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***NEW***Baggage rules January 2013 Postponed

***NEW***Baggage rules January 2013 Postponed

Old Oct 27, 2012, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by chrisny2
I think this is one of the real main reasons for the change. I would bet that previously, in the example above, there would usually be one baggage fee charged: HA's.

Now a customer has to go to the DL ticket counter, where the customer will pay an additional baggage fee: DL's.
Previously (and sometimes still ) there was indeed only one baggage fee charged (that fee being charged just by HA on the kind of itinerary you quoted).

The reason HA wanted the interline baggage practice done away with on separately ticketed PNRs (in much the same manner DL is going to do) has to do with HA having been hit by downstream mishandled baggage claims on interlined baggage which it checked in for customers (even for HA-DL flights where the minimum connect time between the flights would be considered violated if on one ticketed PNR).

Do you know what my reaction to DL doing the same thing is going to be: more often carrying on board (more) luggage. Expect somewhat more full overhead bins than is already the case on my flights -- I will take advantage of priority boarding (a lot more often than I would otherwise already do).
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 8:05 pm
  #152  
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Under the new rules, what will happen if a checked bag is badly delayed on the first ticket, possibly a transit through a third country? Will the passenger be forced to stay in the transit location, possibly for days, to wait for the bag or will the first carrier pay to deliver the bag to the passenger's location?
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Old Oct 27, 2012, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Under the new rules, what will happen if a checked bag is badly delayed on the first ticket, possibly a transit through a third country? Will the passenger be forced to stay in the transit location, possibly for days, to wait for the bag or will the first carrier pay to deliver the bag to the passenger's location?
That is a good question, as is TWOV where pax has to go out to claim the bag, but TWOV is only valid if staying within the secured area.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 12:53 am
  #154  
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Originally Posted by RealHJ
This is the most helpful summary and finally explains it very clearly why this is being implemented. Just another "knee-jerk" reaction, but an understandable one, where ultimately (as is usually the case) it comes at the expense of the customer ('s convenience).
+1
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Under the new rules, what will happen if a checked bag is badly delayed on the first ticket, possibly a transit through a third country? Will the passenger be forced to stay in the transit location, possibly for days, to wait for the bag or will the first carrier pay to deliver the bag to the passenger's location?
It depends, but the passenger may have to recover the bags themselves and/or pay to deliver the bag to the passenger's location.

There is also the issue of discovering that the bag has been mishandled. That takes waiting until all the bags on the belt have been delivered and eats up a lot of valuable time between waiting for the last of the bags to be delivered and then having to get a baggage claim handling agent.

Ordinarily, passengers file the irregular baggage handling report with the arrival airline's (baggage handling) agents at the airport where the baggage issue was discovered. That can take anything from a minute to two or three or even four or five hours.

Sometimes such situations work out actually faster and better for the passenger denied access to the baggage claim hall on a transit than it would otherwise. [In such circumstances airline agents often handle the formalities of forwarding the bag for retagging or whatever needs to be done.] More commonly it just complicates matters.

Some airlines or places try to restrict mishandled bag delivery (and related customs clearance) to a country or customs zone where the passenger is located at the time of final baggage delivery.

Last edited by GUWonder; Oct 28, 2012 at 4:01 am
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 6:52 am
  #156  
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Originally Posted by fti
I have seen this "two tickets are much cheaper than one ticket" quite often for international itineraries. It is very common in fact.
Indeed. But that is not an argument for making an airline to agree to the baggage allowance of the other airline. It's almost always cheaper to buy economy class ticket instead of buying business class ticket.

Before baggage fees, other than excess baggage fees, became the norm, there was little incentive for airlines to play this game. Now that baggage fees form a not insignificant revenue stream, there is every reason for an airline to not carry baggage transferred from another airline, or take the responsibility for transferring it to another airline.

when there are two separate tickets, it's easy to see that travel on each ticket is independent of each other. You won;t use McDOnald's Gift certificate to be honoured in another restaurant, fast food or not.

