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Through-checking baggage from EK to BA: advice?

Through-checking baggage from EK to BA: advice?

Old Mar 18, 20, 4:46 am
  #1  
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Through-checking baggage from EK to BA: advice?

Long-time lurker but first post on behalf of some family at this quite stressful time. I am deeply appreciative of all the wisdom here and a bit nervous to post at all. Please move post or gently correct me if I do anything unhelpful.

They are flying later this week JNB-DXB-LHR, all on EK, then LHR-GLA with BA on reward tickets. (Am aware of DXB-GLA, yes, but booking tickets was done elsewhere and it is done now). Party include children under 5 so it will all be trying enough. I understand from past threads that they *may* get their bags checked through to GLA if they are lucky and certainly that would help if it's possible.

If they can, are there any recommendations on how to ensure BA are aware of that so the bags don't get spat out at T5 without their knowledge? One of those threads suggested getting BA boarding pass and making sure bag IDs are associated with that. BA check-in desks at JNB may be busy but is there anything airside? Or somewhere at DXB during their connection there?

Their reward ticket to GLA is in CE, as that's all that was left and seemed as good a use of Avios as any. Would the lounge at T5 be able to check that all was well? (Sorry, I've only been there once, on a lovely op-up, wouldn't know). EK booking in economy, hence keen to find any advice I can for them to make it less hard work. The decision to travel at all wasn't made lightly.

Final question: if EK won't check bags through, will they *all* have to troop through to collect bags and drop them off, or could one person do that while the rest try to relax airside?

Many thanks for any ideas or recent experience.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 4:59 am
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Unfortunately, the bags won't be checked through. You'll need to get them at LHR T3, and then get them across to T5.

Also, I think you'd all need to be there to check in the bags, otherwise you'd go over your personal limit.

It may be worth seeing if EK would change your flights to GLA. They are changing for no fee (but there may be a fare difference).
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Old Mar 18, 20, 5:04 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk and the BA forum gingerbiscuit.

I can't see much alternative to the whole party exiting at LHR T3 and then using the HEX to go to T5 for full check-in. With so few people in Heathrow at the moment it really isn't much stress now flying (ironically) so if you end up going landside and you have plenty of time so you don't need to rush, it's only slightly more troublesome than the airside connection process. It's nothing be be worried about. Just take it calmly and deliberately go a bit slower than your brain wants you to move. There are plenty of staff around to help if necessary.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 5:48 am
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Thanks, DYKWIA and c-w-s!
I'm not travelling this time, so am trying to send good advice their way. Must confess I'd forgotten about T3 to T5 (duh). I was slightly nervous for them that scheduled arrival at T3 is 1140 and the GLA flight is at 1455, in case anything went wrong. However, it was such a long time until the next available seats on the 2050 that with tired small children I understood the logic of going for the better connection and appealing for flexibility if badly delayed. Does that ring any alarm bells? If the incoming flight was delayed they'd be able to do something at DXB to start sorting it out. It is good to know that Heathrow is so quiet.

Re changing to GLA, they've already changed flights once (long story) and it's all been quite complicated in varous ways, so I came to the conclusion that I'm most supportive by helping them move forward with the plan they have rather than keep pointing out there might be a better one. They may also have wanted to be in DXB for the least time. But I appreciate the suggestion and I'd hope Emirates might still do that if needed, especially if they missed that connection for any reason.

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by gingerbiscuit View Post
They are flying later this week JNB-DXB-LHR, all on EK, then LHR-GLA with BA on reward tickets. (Am aware of DXB-GLA, yes, but booking tickets was done elsewhere and it is done now). Party include children under 5 so it will all be trying enough. I understand from past threads that they *may* get their bags checked through to GLA if they are lucky and certainly that would help if it's possible.

If they can, are there any recommendations on how to ensure BA are aware of that so the bags don't get spat out at T5 without their knowledge? One of those threads suggested getting BA boarding pass and making sure bag IDs are associated with that.
If EK will through-check the bags to GLA, then AIUI the system, the bags should be automatically sent by EK to T5 because that is where the bag tag says that the bags need to go. But at T5 BA may not load them onto the flight until the bags (through their tag numbers) have become associated with a BA booking for that flight, so that BA can track whether or not the bags' owners have boarded the flight and therefore whether the bags can fly or might need to be offloaded if the passengers don't show.

