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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 Mar 2, 2022, 12:43 pm
  #1006  
 
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Originally Posted by CurbedEnthusiasm
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.
I tried multiple agents, at the gate, airside customer assistance desk, Admirals Club desk, check-in desk recently following IRROPS BOS-JFK-LHR. BOS-JFK delayed by 4 hours. Latter sector on BA, separate ticket. They all flatly refused, politely, stating that they cannot touch separate tickets OW or AA or anybody else. They can only rebook if it's all on the same PNR. Considering multiple agents said this, I think AA's subtle word change and silence on this essentially affirms that there officially is no protection if on separate tickets!
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 2:44 pm
  #1007  
 
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Originally Posted by AirbusA350
I tried multiple agents, at the gate, airside customer assistance desk, Admirals Club desk, check-in desk recently following IRROPS BOS-JFK-LHR. BOS-JFK delayed by 4 hours. Latter sector on BA, separate ticket. They all flatly refused, politely, stating that they cannot touch separate tickets OW or AA or anybody else. They can only rebook if it's all on the same PNR. Considering multiple agents said this, I think AA's subtle word change and silence on this essentially affirms that there officially is no protection if on separate tickets!
How would AA even touch a ticket wholly within BA's systems? I'm not sure technically how they would even do this if the policy allowed it, unless they actually called BA.
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 2:53 pm
  #1008  
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
How would AA even touch a ticket wholly within BA's systems? I'm not sure technically how they would even do this if the policy allowed it, unless they actually called BA.
AA can -- and has done so in the past, before adding the requirement that two separate tickets must be in the same PNR in order to be protected. There may very well be some communication between AA and BA required in order for AA to take over the BA ticket.
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Old Mar 2, 2022, 3:18 pm
  #1009  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
AA can -- and has done so in the past, before adding the requirement that two separate tickets must be in the same PNR in order to be protected. There may very well be some communication between AA and BA required in order for AA to take over the BA ticket.
Even more so considering they're in the same alliance and additionally are a part of a metal-neutral JV where they all sell each other's tickets! It's just their refusal to do so when no separate tickets!
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Old Mar 3, 2022, 1:28 am
  #1010  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
AA can -- and has done so in the past, before adding the requirement that two separate tickets must be in the same PNR in order to be protected. There may very well be some communication between AA and BA required in order for AA to take over the BA ticket.
When did they do this? While they will not check through bags, AA does protect across tickets when both are 1)issued by an OW carrier and 2)all remaining flights on other ticket are OW flights.

They have access through computer system to other OW etickets in cases like this. Just had to do this in January. No issues from agent.
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Old Mar 3, 2022, 10:51 am
  #1011  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO
When did they do this? While they will not check through bags, AA does protect across tickets when both are 1)issued by an OW carrier and 2)all remaining flights on other ticket are OW flights.
See Posts 1,000 and 1,006, upthread.
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Old Mar 4, 2022, 1:16 am
  #1012  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
See Posts 1,000 and 1,006, upthread.
I saw posts. However we've all had multiple agent say X is policy when it really isn't. The fact agent states they can't touch the BA ticket (in one of the posts) makes me believe they just don't know.
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Old Mar 4, 2022, 9:13 am
  #1013  
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Originally Posted by flyerCO
I saw posts. However we've all had multiple agent say X is policy when it really isn't. The fact agent states they can't touch the BA ticket (in one of the posts) makes me believe they just don't know.
While I agree that agent probably don't know how and just default to can't be done, it's a moot point. The policy appears to be dead for most passengers as the only way to have to separate tickets (especially if other ticket is OW but not 001) contained with a single PNR would be thru a travel agency booking.
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Old Mar 5, 2022, 10:40 am
  #1014  
 
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I'm convinced that a lot of these changes are a result of more AAgents just not knowing or having access to native sabre anymore to make the appropriate changes.

Added to the mix is that AS is new enough to probably not have much of a liason desk.

Anyway, since it's hard to get an AAgent who knows how to make it work, and often in these situations you're under time pressure, it's best to not expect this policy exists.

At the very least you might have to HUCA 4-5x. And with today's wait times that's pretty much half a day. And by then it'll be too late.
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Old Mar 17, 2022, 2:11 am
  #1015  
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The last few posts have me confused. If I have separate ticket numbers issued by a oneworld carrier (not AA) but under the same PNR, is AA's policy to through check?
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Old Mar 17, 2022, 5:12 am
  #1016  
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Originally Posted by danger
The last few posts have me confused. If I have separate ticket numbers issued by a oneworld carrier (not AA) but under the same PNR, is AA's policy to through check?
If everything is on the same record then AA should check your bags through.
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Old May 3, 2022, 5:17 pm
  #1017  
 
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Traveling LAX-MEL on QF on a BA award. Will be flying to LAX same day from either ORD or LAS (ORD is home but am trying to spend a couple days in LAS before going to Australia if I can swing it), and planned to book the domestic segment to LAX on AA. I understand from this thread that AA wouldnt be obligAAted to check my bags all the way through to Melbourne, but if I were lucky enough to get a kind check-in agent, is there any chance they would check the bags through to MEL? Or is it such a low chance as to be negligible and I should just book the domestic leg on whoever is cheAApest? Thanks in advance.
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Old May 3, 2022, 6:26 pm
  #1018  
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Originally Posted by jackk763
Traveling LAX-MEL on QF on a BA award. Will be flying to LAX same day from either ORD or LAS (ORD is home but am trying to spend a couple days in LAS before going to Australia if I can swing it), and planned to book the domestic segment to LAX on AA. I understand from this thread that AA wouldnt be obligAAted to check my bags all the way through to Melbourne, but if I were lucky enough to get a kind check-in agent, is there any chance they would check the bags through to MEL? Or is it such a low chance as to be negligible and I should just book the domestic leg on whoever is cheAApest? Thanks in advance.
No, it's been against policy now for almost 6 years so basically no chance that an AA agent will check bags through.
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Old May 3, 2022, 7:16 pm
  #1019  
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Off topic
Originally Posted by jackk763
Traveling LAX-MEL on QF on a BA award..
Make sure you complete the AU DPD. Every day people are denied boarding, because the DPD has not been done. Web site is easier than the phone app
AU Govt link-->COVID-19 and the border-Updates to Australia's immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allow plenty of time at LAX for the transfer
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Old May 3, 2022, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
No, it's been against policy now for almost 6 years so basically no chance that an AA agent will check bags through.
Thanks
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