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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 20, 19, 5:57 am   -   Wikipost
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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 May 28, 18, 9:03 pm
  #736  
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Originally Posted by TWA884 View Post
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.
We have 4.5 hours, enough time to get the back and check in and lounge hope.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 3:20 am
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Connecting Flights on Separate Tickets

Hello,
My apologies, it's another connecting flights thread, but hopefully regulars can give some advice. I am flying LHR - MIA on 22nd of December, booking is with BA but on AA metal. I am looking to fly on to Bogota the same day with AA and would look to book this through AA under a separate ticket. My flight arrives at MIA at 14.50, the flight to Bogota is scheduled to leave at 21.30, so really plenty of time to go through immigration, collect luggage, check back in again.

How likely is AA to help me out if my flight to MIA was delayed to such an extent that I'd miss my connecting flight? I realise that they have absolutely no obligation to help me out as it's my own problem to get to the flight on time given it's a separate booking, but realistically, do regulars think that AA might help to get me booked on another flight if the worst happened?

Also, just to make sure, I cannot link the tickets in any way, correct?

Thanks very much for any advice folks can give!
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Old Jun 15, 18, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by Inselhuepfer View Post
Hello,
My apologies, it's another connecting flights thread, but hopefully regulars can give some advice. I am flying LHR - MIA on 22nd of December, booking is with BA but on AA metal. I am looking to fly on to Bogota the same day with AA and would look to book this through AA under a separate ticket. My flight arrives at MIA at 14.50, the flight to Bogota is scheduled to leave at 21.30, so really plenty of time to go through immigration, collect luggage, check back in again.

How likely is AA to help me out if my flight to MIA was delayed to such an extent that I'd miss my connecting flight? I realise that they have absolutely no obligation to help me out as it's my own problem to get to the flight on time given it's a separate booking, but realistically, do regulars think that AA might help to get me booked on another flight if the worst happened?

Also, just to make sure, I cannot link the tickets in any way, correct?

Thanks very much for any advice folks can give!
AA will still protect you on separate tickets. I've flown on separate tickets like this a lot over the years, and had several instances of misconnects and other irrops, and in all cases the AA agents are generally very helpful in getting you to your final destination.

If you were to be severely delayed in getting to MIA, I would head over to T3 at LHR and work with the AA ground staff there in trying to rebook your MIA-BOG flight. You could also call AA, although YMMV whether a basic AA phone agent will be any help in a situation like this.

But with almost a 7 hr connection, the chances are extremely slim that any delay on your BA flight would be substantial enough to affect your AA connection.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 7:54 am
  #739  
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Originally Posted by Inselhuepfer View Post
Hello,
My apologies, it's another connecting flights thread, but hopefully regulars can give some advice. I am flying LHR - MIA on 22nd of December, booking is with BA but on AA metal. I am looking to fly on to Bogota the same day with AA and would look to book this through AA under a separate ticket. My flight arrives at MIA at 14.50, the flight to Bogota is scheduled to leave at 21.30, so really plenty of time to go through immigration, collect luggage, check back in again.

How likely is AA to help me out if my flight to MIA was delayed to such an extent that I'd miss my connecting flight? I realise that they have absolutely no obligation to help me out as it's my own problem to get to the flight on time given it's a separate booking, but realistically, do regulars think that AA might help to get me booked on another flight if the worst happened?

Also, just to make sure, I cannot link the tickets in any way, correct?

Thanks very much for any advice folks can give!
We have merged your query into the existing thread to reduce information fragmentation and make it easier for members searching for information to find it. The FlyerTalk norm is to search prior to starting a new thread; the best guide to searching is Using the Search Feature on FlyerTalk: The Definitive Thread.

Moderator


As you can see from this thread, there is no linking of PNRs, but there is a way that might prevent AA from cancelling the remainder of your AA flights if you no-show: FAQ: TCP, "Linking" / link / merge itineraries / PNR (master thread).

And AA will generally accommodate you on the next flight with availability under such circumstances. That might ot might not be the next flight.

And regardless, if you have checked baggage, you will have to recover it and recheck it for the other flight; your best hope is the customs baggage recheck will process your baggage; your ongoing boarding pass may help. You will not be able to make use of the “ITI” function at MIA to through-check your baggage.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 9:21 am
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Thank you very much for the advice, Jjeffrey / apologies, JDiver for not using the search function.

