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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 Feb 3, 2020, 10:21 am
  #991  
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Originally Posted by hkflyer2014
Quote: "No. AA does not check luggage through on separate tickets, even AA to AA. Been this way since 2016."

I was just told this in Miami, however I have interlined from AA to CX on separate PNR's MANY times, as recently as this past summer. It appears that it can be done, but like many things with airlines, depends on the luck of the draw at the counter and whether the staff is experienced, and willing to TRY to help.

(What's ironic, is that UA seems to have ZERO issue (at least in my case) interlining to CX on separate PNR's and they're not even OW.)
Absolutely, nothing has changed in AA's systems to prevent checking bags through, AA has just instructed agents not to do it as a policy.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 10:37 am
  #992  
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
I just wanted to share my recent experience in getting separate bookings joined into one PNR.

I had put two different trips on hold via the AA website. Itin#1 is A to-B and is a $$$ ticket. Itin#2 is B to C to D and is an AA saver award ticket. I called AAdvantage reservations and asked if I could get the two itineraries joined into a single PNR. I was told it would be no issue and after about 5 or 10 minutes, the Itin#1 flight was over into Itin#2. the PNR for Itin#1 was listed as deleted or canceled in my My Trips list, and the PNR for Itin#2 showed all flights. All of the tickets were issued by AA (001) and Itin#1 is on AA metal and Itin#2 is on OW metal (not AA).

I am hoping that when I check in on my first flight I can get my bags checked all the way through (A to D) so I can get off at my connecting airport (B) and just go to the Flagship Lounge and chill. I have been following this thread for some time and am surprised with how easy it was. I was all ready for a multiple HUCA marathon.
AA and several oneworld partners decided to create challenges for passengers who were saving money by using separate ticketing. Not all oneworld airlines chose to sign on, and a few walked it back when they saw the unfriendly results. But AA, BA, QF have stuck it through.

AA does offer the exception of through-checking bags when the trip includes separate ticketing and one ticket is an award and the other is paid. Unfortunately, not all agents are aware and cooperative.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 10:59 am
  #993  
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Originally Posted by JDiver
AA and several oneworld partners decided to create challenges for passengers who were saving money by using separate ticketing. Not all oneworld airlines chose to sign on, and a few walked it back when they saw the unfriendly results. But AA, BA, QF have stuck it through.

AA does offer the exception of through-checking bags when the trip includes separate ticketing and one ticket is an award and the other is paid. Unfortunately, not all agents are aware and cooperative.
What about AY (Finnair) ?
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 1:50 pm
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This might be the wrong place to ask but is it possible to have AA merge separate awards into one PNR? We booked 2 QR awards with my wifes account from DOH>PHL for 140k and then later on booked separately MLE>DOH for 17.5k in Y. Would married segments block them from doing this and essentially refunding our 17.5k for each Y ticket?
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 2:25 pm
  #995  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderK
This might be the wrong place to ask but is it possible to have AA merge separate awards into one PNR? We booked 2 QR awards with my wife’s account from DOH>PHL for 140k and then later on booked separately MLE>DOH for 17.5k in Y. Would married segments block them from doing this and essentially refunding our 17.5k for each Y ticket?
PNR's can't be merged. Only possibility is cancel both and (hopefully) rebook. But very high risk. As no guarantee that the seats would go back to QR award inventory. So do not do that. Fly as booked.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by AlexanderK
This might be the wrong place to ask but is it possible to have AA merge separate awards into one PNR? We booked 2 QR awards with my wifes account from DOH>PHL for 140k and then later on booked separately MLE>DOH for 17.5k in Y. Would married segments block them from doing this and essentially refunding our 17.5k for each Y ticket?
You should be able to book that as a through ticket if the award space is still available. I'd call and ask AA if they can CHANGE your ticket's destination for a $150 fee per ticket. That would be worth it to me for the peace of mind.
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Old Feb 3, 2020, 4:47 pm
  #997  
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Originally Posted by AlexanderK
This might be the wrong place to ask but is it possible to have AA merge separate awards into one PNR? We booked 2 QR awards with my wifes account from DOH>PHL for 140k and then later on booked separately MLE>DOH for 17.5k in Y. Would married segments block them from doing this and essentially refunding our 17.5k for each Y ticket?
You would need to change one of the bookings to be MLE-DOH-PHL and then refund the other ticket. Each of those changes would have a fee associated ( unless exempt ) - it is not possible to merge 2 separate bookings into one booking

If there is no availability due to availability for a through ticket, then you are not going to be able to make the change
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Old Feb 4, 2020, 3:46 am
  #998  
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FWIW, for those that are disabled and have a hard time moving, AA must interline if you ask for accommodation due to disability. This is true even when on separate tickets. (The wording of the rule actually has the info on separate tickets since airlines were trying to use it as excuse)