What should happen is that conjunction or interlining should not cost an arm and a leg. In some cases, I have seen that interlining bumps the fare basis too. For example, you can buy DL's cheapest fare, T class and the buy some cheaper class of airline AX. But when you interline, DL pic's up Y or some other class of fare from airline AX and changes the fare-basis of its portion to a higher class, say M or B. That's what needs to stop. I don't mind paying a little extra for convenience.
Passengers were expecting too much too. Some expected a carrier to honour the three bags free allowance of their onward carrier, and take the responsibility of transferring their bags to the other carrier, even when no interline agreement existed.

MITA has made the task of interlining easy. Instead of having bilaterla interline agreement with every airline separately, MITA offers one stop shopping. If an airline joins MITA, it automatically enters an interline agreement with every other airline that's a signatory to MITA, without having to sign an interline agreement.

Originally Posted by GUWonder


Are there any examples of any US airline (or any other airline whose flights may be subject to US DOT jurisdiction) being hit with a penalty from US DOT for the situation you are mentioning?
Not that I know of.

Originally Posted by GUWonder
I have come across zero documented cases of such so far. And that is only in part why I doubt the following:
There might not be documentary evidence that DoT responded to complaints, but it's not unreasonable to think that DoT would respond to complaints. With every airline with its own baggage rules, it had become a minefield of baggage charges, and going by the noises you heard on FT from people complaining about airline B did not honour my allowance from airline B, it's also reasonable to assume that people complained. In any case, even if my premise is false, DoT had to act to set the rules that would define travel on multiple airlines. Airlines had asked for a longer waiting period ti implement DoT rules, which was denied by DoT.

Originally Posted by GUWonder
What I am certain of is that these changes have everything to do with the kind of costs DL has been hit with after a baggage mishandling situation arises for bags DL checks in on its own flights with thru-checking onto a different airline on a separate ticket. Those costs ordinarily have nothing to do with the US DOT not playing industry patsy as usual. Those costs are routine, recurring and of high frequency compared to any US DOT penalties hitting a US major. And those costs aggregated annually make most US DOT fines look like peanuts.
Probably so.
Mishandling apart, I do not think any airline should be forced to take the responsibility of transferring baggage to another airline, without the cover of an agreement. I have bought two separate tickets too, because it was cheaper, knowing the risks of two separate tickets. Many others, newer travellers, did so without understanding the risks and complained loudly, here on FT, when something went wrong. SOme even expected the same allowance on an LCC economy ticket that they got on LH business class. I am sure you have read some of those complaints here.
I think DoT rule is not a bad one, provided that airlines do not bump up the fares on interlining beyond the minimal costs involved. It limits liability of each airline. Say, I am an elite on DL and get two/three free bags on DL. AT the end of my DL trip, I connect to some other airline on which I have no status. That other airline would require me to pay baggage fees. Who pays for that if DL checks my bags through and takes the responsibility of transferring my bags to another airline? There should be a mechanism, other than an action on the part of the check-in agent, that regulates the process. Interlining is the process that purports to do just that.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist
Under the new rules, what will happen if a checked bag is badly delayed on the first ticket, possibly a transit through a third country? Will the passenger be forced to stay in the transit location, possibly for days, to wait for the bag or will the first carrier pay to deliver the bag to the passenger's location?
If you haven't bought a conjuncted or interlined ticket, you might be responsible for retrieving your bags from the transit location (where you transfer from one ticket to another), but I am not entirely sure. Your status might be a factor too. A few years ago, we flew to SIN o NW and headed to Langkawi. Our luggage did not arrive in SIN with us. It was delivered to us in Langkawi, Malaysia. This was a situation when 4 Plats of a family were travelling together. I am not sure what DL would do today.

Last edited by Canarsie; Oct 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm Reason: Consolidation.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 7:23 am
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Yaatri
Passengers were expecting too much too. Some expected a carrier to honour the three bags free allowance of their onward carrier, and take the responsibility of transferring their bags to the other carrier, even when no interline agreement existed.