This has answered my questions - now here's to keeping my fingers crossed this continues to be a theoretical scenario. The flight from Miami to Bogota and back to Miami from Cartagena is eye-wateringly expensive and I would hate to pay for it twice or lose the return leg because I've missed the outbound one.
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Old Jun 15, 18, 10:55 am
  #741  
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Originally Posted by Inselhuepfer View Post
Thank you very much for the advice, Jjeffrey / apologies, JDiver for not using the search function.

This has answered my questions - now here's to keeping my fingers crossed this continues to be a theoretical scenario. The flight from Miami to Bogota and back to Miami from Cartagena is eye-wateringly expensive and I would hate to pay for it twice or lose the return leg because I've missed the outbound one.
No worries.

We haven’t seen reports of AA denying reaccommodation in these cases. The problem is that if demand, as if all seats are gone all they can do is accommodate you when there’s an available seat on AA. Adding a TCP note to the AA PNR about your arriving on the BA flight may prevent outright cancellation of your AA ticket and possible subsequent hassles, as long as the agents read the note.
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Old Jun 22, 18, 7:14 pm
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I everyone, I asked this on the JAL forum but didn't hear back. I've booked a MEL-NRT-ORD business ticket on JAL, with the idea of connecting (2.5h connection time) onto an economy AA flight ORD-ATW that I had purchased using miles -- so two separate PNRs.

I know I need to pick bags up in customs, but given I am moving 3x bags and the limit at 70lbs, do you think JAL will allow me to tag the bags to ATW if I show them the separate PNR? Two phone calls to both JAL and AA reps seem have mixed answers. I know AA won't do it once I get to ORD. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 22, 18, 7:35 pm
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Originally Posted by shadpuff View Post
I everyone, I asked this on the JAL forum but didn't hear back. I've booked a MEL-NRT-ORD business ticket on JAL, with the idea of connecting (2.5h connection time) onto an economy AA flight ORD-ATW that I had purchased using miles -- so two separate PNRs.

I know I need to pick bags up in customs, but given I am moving 3x bags and the limit at 70lbs, do you think JAL will allow me to tag the bags to ATW if I show them the separate PNR? Two phone calls to both JAL and AA reps seem have mixed answers. I know AA won't do it once I get to ORD. Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Hello, I travel multiple times per year involving different PNRs, not to save money but to facilitate different sub-organizations that have to pay for each segment. I almost always fly full fare Y, and on some OCONUS trips fly in J.

I have found that getting luggage checked through is always a luck of the draw. On a Y ticket out of a remote AA airport, have had no issues. On a INTL J fare out of DFW, at the EXP Biz class check in- no way. I have found partners such as Finnair and JAL to be very accommodating in tagging the bag all the way through on separate PNRs. AA in MIA and DFW have been steadfast- NO.

There may be risk involved checking through multiple PNRs involving AA. On a flight from HEL-MAD-DFW had my name called out during final boarding at MAD on a paid J (I am a flyer that likes to board at the end- spend as little time on the plane as possible). AA at MAD pulled me aside and questioned how my bag was tagged through. They were ok with it, but it raised a flag for them. After boarding the plane, i wondered if my bag was at risk of being impounded at MAD, and I would not of known it.

You might want to review your courses of action, to decided if it is safe/ beneficial to have your bags checked through on different airlines and PNRs.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 3:39 am
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Originally Posted by GunsOfNavarone View Post
Hello, I travel multiple times per year involving different PNRs, not to save money but to facilitate different sub-organizations that have to pay for each segment. I almost always fly full fare Y, and on some OCONUS trips fly in J.

I have found that getting luggage checked through is always a luck of the draw. On a Y ticket out of a remote AA airport, have had no issues. On a INTL J fare out of DFW, at the EXP Biz class check in- no way. I have found partners such as Finnair and JAL to be very accommodating in tagging the bag all the way through on separate PNRs. AA in MIA and DFW have been steadfast- NO.

There may be risk involved checking through multiple PNRs involving AA. On a flight from HEL-MAD-DFW had my name called out during final boarding at MAD on a paid J (I am a flyer that likes to board at the end- spend as little time on the plane as possible). AA at MAD pulled me aside and questioned how my bag was tagged through. They were ok with it, but it raised a flag for them. After boarding the plane, i wondered if my bag was at risk of being impounded at MAD, and I would not of known it.