Agents may push back, thus I recommend calling before going to airport to have it setup.
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Old Sep 18, 2021, 7:43 pm
  #999  
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Flying ORD -JFK then separate ticket JFK-LHR all on AA metal, my understanding is I will be protected but bags will not be checked thru. Does AA make exceptions for EXP like united does for 1Ks?
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Old Sep 18, 2021, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by General99
Flying ORD -JFK then separate ticket JFK-LHR all on AA metal, my understanding is I will be protected but bags will not be checked thru. Does AA make exceptions for EXP like united does for 1Ks?
YMMV on protection. Wording has been changed that AA<->OW protection should be on SAME PNR.

https://saleslink.aa.com/en-US/docum...S)_plus_90.pdf
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Old Sep 18, 2021, 8:39 pm
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Originally Posted by seawolf
YMMV on protection. Wording has been changed that AA<->OW protection should be on SAME PNR.

https://saleslink.aa.com/en-US/docum...S)_plus_90.pdf
your right, theres no area for separate PNR but within one world. Super annoying to know im not protected. Just dumb in so many way. I honestly think AA will stop allowing lounge access if you need to use separate tickets to allow it. They want to stop people booking separate tickets so badly.Changes to itineraries for Customers holding separate tickets:

AA to/from AA or a oneworld Carrier in the Same PNR
Customers should be treated as through ticketed customers. In the event of a disruption on the originating ticket, the carrier responsible for the disruption will be required to reroute the customer to their final destination. The ticket stock of the second ticket must be of a
oneworld carrier, eligible under the Endorsement Waiver Agreement. You may contact AA Reservations 1-800-433-7300 (U.S. and Canada) or outside the U.S. and Canada, reference Worldwide Reservations Numbers for additional information if the separate ticket is for travel on a oneworld carrier.

AA to/from Non-oneworld Carrier in the Same or Separate PNRs
Schedule Irregularity procedures and AA Conditions of Carriage do not apply to separate tickets purchased by the customer as part of their journey. Example: customer holds a ticket from ABQ-ORD on AA (001 ticket stock) and a separate ticket on WestJet for continuing travel from ORD-YYZ. If the AA flight is late or cancelled, AA has no responsibility for onward travel on a separate ticket for travel on a non-
oneworld carrier. Advise customers who may be affected that they will need to work separately with the other airline for assistance.
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Old Oct 5, 2021, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by General99
your right, theres no area for separate PNR but within one world. Super annoying to know im not protected. Just dumb in so many way. I honestly think AA will stop allowing lounge access if you need to use separate tickets to allow it. They want to stop people booking separate tickets so badly.Changes to itineraries for Customers holding separate tickets:

AA to/from AA or a oneworld Carrier in the Same PNR
Customers should be treated as through ticketed customers. In the event of a disruption on the originating ticket, the carrier responsible for the disruption will be required to reroute the customer to their final destination. The ticket stock of the second ticket must be of a
oneworld carrier, eligible under the Endorsement Waiver Agreement. You may contact AA Reservations 1-800-433-7300 (U.S. and Canada) or outside the U.S. and Canada, reference Worldwide Reservations Numbers for additional information if the separate ticket is for travel on a oneworld carrier.

AA to/from Non-oneworld Carrier in the Same or Separate PNRs
Schedule Irregularity procedures and AA Conditions of Carriage do not apply to separate tickets purchased by the customer as part of their journey. Example: customer holds a ticket from ABQ-ORD on AA (001 ticket stock) and a separate ticket on WestJet for continuing travel from ORD-YYZ. If the AA flight is late or cancelled, AA has no responsibility for onward travel on a separate ticket for travel on a non-
oneworld carrier. Advise customers who may be affected that they will need to work separately with the other airline for assistance.
Regarding protection on AA->OW tickets on separate PNRs, is there any new info on this omission from the IRROPS policy? The policy is silent on the AA->OW scenario when separate PNRs are involved.
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 11:17 am
  #1003  
 
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can I check bags through with separate PNRs?

I have SFO-JFK-GRU ticketed in two separate reservations/PNRs, both on AA. Can I check my bag though, or do I need to pick it up at JFK and re-check it? I found some document online from 2016 that suggests that I cannot check the bag through but was hoping for some more current wisdom. Thanks.
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 11:22 am
  #1004  
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No. AA does not check bags through on separate PNR's.
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 11:28 am
  #1005  
 
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Thanks. I'll keep my same super long connection for now to play it safe. I suppose more Flagship First Lounge time is the silver lining.
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