MITA has made the task of interlining easy. Instead of having bilaterla interline agreement with every airline separately, MITA offers one stop shopping. If an airline joins MITA, it automatically enters an interline agreement with every other airline that's a signatory to MITA, without having to sign an interline agreement.
Passengers expecting too much isn't really a problem to get addressed by an airline increasingly cutting back on service and then selling back the previously included service to customers in exchange for a lot more money than was traditionally demanded. If anything, this kind of change makes the gap between expectations of service and actual service delivery worse than before.

Some airlines which joined MITA still have existing bilaterals with some other airlines that also joined MITA.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Passengers expecting too much isn't really a problem to get addressed by an airline increasingly cutting back on service and then selling back the previously included service to customers in exchange for a lot more money than was traditionally demanded. If anything, this kind of change makes the gap between expectations of service and actual service delivery worse than before.
That baggage fees will continue to be a revenue stream is a reality we have to accept. Unless capacity grows, airlines won't feel the pressure to rollback such changes. I don't see how we can go back to the capacity levels of 2001, a simultaneous and prolonged severe recession in OECD countries excepted.
I can see the justification for baggage fees even though it's inconvenient at times, and also agree that it hasn't done anything to enhance travel experience, except generating revenue. The reasons why airlines have had to to what you have indicated above are too many and beyond the scope of this thread.
I think some expectations come from a maze of rules and some from the lack of effort to seek and understand those rules. I am not talking about you, but about people who complain about various issues arising our of separate tickets.
When every airline is increasingly held accountable by ignorant, as well as well informed travellers, it's important to define limitations and liabilities, which is what the DoT regulations do. It's obvious airlines, whether it's DL or any other airline will interpret those rules to their benefit, taking rules, and status into account.
Originally Posted by GUWonder
Some airlines which joined MITA still have existing bilaterals with some other airlines that also joined MITA.
Probably so.I guess, on a legal vais, MITA would supersede any prior bilateral agreement, unless MITA has provisons to allow existing bilateral agreements to continue.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 7:56 am
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Originally Posted by Yaatri
Not that I know of.


There might not be documentary evidence that DoT responded to complaints, but it's not unreasonable to think that DoT would respond to complaints. With every airline with its own baggage rules, it had become a minefield of baggage charges, and going by the noises you heard on FT from people complaining about airline B did not honour my allowance from airline B, it's also reasonable to assume that people complained. In any case, even if my premise is false, DoT had to act to set the rules that would define travel on multiple airlines. Airlines had asked for a longer waiting period ti implement DoT rules, which was denied by DoT.


Probably so.
Mishandling apart, I do not think any airline should be forced to take the responsibility of transferring baggage to another airline, without the cover of an agreement. I have bought two separate tickets too, because it was cheaper, knowing the risks of two separate tickets. Many others, newer travellers, did so without understanding the risks and complained loudly, here on FT, when something went wrong. SOme even expected the same allowance on an LCC economy ticket that they got on LH business class. I am sure you have read some of those complaints here.
I think DoT rule is not a bad one, provided that airlines do not bump up the fares on interlining beyond the minimal costs involved. It limits liability of each airline. Say, I am an elite on DL and get two/three free bags on DL. AT the end of my DL trip, I connect to some other airline on which I have no status. That other airline would require me to pay baggage fees. Who pays for that if DL checks my bags through and takes the responsibility of transferring my bags to another airline? There should be a mechanism, other than an action on the part of the check-in agent, that regulates the process. Interlining is the process that purports to do just that.
Unlike some other passengers, I have usually considered this a courtesy service and not ever been frustrated when it hasn't been done for me or for others. Unlike others, we know the risks of having separately issued tickets with same-day flight times and how those risks for passengers increase even more so when there is checked baggage that is part of the picture.

I have asked to have the bags thru-checked for me a few times -- only for airlines which I know have some sort of interline agreement with each other -- and they have given me such courtesy service sometimes but denied it to me at other times. No big deal for me either way (as I know the situation with separately ticketed PNRs comes with some risks). However, for other passengers on my planes, the denial of the courtesy has made the difference between their carry-on bags finding a storage place on board or having to have their item(s) gate-checked. [Note that when it comes to gate-checked bags, they get gate-checked for delivery at the gate on arrival sometimes but not always; other times it may be gate-checked for delivery at the final destination, which may or may not be the stop/final destination on the single ticketed PNR for that flight where the bags are being gate-checked and is often at the baggage claim area itself.]