Conventionally, I've always taken it for granted that the connection airport (ie LHR) is the appropriate place to do this. Hopefully, they have plenty of time at LHR given that LHR-GLA is on a separate ticket. If so, then I would have thought that the transfer desk in T5 flight connections, or a customer service desk in the T5 airside departures area, would be the place to do that. If they aren't already holding BA BPs when they get to T5, they'd need to go to a transfer desk anyway.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:20 am
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Some airlines are able to through check bags, regardless of what policy says, if they want to. However, for this to be technically possible, they need a basic commercial agreement with the other airline, which BA and EK no longer have. This means that in this case itís not even an option for someone willing to waive a standard restriction.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Confus View Post
Some airlines are able to through check bags, regardless of what policy says, if they want to. However, for this to be technically possible, they need a basic commercial agreement with the other airline, which BA and EK no longer have. This means that in this case it’s not even an option for someone willing to waive a standard restriction.
Are you sure that's the current position? EF says this:-
Code:
Interline Agreements:
Flying EK

E-Ticket Interline Agreements
... [not including BA]

Paper Ticket and Baggage Interline Agreements

MAY ISSUE TICKETS INCLUDING
...
A9 BA BG BI BL BP BR BT BW B2 B6 B8 CA CI
...

MAY CHECK BAGGAGE TO
...
A9 BA BG BI BL BP BR BT BW B2 B6 B8 CA CI
...
.
.
.
.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:28 am
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Regardless - OP's family must plan on retrieving their bags at LHR and then checking them in as it will be down to an EK check-in agent as to whether the bags are interlined to BA.

If by some chance the bags are interlined, I would present the baggage tags at the transfer desk so that they can be associated with the second ticket. The less time the bags are floating out in the ether the better.

The family does need to understand that if they are delayed into LHR and thus do not make their separate ticket departure, they will almost certainly need to make other arrangements for travel to GLA. Perhaps have your mobile on the ready during the transfer if they require your intervention, as neither EK nor BA will have any responsibility here.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by gingerbiscuit View Post
I was slightly nervous for them that scheduled arrival at T3 is 1140 and the GLA flight is at 1455, in case anything went wrong. However, it was such a long time until the next available seats on the 2050 that with tired small children I understood the logic of going for the better connection and appealing for flexibility if badly delayed. Does that ring any alarm bells?
That's a good amount of time. Physically it should take less than an hour from doors open in T3 to getting to T5 departures, so they should be fine. With all the flight reductions the air space is uncluttered and flights are generally keeping well to timetable.

If some thing does go wrong, there is always EDI and I would imagine the staff in T5 will be flexible in the current climate.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:48 am
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I tried a similar thing and it doesn't work, despite EK trying hard - I flew EK HKG-DXB-AMS and then had BA AMS-LHR-GLA, this was also all on the one ticket booked via Qantas. But no luck.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31243822-post12.html
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/31276062-post32.html
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:08 am
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Thanks very much for all of these: you are all very kind with your time. I've been mindful of the 'first 5 posts' rule so not thanking every time other than by Like.

I will advise them that they should plan to collect and take bags, which they will manage - absolutely take that point... but there's perhaps still no harm in asking politely at JNB and then following advice above if by some miracle it's successful.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The family does need to understand that if they are delayed into LHR and thus do not make their separate ticket departure, they will almost certainly need to make other arrangements for travel to GLA. Perhaps have your mobile on the ready during the transfer if they require your intervention, as neither EK nor BA will have any responsibility here.
Yes, firmly understood. I was on the phone with the person booking LHR-GLA and we debated the merits but for 4 tickets I didn't want us to dither. I will be following them by every means at my disposal and yes, will have phone and if necessary credit card at the ready. I will keep an eye on DXB-LHR especially as that being on time, as it seems to be over recent days, will be a big help. Their first plan was to hire a car at Heathrow and drive 400+ miles, which after a tough week and two long flights did not feel like a great solution, nor cheap. EDI was a good reminder, thanks c-w-s, and indeed, who knows: BA would have no responsibility but it doesn't rule out that this week they might help.

Risk taken with open eyes, I think, it wasn't a lot of money beyond the Avios, and there are always Plan Bs. Easier to do within the UK though.
Thanks again to all.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome to Flyertalk and the BA forum gingerbiscuit.

. Just take it calmly and deliberately go a bit slower than your brain wants you to move.
I love this, wise words!
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Old Mar 18, 20, 10:07 pm
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The best you can do and to advice your family is to just show the connecting flight info to the EK check in agent.. Just say, I’m on this flight, connecting to LHR and then British Airways to Glasgow. Then just leave it at that. If they say no, just smile and say thank you..
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Old Mar 20, 20, 10:37 am
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I just wanted to come back and say thank you again, and to report that all seemed to go extremely smoothly overnight and today. As predicted, baggage was not checked through, but it was not a problem, also as wisdom here foretold. Kids enjoyed it all as an adventure, I'm told. Plenty of logistic challenges in the days ahead, e.g. grandparents having vacated their house to allow for voluntary quarantine for everyone's safety, but those are more solveable together. We even got to watch the take-off at LHR via Big Jet TV earlier today.

While this trip will seem like child's play to many here - and I'd hope to me too on a normal day - we are not in normal times and there's a fair bit of backstory that wouldn't be mine to relay, so I am grateful for the chance to air worries, get reassurance and reset priorities. Were it not for this forum I'd perhaps not have been so confident to propose using Avios quickly and boldly. Thanks and stay well, all.
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