Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

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

Old Jun 18, 2016, 2:27 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero
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

AA policy: “Through Checked Baggage Policy – Separate Tickets“ - see PDF available attached to post #1.

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:
  • Code:
    American Airlines and American Eagle
    • Code:
       oneworld airlines and affiliates


Code:
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
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
Print Wikipost

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

Old Jun 10, 2016, 9:30 am
  #16  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: stl
Programs: AA LT Plat/8.1mm now with 1350 miles left in my account and proud of it.. SPG LT Titanium.
Posts: 3,079
One would hope that American and the other OW carriers would announce what they will and won't do similar to the BA link posted by Jon above. Jon any insight?
abk is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 9:35 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: Double OWE (AA EXP, QF Plat), FI Gold
Posts: 1,887
Originally Posted by Ord Liza
This is really annoying. Sometimes you have no choice but to book as two separate bookings. Nine of us going to Spain on miles with the first leg on Iberia and the second on Iberia Express. Everything worked except that for the last 2 people, the second leg (onward from Madrid) was not available as part of the main award ticket as it was for the other 7. The savings in the co-pay with the award ticket terminating at MAD almost equaled the cost of purchasing the second leg separately, so the cost wasn't an issue.

I spent a lot of time confirming that baggage would be checked through. Now I have to tell my son and his girlfriend that they (and only they!) have to go to baggage claim and then get back through and make sure the bags meet the requirements of the second carrier (which, because the Iberia Air flight was cancelled, has been changed to Air Nostrom). Alliance? PITA. I may restructure the whole trip and have us all drop the second leg.
It's important to point out that this change affects flights on multiple carriers and multiple PNRs. Since you were originally connecting IB to IB, this shouldn't make a difference. If IB cancelled your flight and put you on Air Nostrom (which is a franchise of IB), they should still get your bags where you're going.
zpaul is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:01 am
  #18  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: MSY; 2-time FT Fantasy Football Champ, now in recovery.
Programs: AA lifetime GLD; UA Silver; Marriott LTTE; IHG Plat,
Posts: 14,517
Originally Posted by Ord Liza
This is really annoying. Sometimes you have no choice but to book as two separate bookings. Nine of us going to Spain on miles with the first leg on Iberia and the second on Iberia Express. Everything worked except that for the last 2 people, the second leg (onward from Madrid) was not available as part of the main award ticket as it was for the other 7. The savings in the co-pay with the award ticket terminating at MAD almost equaled the cost of purchasing the second leg separately, so the cost wasn't an issue.

I spent a lot of time confirming that baggage would be checked through. Now I have to tell my son and his girlfriend that they (and only they!) have to go to baggage claim and then get back through and make sure the bags meet the requirements of the second carrier (which, because the Iberia Air flight was cancelled, has been changed to Air Nostrom). Alliance? PITA. I may restructure the whole trip and have us all drop the second leg.
Originally Posted by zpaul
It's important to point out that this change affects flights on multiple carriers and multiple PNRs. Since you were originally connecting IB to IB, this shouldn't make a difference. If IB cancelled your flight and put you on Air Nostrom (which is a franchise of IB), they should still get your bags where you're going.
If for some reason Iberia won't check your son's bag through, could he have one of the other passengers who is on a single ticket check your son's bag as theirs? The bag fees might end up a little higher, but it sounds like it would be well worth avoiding the hassle.
swag is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:23 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: LAS ORD
Programs: AA Pro (mostly B6) OZ♦ (flying BR/UA), BA Silver Hyatt LT, Wynn Black, Cosmo Plat, Mlife Noir
Posts: 5,992
Originally Posted by beachfan
The why is obvious.

SFO-ZRH is a crazy low fare right now.

LAX-ZRH is not.

Easy to fly LAX-SFO for not much $$, and therefore fly LAX-SFO-ZRH for much, much less on 2 tickets vs. one.
Originally Posted by 3Cforme
Beachfan's example should be all one needs to understand this.

When we need destination and schedule flexibility they want us to buy flexibility with less restrictive/higher priced tickets or with high-priced last-minute tickets.
The problem is the person who currently flies LAX-SFO-ZRH (to use your example) is already doing so because LAX-ZRH is so much more expensive. It's not like that person is suddenly going to pay exorbitantly more for LAX-ZRH just to check bags; rather, he'll just carry on or reclaim and recheck at SFO. So it's just a net downgrade to the passenger experience and possibly increased labor need to the airlines.

And pragmatically, it's not just monetary cost that results in these types of multiple-PNR bookings. I regularly book an itinerary on separate tickets that is impossible on a single booking without going through a TA. Not to mention combination revenue-reward tickets, etc. etc. etc.

Frankly it's amazing the travel experience keeps declining and declining. It was bad enough when *A policy changed to only interline to other *A carriers. OW has taken it to a whole new level.


