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Separate ticketing / PNR: AA, oneworld, through baggage issues > 2016

Separate ticketing / PNR: AA, oneworld, through baggage issues > 2016

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Old May 6, 19, 7:25 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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oneworld announces alliance airlines no longer required to honor missed connections or interline baggage for those on separate PNRs

NOTE: See AA Protection on separate oneworld tickets / PNR

Background:
Originally Posted by OAG

According to OAG’s most recent report, “Self-Connection: The Rise and Roadblocks of a Growing Travel Booking Strategy,” 40 percent of U.S. travellers are bypassing typical booking practices, such as through an airline, travel agency or OTA, and are beginning to self-connect when they travel.

Self-connecting passengers are defined as those that book separate tickets to fly from City A to City C, via City B.

Already popular in Europe, self-connecting is beginning to increase in popularity in the U.S. market as passengers look to save money. Passengers can mix and match airlines in order to score the best deal or connect through a city they would like to visit on the way to their final destination. But what are some of the roadblocks and challenges to successfully self-connect, and how can airlines or airports make this process easier?
oneworld airlines are not required to provide connecting passenger protection of through checked baggage to passengers on separate PNRs; individual airlines may still choose to do so, but it is not required. AA, BA, QF (9/2016) have modified their policies regarding connection protection and baggage through checking of passengers flying on separate PNRs. Read on. (Yes, it means on separate PNRs AA won't even through check on AA to AA - link to ODF.))

Qatar Airways / QR has verified as of 1 March 2017 they will interline baggage on separate PNRs. They must be the first airline (not one honoring the original oneworld policy) one checks in with, and the connection must meet MCT (usually two hours). See more in post quoted below, and link to Australian Business Traveller article. (26 Feb 2017)

MH / Malaysia Airlines STILL HONOR connection protection and through checking / interlining on separate PNRs.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon reversed their policy and through check baggage on separate PNRs as of 1 Jan 2017. See post #1.

JL / Japan Airlines began through checking to oneworld partners again in Oct 2016.

Qatar Airways will through check baggage to oneworld partners if it’s the trip origin airline.

See Wikipost for this thread in oneworld forum for the list of oneworld airlines and known through checking policies.

Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

As well, “if you book an award ticket and a paid ticket at the same time, there are mixed reports here of well trained agents being able to combine these into a single PNR at the time of booking, which enables bags to be through checked. But this takes a good agent, probably several HUCAs, and can only be done at the time of booking. “ - JJeffrey

Code:
Through Checked Baggage Policy (AA, 1 Sep 2016) (link to PDF)
 
 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 on separate PNRs (or to non-oneworld carriers) 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.
When issuing separate tickets it is important your customer be informed that American is unable to ‘through-check' bags with 2 separate tickets (PNRs) if they are traveling on American and non-oneworld carriers. This will result in an airport check-in representative collecting the required baggage fees based on each airline's established policies.

Please advise the customer to allow additional time to claim their baggage, present the required travel documents to enter the country, if relevant, and meet check-in requirements for the connecting flight. The Minimum Connecting Time (MCT) will usually not be sufficient when the customer has separate tickets issued for each airline.

Link

(One PNR can be comprised of several tickets - up to 16, if memory serves.)

Australian Business Traveller (in part): “Despite the two airlines' (AA and QF) joint venture across the Pacific, check-in staff are no longer obliged to tag your baggage through to your final destination from September 1 2016 if your flights are booked separately (separate ONRs) rather than under the one reservation.”

Instead, those bags will only be tagged as far as the destination shown on each individual booking – not where you’re actually headed at the end of the trip. Both Qantas and American Airlines have confirmed the new arrangements to Australian Business Traveller.
Those also announcing they will NOT HONOR connection protection and through checking / interlining on separate PNRs, even on oneworld airline partners. (AA still honors connection protection if your next flight is on AA.)

E.g. CX new policy in line with above:

"+ oneworld Ticketing and Disruption Policy 01 Jun 2016

Separate Ticket Policy - Revised Through Check in Handling

With effect from 01 Jun 2016, all oneworld carriers have agreed that through* check-in will apply ONLY to passengers travelling on an oneworld itinerary ticketed on a single ticket or where segments are ticketed separately but in the same PNR.

*=Through services are defined as the customer and their baggage being through checked to their final destinations.

To align with the change, disruption policy will also be revised to exclude protection for passengers holding separate tickets that is not booked under the same PNR."
NOTE: CX will still offer protection and baggage interlining between Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.

Oneworld (sic) communications chief Michael Blunt tells Australian Business Traveller that “individual member airlines are free to offer service above and beyond the (Oneworld) alliance minimum standard if they so choose, so some may continue to offer through check-in for customers travelling on separate bookings.”

