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Charged bag fee by BA for BA operated, AA marketed ticket

Charged bag fee by BA for BA operated, AA marketed ticket

Old Jan 2, 20, 8:04 am
  #1  
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Charged bag fee by BA for BA operated, AA marketed ticket

I'm posting in the AA forum as the ticket is technically with AA, let me know if I should delete and post in the BA forum instead.

I booked a TATL basic economy ticket for 2 people (me and my friend) with AA on what I believe are AA-marketed flights (all have AA flight numbers, first was an AA operated flight, the connection and both return flights were 'flight AA0000 operated by British Airways'). Booked when I was AA plat/OWS, now AA Gold/OWR. Ticket receipt specifically says 1st/2nd bag fees are 0.00 on both the outbound and return. We were fine on the way out, but I was forced to pay 50EUR for a bag on the return as the agent said his system wouldn't allow him to override that, even after showing the receipt with the price noted.

Additionally, the AA website states (bolding mine):
The checked bag fees will be waived for all elite members and guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations) for travel in the Main Cabin on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or marketed by American or American Eagle®.

The number of waived bag fees depends on your highest status level at time of ticketing or check-in. If your status level is:
  1. Higher at ticketing than at check-in, show your ticket receipt to the airport agent
  2. Lower at ticketing than at check-in, current benefits will automatically apply
Based on this, I'm assuming I should be refunded as I appear to have followed it to the letter. If that is the case, is it BA as they charged me or AA as they sold me the ticket promising a 0.00 bag fee? I plan on exactly one request before filing a chargeback, but wasn't sure who I need to request this from first.

EDIT: Just to clarify, I'll tighten this up quite a bit when writing to them, just wanted all of the context here in case there was some gotcha I'm missing.

Last edited by lowfareair; Jan 2, 20 at 8:11 am
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Old Jan 2, 20, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
Additionally, the AA website states (bolding mine):

The checked bag fees will be waived for all elite members and guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations) for travel in the Main Cabin on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or marketed by American or American Eagle®.

[...]

Based on this, I'm assuming I should be refunded as I appear to have followed it to the letter. If that is the case, is it BA as they charged me or AA as they sold me the ticket promising a 0.00 bag fee? I plan on exactly one request before filing a chargeback, but wasn't sure who I need to request this from first.
Unless I am misreading or misunderstanding the AA website, the flight also needs to be operated by AA. See my added emphasis above. I think it is poorly worded, but why have the second "marketed" clause? If the second means what you believe it does, then why have "operated" in the first place? Am I missing something?
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Old Jan 2, 20, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by CMTinPHL View Post
Unless I am misreading or misunderstanding the AA website, the flight also needs to be operated by AA. See my added emphasis above. I think it is poorly worded, but why have the second "marketed" clause? If the second means what you believe it does, then why have "operated" in the first place? Am I missing something?
It's definitely janky wording, but I think the first part is saying marketed and operated by AA and the second part is saying 'or marketed by American'. I didn't want to focus on it much as it is a secondary point - to me my receipt says the first and second checked bags are 0.00, BA charged me for the first checked bag, ignored the receipt that indicated otherwise, so I'm not sure who should give me the refund - BA for charging me (makes sense) or AA for promising a 0.00 checked bag fee.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
It's definitely janky wording, but I think the first part is saying marketed and operated by AA and the second part is saying 'or marketed by American'. I didn't want to focus on it much as it is a secondary point - to me my receipt says the first and second checked bags are 0.00, BA charged me for the first checked bag, ignored the receipt that indicated otherwise, so I'm not sure who should give me the refund - BA for charging me (makes sense) or AA for promising a 0.00 checked bag fee.
1) Although the text about bag fees on the site could use a comma, it seems pretty clear that if the flight is marketed by AA those are the rules that apply (otherwise what is the point of the "or" in that sentence?)
2) If BA charged you a fee that was inconsistent to what was printed on your receipt, I think you have to request the refund from them, even though AA was the marketing carrier.
3) I think the DOT would view it as an unfair and misleading practice to tell you that you weren't going to be charged a fee and then actually charge you on the day of travel, so definitely complain to the DOT if you don't get a quick refund from BA.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 9:22 am
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I know that the website is irrelevant -- your ticket is your contract and you are entitled to what's printed on it.

