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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 Feb 1, 2023, 4:54 am
  #1081  
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Originally Posted by CJ99
How about on the return: can OP collect his/her bags at ORD, pass through customs, then immediately check them at the connection desk in T5, or will they make him/her take the bags on the people mover and check them at T3?
In my experience, at ORD a few years ago, after a CX flight, there was an AA person at the re-check desk. He printed an AA ORD-AUS tag for me no problem, then I left the bag there, just like anyone else would. The bag arrived at baggage claim at AUS with no problems.
As with anything else, smile and be nice, and maybe they'll help you.
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Old Feb 1, 2023, 6:56 am
  #1082  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
There are two different things being discussed here, at pretty much every AA hub there are connection "desks" located steps away from the connection "carousel".

If your bags are checked through you can just drop them off at the connection carousel and be on your way.

If your bag is not checked through you can still drop it off at the connection desk, you have to speak to an agent briefly where they'll re-tag it to the new final destination based on the 2nd ticket.

The key point is that in this situation you never have to lug your bags to the main AA check-in areas to check them in again.

This.
I do this all the time on OneWorld return trips connecting to AA esepcially when I use miles to book and combine separate PNR.
It takes maybe a minute or two tops generally to check the bag just outside customs and immigration for the onward flight. Not as much fun on the outgoing flights but connecting back to the US, you have to get your bag in hand anyway so the extra couple of minutes to recheck is a breeze
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Old Sep 9, 2023, 5:06 am
  #1083  
 
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Going to fly DCA-JFK on AA (last flight out), 4.5hr connect, then JFK-HKG-SYD. Both tickets in J, I'm OWE.

I've got a flexible Cathay ticket so I think I'm fine... but AA has cancelled the DCA-JFK flight ~25% of the time in the last month.

Would you do this?
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Old Sep 9, 2023, 6:18 am
  #1084  
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Originally Posted by shuuy
Going to fly DCA-JFK on AA (last flight out), 4.5hr connect, then JFK-HKG-SYD. Both tickets in J, I'm OWE.

I've got a flexible Cathay ticket so I think I'm fine... but AA has cancelled the DCA-JFK flight ~25% of the time in the last month.

Would you do this?
I would be fine with it. Odds are your DCA-JFK will go without a hitch. Worst case there's a later DCA-JFK on DL and a few others to LGA.
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Old Sep 9, 2023, 10:22 am
  #1085  
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Originally Posted by shuuy
Going to fly DCA-JFK on AA (last flight out), 4.5hr connect, then JFK-HKG-SYD. Both tickets in J, I'm OWE.

I've got a flexible Cathay ticket so I think I'm fine... but AA has cancelled the DCA-JFK flight ~25% of the time in the last month.

Would you do this?
How bad do you need to get to SYD on original time? During the summer peak, flights were fully booked so a cancellation often meant next flight with seats available was 12-72 hours away. So even if there was a flight 3 hours later than original on the schedule, it was fully booked.

If you must be on that flight to HKG then plan on alternative options such as Acela.
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Old Sep 10, 2023, 4:59 am
  #1086  
 
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Thanks all - just trying to get home as quick as possible after a conference. If the CX flight cancels, then c'est la vie. If not, I'm home one night earlier.

AA flight is 19h45. Backup is DL @ 20h30, regional train (last Acela 19h30), DCA-LGA @ 22h00 or rental car 4h.

CX flight departs 01h55. the 13 minute taxi ride from LGA to JFK may be much better then all of those!

(I'm also getting the vibe - if the AA is late or cancelled, CX won't protect me/care?)

Last edited by shuuy; Sep 10, 2023 at 5:08 am
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Old Sep 10, 2023, 12:13 pm
  #1087  
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Originally Posted by shuuy
Thanks all - just trying to get home as quick as possible after a conference. If the CX flight cancels, then c'est la vie. If not, I'm home one night earlier.

AA flight is 19h45. Backup is DL @ 20h30, regional train (last Acela 19h30), DCA-LGA @ 22h00 or rental car 4h.

CX flight departs 01h55. the 13 minute taxi ride from LGA to JFK may be much better then all of those!

(I'm also getting the vibe - if the AA is late or cancelled, CX won't protect me/care?)
If everything is on the same PNR then your are protected. If not then you don't really have a connection and you are on your own.