I'm looking for documentary evidence of US DOT fines hitting any airline for the sort of circumstance you mentioned in the post to which I responded: that of the baggage-checking-in airline being hit for a fine because a baggage fee on an independent downstream carrier -- one that isn't even on a single ticketed itinerary involving the baggage-checking airline -- charged a passenger for an unsuspected checked bag fee on a separately ticketed flight.

There is documented evidence of US DOT responding to complaints about such situations. What I am seeking is documented evidence of the US DOT hitting the original checking-in airline with a fine for the baggage-charging actions of an independent downstream carrier on a separately ticketed itinerary's flight.

Last edited by GUWonder; Oct 28, 2012 at 8:01 am
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by Yaatri
If you haven't bought a conjuncted or interlined ticket, you might be responsible for retrieving your bags from the transit location (where you transfer from one ticket to another), but I am not entirely sure. Your status might be a factor too. A few years ago, we flew to SIN o NW and headed to Langkawi. Our luggage did not arrive in SIN with us. It was delivered to us in Langkawi, Malaysia. This was a situation when 4 Plats of a family were travelling together. I am not sure what DL would do today.
DL still did the same thing as of earlier this month even for those with no Skyteam elite status -- passengers arrived at SIN without their bags checked in by DL for delivery in SIN. The passengers were flying on separate tickets to localities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand which have no DL passenger flight service. The bags were delivered to their houses and hotels or boats in those situations. That will continue to take place until and unless an airline decides it can afford the money (and PR issues) to dispose of mishandled bags (or baggage claims) instead of spending money reuniting bag owners with the located mishandled bags.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 8:17 am
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Question: I book a ticket from another airline with segments on Delta. I want one ticket for transparent baggage handling. The other airline's segments are in business and Delta's are in M. I want to upgrade Delta's with an SWU.

Can this even be done?

The ticket needs to be reissued, right? Can or will Delta reissue the entire ticket?

How does this work?
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by Yaatri
Indeed. But that is not an argument for making an airline to agree to the baggage allowance of the other airline. It's almost always cheaper to buy economy class ticket instead of buying business class ticket.

Before baggage fees, other than excess baggage fees, became the norm, there was little incentive for airlines to play this game. Now that baggage fees form a not insignificant revenue stream, there is every reason for an airline to not carry baggage transferred from another airline, or take the responsibility for transferring it to another airline.

when there are two separate tickets, it's easy to see that travel on each ticket is independent of each other. You won;t use McDOnald's Gift certificate to be honoured in another restaurant, fast food or not.

What should happen is that conjunction or interlining should not cost an arm and a leg. In some cases, I have seen that interlining bumps the fare basis too. For example, you can buy DL's cheapest fare, T class and the buy some cheaper class of airline AX. But when you interline, DL pic's up Y or some other class of fare from airline AX and changes the fare-basis of its portion to a higher class, say M or B. That's what needs to stop. I don't mind paying a little extra for convenience.
Passengers were expecting too much too. Some expected a carrier to honour the three bags free allowance of their onward carrier, and take the responsibility of transferring their bags to the other carrier, even when no interline agreement existed.

MITA has made the task of interlining easy. Instead of having bilaterla interline agreement with every airline separately, MITA offers one stop shopping. If an airline joins MITA, it automatically enters an interline agreement with every other airline that's a signatory to MITA, without having to sign an interline agreement.
Apparently it is easy for you to gloss over this reality because you have not been bitten by it. I now am having to pay change fees and higher fares just to adjust the 2013 tickets already purchased. The next two that I will buy next month are going to cost a LOT more and I will have to do some layovers (thus adding days + hotels & meals).

I am already paying DL $3.5K-$5K for M/SWU tickets to get to Europe or Asia but to get to places where I need to go (for work, not vacation), the final cost is going to be much, much higher now. I mean somewhere between $1-2K above the outrageous M fares.

