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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 May 25, 2022, 7:37 am
  #346  
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Posts: 14,851
Yes it's actually a risk that it will be measured. Also, even though you say weight is usually not an issue, the larger the suitcase, the more likely it will become an issue. Basically I wouldn't buy a bag that is outside of limits (either weight or size) even before you start putting anything in it.
wrp96 is offline  
Old May 25, 2022, 8:18 am
  #347  
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Try Twitter AA to make the change. Not sure if Finnair or Royal Jordanian website still let you manage other airline Amadeus (eg BA) bookings to change FFP.
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Old May 25, 2022, 10:52 am
  #348  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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Posts: 2,539
I was able to change the FFP on an AS ticketed AA operated award using the AA kiosk. This doesn't leave much time for error and was also several years ago. I would try Twitter and a call if you can time hours to avoid a long wait.
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Old May 25, 2022, 11:13 am
  #349  
 
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You should be able to change it on the RJ website using the BA booking reference. I believe this function no longer works on Finnair's.
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Old May 25, 2022, 11:55 am
  #350  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Posts: 228
I recently booked two BA flights using Avios but wanted to add my AA number. I used the RAM site to pull up each booking using the booking reference and remove my BAEC number. Subsequently I was then able to go into each booking within my BA account and add my AA number. I would see whether you can do something like this.

(Previously I had done this manoeuvre on EY but couldn't get it to work there, nor on RJ.)
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Old Jun 2, 2022, 3:09 am
  #351  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: GLA
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Posts: 321
Apologies if this falls into the "maybe" category.

I note that AA's carry on limit is stated as 56 x 36 x 23. My Samsonite is 54 x 40 x 20. Am I likely to run into trouble? I have a couple of really short connections plus the UK's current airport challenges mean I would really like to travel HBO.

Thanks
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Old Jun 3, 2022, 4:57 am
  #352  
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Originally Posted by TheChangingMan
Apologies if this falls into the "maybe" category.

I note that AA's carry on limit is stated as 56 x 36 x 23. My Samsonite is 54 x 40 x 20. Am I likely to run into trouble? I have a couple of really short connections plus the UK's current airport challenges mean I would really like to travel HBO.

Thanks
I'd say it's doubtful you'd have any issues although as with any kind of question like this it ultimately comes down to the GA.
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Old Jun 3, 2022, 11:26 am
  #353  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by TheChangingMan
Apologies if this falls into the "maybe" category.

I note that AA's carry on limit is stated as 56 x 36 x 23. My Samsonite is 54 x 40 x 20. Am I likely to run into trouble? I have a couple of really short connections plus the UK's current airport challenges mean I would really like to travel HBO.

Thanks
There is a possible risk that you are on one of the aircraft with the luggage racks designed to take bags with the 36 dimension vertical and your bag won't fit that way.
MADPhil is offline  
Old Jul 27, 2022, 4:54 pm
  #354  
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Having a hard time finding the answer to this. When traveling to SAP (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) during the embargo period (May 28, 2022 – August 22, 2022 - Oversize, overweight and excess bag limitations apply for select cities. You can only check 2 bags to these destinations: Comayagua, Honduras (XPL),Roatan, Honduras (RTB), San Pedro Sula, Honduras (SAP), San Salvador, El Salvador (SAL)) Will I be limited to 2 checked bags as a OW Emerald (AS 75K)? I have confirmed with the twitter team that OW Emerald does get their 3 bag allowance, and is not subject to the 2 bag limit; however, I really wish they would publish that clearly on their website. They were willing to notate my PNR when I requested. With the notation and the twitter conversation, I feel pretty good that I'd be able to negotiate any potential trouble at checkin. However, anyone with boots on the ground experience that can confirm?

Second question - I have a 13.5 hour overnight layover in DFW prior to proceeding to MIA and SAP the following day. It sounds like generally bags are not checked through on connections >12 hours, correct? The verbiage above indicates that it is allowed on "international" itineraries. Will SAP be considered international for this purpose (I hope so, though it falls more under domestic for upgrade purposes)? Again, any boots on the ground experience would be appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 3:59 pm
  #355  
 
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Hello, I am traveling in a few weeks DFW-DOH via AA on a one-way award ticket and connecting to QR from DOH-SYZ on a paid one-way ticket a few hours later. When checking in at DFW what would be my best option to process luggage through to final destination as these are both Oneworld alliance members? Also, would I have QR lounge access in DOH since my flight segment from JFK-DOH is in J?

Thank you
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 4:42 pm
  #356  
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Originally Posted by donb25
Hello, I am traveling in a few weeks DFW-DOH via AA on a one-way award ticket and connecting to QR from DOH-SYZ on a paid one-way ticket a few hours later. When checking in at DFW what would be my best option to process luggage through to final destination as these are both Oneworld alliance members? Also, would I have QR lounge access in DOH since my flight segment from JFK-DOH is in J?

Thank you
I think AAs policy is not to check bags through on to separate tickets, although there is a suggestion they may do if a reward
Bag interlining issues and OW policy changes (Combined threads)

basically you need to plan on the basis they wont check through and you would therefore need to go landside at DOH

what class is your DOH-SYZ flight and what oneworld status do you have? Oneworld rules say you should have access to a J lounge based on the inbound sector when connecting to a short haul flight.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 6:58 pm
  #357  
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Originally Posted by KARFA
what class is your DOH-SYZ flight and what oneworld status do you have? Oneworld rules say you should have access to a J lounge based on the inbound sector when connecting to a short haul flight.
Except that he is not connecting - he has a separate unconnected booking - It would seem that , unless travelling in business or 1st class, that there would be no lounge entitlement and any access would be reliant upon goodwill

With appropriate OW status, then indeed would have access to lounges that are avauilable basef on Status

As far as luggage goes, indeed, he will need to clear immigration, collect baggage and then go to the QR check in

I would suggest keep checking for award availability for DOH-SYZ and see whether availability opens up - if it does then there would be no additional mileage cost and would ensure that baggage can be checked through and that there is lounge access by virtue of the AA flight
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 7:08 pm
  #358  
 
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Okay, that is a big pain. Looks like I need to look at a plan B.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 11:13 pm
  #359  
 
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Originally Posted by donb25
Hello, I am traveling in a few weeks DFW-DOH via AA on a one-way award ticket and connecting to QR from DOH-SYZ on a paid one-way ticket a few hours later. When checking in at DFW what would be my best option to process luggage through to final destination as these are both Oneworld alliance members? Also, would I have QR lounge access in DOH since my flight segment from JFK-DOH is in J?

Thank you
Based on my experience, zero chance AA checks your bags through on separate tickets.
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Old Aug 7, 2022, 11:56 pm
  #360  
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Originally Posted by donb25
Okay, that is a big pain. Looks like I need to look at a plan B.
Obvuous options
Check for availability on QR from USA-DOH since it may well check the bags through
Change award ticket to include both flights if there is availability
Change the flight from DOH to the next day and just have a day in Doha - no need to worry
check the penalties on the flight from DOH and determine what the cost would be should the AA flight be delayed - make sure to make changes before you leave the USA since QR often has high no-show penalties ; just simply accept the risk
cancel existing award booking and purchase a ticket on QR
travel withour checked baggage

Personally , with 2 separate tickets, I would change the onward flight to the next day , have a (close to) risk free journey and enjoy a day in Qatar
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