Having said that, most airlines will do their best to get you there eventually if you miss a flight.
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Old Sep 10, 2023, 1:31 pm
  #1088  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
Having said that, most airlines will do their best to get you there eventually if you miss a flight.
I would not make that assumption with foreign carriers; some would require the traveler to purchase a new ticket at a walk-up fare if the traveler simply missed the flight. I'm not sure what CX's policies are, or what the refund/change conditions are of the OP's particular ticket. But refunds/changes often have to be made before the ticketed flight departs.
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Old Sep 10, 2023, 6:06 pm
  #1089  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
I would not make that assumption with foreign carriers; some would require the traveler to purchase a new ticket at a walk-up fare if the traveler simply missed the flight. I'm not sure what CX's policies are, or what the refund/change conditions are of the OP's particular ticket. But refunds/changes often have to be made before the ticketed flight departs.
Some US carriers will do that too but most won't. I would not rely on it either and I always leave a lot of time when self connecting but realistically people miss flights all the time for a variety of reasons and generally the airlines get them there. It's not like there aren't flat tires in foreign countries.
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Old Oct 4, 2023, 5:51 pm
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I've skimmed over this thread and I'm still a bit confused.

I have an AA award ticket on hold for JAL in J, ORD-HND-HKG. I also have a YYZ-ORD revenue ticket on hold.

Is it possible to get the two onto a single PNR so that, as far as I understand, I can get the bags checked through to HKG? I understand that I'll have to pick up and recheck the bags at ORD after customs.
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Old Oct 4, 2023, 5:57 pm
  #1091  
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Originally Posted by injust
I've skimmed over this thread and I'm still a bit confused.

I have an AA award ticket on hold for JAL in J, ORD-HND-HKG. I also have a YYZ-ORD revenue ticket on hold.

Is it possible to get the two onto a single PNR so that, as far as I understand, I can get the bags checked through to HKG? I understand that I'll have to pick up and recheck the bags at ORD after customs.
Not possible. See Post 1094, below.

And you will clear U.S. Immigration and Customs at the U.S. "preclearance" facility at YYZ, not at ORD.

Last edited by guv1976; Oct 4, 2023 at 6:39 pm
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Old Oct 4, 2023, 6:00 pm
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Thanks for clarifying.

Is https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31504856-post886.html outdated information then, or is there something I'm missing?

Originally Posted by no1cub17
In this case you're outta luck, there's no way I know that AF would be able to issue you a separate AA ticket inside the same PNR. Next time you need to do this, use AA miles. A knowledgeable agent can book a revenue segment inside the same PNR as the AA award ticket. This is a common problem given AA's terrible award availability. You have to do this at the time of booking though. So next time put the JL award on hold, and then call AA to book the revenue segment inside the JL award's PNR.
​​​​
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Old Oct 4, 2023, 6:05 pm
  #1093  
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Originally Posted by injust
Thanks for clarifying.

Is https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31504856-post886.html outdated information then, or is there something I'm missing?


​​​​
You can certainly call AA and ask, but if this were (still) possible, I expect that we would have seen many more datapoints about it here on FT.

Good luck, and please report back.
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Old Oct 4, 2023, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
You can certainly call AA and ask, but if this were (still) possible, I expect that we would have seen many more datapoints about it here on FT.

Good luck, and please report back.
Called in and got a knowledgable agent on the first try. She said that this is doable.

Except I messed up by holding the positioning flight yesterday instead of booking immediately. Now, the price has gone up, and if I wanted to book it within the same PNR, I would pay the higher price.

But I explicitly confirmed with her that it's possible to book a revenue ticket into the PNR of the on-hold award ticket.
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Old Mar 5, 2024, 3:43 pm
  #1095  
 
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Hi, thank you for helping me and apologies if my question re interlining baggage on Oneworld carriers causes confusion.
I have had several flight changes ( !!!) for a trip Australia to Anchorage in May.
North American domestic sectors were once direct LAX -SFO- ANC is now LAX-SFO-SEA-ANC .

Australia to LAX Qantas Business reward on Qantas and on same PNR,
LAX - SFO on AA
Then there is a separate PNR covering
SFO - SEA -ANC Alaskan paid first class ticket .

As I will be picking up my bags at LAX, I would like to just go to AA checkin counter there and have bags tagged LAX-SFO ( AA) - SEA (Alaskan)- ANC ( Alaskan).
Is this acceptable practice ?
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