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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 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 Sep 21, 2019, 11:25 am
  #931  
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes
Not sure I'm following... ? What has nothing to do with the routing or with AA?
You stated that you had booked separate tickets because of the vast price differential.

The point is that you would have faced the same issue checking across separate tickets on AA-HA had the two tickets been cheaper or had you been flying some other route.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes
I usually don't do things like this. Honestly, I just can't be bothered. And if it were even quasi-reasonable I wouldn't do it.

But in this case AA is quoting $1853.00 ADDITIONAL - that's ON TOP OF the $1693.00 fare to HNL - to ticket me through to KOA on their code share operated by HA. It's a 49 minute flight, that HA is offering directly for $100 in economy, $110 for a preferred seat, and $150 in First. On the exact same flight. That AA is charging $1853 for.

It's way out of family with reasonableness and honestly leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth AA is playing these kind of shenanigans with their pricing on preferred routes. If it were $200 - $500 more I'd gladly pay a mark-up for convenience. Flights to KOA from the East Coast on same days on United and HA, in their lie flats, are less than < $2000.
Oh yeah. Hawaii pricing is totally bizarre, especially when AA-HA connections are involved. Just have to keep checking and get lucky to get the ticket you want at a reasonable price. You may also check WN? They've been selling inter-island flights for cheap, and of course checked bags are included.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by Often1
You stated that you had booked separate tickets because of the vast price differential.

The point is that you would have faced the same issue checking across separate tickets on AA-HA had the two tickets been cheaper or had you been flying some other route.
Yes, that's correct about the separate tickets and luggage. But had AA priced the HNL-KOA leg reasonably --- not at $1853.00 for the exact same flight HA is selling for $150.00 or less, I'd not be purchasing separate tickets. I'd buy the entire travel from AA, if the mark-up were reasonable. I'd be fine to give AA $400-$500, for the same leg, on the same plane, in the same seat, HA is selling for $150 or less, for the convenience and baggage protection. But there's no standard of reasonableness to AA's pricing in this instance that I can fathom.

I don't understand why AA would price tickets no reasonable person is likely to buy, when reasonable alternatives are available for a short flight. Make the differential comparable or reasonable to what HA is pricing, and I'd never take the time to mess with all this. United's differential vice arrival at HNL in their lie flat seats, and arriving at HNL and connecting to KOA with an HA codeshare, is reasonable. As is HA's itself. AA's is totally out of whack.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes
Yes, that's correct about the separate tickets and luggage. But had AA priced the HNL-KOA leg reasonably --- not at $1853.00 for the exact same flight HA is selling for $150.00 or less, I'd not be purchasing separate tickets. I'd buy the entire travel from AA, if the mark-up were reasonable. I'd be fine to give AA $400-$500, for the same leg, on the same plane, in the same seat, HA is selling for $150 or less, for the convenience and baggage protection. But there's no standard of reasonableness to AA's pricing in this instance that I can fathom.

I don't understand why AA would price tickets no reasonable person is likely to buy, when reasonable alternatives are available for a short flight. Make the differential comparable or reasonable to what HA is pricing, and I'd never take the time to mess with all this. United's differential vice arrival at HNL in their lie flat seats, and arriving at HNL and connecting to KOA with an HA codeshare, is reasonable. As is HA's itself. AA's is totally out of whack.
But, you purchased the routing!

If UA was better value, why not purchase that?
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
But, you purchased the routing!

If UA was better value, why not purchase that?
Good Question. Because, and only because, I will make AA Gold with the one-way ticket in F to HNL. I'm flying a lot in 2020, so some status utility is better than none. And AA's DCA-HNL leg is reasonably priced for a last minute ticket, and, there's ample time during the HNL to KOA layover to perform the machinations necessary to port the bags, and, HA's ticket prices inter-island are so favorable they barely account in the equation. And I will get to KOA at exactly the same time on the same plane either way.

Now, if AA did not have the DFW-HNL lie-flat leg available on my days, I wouldn't be doing any of this. So in essence I am doing it only because of the routing. Otherwise I'd be flying United or HA, in their lie flats from either EWR or JFK to KOA, regardless if I make Gold status or not. Rather than fly AA's PHX-KOA routing to get there at a reasonable price on AA, I'd just bag the trip this time.

