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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.
 
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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 Apr 18, 18, 10:45 am
  #721  
 
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Is the AA > oneworld protection policy still documented anywhere? I seem to remember seeing it online years ago.
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Old Apr 18, 18, 12:10 pm
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This is the baggage policy: https://www.aasaleslink.com/en-US/do...te_Tickets.pdf

Booking Index (oneworld reaccom. policy on last page): https://www.aasaleslink.com/en-US/do...king_Index.pdf
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Old May 23, 18, 7:30 am
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My apologies for not having read the entire thread (all 720+ posts). But I have done a bunch of thread searches and have really focused on the last 70 - 90 posts.

My situation is I want to book a QR business award trip to Africa (using AA miles). I have found availability from at least two gateway cities all the way through to my destination. However there is no award availability between my home airport (ORD) and any of the gateways. So I plan on purchasing a positioning flight. All of this will be done on AA (001) tickets.

It appears from the posts I have read that if I book the award flight and the positioning flight during the same call and request (asking nicely but insistently) I will be able to get this done on one PNR or at least be able to link the 2 PNRs for the purposes of checking my bags all the way through to the final destination (ORD-PHL-DOH-XXX).

Is this the case?
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Old May 23, 18, 7:39 am
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
My apologies for not having read the entire thread (all 720+ posts). But I have done a bunch of thread searches and have really focused on the last 70 - 90 posts.

My situation is I want to book a QR business award trip to Africa (using AA miles). I have found availability from at least two gateway cities all the way through to my destination. However there is no award availability between my home airport (ORD) and any of the gateways. So I plan on purchasing a positioning flight. All of this will be done on AA (001) tickets.

It appears from the posts I have read that if I book the award flight and the positioning flight during the same call and request (asking nicely but insistently) I will be able to get this done on one PNR or at least be able to link the 2 PNRs for the purposes of checking my bags all the way through to the final destination (ORD-PHL-DOH-XXX).

Is this the case?
Yes and no. If you can find a willing AAgent that knows how to book the QR award and paid AA flights all in the same PNR then you will be good to go with regards to checking bags through.

However, if you book the flights as separate PNRs, then you will not be able to check bags through. There is no "linking" PNRs or anything like that that you can do that will allow bags to be checked through once you have 2 separate PNRs.

I would call AA to put the QR award on hold, and also ask if they can add the paid AA flights to the same PNR. If you happen to get a yes, great, I would ticket the award right then. If the AAgent says it's not possible or doesn't know how to add the AA flights, then keep the QR portion on hold, and keep HUCA until you have success.
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Old May 23, 18, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Yes and no. If you can find a willing AAgent that knows how to book the QR award and paid AA flights all in the same PNR then you will be good to go with regards to checking bags through.

However, if you book the flights as separate PNRs, then you will not be able to check bags through. There is no "linking" PNRs or anything like that that you can do that will allow bags to be checked through once you have 2 separate PNRs.

I would call AA to put the QR award on hold, and also ask if they can add the paid AA flights to the same PNR. If you happen to get a yes, great, I would ticket the award right then. If the AAgent says it's not possible or doesn't know how to add the AA flights, then keep the QR portion on hold, and keep HUCA until you have success.
That sounds like a plan! I can get award flights the same day to the QR gateway airport but the layover is insane (12+ hours or overnight from the day before). So I plan on getting a separate (paid) flight. I would still book plenty of time between flights (5+ hours) but I don't want to be landside with our luggage waiting 2+ hours for the QR check in counter to open.
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Old May 23, 18, 6:06 pm
  #726  
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
My apologies for not having read the entire thread (all 720+ posts). But I have done a bunch of thread searches and have really focused on the last 70 - 90 posts.

My situation is I want to book a QR business award trip to Africa (using AA miles). I have found availability from at least two gateway cities all the way through to my destination. However there is no award availability between my home airport (ORD) and any of the gateways. So I plan on purchasing a positioning flight. All of this will be done on AA (001) tickets.

It appears from the posts I have read that if I book the award flight and the positioning flight during the same call and request (asking nicely but insistently) I will be able to get this done on one PNR or at least be able to link the 2 PNRs for the purposes of checking my bags all the way through to the final destination (ORD-PHL-DOH-XXX).

Is this the case?
You might want to call AA feed them the flights that have award availability and then see if you can add on the ORD flight. You might be in Y on the ORD=PHL flight it's a short flight.
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Old May 23, 18, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
You might want to call AA feed them the flights that have award availability and then see if you can add on the ORD flight. You might be in Y on the ORD=PHL flight it's a short flight.
I can get a Y award ORD-PHL pretty easily almost any day of the week if booked far enough in advance. It is the first flight of the day (departing at 05:00 and arriving 08:00). It is even likely to end up being a domestic saver first award as time goes on. The issue is the QR flight leaving for DOH departs PHL at 20:55 or a 13 hour layover. I've done enough connections at PHL to not look forward to any extensive layovers there. IMO the ACs at PHL are nothing special and the BA lounges aren't much better.

The cost of a positioning flight ORD-PHL in domestic F is usually well below $300 so I am willing just to buy it. I just want to be able to interline our bags so we don't have to exit security, claim our bags and then wait until 18:00 for QR check in to open.

Hopefully I can work it out as JJeffry suggests.
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Old May 24, 18, 10:28 pm
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
I can get a Y award ORD-PHL pretty easily almost any day of the week if booked far enough in advance. It is the first flight of the day (departing at 05:00 and arriving 08:00). It is even likely to end up being a domestic saver first award as time goes on. The issue is the QR flight leaving for DOH departs PHL at 20:55 or a 13 hour layover. I've done enough connections at PHL to not look forward to any extensive layovers there. IMO the ACs at PHL are nothing special and the BA lounges aren't much better.