"All our member airlines will be delighted to continue to check them and their baggage through to any of the 1,000 plus destinations on the alliance network, on multiple sectors,” Blunt says, “provided the itinerary is all on one booking so we are aware of where they and their baggage want to end up and we can plan accordingly and ensure the best possible customer service delivery throughout the journey.”

M. Blunt, as quoted in Australian Business Traveller
Gary Leff, View from the Wing, 16 Aug 2016: reached out to American and learned this new policy goes into effect September 1 although I’m not sure how they can retroactively apply it to tickets purchased before the new policy was implemented.

There’s one small saving grace. 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. Link
"
  • If you’re booked on two separate PNRs on oneworld carriers, you’ve previously been able to check your bags through to your final destination
  • If you’re booked on two separate tickets on oneworld carriers, you’ve been protected in the event of a misconnect or cancelation

As of June 1, 2016, the oneworld alliance has eliminated these benefits for passengers booked on separate tickets. Oneworld carriers no longer have to check your bags through to other oneworld carriers if booked on a separate ticket, and no longer have to protect you in the event of a misconnect when on separate tickets."

Link to full article in Boarding Area
"In a move which could cause connection chaos for many travellers, airlines belonging to the Oneworld (sic) alliance ... are no longer required to check passengers and their baggage through to their final destination on some connecting flights.

"The new scheme, which came into effect from June 1st (2016), impacts passengers whose journey involves flights on more than one airline where their travel encompasses more than one booking, rather than all flights being listed under a single booking reference. "

But, good news for those flying Qatar Airways:

Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Important change! Qatar Airways has announced they will no longer adhere to oneworld's draconian baggage transfer policy when flights are booked on separate PNRs.

As long as MCT / minimum connection times are met, QR will interline baggage on separate oneworld PNRs as of 1 March 2017.

Australian Business Traveller found the change in the QR ground services manual issued 23 Feb 2017, verified by a QR spokesperson.

NOTE: If one is beginning travel with a one world airline adhering to the oneworld policy and continuing on Qatar, one flying on separate PNRs is still going to have to collect baggage and recheck with QR.

E.g. SFO-LAX on AA, LAX-DOH-CMB on QR, two PNRs - the first sector on AA, remainder on QR, AA will not respect QR ground handling rules so one will have to recover baggage at LAX and transfer it to the QR checkin counter.

(Added to Wikipost 26 Feb 2017)

Link to full article on Australian Business Traveller
Link to update of Aus BT article with airline announcements of their positions

On FT: oneworld no longer interlining between separate tickets / PNRs?

On FT: BA no longer interlining baggage with separate tickets

On FT: CX will not interline to other oneworld airlines if travelling on separate PNRs

On FT: JAL will continue to interline to other oneworld carriers on separate PNRs (4 Oct 2016)

On FT: Qantas - no checking of luggage separate itineraries from 1 Sep (2016) [some exceptions]

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


Updated 26 Feb 2017 - JDiver
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Old Dec 26, 17, 3:02 pm
  #661  
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Originally Posted by Gildas View Post
I have a booking where I am on two tickets. Ticket 1 is XXX-ORD/ATL-XXX, in Y on AA. Ticket 2 is ORD-LHR-BLR-LHR-ATL in J on BA. ORD is thus a self-connection.

I made this booking via a travel agent. It's two tickets because it priced way better that way. I have an AA record locator and a BA record locator, which I know follow different formats. So far as I can tell, this is all one PNR. If I log in to AA.com I see all segments on both tickets. Likewise on BA.com. If I enter the AA record locator on BA.com it spits back the BA record locator etc.

Based on that, and my reading of the AA interline policy, my assumption is that I can check-in all the way to Bangalore at my point of origin. My flight to Chicago is really early, so I have a long wait ahead of me, and if I am correct then I also assume I would be able to use the AA Flagship Lounge before transiting to T5 when the BA lounge opens.

My question though, is "am I right?". Am I overlooking something here? Is the whole booking showing up on the websites separate from whether it shares a PNR, and if it is, how could I tell?
You are incorrect. You will need to collect and recheck your baggage at ORD due to the separate ticketing, as intended by both AA and BA.

As to lounge access, it’s not limited by terminal - though of course closer to boarding you’d be practically limited to the International terminal. Busses connect the terminals, but your problem will likely be the need to check baggage in with BA.
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Old Dec 26, 17, 6:48 pm
  #662  
 
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Thought if it was all on one PNR AA will through check.

Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
You are incorrect. You will need to collect and recheck your baggage at ORD due to the separate ticketing, as intended by both AA and BA.