I remember two years ago trying to get DL to give me a single ticket to maybe Cyprus (or perhaps and their solution was to send me through AMS but they could not upgrade the final leg. That last leg was 5-6 hours and my upgrades are a medical necessity so I had no choice but to find another solution.

Then I could go on about what it is like to get me to places like MSQ, CHQ, KUL, PUS, SGK, and so on.

You call for DL to lower their M/B/Y fares. Could you be more unrealistic?
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by Xeno
Apparently it is easy for you to gloss over this reality because you have not been bitten by it. I now am having to pay change fees and higher fares just to adjust the 2013 tickets already purchased. The next two that I will buy next month are going to cost a LOT more and I will have to do some layovers (thus adding days + hotels & meals).

I am already paying DL $3.5K-$5K for M/SWU tickets to get to Europe or Asia but to get to places where I need to go (for work, not vacation), the final cost is going to be much, much higher now. I mean somewhere between $1-2K above the outrageous M fares.

I remember two years ago trying to get DL to give me a single ticket to maybe Cyprus (or perhaps and their solution was to send me through AMS but they could not upgrade the final leg. That last leg was 5-6 hours and my upgrades are a medical necessity so I had no choice but to find another solution.

Then I could go on about what it is like to get me to places like MSQ, CHQ, KUL, PUS, SGK, and so on.

You call for DL to lower their M/B/Y fares. Could you be more unrealistic?
Why are you paying change fees and higher fares now to deal with a policy hardening hitting you in 2013? While I can see how it may work out in your favor to do those changes now and not later, I also find that you reduce your chances of getting a free change when the operating airline's flight(s) are hit by a schedule change.
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Why are you paying change fees and higher fares now to deal with a policy hardening hitting you in 2013? While I can see how it may work out in your favor to do those changes now and not later, I also find that you reduce your chances of getting a free change when the operating airline's flight(s) are hit by a schedule change.
I will have to change the 2013 tickets to allow layovers in at least one direction so not even a 90 minute change will get me to a different day of travel in and out. I may also look at different connecting airports to avoid things like an 8 hour layover at FRA with 6 hours out in the open terminal waiting to check-in for Belavia to get to MSQ that would not be necessary if my luggage was interlined. (BTW, Belavia does co-chairs with AF.)
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Old Oct 28, 2012, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by Xeno
Apparently it is easy for you to gloss over this reality because you have not been bitten by it. I now am having to pay change fees and higher fares just to adjust the 2013 tickets already purchased. The next two that I will buy next month are going to cost a LOT more and I will have to do some layovers (thus adding days + hotels & meals).

I am already paying DL $3.5K-$5K for M/SWU tickets to get to Europe or Asia but to get to places where I need to go (for work, not vacation), the final cost is going to be much, much higher now. I mean somewhere between $1-2K above the outrageous M fares.

I remember two years ago trying to get DL to give me a single ticket to maybe Cyprus (or perhaps and their solution was to send me through AMS but they could not upgrade the final leg. That last leg was 5-6 hours and my upgrades are a medical necessity so I had no choice but to find another solution.

Then I could go on about what it is like to get me to places like MSQ, CHQ, KUL, PUS, SGK, and so on.
I am sorry that it affects you negatively. I assure you it wasn't my intention, nor the airlines/DoT's to do that. Al DoT has done is to bring some sanity into a a situation that was becoming increasingly unmanagable. DL doesn't have to take a directive from DoT to do aay with courtesy through check-in. My opinion is not based on effects on specific individuals, nor about my opinion of specific individuals. Withdrawal of an unpaid courtesy is hardly a reason to make personal remarks. It's not just you who may have to pay more, if I booked separate tickets, I would have to pay more too. Why take your frustrations out on me?

Originally Posted by Xeno
You call for DL to lower their M/B/Y fares. Could you be more unrealistic?
It seems that you are so distraught that you have misinterpreted my words. I did not suggest that DL should lower M/B/Y fares, but to discontinue the practice of pumping a T fare to B or M fare when interlining with a fare comparable to T fare on another airline.
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