I was more just curious if anyone honestly knew why AA was pricing in a manner hardly any reasonable person would buy the ticket. Vice buying directly from HA or WN.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 1:21 pm
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If you find a good travel agent that can put the AA and HA flights in the same PNR, AA might check it through. Technically, they are not supposed to since HA is not in Oneworld but often the check-in system does it automatically when it sees the other flight.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
It has nothing to do with either this routing or with AA. Neither DL nor UA check bags across separate tickets to HA, although they are a bit easier with online separate tickets and separate tickets within ST and *A respectively. OP would be in this pickle no matter his originating carrier.

This is a significant revenue issue for HA and especially so because legacy carrier premium cabin, elite and CC passengers do not qualify for bag waivers on HA. Thus, people show up at their HI gateway with the 2-3 overweight bags they thought they could carry onwards without fee, only to wind up paying for all 3 bags and overweight fees as well.
Often1, I just caught your edit. Ok, this might be starting to make sense to me, what you're saying about the baggage and the pricing, at least around the edges. I have to run out and take care of some things, but will ask some additional questions when i return. Thanks!
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 4:37 pm
  #938  
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Originally Posted by dls25
If you find a good travel agent that can put the AA and HA flights in the same PNR, AA might check it through. Technically, they are not supposed to since HA is not in Oneworld but often the check-in system does it automatically when it sees the other flight.
Being in same PNR doesnt matter. What matters to AA is being on one ticket. Even if it is one PNR, if it's two tickets they dont through check.

If on one ticket AA will through check to any carrier they have an interline agreement with. It doesn't matter if the airline is in OW or ST/*A, they'll check through if on one ticket.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO
Being in same PNR doesnt matter. What matters to AA is being on one ticket. Even if it is one PNR, if it's two tickets they dont through check.

If on one ticket AA will through check to any carrier they have an interline agreement with. It doesn't matter if the airline is in OW or ST/*A, they'll check through if on one ticket.
Not true. For example if you have an award and revenue ticket in the same PNR, AA will check the bags through. In this case the award ticket and revenue tickets are technically separate tickets with distinct ticket numbers. But under one PNR.

A good agent could theoretically issue end-on-end tickets inside the same PNR, which would accomplish the same thing.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 5:47 pm
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See https://saleslink.aa.com/en-US/docum...cy_06Sep16.pdf.

AA *will* through check baggage on separate tickets in one PNR if the other carrier is in OW.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by no1cub17
Not true. For example if you have an award and revenue ticket in the same PNR, AA will check the bags through. In this case the award ticket and revenue tickets are technically separate tickets with distinct ticket numbers. But under one PNR.
Only for AA-AA or AA-OW. HA is not in OW.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Only for AA-AA or AA-OW. HA is not in OW.
That is quite literally what I said. I just have often found that rule not hard-coded into SABRE so the checkin system often (but not always) ignores it....

Originally Posted by dls25
If you find a good travel agent that can put the AA and HA flights in the same PNR, AA might check it through. Technically, they are not supposed to since HA is not in Oneworld but often the check-in system does it automatically when it sees the other flight.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 6:47 pm
  #943  
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Originally Posted by dls25
If you find a good travel agent that can put the AA and HA flights in the same PNR, AA might check it through. Technically, they are not supposed to since HA is not in Oneworld but often the check-in system does it automatically when it sees the other flight.
Not only "technically," but they can't without overriding the system and printing manual tags. Many agents won't even know how to do this.
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Old Sep 21, 2019, 8:53 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Only for AA-AA or AA-OW. HA is not in OW.
I'm well aware of that. I was just saying that as a general statement, AA can and will check bags through with separate tickets under one PNR. I wasn't stating anything as it regards to HA.
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Old Sep 22, 2019, 6:23 am
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Because many people on FT rely on the advice given for future travel, the key here is to understand that PNR's and tickets are not the same thing, although many people wrongly use the terms interchangeably.

AA's rule is that it will not check bags across tickets unless they are booked into the same PNR and the onwards ticket is a OW carrier, including AA.

Doing that means booking the two or more tickets at the same time. While an AA phone agent is theoretically capable of doing this, very few are trained to do it and it may be a very real hassle to get one who is. Best to use a real TA. TA does not include one of the opaque third-party vendors sometimes referred to here as OTA's.
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