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AI demand excessive baggage fee where TK is primary OW carrier

AI demand excessive baggage fee where TK is primary OW carrier

Old Jan 29, 18, 12:43 pm
  #1  
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Angry AI demand excessive baggage fee where TK is most significant carrier

So my 70+ parents were on an Aeroplan J award (ticket issued by AC I guess) from IAH - IST - DXB - COK first two legs on TK and DXB - COK on AI. TK checked-in and tagged bags all the way to final destination COK, but they were unable to issue the boarding pass for final segment on AI. After arriving at DXB parents went to connections to get AI boarding pass when things went haywire!

Air India thinks that 2 piece of bags each 70lb per passenger is excessive and they wanted excess baggage fee paid before they can issue the boarding pass. By this time my parents had travelled for about 24 hours due to a long connection in IST, plus waited another 3 hours in Dubai for AI to open the transit counter. My parents called me and I tried to explain the staff that TK policies should apply (even the ticket said so). Even the manager on duty believed that excess baggage fee should be paid (and they erroneously stated baggage limit is 24kg). Finally, after 100 minutes back and forth, the staff send the ticket to somewhere else and got clearance to issue the boarding.

How can something so basic in ticketing get so bad in many ways with AI? How can they claim fees on a bag that was checked in to the destination by a different airline? Ticketing agent at one point even said there is no lounge access unless you have paid for it - remember the pax was on J. How can staff be so untrained that basic rules like Over water carrier baggage policies are not known to them! I can't imagine what would have happened if my parents didn't have a way to contact me. How can I lodge a complaint officially so that nobody ever has to go through such an ordeal in the hands of inexperienced ticketing agents?

Last edited by pbnair; Jan 29, 18 at 6:38 pm Reason: made title clear
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Old Jan 29, 18, 4:49 pm
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Neither TK nor AI are in Oneworld; they are both in Star Alliance.

You are correct that once a bag has been checked through, no further fees should apply; it is not clear to me why the luggage was even an issue at an intermediate point. The applicable luggage allowance on a single ticket (on AI or TK) from USA/Canada to India is 2 suitcases per person (max 32kg each in J). This rule is listed for AI here.

I have been harassed for luggage fees by 9W at DEL when switching from another airline to a 9W domestic flight (same ticket)---I had to stand my ground and explain the rules to them. The relevant words are "single ticket" and "luggage allowance from USA/Canada". If DXB-COK was a separate award, or if the luggage was collected and re-checked, that's a completely different matter.

I am not sure you have basis for a complaint, though, given that no money was actually charged. There is no point in complaining to AI about incompetence, there are too many such complaints.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
Neither TK nor AI are in Oneworld; they are both in Star Alliance..
I believe the OP used “OW” to say “over water carrier”, not “OneWorld carrier”.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 6:05 pm
  #4  
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Most Significant Carrier (MSC), what OP likely is referring to as "over water" is not relevant to this ticket as it originates in the US. The allowance for the entire ticket is the allowance for the marketing carrier of the first segment. Thus, AC allowance in J for IAH-IST. That allowance is 2 bags @ 70 pounds. The allowance applies for all segments.

Contrary to popular belief, carriers are free to require an add/collect for bags over the allowance enroute. But, they rarely do it.

Here, none of it matters because the allowance was 2 bags @ 70 pounds.

Don't bother complaining to AI. Complaining about incompetence to a carrier which has raised incompetence to an art form is not worth your time.

Do file a complaint with US DOT. Can be done online. It needs to be about 1/10th the length of the OP and focus on the violation, not who said what.

DOT will require an explanation from AI and sooner or later will impose a fine if there are enough complaints.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 6:12 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
If DXB-COK was a separate award, or if the luggage was collected and re-checked, that's a completely different matter
Not a separate award, single ticket award.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post

Contrary to popular belief, carriers are free to require an add/collect for bags over the allowance enroute. But, they rarely do it.

Here, none of it matters because the allowance was 2 bags @ 70 pounds.
Can you elaborate this, please? Did you mean to say if I had paid TK for excess baggage, AI has the right to charge the similar fee for their segment?
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Old Jan 29, 18, 8:01 pm
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Correct. It is extraordinarily rare, but there are carriers which, when they can, impose excess bag fees on connections. Example would be a carrier where your status gets you an extra bag connecting to one where you do not have status.

This one was simply a scam. That is why you should report it to DOT.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Correct. It is extraordinarily rare, but there are carriers which, when they can, impose excess bag fees on connections. Example would be a carrier where your status gets you an extra bag connecting to one where you do not have status.

This one was simply a scam. That is why you should report it to DOT.

I did.
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Old Jan 29, 18, 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
This one was simply a scam.
its not a scam....its just sheer incompetence....if they see something on their screen then they will follow it blindly without trying to use common sense....i have come across this too often with ai....
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Old Jan 30, 18, 12:04 am
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Per USDOT regulation, for any ticket involving the US, baggage allowance cannot be less for segments subsequent to first check-in. Even if you have a stand-alone short domestic check-in.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by HkCaGu View Post
Per USDOT regulation, for any ticket involving the US, baggage allowance cannot be less for segments subsequent to first check-in. Even if you have a stand-alone short domestic check-in.
You mean even if the domestic leg ticket is on a different carrier on a separate ticket ???
I was aware that these rules apply if all legs on single ticket and not if there are separate tickets.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 8:51 pm
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Originally Posted by abhilife2001 View Post
You mean even if the domestic leg ticket is on a different carrier on a separate ticket ???
I was aware that these rules apply if all legs on single ticket and not if there are separate tickets.
I meant stand-alone check-in. If it's one ticket, and you have an overnight break meaning you'd check in for a domestic trip (or one with no free allowance), they can't charge you.

Less than a year after USDOT promulgated that rule, I had a CA ticket LAX-HKG RT. On return I was stopping PEK for a few days. At HKG they tried to charge me according to HKG-PEK allowance.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by HkCaGu View Post
I meant stand-alone check-in. If it's one ticket, and you have an overnight break meaning you'd check in for a domestic trip (or one with no free allowance), they can't charge you.

Less than a year after USDOT promulgated that rule, I had a CA ticket LAX-HKG RT. On return I was stopping PEK for a few days. At HKG they tried to charge me according to HKG-PEK allowance.
Thanks for the clarification.
In my experience, airlines have tried to charge when stopover is more than 24hours. infact in some situations, the TA advised to keep the transit within 24 hrs to get the benefit of international baggage allowance and benefit of end to end route connection price.
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Old Mar 8, 18, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Correct. It is extraordinarily rare, but there are carriers which, when they can, impose excess bag fees on connections. Example would be a carrier where your status gets you an extra bag connecting to one where you do not have status.

This one was simply a scam. That is why you should report it to DOT.
I believe as far as ticket is purchased in US, your allowance is what is normal for the first segment for that class. (Status/CreditCard giving extra bag of course does not fall under normal allowance). That is your allowance for the entire trip if issued on the same ticket. Now some airlines dont know the rules and end up giving you extra allowance when their own default allowance exceeds what you are lawfully entitled.

BTW, what happened with OP's parents was quite likely not a scam but case of semi-trained not-so-smart staff feeling empowered. Such cases (specifically the attitude) are not so infrequent with South Asian staff at middle eastern airports. What is shocking is that this was done to super senior citizens. Culturally South Asian staff (ground or cabin) usually go out of their way to help super senior citizens.
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