What I used to know but now can't remember is whether you go after the operating carrier or the ticketing carrier for the refund.

I think (from previous similar situations involving AA-ticketed AS-operated flights bought using an AA credit card, and the ticket -- probably incorrectly -- granting a free bag) that you go after the operating carrier for the refund. They are then free to go after the ticketing carrier for the money if they feel that the ticket should not have granted a free bag under their agreement -- that doesn't involve you. But my memory could be failing me here.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I know that the website is irrelevant -- your ticket is your contract and you are entitled to what's printed on it.

What I used to know but now can't remember is whether you go after the operating carrier or the ticketing carrier for the refund.

I think (from previous similar situations involving AA-ticketed AS-operated flights bought using an AA credit card, and the ticket -- probably incorrectly -- granting a free bag) that you go after the operating carrier for the refund. They are then free to go after the ticketing carrier for the money if they feel that the ticket should not have granted a free bag under their agreement -- that doesn't involve you. But my memory could be failing me here.
What AA puts on the website is relevant. and they should stand behind it. Additionally, it does say "marketed by American" which agrees with the ticket receipt
Even if the receipt didn't match what the website said, AA should still stand behind what they put on their website. They should also learn what a comma is.

Last edited by mvoight; Jan 2, 20 at 1:40 pm
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:11 am
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The problem here is quite simply that the e-ticket receipt specifies the allowance for OWS. However, the relevant date for baggage waivers (and other perks) is the date of travel. OP says that he was OWR and that is what applies to his ticket.

Bear in mind that the DOT rules regarding baggage for tickets originating or destined to the US is that the baggage allowance of the marketing carrier of the first segment applies to the entire ticket. But, it does not apply as to waivers for status and the like. Hence, either AA or BA would have properly collected the fees due based on OWR.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The problem here is quite simply that the e-ticket receipt specifies the allowance for OWS. However, the relevant date for baggage waivers (and other perks) is the date of travel. OP says that he was OWR and that is what applies to his ticket.

Bear in mind that the DOT rules regarding baggage for tickets originating or destined to the US is that the baggage allowance of the marketing carrier of the first segment applies to the entire ticket. But, it does not apply as to waivers for status and the like. Hence, either AA or BA would have properly collected the fees due based on OWR.
Two items here: 1, it was a single bag so I believe it shouldn't matter as AA specifies that Golds get a free bag on AA-marketed flights. 2, AA also specifies in the text I posted in the OP that "The number of waived bag fees depends on your highest status level at time of ticketing or check-in."
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The problem here is quite simply that the e-ticket receipt specifies the allowance for OWS. However, the relevant date for baggage waivers (and other perks) is the date of travel. OP says that he was OWR and that is what applies to his ticket.

Bear in mind that the DOT rules regarding baggage for tickets originating or destined to the US is that the baggage allowance of the marketing carrier of the first segment applies to the entire ticket. But, it does not apply as to waivers for status and the like. Hence, either AA or BA would have properly collected the fees due based on OWR.
Agreed. This is why most other airlines dont include elite/credit card waivers in the receipt allowance. AA for some reason calculates the receipt allowance with elite waivers added in.

Now while DOT doesn't require elite waivers to be granted, I do believe they require what is listed in the receipt to be followed. Regardless it's BA as the airline that collected the fee that must refund if one is due. AA has no ability nor responsibility to issue one as they didn't collect the money.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:32 am
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A couple of things here.
Basic Economy for elites works different on AA and BA.

With AA basic economy, elites on basic economy can not select a seat in advance, but do keep the free bag benefit.
With BA basic economy, elites keep the privilege of selecting a seat BUT have to pay for bags.

Since the outbound was on AA flight, it was expected that AA did not charge you for the bag.

