check in with bags, and go back through security.
There is no MCT set for seperate tickets but to be safe allow at least 1h30mins.

The MCT for transfers on the same ticket in PHX is 25 minutes.
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Old Jun 28, 2021, 11:13 am
  #275  
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Originally Posted by Ipswich1984
Thanks for that, wasn’t aware that we were so close to the minimum connection time, couldn’t get through to BA by phone but have sent an email asking what our options are. I assume if we are delayed and miss the flight we would be moved to another flight later (if available?)
Yes, if you miss the connection you will be accommodated on a later flight.
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Old Jul 8, 2021, 4:52 pm
  #276  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: DFW
Programs: Marriott (Titanium); National (Exec); Hilton (Gold)
Posts: 175
Trying to decipher baggage allowance rules and running into road blocks.

-I am Executive Plat. I get (3) 70lb checked bags. My companion traveling on same reservation gets the same.
-I book a reservation for us both, sold on one PNR, from AA.com.
-Flights are (all on single day):
1. (AA) DCA-DFW
2. (AA) DFW-HNL
3. (HA) HNL-LIH

Because I bought from AA and travel starts with AA, is my baggage allowance consistent with AA elite provisions for the HA flight?

I just don't want to get to HNL and then get nailed with some crazy baggage fee.
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Old Jul 25, 2021, 10:04 am
  #277  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Hawaii & Texas
Programs: AA ExPlat / LT Plat / 3MM, Delta Plat, Bonvoy LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,109
Originally Posted by XMS91
Trying to decipher baggage allowance rules and running into road blocks.

-I am Executive Plat. I get (3) 70lb checked bags. My companion traveling on same reservation gets the same.
-I book a reservation for us both, sold on one PNR, from AA.com.
-Flights are (all on single day):
1. (AA) DCA-DFW
2. (AA) DFW-HNL
3. (HA) HNL-LIH

Because I bought from AA and travel starts with AA, is my baggage allowance consistent with AA elite provisions for the HA flight?

I just don't want to get to HNL and then get nailed with some crazy baggage fee.
Your bags would get checked all the way through to LIH since it's one PNR. No bag fees at Hawaiian.
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Old Aug 7, 2021, 1:02 am
  #278  
Formerly known as billinaz
 
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Checked bag allowance

I can't find a definite answer on the AA website.

Has the domestic first class allowance changed? Is it still 2 bags with a 70 pound weight limit?
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Old Aug 7, 2021, 1:35 am
  #279  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Posts: 5,926
Originally Posted by SpaceCoastBill
Is it still 2 bags with a 70 pound weight limit?
Yes. Domestic first (not including 3-cabin F) is 2 complimentary bags (up to 70 lbs each) assuming the traveler doesn’t have EXP/PPro/OWE status. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...age-policy.jsp

-FlyerBeek
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Old Aug 8, 2021, 5:28 pm
  #280  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 15
which carrier rules apply? who do I pay to add bags?

Hi everyone,

I am flying w/ partner on a single PNR AA award ticket (coach)

It's
CID --> DFW --> DOH --> COK

CID--> DFW is American Airlines operated by Mesa Airlines as American Eagle
The rest of the flights are operated and run by Qatar

The baggage policy for the Qatar flight is 2 bags each.
The policy on the American flight would be 1 bag each (I do not have any status or cards etc)

I have two questions
1) will American give me the 2 bags each person for the first leg? (most significant carrier is definitely Qatar)
2) I want to add a 3rd bag (for each passenger) -- Qatar allows you to save money and do it earlier online. But... would American honor that? Would they even see it in their system? How will this work?

thanks a lot ahead of time.
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Old Aug 9, 2021, 8:15 am
  #281  
VFR
 
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Posts: 2,093
Originally Posted by Trevix
Hi everyone,

I am flying w/ partner on a single PNR AA award ticket (coach)

It's
CID --> DFW --> DOH --> COK

CID--> DFW is American Airlines operated by Mesa Airlines as American Eagle
The rest of the flights are operated and run by Qatar

The baggage policy for the Qatar flight is 2 bags each.
The policy on the American flight would be 1 bag each (I do not have any status or cards etc)

I have two questions
1) will American give me the 2 bags each person for the first leg? (most significant carrier is definitely Qatar)
2) I want to add a 3rd bag (for each passenger) -- Qatar allows you to save money and do it earlier online. But... would American honor that? Would they even see it in their system? How will this work?

thanks a lot ahead of time.
The receipt that was emailed to you should show a baggage allowance.

I could see it going either way. The First Marketing Carrier (FMC) rule means that AA would apply their own bag fee schedule for US-India when you check in in CID, which means one free bag. However, AA is free to apply the MSC's bag policy instead -- the law does not say which option they have to choose.

I have no idea whether AA would honor pre-paid bags to another carrier.
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Old Sep 29, 2021, 7:08 pm
  #282  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Seoul, Korea
Programs: Asiana Diamond, Marriott Plat/Gold
Posts: 171
I'm flying my return on my transpacific flight, and is it really just one checked bag in main cabin? I can carry on my other one, but would love to avoid it if I can. Also, I can't believe they raised the bag fee to $100 for the second bag on transpacific flights.
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Old Oct 9, 2021, 5:57 pm
  #283  
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: USA
Programs: American Airlines (Executive Platinum), Hyatt (Globalist), Hilton (Diamond), IHG (Diamond)
Posts: 2,987
When did EXP start getting three checked bags up to 70 pounds (instead of 50) regardless of cabin? Pre-Covid, I know I sweated upgrades clearing a few times when I knew my bag was over 50. Thanks.
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 4:02 pm
  #284  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 45
Aa/jl baggage allowance

I've gotten three different answers today regarding my luggage allowance. I am a platinum Pro( Emerald) flying business from STL-DFW-NRT-BKK. Phone agent told me 2 50# allowed. I asked her to confirm. She came back with 2 @ 70# and 1@50#.
I told them I did not think that was correct so I tried the AA chat. That person said 2 bags @ 50#. I really don't want to show up for checking and get turned away. What is the best way to confirm?
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 4:14 pm
  #285  
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Posts: 30,412
Originally Posted by dwsebert
I've gotten three different answers today regarding my luggage allowance. I am a platinum Pro( Emerald) flying business from STL-DFW-NRT-BKK. Phone agent told me 2 50# allowed. I asked her to confirm. She came back with 2 @ 70# and 1@50#.
I told them I did not think that was correct so I tried the AA chat. That person said 2 bags @ 50#. I really don't want to show up for checking and get turned away. What is the best way to confirm?
From aa.com:

"3-cabin First confirmed customers and AAdvantage® Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro and oneworld® Emerald members can check 3 bags up to 70 lbs / 32 kgs at no extra cost."
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