Does AA not late check bags / baggage?

Old Feb 14, 17, 9:57 am
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Does AA not late check bags / baggage?

I Arrive to check in counter after bag check deadline (Already checked in). Agent refuses to check bag onto later flight while maintaining my ticket, even though there is 40m before flight departs. She says the only way to check bag is to rebook onto later flight. After moving me to the later flight, she refuses to at least put me on standby on my original flight. I walk to the gate and have the gate agent put me back on the flight, reupgrading me back to the same seat... With plenty of time to spare.

Was the check in agent lazy? Or is this some AA policy. On WN late checking has never been a problem... Even had very short checked bags make it routinely.

A side note is that for some reason they only had one check in agent (SJC) and they kept skipping people in the priority lane for some reason. I get that I probably should have arrived earlier, but my annoyance at the failure to accommodate the lateness was exacerbated by the fact that I actually did arrive at the check in line 50-55 mins before the flight, it just took 15 mins to get to the counter, in a priority line no less.
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Last edited by no2chem; Feb 14, 17 at 11:04 am
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:07 am
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Weird. Out of MCI, I've late-checked a bag on AA a couple times over the years, usually with a warning that the bag might not make it. Aside from the warning about the bag, never an issue with *me* staying on the original flight.

The bag has always made it, being a pretty small station and all, but to me the agent was following correct protocol in my cases. I don't know why your counter agent behaved so differently.

My cases were domestic only. I could see international being different.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:11 am
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agent who checked you in was right
agent who moved you back to your original flight and allowed you to fly without your checked bag was wrong. applies even to domestic flights, not just int'l

I've had it happen to me under same circumstances. I reached the checkin agent in the priority checkin line 3 minutes after the baggage check cut off, and I was forced to take a later flight (for which I also had to fly standby to get on). Missed the next 2-3 flights and finally got on one

They haven't changed the must-fly-with-checked-bags rule. Sometimes you slip thru the cracks, which you managed to when they rebooked you.

My bet is that your checked bag took the later flight, correct?
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by LovePrunes View Post
They haven't changed the must-fly-with-checked-bags rule. Sometimes you slip thru the cracks, which you managed to when they rebooked you.
Actually, they did, but you might have missed it, because it was about 10 years ago.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by LovePrunes View Post
agent who checked you in was right
agent who moved you back to your original flight and allowed you to fly without your checked bag was wrong. applies even to domestic flights, not just int'l

I've had it happen to me under same circumstances. I reached the checkin agent in the priority checkin line 3 minutes after the baggage check cut off, and I was forced to take a later flight (for which I also had to fly standby to get on). Missed the next 2-3 flights and finally got on one

They haven't changed the must-fly-with-checked-bags rule. Sometimes you slip thru the cracks, which you managed to when they rebooked you.

My bet is that your checked bag took the later flight, correct?
this was domestic. positive bag check hasn't been a FAA/dot/CFR domestic requirement for maybe 2 decades... Please check your facts, unless you know this is AA policy to not late check bags (maybe this is what you are saying)?

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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:34 am
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AA policy is to not allow a voluntary separation with your luggage. In this case the ticket counter agent was right and the gate agent was wrong. A good gate agent would ensure there are no checked bags before doing a flight change.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by milesandmoremiles View Post
AA policy is to not allow a voluntary separation with your luggage. In this case the ticket counter agent was right and the gate agent was wrong. A good gate agent would ensure there are no checked bags before doing a flight change.
Late arrival is considered voluntary separation?
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by milesandmoremiles View Post
AA policy is to not allow a voluntary separation with your luggage. In this case the ticket counter agent was right and the gate agent was wrong. A good gate agent would ensure there are no checked bags before doing a flight change.
Do you know for sure that's policy? Can you cite something? This recent post http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27048791-post35.html seems to claim that the policy for elites is actually that voluntary separation is allowed. Maybe we'll have to hope for JonNYC to chime in here or something.

I just want to know what the policy is. Mainly so I can go on an agent re-education spree if it's the case, I've been bit by this a couple of times in SFO and SJC, where I'm sure on DL/UA/WN it would never have been a problem.

