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

Old Jun 18, 2016, 2:27 pm
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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 OAGs 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 its 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 customers 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 youre 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 Im not sure how they can retroactively apply it to tickets purchased before the new policy was implemented.

Theres 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 youre booked on two separate PNRs on oneworld carriers, youve previously been able to check your bags through to your final destination
  • If youre booked on two separate tickets on oneworld carriers, youve 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 Dec 5, 2016, 9:21 am
  #331  
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Originally Posted by frudd38
Okay good to know, thanks, you're right on. TPE-HKG is CX coded while HKG-NRT is AA coded / CX metal. Not as big of a deal as I'll just clear immigration at HKG and check it in upstairs.

Just more concerned with my SFO-LAX leg protection. I read a few pages back AA still protects on AA to AA, but not sure how my mixed metal PNR would work since it starts with a CX metal, but all AA codes.

Will be doing this in reverse as well, twice, all AA Codes. SFO connections.

LAX-SFO (single PNR)
111 min connection
SFO-DFW-NRT-HKG (single PNR all AA with last leg in CX)

LAX-SFO (single PNR)
59 min connection
SFO-DFW-HKG (single PNR all AA)
Single PNR using oneworld airlines = you're protected and can through-check your baggage.

As far as I've seen here and in other venues, separate PNR for LAX-SFO AA you may be protected on AA flights, but you might not on CX. There's some risk there, and a recalcitrant agent might choose to let you recover and recheck your bag in SFO, I suspect. The 59 minute connection is the one most at risk.

I might try a curbside baggage check in with a "SkyCap" and a ten dollar bill at LAX first.
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Old Dec 5, 2016, 9:44 am
  #332  
 
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Originally Posted by deeruck
Do they link the bookings or did you end up with one PNR?
One PNR. Worked well, no problems getting BPs or checking bags through to our final destination.
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Old Dec 5, 2016, 3:52 pm
  #333  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Single PNR using oneworld airlines = you're protected and can through-check your baggage.

As far as I've seen here and in other venues, separate PNR for LAX-SFO AA you may be protected on AA flights, but you might not on CX. There's some risk there, and a recalcitrant agent might choose to let you recover and recheck your bag in SFO, I suspect. The 59 minute connection is the one most at risk.

I might try a curbside baggage check in with a "SkyCap" and a ten dollar bill at LAX first.
Thanks for the input. To clarify, I won't be checking in bags except for the first itinerary TPE-HKG / HKG-XXX-SFO. In the end, I can actually care less about checked bag situation, but more concerned with separate PNR itinerary protection. Hoping if LAX-SFO is delayed for any reason, the LAX folks would just put me on the direct LAX-DFW.
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Old Dec 11, 2016, 9:31 am
  #334  
 
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This is really an insane policy. I just flew LAS-LAX, then LAX-LHR. I booked it on separate tickets since I wasn't quite sure what incoming flight to LAX I wanted yet (might have come from one of two different cities).

At the LAS airport they informed me that I would have to claim and recheck my bags at LAX. This is just a big time-waster -- I ended up waiting an hour from when my flight landed at LAX until I could get the bags.

I just think that even if on separate PNRs, an AA ticket connecting to an AA ticket should be perfectly fine.
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Old Dec 11, 2016, 10:41 am
  #335  
 
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Originally Posted by bworrell
This is really an insane policy. I just flew LAS-LAX, then LAX-LHR. I booked it on separate tickets since I wasn't quite sure what incoming flight to LAX I wanted yet (might have come from one of two different cities).

At the LAS airport they informed me that I would have to claim and recheck my bags at LAX. This is just a big time-waster -- I ended up waiting an hour from when my flight landed at LAX until I could get the bags.

I just think that even if on separate PNRs, an AA ticket connecting to an AA ticket should be perfectly fine.
Yup. Completely asinine. But hey AA is saving 5 cents in the process so why not.
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Old Dec 14, 2016, 7:28 pm
  #336  
 
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Found myself the victim of this problem this week - what would have been an easy hour connection at LAX to a CX F award now requires an overnight. I complained on AA.com yesterday and interestingly got a call from someone in Phoenix today, which I considered to be pretty fast turn around / response.

Sadly, the rep who called me was not really empowered to do much besides listen to my complaint, apologize, and offer a token 5,000 miles, which was interesting since I never wrote for or asked for any comp during our call.

