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

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

Old Sep 22, 2014, 1:09 pm
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ARCHIVE:Change to through-checking Oct 2014 (interlining) baggage on separate tickets

came out today:

Effective October 1, 2014, AA will no longer through check bags when the passenger presents separate tickets at the ticket counter except as noted below.

...Customers traveling on separate tickets will only be able to through check bags when the ticket is for travel on:

American Airlines and American Eagle
US Airways and US Express
oneworld partner airline

For all other carriers ticketed separately, bag will only be checked for the AA, US or oneworld partner flight. The customer will need to recheck their bags with the other carrier for the continuing travel.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Certainly not customer-friendly especially at international transfer points where the pax will have to claim bags, go through customs/immigration formalities, etc.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 4:04 pm
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Help me understand: Does this mean that bags WILL be through-checked if there is one PNR for AA, another for US?

If yes, I believe this is a smart business move; makes it more difficult for customers to fly competitors to save $$.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 4:05 pm
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One further exception should be made - non-OW codeshare flights, partners such as AS.
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Old Sep 22, 2014, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858
Help me understand: Does this mean that bags WILL be through-checked if there is one PNR for AA, another for US?

If yes, I believe this is a smart business move; makes it more difficult for customers to fly competitors to save $$.
All AA/US/OW connections will still be able to check through, even if on separate tix.

Keep in mind, if on a single ticket, no matter the make-up of the carriers, this new rule won't come into play-- only separate tickets for the journey.
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 1:16 pm
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I don't understand the incentives for making this change. Does it really save (a significant amount of) operating cost?
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by swy
I don't understand the incentives for making this change. Does it really save (a significant amount of) operating cost?
I've suspected that this sort of thing may be to minimize financial risk related to lost bags by other carriers.
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 2:41 pm
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I recall the reason was to avoid DOT fines when the baggage fee rules were updated in 2011. Something about it was too hard to apply the rules properly with separate tickets?
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 3:39 pm
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Smart Moves

Originally Posted by diver858
Help me understand: Does this mean that bags WILL be through-checked if there is one PNR for AA, another for US?

If yes, I believe this is a smart business move; makes it more difficult for customers to fly competitors to save $$.
I don't see how this is smart - how is it easier for AA to deliver bags to a carousel than to another plane on the ramp? Most passengers don't understand alliances, and parsing rules like that just make people irritated at the original carrier, making it far LESS likely they would choose that airline in the future, regardless of who's responsibility it was.

Often counter agents don't know how to thru check in the system - I suspect you could convince some agents in the future even if it's not official policy as a result.
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by beyond
I don't see how this is smart - how is it easier for AA to deliver bags to a carousel than to another plane on the ramp? Most passengers don't understand alliances, and parsing rules like that just make people irritated at the original carrier, making it far LESS likely they would choose that airline in the future, regardless of who's responsibility it was.

Often counter agents don't know how to thru check in the system - I suspect you could convince some agents in the future even if it's not official policy as a result.
Keep in mind this is ONLY for flights not on the same itinerary. Which makes sense - if you choose to split up your flights onto separate trips why should AA take the liability of ensuring that your bag makes it to another destination. They never agreed to get it anywhere past your final destination on the PNR they see.

AND - if they are separate tickets on a OW or other partner, they still get checked through. I don't see how this is going to affect that many people.
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CDKing
I recall the reason was to avoid DOT fines when the baggage fee rules were updated in 2011. Something about it was too hard to apply the rules properly with separate tickets?
I may recall that as a rationalization offered by Alaska Airlines. It's total BS because the DOT's single-allowance rule doesn't apply across multiple tickets.

Does Section 399.87 apply to multiple-ticket itineraries in which there is not a single PNR?

In the case of a passenger itinerary composed of more than one ticket, the rule does not require a downline carrier to apply the baggage allowances or fees of the first carrier if the flight of the first carrier is on a separate ticket from the other flights.


http://airconsumer.dot.gov/rules/EAPP_2_FAQ.pdf
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 4:23 pm
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We have been dealing with similar from Qantas for several years - such policy was introduced after the Iceland volcano and the apparent compensation costs for thousands of pieces of lost/delayed luggage.

I have seen conjecture that it's only *O / Partner agreements that prevented such a policy reduction from going further.

FWIW. Air New Zealand has a policy of not through checking luggage on any separate tickets, even NZ -> NZ ...
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by diver858
Help me understand: Does this mean that bags WILL be through-checked if there is one PNR for AA, another for US?

If yes, I believe this is a smart business move; makes it more difficult for customers to fly competitors to save $$.
But most flights on AA's non-OW partners aren't competition, they're complimentary. And AA elites get perks on AS when flying even without booking a codeshare. So I'm suprised that AS (and some other "close" non-OW partners) are not on the list above.

And isn't listing US separately superflous? I mean, isn't it a OW partner?
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by CDKing
I recall the reason was to avoid DOT fines when the baggage fee rules were updated in 2011. Something about it was too hard to apply the rules properly with separate tickets?
There are no rule to apply across separate tickets. Each separate itinerary has it's own baggage allowance.

The problem, I think, is checking bags thru is a no-win for AA. If AA checks the bags thru and the second itinerary allowance has a baggage fee, what ends up happening is AA are either prevents the OA from charging the fee it is entitled to OR help cause a customer service issue by setting incorrect expectation than no baggage fee will be charged by OA which will not be met when OA decides to page passenger at the gate and demand baggage fee paid or bags get offloaded.

AA is just better off doing what it was contracted to do and that is check bags to destination as listed in first itinerary. Going above and beyond only yields intangible benefit of convenience for passenger at the risk of souring relationship with OA or sourcing relationship with passenger.
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Old Sep 23, 2014, 8:12 pm
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Does Southwest connect bags thru to other carriers? I guess I am trying to see where it would not be possible to purchase two different flights on a particular ticket stock, hence forcing two separate tickets.

I can see that this may drive people to purchase tickets thru OTAs if pricing on a particular airline's website cannot correctly price the second flight on a different airline on one ticket.

Plus if the flights are on one PNR but ticketed separately then that may also pose a problem.

Also what about non-OW but AA codeshares (but booked on non-codeshare portion)?

I do hope that AS (and the rest of the non-OW AA codeshares) will be allowed.
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