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Iberia Ground Staff ORD, who was in the wrong?

Iberia Ground Staff ORD, who was in the wrong?

Old Mar 25, 20, 3:22 pm
  #1  
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Iberia Ground Staff ORD, who was in the wrong?

Hi guys,

I recently had a flight with Iberia from ORD-MAD (Premium Economy) and then MAD-LHR (Business), both tickets booked using my BAEC using Avios (HUGE mistake as I didn't realise I could transfer Avios from my BA to IB account to pay lesser tax!). Anyways.

So my BA issued e-ticket issued showed my baggage allowance for all flights is 2x32 kgs. Prior to that, I had a transit in Madrid on the 10th of March and asked Iberia ground staff whether my return baggage allowance is 2x23kgs as a standard for IB Premium Economy or go with what my e-ticket has said- 2x32kgs as I am a oneworld Sapphire member. I went with the latter.

Fast forward to the 14th, upon checking in at ORD, the rude check in agent has told me that my bag was overweight (my bag was 25kgs- a mere 2kgs) and I have explained to her that using my oneworld Sapphire status, my e-ticket has stated 2x32kgs. SHE COMPLETELY DISMISSED AND DID NOT CARE and immediately told me to step aside to repack my suit case or pay USD 100. It was evident that I had a small backpack. I insisted that I hold oneworld Sapphire status and should be entitled extra baggage allowance. Yet, she ignored my status and THREATENED to not check me in and get security for my 'disruptive behavior'. I had no choice but to pay the USD 100 because I needed to get home to the UK as Spain was going in to a lock down. I also politely asked her if she could check me through as I believe IB can through check for IB to IB flights in two separate tickets and she said no and have told her I have not had this problem before with other oneworld airlines i.e CX to IB using two tickets.

I have emailed Iberia Customer Services and took ownership of her unprofessionalism and said they can't process my request for a refund.

It is such a shame because I have actually enjoyed IB premium economy and long-haul business product compared to BA and have really enjoyed the interaction I had with the crew on board. The ground staff has completely ruined the whole Iberia experience.

So my question is, who is in the wrong?

PLEASE post sensible and NON-CONDESCENDING responses.


Thank you all and stay safe.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:07 pm
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I'm afraid she was right:

1) IB waives overweight fees for their own Rubies and above, but only for BAEC Gold (Emerald).

2) It is IB's (and BA's) policy not to check through on separate reservations.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:11 pm
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I attach the relevant table. Notice footnote (2):

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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:12 pm
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Thanks that is great.

But what I have concerns about is that why would IB ground staff at MAD tell me that I can go by the luggage allowance as stated on my BA e-ticket?


Lastly, does this mean IB does not honor oneworld Sapphire rules for extra baggage allowance similar to AA? I had the same issue with AA last year where I was flying PEY from JFK to LHR. I believe standard allowance is 2x23 kgs for PEY. The duty manager for AA was kind enough to accept my bag weighing 27kgs at that time.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:16 pm
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The OW rules are as follows

***Extra baggage allowance for Sapphire frequent flyers

As a Sapphire frequent flyer, the following special checked baggage privileges will apply when you fly on oneworld airlines:
  • On international or domestic itineraries using the baggage allowance "weight" system - 15 kgs in addition to the ticketed Economy Class baggage allowance.
  • On international itineraries, that include domestic sectors, using the baggage allowance “piece” system – one additional bag*, weighing up to 23kgs, up to a maximum of two pieces.
  • On purely domestic itineraries, using the baggage allowance "piece" system, for tickets with no ticketed baggage entitlement - the assurance of one piece of checked baggage, weighing up to 23 kgs.
Customers travelling in First and Business Class cabins will, in most cases, receive an even greater free checked baggage allowance.

Note: This benefit is not available on British Airways’ 'Hand Baggage Only/Basic' fares.

*In accordance with the individual policy of the oneworld airline operating the flight. **Priority baggage handling is not currently available on flights operated by British Airways.
IB follows them, for instance, giving you an extra piece when flying in Economy (even in Basic Economy, which BA does not do). But there is no OW-wide rule for overweight fees.

Of course, very often the check-in staff feels more generous and lets a 25 kg bag go by, but it is not the rule.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:19 pm
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Front line staff don't have the authority to change the rules. They may have thought that you were asking about a single ticket or something else. The problem is that this information is all on the IB website, so asking random employees for interpretations won't get you far.

If you want to frame a customer service complaint, you might ask that as a gesture, IB refund the fee or give you a credit on the basis that a specific employee provided incorrect information. Try to provide a name or at least a description, the location, and time of day. Leave out all of the irrelevant stuff about your encounter at ORD. I doubt that this succeeds, but it certainly won't if you focus there.
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Yllanes View Post
The OW rules are as follows



IB follows them, for instance, giving you an extra piece when flying in Economy (even in Basic Economy, which BA does not do). But there is no OW-wide rule for overweight fees.

Of course, very often the check-in staff feels more generous and lets a 25 kg bag go by, but it is not the rule.

So for future reference, should I fly Iberia Premium Economy again, I will be entitled to the standard 2x23kgs plus one additional bag weighing up to 23kgs?

Sorry for the ignorance despite being a oneworld sapphire member for 5 years running. I guess I have been used to BA and CX's more generous policy!
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Old Mar 25, 20, 4:37 pm
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BA is also not very generous when it comes to checking through on separate tickets...they won’t do it!
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Old Mar 25, 20, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by J343 View Post
So for future reference, should I fly Iberia Premium Economy again, I will be entitled to the standard 2x23kgs plus one additional bag weighing up to 23kgs?

Sorry for the ignorance despite being a oneworld sapphire member for 5 years running. I guess I have been used to BA and CX's more generous policy!
No, the extra bag is only if the standard allowance is 0 or 1.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 8:10 am
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It helps to know what your complete itinerary is as it sounds like you are not starting at ORD and US DOT have specific requirements on baggage allowance especially around the first segment of the itinerary being applied across the entire trip.

I'm not certain why BA would include 32kg as a free allowance as neither IB or BA offers 32kg even on their J fare transatlantic.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 8:48 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
I'm not certain why BA would include 32kg as a free allowance as neither IB or BA offers 32kg even on their J fare transatlantic.
IB do allow 32 kg even in domestic J, but they have a confusing way of putting it. Instead of saying directly that your allowance is 2 x 32 kg, sometimes they say that it is 2 x 23 kg and the overweight fee is waived.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by Yllanes View Post
IB do allow 32 kg even in domestic J, but they have a confusing way of putting it. Instead of saying directly that your allowance is 2 x 32 kg, sometimes they say that it is 2 x 23 kg and the overweight fee is waived.
Thanks. That's why we need to know the complete itinerary and also whether this is on one ticket or separate ticket.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
Thanks. That's why we need to know the complete itinerary and also whether this is on one ticket or separate ticket.
We already know that the OP had ORD-MAD in Premium Economy and a separate ticket for MAD-LHR in Business. In those circumstances, the allowance was 2 x 23 kg for the first flight and 2 x 32 kg for the second one, with no through-checking.
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Old Mar 26, 20, 5:58 pm
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And, OP, if your BA e-ticket said 2x32kgs for ORD-MAD, that's something you'll need to take up with BA. The way it would be marked on your ticket is "2PC" which means 2 pieces, weight is not mentioned. It's just BA trying to be (overly) helpful by giving you a weight limitation too.
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