The cost of a positioning flight ORD-PHL in domestic F is usually well below $300 so I am willing just to buy it. I just want to be able to interline our bags so we don't have to exit security, claim our bags and then wait until 18:00 for QR check in to open.

Hopefully I can work it out as JJeffry suggests.
it won't work, there is enough data from people who have tried. So either get into PHL early and go into town and enjoy yourself OR exit security get your bag and recheck it. I'm facing this same issue in Nov, I couldn't get a Flight from PHX-LAX on my award even in Y, so I bought a ticket. We are in F on our flight from LAX-LHR, the only saving grace is will be FlagShip check in in LAX.
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Old May 24, 18, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
it won't work, there is enough data from people who have tried. So either get into PHL early and go into town and enjoy yourself OR exit security get your bag and recheck it. I'm facing this same issue in Nov, I couldn't get a Flight from PHX-LAX on my award even in Y, so I bought a ticket. We are in F on our flight from LAX-LHR, the only saving grace is will be FlagShip check in in LAX.
Why wouldn't it work? You can 100% book a revenue plus award ticket in a single PNR and in that case AA will check the bags through.
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Old May 24, 18, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by cheltzel View Post
I can get a Y award ORD-PHL pretty easily almost any day of the week if booked far enough in advance. It is the first flight of the day (departing at 05:00 and arriving 08:00). It is even likely to end up being a domestic saver first award as time goes on. The issue is the QR flight leaving for DOH departs PHL at 20:55 or a 13 hour layover. I've done enough connections at PHL to not look forward to any extensive layovers there. IMO the ACs at PHL are nothing special and the BA lounges aren't much better.

The cost of a positioning flight ORD-PHL in domestic F is usually well below $300 so I am willing just to buy it. I just want to be able to interline our bags so we don't have to exit security, claim our bags and then wait until 18:00 for QR check in to open.

Hopefully I can work it out as JJeffry suggests.
You should be able to do this as long as you buy the revenue ticket for the ORD-PHL segment at the same time you book the QR award. Make sure you tell the agent you want them booked into a single PNR. May take some HUCA but a knowledgeable agent will be able to do this. I would agree with this strategy especially if you're willing to pay for the domestic sector. You could gamble and book the earlier award segment to PHL but there's no guarantee AA will release awards on any later flights.
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Old May 25, 18, 5:32 am
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Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
You should be able to do this as long as you buy the revenue ticket for the ORD-PHL segment at the same time you book the QR award. Make sure you tell the agent you want them booked into a single PNR. May take some HUCA but a knowledgeable agent will be able to do this. I would agree with this strategy especially if you're willing to pay for the domestic sector. You could gamble and book the earlier award segment to PHL but there's no guarantee AA will release awards on any later flights.
I've done power award searches for awards on the days we will need to fly (days meaning specific days of week). While it is true that there is a window that opens up between AA gateway cities something like 14 to 60 days in advance, no convenient flights opened up between ORD and any of the QR gateway cities (where I could see consistent QR J award availability) on the days we will likely be travelling. So it really comes down to attempting to book revenue and award flights together with a 2 - 4 hour layover or book a coach award as a positioning flight and hope for that saver first awards open up later on that flight and deal with a 12 - 13 hour layover in either event.

At that point it comes down to how much you value your own time. I look at the difference between a 4 hours layover and a 13 hour layover as the time, effort and cost of going into town. While there are neat things to see and do in most major US cities, we will be embarking on an eventual 30+ journey including a carefully scheduled 17+ hour layover in DOH to see the Museum of Islamic Art as well as the Souk. So personally I am not anxious to make that a 48 hour + journey and I am willing to pay a bit for the convenience. If you (speaking editorially and not specifically) would do something different, then you should do want you want.
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Old May 27, 18, 10:43 pm
  #732  
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Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
Why wouldn't it work? You can 100% book a revenue plus award ticket in a single PNR and in that case AA will check the bags through.
Would love to know how, I have a Revenue ticket and award in F to London and no agents seem to know how. I've just come realize that I'll have to get the luggage when we arrive in LAX, and check it that way, as least I have Flagship Check in at LAX
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Old May 28, 18, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Would love to know how, I have a Revenue ticket and award in F to London and no agents seem to know how. I've just come realize that I'll have to get the luggage when we arrive in LAX, and check it that way, as least I have Flagship Check in at LAX
I'll be booking my flights in a few weeks and will post back with how it worked out for me.
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Old May 28, 18, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Would love to know how, I have a Revenue ticket and award in F to London and no agents seem to know how. I've just come realize that I'll have to get the luggage when we arrive in LAX, and check it that way, as least I have Flagship Check in at LAX
Make sure that you give yourself enough time between flights. It takes at least 30 minutes before checked bags from AA flights start showing on the luggage carousels at LAX.
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Old May 28, 18, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Would love to know how, I have a Revenue ticket and award in F to London and no agents seem to know how. I've just come realize that I'll have to get the luggage when we arrive in LAX, and check it that way, as least I have Flagship Check in at LAX
You can't do it after the fact. If you've purchased the tickets already then an agent won't be able to combine them into a single PNR (that I know of). You have to book them at the same time and instruct the agent clearly that you want both tickets in a single PNR, then it can be done. I haven't yet tried Gary's strategy (book the award ticket first then call and tell the agent to book the revenue ticket inside the award ticket's PNR) - that sounds risky to me when I already know a different way that works.
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