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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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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 19, 2016, 8:19 am
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
and then I expect the wailing and gnashing of teeth to begin
And rightfully so!
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 10:24 am
  #62  
 
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will AA let me check my bag through? (To merge)

I booked a one way ticket on AA from MBJ to Miami. I was planning to meet a friend in FLL, spend a couple of days and fly home from there but my plans have since changed. I now see a really great fare on AA and I am wondering if I buy this ticket would they let me send my luggage on to the next flight even though its not technically a connecting flight. I know I have to clear immigration in Miami and get my luggage. Hope my post isnt confusing.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 10:28 am
  #63  
 
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Yes, as long as you're within minimum connecting time (MCT), you'll be able to check your bag through. However, as you note you'll have to claim and recheck it anyway in MIA, so through-checking won't really do much in your situation.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 11:55 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by rjw242
Yes, as long as you're within minimum connecting time (MCT), you'll be able to check your bag through. However, as you note you'll have to claim and recheck it anyway in MIA, so through-checking won't really do much in your situation.
Perhaps, but the check in counter across from the bag drop outside customs can be either understaffed or crowded or slow moving at times. Easiest to check through in MBJ, if you can, and avoid the extra step. Not all that much of a big deal, but one check in seems better than two. Sometimes every minute counts if customs and immigration are crowded.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 5:13 pm
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
But AA has a policy to protect passengers plus still has a policy to check bags through

Since there is no change for passengers who fly AA to connect to BA, CX etc , doesn't surprise me that there is little discussion about no change occurring
Baggage interlining and passenger protection are not the same thing.
Thread title needs correction. oneworld not requiring connecting protection or interline baggage 1 Jun 2016 ... removing “connecting protection”

Oneworld has never had known published policy that a passenger with separate PNR's will be protected on the next flight. AA does have this policy. In the dedicated thread on this topic in the OW forum several have claimed such a policy exists, but none have been able to prove that claim and/or show links on the OW web site or on any member airline web site, other than AA.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 6:23 pm
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by gordon0808
Star Alliance still offers interlining on separate tickets. I for one, will be sticking to that alliance now. OW is the smallest of the alliances anyway, so you'd think they would try to compensate for that by offering superior service to attract customers, but the opposite is true. They are the smallest and least relevant alliance in many parts of the world, and now also the alliance with the worst service level, so why use it if there is a choice?
Is this actually Star policy? I know that US stopped interlining baggage on separate tickets a while before the merger, and I think they were still Star at the time. I suspect that Star Alliance's policy is actually essentially the same as oneworld's (it's up to carrier's discretion), and that UA and AA just both go above what's required. Certainly Skyteam doesn't require it - famously, you can't interline baggage DL->KE on separate tickets.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 7:26 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by JDiver
Considering the number of AA flyers who fly or connect to BA, CX, IB, JL, KA, MH, QF, QR, UL etc. I am surprised at the lack of traffic.
I think this will be problematic for airpass. Airpass is only valid on AA operated flights so if I want to go to somewhere that AA does not fly (eg in Europe) I end up with an airpass ticket to LHR and a separate onward BA ticket.

Right now it looks like everything will be fine flying to Europe because AA will interline to BA. But that won't be the case on the way back (unless I can find someone who can build a PNR with a mix of AA/airpass and BA flights).
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 3:16 am
  #68  
 
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Checking through baggage, different ticket, American Airlines policy

Hi all,
I'm flying London-New York-Sydney-London later in the year on American Airlines. The New York to Sydney leg is actually:
Newark to Phoenix, Phoenix to LA, LA to Sydney, arriving in Sydney at 7:10am in the morning.

I want to add Sydney-Wellington return onto my booking, leaving on the same day I arrive in Sydney, and there seem to be predominantly 9:30ish am flights, and evening flights. I'm wondering if I can manage to get onto one of the early ones.

It seems prudent to go for the evening flights, but then I noticed on some forums that American Airlines has the policy of checking through baggage on Oneworld flights, even if purchased with a different ticket. I realise that it's still risky, but this would give me confidence that I could make the connection. I just called AA customer support and she wasn't aware of this policy though. This would be the difference for me between booking Qantas (which is slightly pricier at the moment) or Air New Zealand, if the former would allow me to connect.

So my questions are:
- Does the AA policy still hold? If so, would I risk that they wouldn't know about it when I turn up at Newark and ask to check through?
- If I didn't make all the connections on the separate ticket, would insurance cover rebooking on a flight later in the day? (I realise it probably depends on the policy).

My parents are in Wellington, so it would not be the end of the world if my baggage didn't make it with me for a day or 2, but I'd prefer not to spend half a day in Sydney airport if I can avoid it.

Many thanks!
Damian
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 5:09 am
  #69  
 
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My understanding is that One World (so including AA) implemented a new policy earlier this month whereby they won't interline (i.e. check through) baggage for flights on different tickets. This is causing a lot of noise over on the British Airways (part of One World) forum as it means that connections may take longer for those with checked luggage and is a risk for people who have already booked connecting flights on separate tickets.

Also, be aware that you are looking to connect in Sydney at their busiest time. Most people will advise you to allow up to 2.5-3 hours to connect in Sydney at 7-9am because it can get so busy, especially when you need to re-check in baggage. As you say, the prudent option is to book a later flight to give you more connection time.
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 5:13 am
  #70  
 
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Great advice bibbju, many thanks. I hadn't seen the recent change in policy (I thought the various things I'd found from 2014-2015 would've been recent enough!). And the comment about Sydney busyness is also taken.

Not sure if you can help, but travelling with a NZ passport, how feasible/worthwhile would a trip into Sydney centre be with say 12 hours between (scheduled) landing in Sydney and departure for Wellington?
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by damoslim
Great advice bibbju, many thanks. I hadn't seen the recent change in policy (I thought the various things I'd found from 2014-2015 would've been recent enough!). And the comment about Sydney busyness is also taken.

Not sure if you can help, but travelling with a NZ passport, how feasible/worthwhile would a trip into Sydney centre be with say 12 hours between (scheduled) landing in Sydney and departure for Wellington?
You definitely have time for a trip into the city, especially with a NZ passport.

Btw, I just saw on the Qantas forum that Qantas also stopped interlining bags on different tickets from last Sept. So looks like you might be flying AirNZ then
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 6:58 am
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Thanks again - seems like I'll plan on that trip into Sydney during the day and then if I'm really delayed, I'll just wait around at the airport!
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by damoslim
Thanks again - seems like I'll plan on that trip into Sydney during the day and then if I'm really delayed, I'll just wait around at the airport!
Or if you're too tired to go into the city, you can always get a day room at one of the airport hotels. The Ibis charge around AUD 120 to give you an idea of cost.
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 8:48 am
  #74  
 
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The change to OW policy is that member airlines are not required to check bags through on separate tickets, and BA and CX immediately dropped through-check on separate tickets.

AA did NOT change their policy as of yet AND has an interline agreement with QF, so as of right now you should be able to check through with Qantas.

See the following thread for more info on AA;
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...un-2016-a.html
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Old Jun 20, 2016, 9:03 am
  #75  
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Please continue to follow this thread in the AA Forum
Thanks..
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