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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 Aug 28, 2022, 11:14 pm
  #1036  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 534
OP here....the plot thickens.

Several of you pointed out that I could book an AA award on AA metal and an AA award on Hawaiian metal on ONE TICKET.

Originally Posted by hawaii-bound
You can certainly book this as a single ticket with miles, the first being business DFW/OGG and then coach on HA OGG/KOA. You will need to set it up as multi-city same day travel. You will not be protected if you booked 2 separate tickets.
Originally Posted by guv1976
Nope, must be two awards: But just because it has to be two different awards does not mean that it has to be two different tickets. Everytime somebody books a simple LGA-ORD-LGA roundtrip with AAdvantage miles, they have two separate awards, but only one ticket. All AAdvantage awards these days are issued as one-ways; they can be combined flexibly to create a variety of itineraries on a single ticket.
Originally Posted by cmtlatitudes
Why do you want to book the flights on separate tickets? If both awards are available, shouldn't AA be able to link them in one award?
So, I got on AA.com and tried to set it up as a multi-city award ticket. Here is what I got when I tried to do that. All looks good:





But, then when I put the passengers names in and click continue it tells me that I must call AA Reservations to book this type of award. Here is the notice that I got:



So, I call AA (granted this is late on a Sunday night---are the best and most knowledgable people working), and I talk to an agent. I explain the entire situation and here is her answer:

Phone agent: "You can NOT book a multicity Award ticket and the only way to do it is with two separate reservations as you did."

I asked and she reaffirmed this is what she meant. Book an AA award on AA metal DFW-OGG and an AA award on HA metal OGG-KOA. Both tickets are then on 001 stock.

Then she told me that since they are both AA tickets I would be protected if some non-weather delay caused me to miss my second flight, even though it is a different PNR. I asked again and she confirmed that for a mechanical or similar delay we would be protected from one reservation to the next.

She also confirmed that AA or HA was under NO obligation to interline the bags, even though I had two 001 tickets and was supposedly protected. So she was telling me I had passenger protection but no bag interlining. Seems odd.

So was this agent giving me correct advice? That there are NO multi-city same day Award tickets??? (Just for clarity, if you search a one way DFW-KOA award ticket, it does not give any flat bed options like DFW-OGG-KOA, just narrow body options like DFW-LAX-KOA or DFW-PHX-KOA) It seems odd that the computer would actually pull it up per my picture above if its not something that can be booked.

[I also spoke to AA baggage and she confirmed no interlining with two separate PNRs, although she did sort of indicate that when I got to airport at DFW, if the agent wanted to do it, they maybe could tag the bag so that in Maui its transferred from AA to HA and put on the OGG-KOA flight.]
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 12:07 am
  #1037  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 588
After attempting to book the same awards as per your screenshot OP, I did see the error message you posted.
However, afterwards, I noticed that the trip is now showing under Manage My Trip. The trip is now showing as On Hold with a record locator for both AA and Hawaiian.
The Hawaiian PNR given does pull up the itinerary on the Hawaiian website.

I now wonder if I call in to ticket this PNR would it get ticketed just fine.



Last edited by Ragnarok; Aug 29, 2022 at 12:10 am Reason: Spelling correction.
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 7:11 am
  #1038  
 
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I have booked multi city award tickets online many times but with all flights on AA metal. Will be interested to see if a reservation agent can ticket multi city using a partner airline.
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 8:11 am
  #1039  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 588
Originally Posted by Furby
I have booked multi city award tickets online many times but with all flights on AA metal. Will be interested to see if a reservation agent can ticket multi city using a partner airline.
I've tickets multi city award tickets that includes a partner airline a few times. Very often I'll hold/ticket an award ticket with whichever long haul First/Business class flight options available at the time then add the domestic segments later.

e.g. Ticket XXX-DFW-HND (AA for XXX-DFW; JL for DFW-HND) + HND-JFK on JL with the intention of finding the domestic JFK/LGA-XXX later.
Or using CX to reach Japan - not allowed as one award but tickets just fine as a multi-city (US to Asia 2 award + Asia 2 to Asia 1 award).
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 1:49 pm
  #1040  
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Let me know what you find out about ticketing award DFW-OGG-KOA. Im doing similar itinerary at the moment in separate tickets.