Originally Posted by zpaul
It's important to point out that this change affects flights on multiple carriers and multiple PNRs. Since you were originally connecting IB to IB, this shouldn't make a difference. If IB cancelled your flight and put you on Air Nostrom (which is a franchise of IB), they should still get your bags where you're going.
It's been pointed out in the BA thread (164) that it's possible that even single carrier multiple PNRs won't be through-checked, although there is some debate on that point in that thread.
gengar is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:26 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: NYC LAX RDU
Programs: US-Plt;Concierge key; American AAirpass; Delta Silver;Starwood - Platinum; Amex Cent
Posts: 710

I flew last month on BA ticket ORY-LHR connecting to LHR-JRK. I had my reservation number etc at checkin for my AA flight, but the BA rep - who went into the office for probably 30 minutes with that - came back and said she could only check luggage through if I had my AA ticket number....I should have called to get it, but was sick of dealing with it. Had to clear customs in UK - then take heathrow express to T3, etc etc. Miserable experience.
morrisunc is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:27 am
  #21  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: stl
Programs: AA LT Plat/8.1mm now with 1350 miles left in my account and proud of it.. SPG LT Titanium.
Posts: 3,079
Are we dealing with hypothetical situations until AA and the other carriers provide guidance. Although the lack of notice could certainly blow up some already purchased itineraries.
abk is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:31 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,405
Wow ... This is so beyond effed up. I cannot fathom the logic behind this change other than just another way to screw over their customers. What a sick joke AA and oneworld have become. Time to take a long hard look at UA/Star.
no1cub17 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:36 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 2,290
Originally Posted by sombrachinesca
I hope that this will not be the first step towards refusing to rebook on IRROPS across separate tickets.
Indeed, both BA and CX have already announced they'll no longer rebook for passengers on separate PNRs.
jamespvg is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 10:41 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,405
Originally Posted by jamespvg
Indeed, both BA and CX have already announced they'll no longer rebook for passengers on separate PNRs.
Which is completely ridiculous. Sometimes it's just not possible to book the itinerary online, or even by calling. Especially now that AA doesn't grant QMAX requests. What are you supposed to do if there's CX award space from ORD, for example, but no award space TO ORD? I guess we're just SOL then? No trip to Bali for us? W.T.F!
no1cub17 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 11:47 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OKC
Programs: IHG Spire, National Exec, AA Plat
Posts: 2,274
Another reason on top of the D-Day changes to say screw loyalty, and just book for the best price/trip iten.

I'll focus on earning points/miles in other ways, and if I happen to get enough in 1 airline to get a free trip, cool. If not, cool too.
bchandler02 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 1:09 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,405
Originally Posted by bchandler02
Another reason on top of the D-Day changes to say screw loyalty, and just book for the best price/trip iten.

I'll focus on earning points/miles in other ways, and if I happen to get enough in 1 airline to get a free trip, cool. If not, cool too.
Yup. Sounds like that will be the way of the world going forward. And the airlines have themselves to thank!
no1cub17 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 2:08 pm
  #27  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: FIND ME ON TWITTER FOR THE LATEST
Posts: 27,730
Originally Posted by abk
One would hope that American and the other OW carriers would announce what they will and won't do similar to the BA link posted by Jon above. Jon any insight?
Unfortunately I have zero insight here-- I learned about this on FT along with everyone else. Will try to enquire, for sure, but as of now, in in the dark on this one. F

For now, 'till someone confirms otherwise, I assume AA -not- following along at the moment.
JonNYC is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 2:29 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,570
Originally Posted by zpaul
It's important to point out that this change affects flights on multiple carriers and multiple PNRs. Since you were originally connecting IB to IB, this shouldn't make a difference. If IB cancelled your flight and put you on Air Nostrom (which is a franchise of IB), they should still get your bags where you're going.
Even though the Iberia flight is an award ticket using AA miles and the Air Nostrom flight (originally Iberia Express) was purchased directly from Iberia? It sounds like this will now be at the discretion of Iberia.

As to having another one of our party check his bag for him as suggested by swag, they are the only 2 traveling that day on that itinerary; we're coming from different places and in some cases different arrival days, but otherwise a good idea. I'll probably tell them they have to have things ready 2 days early so his brother can take his bag with him (I'm sure they'll all be thrilled). I realize this isn't the end of the world, but it's still really annoying and creates hoops that will need to be jumped through.

Last edited by Ord Liza; Jun 10, 2016 at 2:35 pm
Ord Liza is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 3:01 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,405
Originally Posted by JonNYC
Unfortunately I have zero insight here-- I learned about this on FT along with everyone else. Will try to enquire, for sure, but as of now, in in the dark on this one. F

For now, 'till someone confirms otherwise, I assume AA -not- following along at the moment.
Would appreciate you looking into this. Looking back at the past few years, my wife and I have utilized this oneworld cooperation on nearly every international trip we've made, in multiple ways and for multiple reasons (booking complex itineraries, mixing award and revenue tickets, etc). It's one thing to not through-check bags onto competitors, but to not do so for oneworld connections is absolutely insane.
no1cub17 is offline  
Old Jun 10, 2016, 3:43 pm
  #30  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 11,651
Ok, first how common this is? I would guess it is a pretty rare occurrence. I expect that AA will continue to voluntarily honor this, at least for their top elites. Are you telling me that because the check in agent doesn't want to spend an extra minute doing this, I will have to spend an extra 90 minutes and risk missing my flight? It will get very uncomfortable at the check-in counter, if they refuse to do this.
nk15 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.