As to lounge access, it’s not limited by terminal - though of course closer to boarding you’d be practically limited to the International terminal. Busses connect the terminals, but your problem will likely be the need to check baggage in with BA.
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Old Dec 29, 17, 8:20 pm
  #663  
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Originally Posted by Gildas View Post
Sorry if this is a silly question, but how do I tell if my two tickets are in the same PNR? I have a trip that consists of two open jaws, with the intersection between them being AA-BA. All the flights show up in both the BA and AA apps and websites when I log in, so I am assuming that means I am on one PNR and thus AA will interline?
No, I’d not assume that at all. If you have the same PNR for all Travel, the entire trip will show under the same PNR on AA and BA websites. If you must go to both websites to see your entitevtrip because AA and BA only show part of your trip, you must recheck.
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Old Dec 29, 17, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by chrisbris View Post
Hi - Thanks for the wiki and the great info in this thread

Just wondering if I can get a recent experience or up to date correct info on the AA missed connection protections policy.

Flying on separate tickets
Paid ($) First LAS-LAX on AA then a reward ticket QF LAX-SYD-BNE Business.
I am Qantas Platinum One Status.

My understanding is that
Bags will not be checked through, I will need to collect at LAX T4 and walk them to TBIT to check in for Qantas flight
but
that in the event of a delay LAS-LAX that AA will protect me due to it being a AA-->OW connection even though it is on separate tickets.

Your advice will be appreciated
I had that situation.Had a paid flight on AA STL - DFW with a 5 hour layover, then an award ticket on BA First DFW - LHR. AA flight was cancelled due to broken aircraft, and they could not get us on another flight until long after the DFW - LHR had left. Called BA several hours before the flight and was told "SOL" AND you have lost the miles, no amount of pleading worked. Went to Admirals Club, very sympathetic but no joy. After much pleading they called the "One World Liaison Desk" and were very surprised to find that AA would in fact offer protection. This was a surprise to the agents. They opened up award space for the same flight to LHR 24 hours later. So went to DFW arrived about midnight and travelled to LHR the next day. A satisfactory outcome. I think one of the keys was that the STL-DFW flight was cancelled due a technical fault and not weather. Anyway, if in the same situation ask AA to contact the "One World Liaison Desk" that was the breakthrough for me (but it did 3 hours to get it all sorted). As a side note make sure they protect all flights on your other ticket. BA cancelled my return flights and I had to get AA involved to get them reinstated.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 12:18 pm
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Intl-Intl AA-AA - Separate tickets and through-checking bags?

Hi,

I am flying LHR-LAX (AA), overnight, then LAX-PVR (AA), on separate tickets.

1. Can they tag my bags through to PVR from London? I understand I will have to claim and re-check after customs in LAX.

2. Can I re-check on arrival at LAX, the night before my LAX-PVR? This would be very helpful to save me dragging my bag to my hotel.

I am OneWorld Emerald if that helps.

Thanks.

Last edited by ba_cityflyer; Jan 1, 18 at 12:19 pm Reason: Typo
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Old Jan 1, 18, 1:54 pm
  #666  
 
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Originally Posted by ba_cityflyer View Post
Hi,

I am flying LHR-LAX (AA), overnight, then LAX-PVR (AA), on separate tickets.

1. Can they tag my bags through to PVR from London? I understand I will have to claim and re-check after customs in LAX.

2. Can I re-check on arrival at LAX, the night before my LAX-PVR? This would be very helpful to save me dragging my bag to my hotel.

I am OneWorld Emerald if that helps.

Thanks.
1) No. AA doesn't allow this on separate tickets
2) Highly doubtful. AA doesn't offer "early" checked luggage other than in HKG as far as I know.
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Old Jan 1, 18, 2:11 pm
  #667  
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And if the overnight connection exceeds twelve hours, AA would not normally check the bags through -- even on a single ticket!
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:42 am
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As a data point, called today to see if I could get connection protection for a MH flight connecting to an AA flight (separate bookings) and was told they are no longer allowed to provide this.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:55 am
  #669  
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Not to dwell on semantics, but on separate tickets you never had a connection in the first place.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 2:11 pm
  #670  
 
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Hello, i have an upcoming trip where:

- LAX - HKG - LAX on AA (award) and
- HKG - MNL- HKG on CX (award)

Both are separate PNR (award from AA and a separate award for the CX leg via Asia Miles).
I'm on AA Plat and should be in the baggage allowance for all legs.
I also have HK e-channel.

Questions:
(1) I believe the AA still follows their infamous no check through rules for separate PNR, correct? No way going around this?
(2) If that's the case, that means i have to collect bags at HKG and checkin at departure level with CX?
(3) My arrival at HKG with AA is at 7:30am and CX depart at 9:00am, I believe its with MCT?
(4) I also understand AA will have some form of protection/compensation if LAX-HKG is delayed or is this a wrong assumption?