DFW-OGG overnight OGG-KOA separate ticket next day. KOA-OGG and then OGG-DFW with a 5 hour layover.

Redeeming miles for island flights might not be worth it. My flights were $28 each way. I cancelled my award.

The risk of DFW-OGG-KOA with protection is if there is a problem with first flight, they may just route you to KOA via LAX/PHL so you end up losing the lie flat. Earlier last week DFW-OGG encounter a 6 hour delay which I think was a mechanical. Flight delayed by that amount because AA swapped original equipment with a plane arriving into DFW from Japan landing 5 hours after scheduled DFW-OGG departure.

Last edited by seawolf; Aug 29, 2022 at 3:45 pm
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 4:11 pm
  #1041  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 534
Originally Posted by Ragnarok
After attempting to book the same awards as per your screenshot OP, I did see the error message you posted.
However, afterwards, I noticed that the trip is now showing under Manage My Trip. The trip is now showing as On Hold with a record locator for both AA and Hawaiian.
The Hawaiian PNR given does pull up the itinerary on the Hawaiian website.

I now wonder if I call in to ticket this PNR would it get ticketed just fine.
We have an answer.

OP here.....as Rag stated, when I went in to make the reservation for a multi-city same day award (DFW-OGG on AA metal, OGG-KOA on HA metal), it gave me the error code, but when I went to My Trips it showed up as "On Request on 08/29/22" under My Trips.

The itinerary showed as an 87,500 biz ticket DFW-OGG (AA metal) and a 7,500 coach ticket OGG-KOA (HA metal), together in one reservation for 95,000 miles and $5.60. I called and asked an agent to ticket it. She said it would be no problem. A few minutes later she said that it was under "Q Review" and then several minutes later she said that it couldn't be ticketed. She said that it was not possible to book those the DFW-OGG (AA metal) and OGG-KOA (HA metal) awards on one ticket. The would have to stay separate PNRs with no protection and no baggage transfer.

She also told me that she wasn't sure that the DFW counter agent would even have the ability (if they wanted to) to tag the bags all the way DFW-OGG-KOA. She said that since there was no baggage agreement, once the bag was on the ground in OGG, the American employees would say "we aren't taking the bag to HA, we have no agreement with them." She was just speculating.
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 4:22 pm
  #1042  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
We have an answer.

OP here.....as Rag stated, when I went in to make the reservation for a multi-city same day award (DFW-OGG on AA metal, OGG-KOA on HA metal), it gave me the error code, but when I went to My Trips it showed up as "On Request on 08/29/22" under My Trips.

The itinerary showed as an 87,500 biz ticket DFW-OGG (AA metal) and a 7,500 coach ticket OGG-KOA (HA metal), together in one reservation for 95,000 miles and $5.60. I called and asked an agent to ticket it. She said it would be no problem. A few minutes later she said that it was under "Q Review" and then several minutes later she said that it couldn't be ticketed. She said that it was not possible to book those the DFW-OGG (AA metal) and OGG-KOA (HA metal) awards on one ticket. The would have to stay separate PNRs with no protection and no baggage transfer.

She also told me that she wasn't sure that the DFW counter agent would even have the ability (if they wanted to) to tag the bags all the way DFW-OGG-KOA. She said that since there was no baggage agreement, once the bag was on the ground in OGG, the American employees would say "we aren't taking the bag to HA, we have no agreement with them." She was just speculating.
Very odd. Hawaiian's website says that they have an interline baggage agreement with AA:

https://hawaiianair.custhelp.com/app...gage-statement

And according to this post, AA has an interline baggage agreement with HA:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/34278098-post4.html
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Old Aug 29, 2022, 11:05 pm
  #1043  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Very odd. Hawaiian's website says that they have an interline baggage agreement with AA:

https://hawaiianair.custhelp.com/app...gage-statement

And according to this post, AA has an interline baggage agreement with HA:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/34278098-post4.html
Interesting. The HA website does say they have an interline agreement with AA. And they also say, as expected, that they won't interline bags on separate tickets (which we already knew). But for the AA agent to act like there is no agreement at all is odd. I was at least hoping that on the morning of the flight at DFW, the ticket agent would agree to transfer the bags from AA to HA in OGG, although on separate PNRs. I know this would be AA doing us a favor and I can't EXPECT it.
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 3:28 am
  #1044  
 
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
We have an answer.

