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SFO checkin agent - non-001 ticket means no elite bag benefits

SFO checkin agent - non-001 ticket means no elite bag benefits

Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:18 pm
  #1  
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SFO checkin agent - non-001 ticket means no elite bag benefits

Recently traveled transcon UA in one direction and AA on the return (wholly domestic travel). Ticket purchased through our travel office as a single ticket on 016 (UA) stock.
Outbound flights were UA flight numbers, UA metal. Return flights were AA flight numbers, AA metal (thus no codeshares or anything like that).
My UA and AA FF numbers were in the reservation, and the flights/seats/etc showed up correctly in both UA and AA apps, including E+ and MCE seating, correct boarding groups per my status and upgrade lists.

Upon checkin at SFO, the agent informed me that since it was a United ticket, and I was on a "codeshare" (her words), my bag fee is not waived even though I'm an AA Gold and required me to pay $35 for my one bag. It made no sense, but I could see it was pointless trying to argue with her (had more pressing issues to take care of involving a family member also traveling out of SFO that same night on a different flight/airline) so I just handed her the credit card to pay for the bag.

Before I contact AA to request a refund of the bag fee, I just wanted to confirm here that I am right and no bag fee should have applied? Or is the policy she stated correct (in which case I've learned something and I'll make sure to ask our travel office book similar tickets in the future as 2 separate one-ways on appropriate ticket stock).
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:25 pm
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I suspect the issue is UA effectively sold you the ticket, so it was "marketed [sold] by UA" as part of an interline agreement. Just curious, on your credit card statement, do you only have a charge from UA?

From AA.com (emphasis added): "Free checked bags apply, based on the member’s status, for members and guests traveling on the same reservation (excluding group reservations) on itineraries marketed and operated by American Airlines or marketed by American and operated by a oneworld partner."
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:26 pm
  #3  
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The plating (ticketing) carrier should not matter for elite bag benefits.

It's interesting that you were able to get domestic UA and AA flights on the same ticket; generally AA domestic fares are only combinable with other AA domestic fares. Perhaps your travel agent has access to unpublished fares that allow combination.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by VFR
The plating (ticketing) carrier should not matter for elite bag benefits.

It's interesting that you were able to get domestic UA and AA flights on the same ticket; generally AA domestic fares are only combinable with other AA domestic fares. Perhaps your travel agent has access to unpublished fares that allow combination.
It was likely two one way fares. And, UA and AA have an interline agreement that allows them to sell seats on each other's flights. This flight was "marketed" by UA, in my opinion, since UA sold the seat on AA. That is my best guess as to what the agent was trying to say.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:33 pm
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My understanding is that marketed by means it has that airlines flight number. The fact that UA sold it is not relevant. I bought a ticket from AA with a flight on AY metal with a BA flight number. So its BA marketed and AY operated as far as I know.

Id definitely ask for your money back.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:34 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
It was likely two one way fares. And, UA and AA have an interline agreement that allows them to sell seats on each other's flights. This flight was "marketed" by UA, in my opinion, since UA sold the seat on AA. That is my best guess as to what the agent was trying to say.
I disagree. If the AA flight had an AA flight number, then it was marketed by AA. I've had award tickets issued by both BA and IB for domestic travel on AA; I've always gotten a free checked bag -- and all my other elite benefits -- as long as my AAdvantage number was in the PNR.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:35 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
It was likely two one way fares. And, UA and AA have an interline agreement that allows them to sell seats on each other's flights. This flight was "marketed" by UA, in my opinion, since UA sold the seat on AA. That is my best guess as to what the agent was trying to say.
In order to issue two one-way fares on the same ticket like that, they have to be combinable on a half round trip basis. Try to construct a UA out / AA back domestic round trip in ITA Matrix.

