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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 30, 2022, 6:06 pm
  #1051  
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Originally Posted by EQDsSUCK
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?
Speculating it is a commercial decision and has something to do with interline agreement and IROP onto a non partner airline at below market rates.

Eg. KOA-OGG-DFW on AA miles. HA cancels and reroute onto UA. Speculating on a AA revenue ticket it will be at market rate meeting HA-UA interline agreement minimum. Same scenario on AA award may not meet those minimum. Entire scenario avoided by not ticketing AA award involving HA and AA. Again Im just guessing.
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Old Oct 5, 2022, 11:53 pm
  #1052  
 
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Reading here is seems that AA will not interline to QF with tickets on 2 separate PNRs.

I have the following with a 2.5 hour layover:
LAS-LAX (AA Award)
LAX-MEL (QF Award)

Reports here indicate it is possible that if I cancel the AA Award and purchase a revenue ticket they would interline. Am I interpreting the posts here correctly? If so it's probably worth doing so to minimise my risk of something going wrong.

For anyone wondering, the AA award(s) are not available to book via Qantas.

Last edited by bacook; Oct 6, 2022 at 12:17 am
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 12:43 am
  #1053  
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It would make no difference whether it is award or revenue; AA will not check the baggage through,

Did you try calling Qantas or just rely on the web booking?

I wouldn't rely on 2.5 hours being enough with separate tickets
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 3:07 am
  #1054  
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Originally Posted by bacook
Reading here is seems that AA will not interline to QF with tickets on 2 separate PNRs.

I have the following with a 2.5 hour layover:
LAS-LAX (AA Award)
LAX-MEL (QF Award)

Reports here indicate it is possible that if I cancel the AA Award and purchase a revenue ticket they would interline. Am I interpreting the posts here correctly? If so it's probably worth doing so to minimise my risk of something going wrong.

For anyone wondering, the AA award(s) are not available to book via Qantas.
AA would still only interline if this was all on one LAS-LAX-MEL ticket. Simply changing the LAS-LAX to a cash booking wouldn’t change anything.

BTW you don’t have 2 1/2 hours. You have that less the QF checkin / bag drop close time, so likely closer to 1 1/2 hours to deboard, collect bags and get to the QF desks by their deadlines. But you should check those QF deadlines.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 5:33 pm
  #1055  
 
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Thanks for the replies. I haven't called Qantas but used their website and also ExpertFlyer. EF seems a good indicator of whether the airlines has released to partners.

Sounds like to be safe I'll have to take the earlier flight with an 8 hour layover or drive from LAS-LAX.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 7:05 pm
  #1056  
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I would suggest cancelling the domestic award booking and then make a telephone call to Qantas and see whether it can include that flight into the existing booking. That would be the best option over 8hrs in LA or driving

If needing an earlier flight, are there not any flights that would give more time, but not need to go to 8 hrs?
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 7:21 pm
  #1057  
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Originally Posted by bacook
Thanks for the replies. I haven't called Qantas but used their website and also ExpertFlyer. EF seems a good indicator of whether the airlines has released to partners.

Sounds like to be safe I'll have to take the earlier flight with an 8 hour layover or drive from LAS-LAX.
I would investigate either award availability or the price of a cash ticket on AS for the LAS-LAX segment. AS will through-check bags to other oneworld carriers, even on separate tickets.

What I don't know is whether AS will protect you on separate tickets in the event of IROPS.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 8:56 pm
  #1058  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I would suggest cancelling the domestic award booking and then make a telephone call to Qantas and see whether it can include that flight into the existing booking. That would be the best option over 8hrs in LA or driving

If needing an earlier flight, are there not any flights that would give more time, but not need to go to 8 hrs?
Thanks Dave they are technically not MileSaver awards as they are a couple of thousand points higher. I can still book awards seats on AA for 13-16k points on the day but they won't be available to Qantas.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 8:56 pm
  #1059  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
I would investigate either award availability or the price of a cash ticket on AS for the LAS-LAX segment. AS will through-check bags to other oneworld carriers, even on separate tickets.

What I don't know is whether AS will protect you on separate tickets in the event of IROPS.
Thanks for the tip on AS. That's a solid option.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 10:20 pm
  #1060  
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Originally Posted by bacook
Thanks for the tip on AS. That's a solid option.
You're welcome!

I obviously don't know what day you're traveling, but I'm seeing some very cheap one-ways on AS LAS-LAX on some days, so be sure to check cash fares.

Do you have oneworld status with QF or any other oneworld carrier? Even low-tier elites get two free checked bags on AS.
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Old Oct 6, 2022, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
You're welcome!

I obviously don't know what day you're traveling, but I'm seeing some very cheap one-ways on AS LAS-LAX on some days, so be sure to check cash fares.

Do you have oneworld status with QF or any other oneworld carrier? Even low-tier elites get two free checked bags on AS.
It's Monday just after Thanksgiving so prices are somewhat inflated. I am OWE which would help with bags and Premium class.

I've also set up ExpertFlyer alerts in case award seats open up as I could add them to my QF (J) itinerary for no extra points and a nominal fee.
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 4:21 pm
  #1062  
 
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Separate AA tickets - they won't transfer bags?

I have 2 separate tickets booked by AA.
LIH-HNL booked through AA on Hawaiian Airlines metal. (booked recently)
HNL-DFW-STL on AA metal (booked a while ago)
AA is telling me my bags can't be checked through and that I will have to claim them at baggage and recheck them. Is this correct? I'm assuming it is but thought I'd get "a second opinion"
Thanks
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 4:22 pm
  #1063  
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This is correct. No through checking on separate PNRs
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 4:24 pm
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Thank you... and way that they can be combined?
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Old Jan 7, 2023, 4:30 pm
  #1065  
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Originally Posted by pkerr
Thank you... and way that they can be combined?
There's no way to combine separate PNRs.
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