You might want to review your courses of action, to decided if it is safe/ beneficial to have your bags checked through on different airlines and PNRs.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. Based on everything I have read this is going to be risky, but JAL seems to be more lenient so we will see what happens.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 5:15 pm
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Glad I saw this thread got bumped because for some reason I thought AA-AA on separate PNRs could still have bags interlined but I see that's not the case.

However if I'm not mistaken AA-AA is still protected in case of irrops. I ask because I'm currently about to book a two week trip to Lisbon and London that's going to be on three PNRs. I'm not worried about the LHR-LIS connection as I'm going to have 12 hours in London and planned on getting an inexpensive hotel near LHR to crash at between flights. What does have me slightly concerned is I'll only have about 2.5 hours between flights in ORD by taking the earliest flight from my hometown. Since I'll have checked in for the ORD-LHR flight at my hometown airport 2.5 hours should be plenty of time to collect my bag, head to one of the kiosks, tag it, and drop it off provided no major delays. If for some reason we're delayed and I miss my connection to LHR would AA rebook me on a later AA or BA flight? I know flying into Chicago the night before and getting a cheap hotel would be the best but I'd rather not spend another $300 on top of what this is going to cost me but most likely I'll just suck it up and do that.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 5:49 pm
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Originally Posted by LtKernelPanic View Post
Glad I saw this thread got bumped because for some reason I thought AA-AA on separate PNRs could still have bags interlined but I see that's not the case.

However if I'm not mistaken AA-AA is still protected in case of irrops. I ask because I'm currently about to book a two week trip to Lisbon and London that's going to be on three PNRs. I'm not worried about the LHR-LIS connection as I'm going to have 12 hours in London and planned on getting an inexpensive hotel near LHR to crash at between flights. What does have me slightly concerned is I'll only have about 2.5 hours between flights in ORD by taking the earliest flight from my hometown. Since I'll have checked in for the ORD-LHR flight at my hometown airport 2.5 hours should be plenty of time to collect my bag, head to one of the kiosks, tag it, and drop it off provided no major delays. If for some reason we're delayed and I miss my connection to LHR would AA rebook me on a later AA or BA flight? I know flying into Chicago the night before and getting a cheap hotel would be the best but I'd rather not spend another $300 on top of what this is going to cost me but most likely I'll just suck it up and do that.
Of course nobody can predict the weather at the origination or destination airport, or a maintenance crew delay, but I have been routed the way you have dozen of times at ORD on AA and 2 plus hours has always been ok. CONUS to CONUS then CONUS to OCONUS on separate PNRs with over 2 hours on AA connecting at ORD, I would have confidence in your itinerary.

My organization pays for my fare CONUS to CONUS gateway, another sister organizations pays for the CONUS to OCONUS lift, and often another organization pays for the lift from OCONUS receiving airport to final destination (such as LHR to HEL). Makes for a lot of PNRs and a very painful expense report, but I have learned with proper time buffer and staying with oneworld, things almost always work out. Two our time buffer from an incoming domestic flight at ORD to a OCONUS destination all on AA should be just fine..... pending murphy of course.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 5:46 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerWx View Post
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
So if I understand correctly, the through-check baggage policy is gone now, but the IROPs protection remains?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by SkyTeam777 View Post
So if I understand correctly, the through-check baggage policy is gone now, but the IROPs protection remains?
You got it.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 10:09 am
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
You got it.
This is true only if AA is the carrier that causes the misconnect, right?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by PlatinumScum View Post
This is true only if AA is the carrier that causes the misconnect, right?
No, as long as the other carrier that causes the misconnect is oneworld, then AA should protect you.

I say should because even though there is a policy in place, this is another area where the amount of rebooking help you get can be highly variable depending on the airport, situation, agent mood, agent training, etc.

One example I have: few yrs back I was flying VIE-LHR on BA connecting to LHR-RDU on AA, separate tickets. VIE-LHR is delayed, run to the gate to see the RDU flight pushing back. Went back to the AA LHR transit desk where I was rebooked on a later connection via JFK without any issues at all.
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