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

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

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Old Feb 22, 20, 4:35 am   -   Wikipost
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How much am I allowed?

Can I check it through?

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:
  • American Airlines and American Eagle
  • oneworld airlines and affiliates
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 Alaska 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 AS 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 AS.
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
  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
  • 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
  • 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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Old Dec 25, 19, 3:18 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: ACC
Programs: AAdvantage, MIleagePlus, Skywards
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
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 can’t 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, 19, 10:03 pm
  #107  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Silver
Posts: 3,506
Originally Posted by aragno View Post
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 can’t 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, 20, 10:30 am
  #108  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 37
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, 20, 10:33 am
  #109  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
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Posts: 62,265
Originally Posted by OKImready View Post
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, you’ll 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, 20, 10:38 am
  #110  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 37
Thanks....
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Old Feb 8, 20, 10:41 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Posts: 792
TATL luggage fees

I'm a MM with AA. Looking at buying two TALT tickets on AA but for flights operated by BA. The tickets will be on AA stock. Both tickets will be booked at the same time under the same PNR number.

My question is how luggage fees will apply. As an AA Gold (One World Ruby) member am I entitled to two free checked bags (ie, one bag per traveller on the same PNR). Or, just one free checked bag for myself. The person I will be traveling with has no status. Or, as the flight is operated by BA do their baggage policies apply, in which case I understand we're allowed one bag each.
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Old Feb 8, 20, 12:09 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: May 2015
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The baggage allowance would be on your ticket receipt. Usually baggage allowance is based on marketing carrier, and seating policy is based on operating carrier for the TATL JV
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Old Feb 12, 20, 9:22 am
  #113  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Posts: 5,686
Need some quick advice. on AA 50 landing at LHR at 9:20 AM with a checked bag. Am looking to book a separate BA ticket LHR-DUB at 12:00. My understanding is AA will not through check my bag

Thoughts on this? Cutting it too close to claim bags, go from T3 to T5 and check in?
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Old Feb 13, 20, 7:24 am
  #114  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
Need some quick advice. on AA 50 landing at LHR at 9:20 AM with a checked bag. Am looking to book a separate BA ticket LHR-DUB at 12:00. My understanding is AA will not through check my bag

Thoughts on this? Cutting it too close to claim bags, go from T3 to T5 and check in?
Update - just did this and had no issues. Had time to get my bag, have a coffee at the AA Arrivals lounge and shower then take the train to T5 and relax in the Galleries First lounge for 45 mins.
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Old Feb 22, 20, 8:02 am
  #115  
 
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AA Platinum Baggage Benefits, Basic Economy Ticket, FinnAir Metal

I'm AA Platinum. Contemplating buying a Basic economy RT ticket from the US to HEL.
Outbound I have a AA connector flight to ORD, and then am on AY metal to HEL.
Return, I start with AY metal to ORD, then my connector flight back home.

As AA Platinum I get two free checked bags on AA and I believe it remains true for basic economy flights.

I'm trying to figure out what my baggage allowance will be when I check in with FinnAir for my return flight. I could see it as either 1 or 2 bags.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 22, 20, 12:34 pm
  #116  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
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Posts: 62,265
Your checked baggage allowance stated on the ticket would guide your allowance. For the return, checking in with AY:

Otherwise, AY says:

Economy Light, Flights to/from North America** 0 PC

Finnair Plus Gold, Platinum and Platinum Lumo members and oneworld Emerald and Sapphire members can take one additional bag on one world marketed flights operated by Finnair.
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