(5) On my return flight, at MNL, i believe CX will through check baggage thru to LAX, no?
(6) Also once i arrive at HKG connecting to AA for LAX, and having my AA mobile boarding pass (or print one at manila before the cx flight) should get me to transit section correct?

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 15, 18, 4:20 pm
  #671  
 
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Originally Posted by cartman7110 View Post
Hello, i have an upcoming trip where:

- LAX - HKG - LAX on AA (award) and
- HKG - MNL- HKG on CX (award)

Both are separate PNR (award from AA and a separate award for the CX leg via Asia Miles).
I'm on AA Plat and should be in the baggage allowance for all legs.
I also have HK e-channel.

Questions:
(1) I believe the AA still follows their infamous no check through rules for separate PNR, correct? No way going around this?
(2) If that's the case, that means i have to collect bags at HKG and checkin at departure level with CX?
(3) My arrival at HKG with AA is at 7:30am and CX depart at 9:00am, I believe its with MCT?
(4) I also understand AA will have some form of protection/compensation if LAX-HKG is delayed or is this a wrong assumption?

(5) On my return flight, at MNL, i believe CX will through check baggage thru to LAX, no?
(6) Also once i arrive at HKG connecting to AA for LAX, and having my AA mobile boarding pass (or print one at manila before the cx flight) should get me to transit section correct?

Thoughts?
1/2) Correct, AA won't check bags through. You'll have to clear immigration, grab your bag, and head upstairs to check-in again with CX.

3) 1.5 hrs. is above the MCT for an AA to CX connection at HKG, but this assumes you're just clearing transit security and proceeding straight to your next gate.

4) Yes, AA has a policy of protecting you on separate tickets, however this can be very tricky in a situation like this. You would likely need to speak with an AA AAgent at HKG (most likely none around at ~9am before the DFW flight). Moreover this AAgent would need to understand the policy and be willing to help rebook you on a later CX flight (the policy isn't what I'd call well understood, especially at out outstation in Asia like HKG/China where English isn't perfect).

5) Not sure on CX through checking luggage, I would check the CX forum.

6) I find that mobile boarding pass or online check-in works maybe 50% of the time when flying to the US as you typically need extra doc checks and what not, so I wouldn't count on that working. However AA has a transit desk before transit security where you can check-in and get your boarding pass, after which you can proceed through security to the lounge/gate. The transit desk is in the 'W2' transit area at HKG, in the middle of the "Y" shaped terminal, if that makes sense.

Commentary: I book separate tickets like this all the time, and generally have a very high risk tolerance when it comes to this type of itinerary, but even I wouldn't risk a 1.5 hr connection in this scenario. When is the baggage check-in cutoff for CX, 60 mins? Even at HKG which is usually very efficient, 30 mins to exit the aircraft, clear immigration, and check-in again could be pushing it. And if you were to be late, I can see it being a real pain to get rebooked.

Was the HKG-MNL flight not available using AA miles? LAX-HKG-MNL would cost only 2.5k-5k more miles each way than just LAX-HKG, depending on the season. If that is available, I would be very tempted to spend a few more miles and the $150 fee to get everything on one PNR in this scenario.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 4:51 pm
  #672  
 
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Thanks for the tip and answers!

I thought about AA miles through MNL but then i had CX miles expiring thus its a separate booking. I did forget that AA won't check through.

Thanks again!
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Old Feb 15, 18, 6:04 pm
  #673  
 
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Originally Posted by cartman7110 View Post
Thanks for the tip and answers!

I thought about AA miles through MNL but then i had CX miles expiring thus its a separate booking. I did forget that AA won't check through.

Thanks again!
Unless something has changed, CX *should* check your bag through for your return trip starting in MNL. Did this late last year with no issues; I just presented printouts of both tickets at check-in. They even issued me the BP for the separate AA flight.
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Old Feb 15, 18, 8:41 pm
  #674  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
1/2) Correct, AA won't check bags through. You'll have to clear immigration, grab your bag, and head upstairs to check-in again with CX.
Any chance going to the CX transit desk with the AA bag tags could facilitate CX grabbing the bags and rechecking them? I know that is what the ferries to Macau do (take your bag tag number, collect the bag, and put it on the ferry). Maybe CX does as well?
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Old Feb 15, 18, 9:03 pm
  #675  
 
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat View Post
Any chance going to the CX transit desk with the AA bag tags could facilitate CX grabbing the bags and rechecking them? I know that is what the ferries to Macau do (take your bag tag number, collect the bag, and put it on the ferry). Maybe CX does as well?
I definitely like this idea but is CX allowed to pickup the luggage(s) which i assumed would be at the carousel?
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