A travel agent can put two different tickets in the same PNR quite easily, which does not have a combinability requirements and would cause the check-in agent to see a UA flight first...
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:43 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976
I disagree. If the AA flight had an AA flight number, then it was marketed by AA. I've had award tickets issued by both BA and IB for domestic travel on AA; I've always gotten a free checked bag -- and all my other elite benefits -- as long as my AAdvantage number was in the PNR.
Those are all oneworld carriers, though, which AA.com says applies to the one free checked bag.

I'm not disagreeing per se. I'm just trying to figure out what the agent was saying or thinking. I am curious what AA says if the OP requests a refund.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by VFR
In order to issue two one-way fares on the same ticket like that, they have to be combinable on a half round trip basis. Try to construct a UA out / AA back domestic round trip in ITA Matrix.

A travel agent can put two different tickets in the same PNR quite easily, which does not have a combinability requirements and would cause the check-in agent to see a UA flight first...
in that case the AA flight would have a 001 ticket as the flights with combinability restrictions usually also have plating restrictions. It is more likely that AA just doesn't train employees like they used to so when they encounter something usual like a 016 ticket they make stuff up.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 6:33 pm
  #10  
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The fact the ticket was on UA stock is totally irrelevant to elite benefits.
Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
I suspect the issue is UA effectively sold you the ticket
UA didn't sell OP an AA flight, a travel agent did.

"Marketing carrier" refers to the flight number, not the ticket stock.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 6:50 pm
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Originally Posted by dls25
It is more likely that AA just doesn't train employees like they used to so when they encounter something usual like a 016 ticket they make stuff up.
Im more interested in why that agent felt the need to pull the customers VCR to see what airline plated the ticket? In my past life I worked for an airline that used SABRE. I knew of no agent there that would spend time investigating the issuing carrier during check in unless there was a VCR mismatch and the check in response showed no ticket attached. No one uses traditional SABRE language entries anymore, so to verify the issuing airline using an emulator, he/she would have to pull the RES and then display the VCR. Again I ask why do that?
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 6:58 pm
  #12  
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I wonder if the OP would have gotten the free checked bag if he had checked in at a kiosk.
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 7:01 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
It was likely two one way fares. And, UA and AA have an interline agreement that allows them to sell seats on each other's flights. This flight was "marketed" by UA, in my opinion, since UA sold the seat on AA. That is my best guess as to what the agent was trying to say.
No - it wasn't marketed by UA
Marketed by = flight number
Operated by = airline who actually operates the flught

To best of my knowledge UA does not have any codeshares on AA , so would not have been marketed by UA

I would hope that the OP will have no problem getting the baggage fee refunded

Originally Posted by VFR
In order to issue two one-way fares on the same ticket like that, they have to be combinable on a half round trip basis. Try to construct a UA out / AA back domestic round trip in ITA Matrix.

A travel agent can put two different tickets in the same PNR quite easily, which does not have a combinability requirements and would cause the check-in agent to see a UA flight first...
I am pretty sure that half round triip bases applies to creating a round trip journey by combining 2 x r/t fares and not to 2 separate one way fares would be end-on-end (Combination of pricing units at a fare construction point)
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Mar 21, 2022 at 7:09 pm
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by VFR
The plating (ticketing) carrier should not matter for elite bag benefits.

It's interesting that you were able to get domestic UA and AA flights on the same ticket; generally AA domestic fares are only combinable with other AA domestic fares. Perhaps your travel agent has access to unpublished fares that allow combination.
This. I haven’t seen any (consumer) pricing engine that would combine American and United fares on a single ticket in any fashion whatsoever. Nice to know it’s possible.

Last edited by TravelerMSY; Mar 21, 2022 at 8:42 pm
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Old Mar 21, 2022, 8:09 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by TravelerMSY
This. I havent seen any pricing engine that would combine American and United fares on a single ticket in any fashion whatsoever. Nice to know its possible.
I've never seen UA and AA on one ticket, but I've seen UA and DL flights combined into one ticket quite frequently online with booking direct through UA as one RT ticket.
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