And yes, I was already checked in. So just voluntary separation from bags.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:04 am
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Some airlines even slap a big fat "LATE" tag on late-checked-in bags. (Seems like that tag would be moot if the airline also moved the passenger to some much-later flight.) This is obviously done in some cases, and has been done for me on AA as well as other airlines, so clearly there isn't a universal answer.

If the OP was present 55 minutes prior to flight time at SJC, at seems like both he and the bag should have made it relatively easily. (Did the bag make it?) The *more* irritating part would have been the 15 minutes in the priority line. That simply shouldn't happen.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Some airlines even slap a big fat "LATE" tag on late-checked-in bags. (Seems like that tag would be moot if the airline also moved the passenger to some much-later flight.) This is obviously done in some cases, and has been done for me on AA as well as other airlines, so clearly there isn't a universal answer.

If the OP was present 55 minutes prior to flight time at SJC, at seems like both he and the bag should have made it relatively easily. (Did the bag make it?) The *more* irritating part would have been the 15 minutes in the priority line. That simply shouldn't happen.
Yeah, seems inconsistent based on reports here. Would be nice to know what the real policy is (I would think if it's permitted, the policy should be that it is allowed, right?) It seems stupid to force me to standby on a later flight (which might actually cost them something extra) when I was willing to voluntarily separate with the bag. But yeah, that agent seemed pretty adamant about it not being permitted, I even suggested several ways around, such as just putting me on standby on the later flight and checking the bag on the later flight, but she refused. And she got really upset when I brought up my wait in the priority line, telling me that she had to help other pax with exceptional situations first (while I was standing in queue I mentioned that my flight was departing soon, but no.. they kept taking pax from the regular line for some PHX flight...)

Maybe relevant, is that I've noted whenever I encounter this kind of resistance it's with pmUS agents (why do they still wear their USAir tags? A matter of pride? based on my experiences not something to be proud of anyway).

And no, it seems the bag did not make it. I'm sitting at the connecting airport right now and it seems the tag hasn't been scanned.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:26 am
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I've mentioned this before. You miss the bag cutoff it increases the chances your bag doesn't make it. You make the flight but the bag does not, then you are doing a bag claim at your arrival city, something the airline doesn't want to have to happen.

Next thing you know, they expect the bag to be delivered, even though they voluntarily separated. I used to do BSO, you would hear that line all the time, "Oh they said it would be here, they said it was would be retagged last minute to a totally new destination on the ramp" etc etc etc.

Why should AA have to pay 20-100 dollars for a company to deliver their bags to someone who didn't follow policy and check-in on-time? Very rarely do people ever own up that it's their fault for failing to follow the check-in policy, or that they decided to move-up on their own.

Intentionally or not, getting to check-in less than an hour before flight is risky. All it takes is one thing to go wrong and it puts your flight odds in serious jeopardy.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:29 am
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I always assumed that on a late bag, it was up to me to get it from the airport if it arrived one flight after me. It didn't qualify for a free delivery to my home or hotel. (I generally assumed this is why some airlines slap the LATE tag on it. Not just to shame you , but to make it clear to the baggage people on the other end that this one was checked in late.)
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:29 am
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What's to stop you from taking the bag through security and asking the GA to gate check it? Unless the bag is massive, I've definitely seen people do that.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:35 am
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The check-in agent was correct. The GA violated AA's internal procedures (nothing to do with DHS).

Some smaller stations will accept bags after the deadline because they know that it does not take much time for the process to move them from the counter to the aircraft. But, the agent bears the brunt of this if it goes wrong.

AA's rule is clearly stated on its website. For all the bickering, this has been on the website for as long as I can remember. At the same time, the people who keep talking about bag-match are now 14 years behind (it went out in 2003 for domestic).

General acceptance of baggage
Only baggage as defined in the definition section will be accepted for transportation. All baggage is subject to inspection. Checked baggage will be accepted for transportation only on flights on which you are traveling.


AA should only have permitted OP to voluntarily change is flight if it could also move his bag. It is unclear to me that this was even attempted or whether it occurred.

There is a reason for the deadlines. <redacted>

Last edited by JDiver; Feb 14, 17 at 12:44 pm Reason: Redacted meta and unnecessary characterizations
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Old Feb 14, 17, 11:38 am
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Another thread with some discussion:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...your-bags.html
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