OP here.....as Rag stated, when I went in to make the reservation for a multi-city same day award (DFW-OGG on AA metal, OGG-KOA on HA metal), it gave me the error code, but when I went to My Trips it showed up as "On Request on 08/29/22" under My Trips.

The itinerary showed as an 87,500 biz ticket DFW-OGG (AA metal) and a 7,500 coach ticket OGG-KOA (HA metal), together in one reservation for 95,000 miles and $5.60. I called and asked an agent to ticket it. She said it would be no problem. A few minutes later she said that it was under "Q Review" and then several minutes later she said that it couldn't be ticketed. She said that it was not possible to book those the DFW-OGG (AA metal) and OGG-KOA (HA metal) awards on one ticket. The would have to stay separate PNRs with no protection and no baggage transfer.
I have a very vague recollection of a discussion a few years back (pre-covid). AA-HA connections, and HA's angst over baggage issues and ability/inability to collect appropriate bag fees. It centered around bag fees and expectations from customers that their AA FF elite class benefits would carry over to the inter-island HA operated connections. Service class, number of bags, overweight articles, etc. Wonder if this is possibly related?
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 7:35 am
  #1045  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
Interesting. The HA website does say they have an interline agreement with AA. And they also say, as expected, that they won't interline bags on separate tickets (which we already knew). But for the AA agent to act like there is no agreement at all is odd. I was at least hoping that on the morning of the flight at DFW, the ticket agent would agree to transfer the bags from AA to HA in OGG, although on separate PNRs. I know this would be AA doing us a favor and I can't EXPECT it.
Well documented AA will not do this on separate PNR. HA has bag fees which AA cant collect for HA.
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 3:23 pm
  #1046  
 
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Well documented AA will not do this on separate PNR. HA has bag fees which AA can’t collect for HA.
I wonder if HA would be more likely to interline a bag if passenger leaving from KOA where HA can collect their baggage fees, and then HA can transfer the bag to AA in OGG for an OGG-DFW AA flight. HA would be getting their fees so what would they care?

Or I wonder if AA ticket agent in DFW MIGHT interline bags from AA DFW-OGG flight to HA OGG-KOA flight if the passenger is first class, because then there are no bag fees for HA to collect.
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 3:56 pm
  #1047  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
Or I wonder if AA ticket agent in DFW MIGHT interline bags from AA DFW-OGG flight to HA OGG-KOA flight if the passenger is first class, because then there are no bag fees for HA to collect.
AA won't if it's on separate tickets, even in first class.
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 4:04 pm
  #1048  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Can someone explain to me the logic of AA selling for cash a AA-HA ticket on one PNR, but making you take the same exact itinerary on two PNRs if you pay for it with miles?
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 4:05 pm
  #1049  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK

Or I wonder if AA ticket agent in DFW MIGHT interline bags from AA DFW-OGG flight to HA OGG-KOA flight if the passenger is first class, because then there are no bag fees for HA to collect.
AA will not check baggage through on separate tickets regardless of which airline operates the onward flight - class of service makes no difference

If going to make separate bookings, then you will have to collect bags and check them in
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Old Aug 30, 2022, 4:08 pm
  #1050  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
AA will not check baggage through on separate tickets regardless of which airline operates the onward flight
That requires a qualification: If the second ticket is on a oneworld carrier, AA will through-check the bags (and offer protection in the event of IROPS) if both tickets are contained in the same PNR.
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