But I did find it interesting when she said they understood the change in checked baggage policy was likely something that was going to upset "certain customers." I noted that not only was it a completely customer unfriendly move but that it affected AA's most loyal / frequent customers the most as they'd be the ones most likely to be in situations where cash + miles tickets can't always be combined into one PNR very easily. I also told her that since this OW policy alignment is also likely all to do with baggage fees, that at the very least they could try making an official exception for Exec Plats / Emeralds who are going to have free baggage allowance across the alliance at all points of check-in. She noted my concerns and promised to relay the feedback to appropriate management.

I also took the opportunity to let her know how I feel about the LUS A321 / A320 cabins and lack of any CIP plan 3+ years into the merger. She promised those comments would also be relayed up the chain.
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Old Dec 15, 2016, 8:37 am
  #337  
 
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Thought I was going to have this issue last weekend. Had a flight to BOS to NCE through LHR. BOS-LHR on one record booked as AA on BA metal. LHR NCE booked as BA. Outbound was no issue as I overnighted in LHR. On my return I asked the agent in NCE if she could check my bag all the way through to BOS and she happily did it.
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Old Dec 15, 2016, 9:01 am
  #338  
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Just flew Delta and was amazed at how quickly there baggage comes up both internationally and domestically. The point is that this policy although ridiculous wouldn't be as bad as it is if AA had decent baggage service. As it is you can't count on bags coming up in a reasonable amount of time.
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Old Dec 16, 2016, 12:08 pm
  #339  
 
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Have people had success getting bags interlined between OW flights booked on separate tickets, where the ticket was issues BEFORE the June 1 (or is it Sept 1) change?
I.e, are pre-change tickets grandfathered in?
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Old Dec 16, 2016, 12:14 pm
  #340  
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Originally Posted by bostonbali
Have people had success getting bags interlined between OW flights booked on separate tickets, where the ticket was issues BEFORE the June 1 (or is it Sept 1) change?
I.e, are pre-change tickets grandfathered in?
Date of issue of the ticket is irrelevent
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Old Dec 18, 2016, 5:18 pm
  #341  
 
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Checking bags on two different reservations

Hi flyertalk!

Before anyone yells at me, I tried searching for this and didn't find an answer.

We found great flights to Spain leaving from JFK and booked those and then later booked the shuttle flight from DCA to JFK. We booked the JFK-BCN via BA (where I have status and credit my flights to, fwiw). I am wondering if it will be possible to check our bag at DCA and have that transferred to the JFK-BCN flight without a trip to baggage claim, and back through security.

Same thing coming back, but we are on Iberia for the MAD-JFK and then AA again from JFK to DCA.

Is this possible? I would think that on the return we may need to collect at Customs and then re-check? This is the first time we've booked on two separate tickets like this and I am a bit confused.

Thanks for the help!
AHB260
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Old Dec 18, 2016, 5:53 pm
  #342  
 
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AA will not let you check bags with two different reservations. I tried it about a week ago. I had to go get my luggage and recheck it to the next destination. I checked a couple of places and was assured this is the policy. Good luck and let us know if you succeed but I would not bet on it.
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Old Dec 18, 2016, 6:06 pm
  #343  
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Originally Posted by indiahoosier
AA will not let you check bags with two different reservations. I tried it about a week ago. I had to go get my luggage and recheck it to the next destination. I checked a couple of places and was assured this is the policy. Good luck and let us know if you succeed but I would not bet on it.
+1.

And if the OP is truly on the "Shuttle" flight, he's got another problem to worry about: the Shuttle flights go to LGA, not JFK!
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Old Dec 19, 2016, 8:33 am
  #344  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
+1.

And if the OP is truly on the "Shuttle" flight, he's got another problem to worry about: the Shuttle flights go to LGA, not JFK!
"OP" here. I was using the term shuttle in a general sense, but thanks for the reply <removed overly personalised content>.

Last edited by Microwave; Dec 19, 2016 at 10:40 am
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Old Dec 19, 2016, 8:33 am
  #345  
 
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Originally Posted by indiahoosier
AA will not let you check bags with two different reservations. I tried it about a week ago. I had to go get my luggage and recheck it to the next destination. I checked a couple of places and was assured this is the policy. Good luck and let us know if you succeed but I would not bet on it.
Thanks, indiahoosier. That's what I was afraid of. I appreciate the help!
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