On the return, I assume that what the BA agent saw is the BA policy, and even as elite, you have to pay for a bag with BA on basic economy.
I understand the discussion of what the ticket says etc, but I have always thought that when it comes to baggage allowance, the operating carrier rules are the ones that prevail.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The problem here is quite simply that the e-ticket receipt specifies the allowance for OWS. However, the relevant date for baggage waivers (and other perks) is the date of travel. OP says that he was OWR and that is what applies to his ticket.
It really doesn't require anything more than reading this thread to see the language from AA's website saying that higher status at the time of ticketing is still what is used in determining the baggage allowance.

Bear in mind that the DOT rules regarding baggage for tickets originating or destined to the US is that the baggage allowance of the marketing carrier of the first segment applies to the entire ticket. But, it does not apply as to waivers for status and the like. Hence, either AA or BA would have properly collected the fees due based on OWR.
This is also incorrect. The DOT requires that airlines follow the disclosure on the ticket, which in this case said a checked bag would be allowed for free.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
A couple of things here.
Basic Economy for elites works different on AA and BA.

With AA basic economy, elites on basic economy can not select a seat in advance, but do keep the free bag benefit.
With BA basic economy, elites keep the privilege of selecting a seat BUT have to pay for bags.

Since the outbound was on AA flight, it was expected that AA did not charge you for the bag.

On the return, I assume that what the BA agent saw is the BA policy, and even as elite, you have to pay for a bag with BA on basic economy.
I understand the discussion of what the ticket says etc, but I have always thought that when it comes to baggage allowance, the operating carrier rules are the ones that prevail.
At least for US/CANADA destination or origin, the marketing carrier of the first flight on the reservation is what matters. Operating carrier only applies to carry on.
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Old Jan 2, 20, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I know that the website is irrelevant -- your ticket is your contract and you are entitled to what's printed on it.

What I used to know but now can't remember is whether you go after the operating carrier or the ticketing carrier for the refund.

I think (from previous similar situations involving AA-ticketed AS-operated flights bought using an AA credit card, and the ticket -- probably incorrectly -- granting a free bag) that you go after the operating carrier for the refund. They are then free to go after the ticketing carrier for the money if they feel that the ticket should not have granted a free bag under their agreement -- that doesn't involve you. But my memory could be failing me here.
It's a fee, not a ticket charge, so it probably goes to the actual carrier and AA never sees any money coming to them other than the price of the ticket.

So go after BA the same as you would if they denied you a paid Day-f-departure upgraded seat
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Old Jan 2, 20, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
This is also incorrect. The DOT requires that airlines follow the disclosure on the ticket, which in this case said a checked bag would be allowed for free.
I'm always puzzled why these threads go on an on about what the baggage allowance should be. AFAIK, DOT crafted a rule specifically to ensure that passengers are properly informed of bag charges on the day of travel and avoid surprises such as the one the OP encountered. If AA provided a receipt stating no charges for the OP's first and second bag, then nothing else matters.

Bottom line: BA violated the law by charging the OP. Does anyone see any value (other than bragging rights) in any other argument?
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Old Jan 2, 20, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by lowfareair View Post
I'm posting in the AA forum as the ticket is technically with AA, let me know if I should delete and post in the BA forum instead.

I booked a TATL basic economy ticket for 2 people (me and my friend) with AA on what I believe are AA-marketed flights (all have AA flight numbers, first was an AA operated flight, the connection and both return flights were 'flight AA0000 operated by British Airways'). Booked when I was AA plat/OWS, now AA Gold/OWR. Ticket receipt specifically says 1st/2nd bag fees are 0.00 on both the outbound and return. We were fine on the way out, but I was forced to pay 50EUR for a bag on the return as the agent said his system wouldn't allow him to .
Was this addressed with a supervisor or just the agent originally checking the bag?
If you had a ticket receipt clearly showing no baggage fee, BA was totally wrong here.
Speaking of the British, who owned the tea which was dumped in Boston Harbor?
Logic seems to indicate it would not have been the British Government who started the tea tax, so why punish someone else?
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