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UA Bag Interlining If Separate Tix with *A Partners (YES) & Non *A Partners (NO)

Old Aug 23, 2016, 5:11 pm
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
See Interline Baggage Agreements (single ticket) when there is a single ticket.

When a passenger has two separate tickets, United will though-check (interline) bags only when the second ticket is for UA or *A partner operated travel. Otherwise, UA may not interline the bags and you will need to recheck bags for the second ticket.

With two qualifying separate tickets, when checking bags thru, you will need to present flight information for both tickets at check-in. This includes the itinerary, PNR and eticket number.

Note: Interlining two UA tickets seems to be challenging for some agents. Allow extra time for bag check, just in case, and perhaps suggest contacting the Help Desk if the agent seems to be having issues.
Interlining UA-UA may not be allowed if one ticket is Basic Economy and does not allow free check bags.
Thread on UA-UA bag interlining

Effective for travel on and after March 1, 2015, when a customer has two separate tickets, United will though-check bags only when the secondary ticket is for travel on the following carriers:

* United and United Express
* Star Alliance partner airlines

With the new policy, a passengers baggage will be checked between the origin and destination points that are reflected on a single or conjunctive ticket.

If the traveler holds a second ticket on another airline beyond the destination of the first ticket, United will check the bag to the destination on the first ticket(s). In such situations, the traveler must collect their baggage on arrival at their first ticketed destination, and then re-check baggage with the next carrier for their continuing flight(s).
UA.com link
If you have a separate ticket on another carrier, you must claim bags at the destination of the first ticketed itinerary and check bags with the other carrier to the final destination. Baggage can be checked through to the final destination if the separate ticketed itinerary includes Star Alliance member airline-operated flights.
Some conditions when UA may not interlining with another carrier on a separate ticket
  • The carrier is not a *A partner
  • the connection is overnight
  • the connection is less than MCT
  • Traveling internationally and connecting to a domestic flight within your destination country

Exceptions to the non-partner interlining restriction on separate tickets for 1Ks/GSs have been reported. There still needs to be a regular bag interlining agreement in place.
Additionally, one report suggests that exception would apply also to *Gs and Full Fare J passengers

Whenever checking a bag between carriers (on a single or separate tickets), it is recommended to show your bag tag to each downline carrier at the transfer desk/gate to ensure the bag tag information has propagated to their system.

related thread:
Overnight, long layover/connection check through baggage question (consolidated)

Archive thread: UA Bag Interlining If Separate Tix w/ *A Partners (YES) & Non-Partners (NO) {Archive}

Originally Posted by Lux Flyer
Default time is 12 hours. A small number of individual stations are enabled to allow bags to be checked thru for connections greater than 12 hours. Maybe we can build a list based on people's experiences for certain connection points.

I know FCO is up to 16 hours. SIN, HND, FRA, MUC, ZRH, BRU should all allow up to 24 hours.


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UA Bag Interlining If Separate Tix with *A Partners (YES) & Non *A Partners (NO)

Old Dec 15, 2023, 3:57 pm
  #421  
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Had a strange denial, flew SFO-(UA)-LHR-(AC)-BOM and then a separate ticket, 11:50 later, on AI. SFO agent stated it was not possible due to the AC flight, that interline across separate tickets, the last flight on the first ticket had to be UA, not a partner.

Seems there are many examples in this thread with partner flights on the first ticket, I had not expected this. The UA agent was unbudged by my protestations

In reality having my bag in BOM turned out to be useful, but what am I missing?
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 4:08 pm
  #422  
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Seems like there are things that are possible in theory but not in practice, either because UA and/or their check-in agents just don't want to be helpful or they are constrained by "system limitations" as we were told earlier today in EWR or a similar request.

I asked someone much more knowledgeable than me about this sort of thing just now, and their response was, "It's a consequence of DOT rules about how bag fees have to be split when interlining, they can't charge the fees for both carriers, so airlines pushed back on interlining." I'm sure that plays a part.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 4:26 pm
  #423  
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash
So not the worst thing in the world...but...I am flying the identical itin next Friday evening and I really want to just hit the UA lounge at LHR and not have to deal with re-checking my bag. Any idea what magic chant I need to invoke at UA check-in to make this happen without making a major scene that's going to end with me being the star of a travel blogger's post?
Theres no magic chant just hope you get lucky with a better employee. The 12 hour thing is silly on its face is UA claiming that you cant check a bag on a connection after SIN-SFO because itd be more than 12 hours away? 12 hours, or overnight, refers to the length of the stop, not the difference in time between now and that flights departure.

Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
In reality having my bag in BOM turned out to be useful, but what am I missing?
Sounds like an agent making up an explanation. Theres nothing preventing them from adding a third carrier to the record if there were, how would three-carrier flights work on a single ticket?

Originally Posted by AutoSlash
either because UA and/or their check-in agents just don't want to be helpful
Bingo.

Originally Posted by AutoSlash
I asked someone much more knowledgeable than me about this sort of thing just now, and their response was, "It's a consequence of DOT rules about how bag fees have to be split when interlining, they can't charge the fees for both carriers, so airlines pushed back on interlining." I'm sure that plays a part.
Im not aware of any rules about how bag fees are split when interlining. I assume thats all handled as part of the interline agreements themselves. It is true that they cant charge bag fees twice if the bag is checked through, but in practice you seem just as likely to get an odd denial when booking flights that wouldnt involve baggage charges anyway.
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Old Dec 15, 2023, 5:35 pm
  #424  
 
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash
....their response was, "It's a consequence of DOT rules about how bag fees have to be split....

That is a good one! Complete BS, but a new one for me.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 3:53 pm
  #425  
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Theres no magic chant just hope you get lucky with a better employee. The 12 hour thing is silly on its face is UA claiming that you cant check a bag on a connection after SIN-SFO because itd be more than 12 hours away? 12 hours, or overnight, refers to the length of the stop, not the difference in time between now and that flights departure
I wonder if the agent mis-spoke and meant "more than 24 hours away"?

I had an experience once checking a bag BKK-NRT-IAH-MID with TG in BKK, all on one ticket, IIRC. They checked the bag through to MID for me with the understanding that I would need to clear the bag through US Customs in IAH (this was before they began doing automatic Intl-to-Intl bag transfers in IAH.) I was met upon arrival in the IAH jetway with a CSR saying I needed to not just claim my bag in IAH for Customs clearance, but also I needed to take the bag to the UA Customer Service counter in the IAH re-check area to have a separate bag tag issued for IAH-MID. The reason? The IAH-MID flight departed more than 24 hours after the time that the TG agent in BKK (attempted to) check the bag.

There were two more folks in the same situation having come in from BKK via NRT and onward UA connections after the 24-hour limit. I was the first one at the Customer Service counter and the CSR had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. Then the others showed up and the CSR helping another fellow understood and explained it to my CSR.

I really don't know if that 24-hour restriction is still a thing, but it crossed my mind while reading the posts.
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Old Dec 17, 2023, 4:50 pm
  #426  
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Originally Posted by wpcoe
I wonder if the agent mis-spoke and meant "more than 24 hours away"?

I had an experience once checking a bag BKK-NRT-IAH-MID with TG in BKK, all on one ticket, IIRC. They checked the bag through to MID for me with the understanding that I would need to clear the bag through US Customs in IAH (this was before they began doing automatic Intl-to-Intl bag transfers in IAH.) I was met upon arrival in the IAH jetway with a CSR saying I needed to not just claim my bag in IAH for Customs clearance, but also I needed to take the bag to the UA Customer Service counter in the IAH re-check area to have a separate bag tag issued for IAH-MID. The reason? The IAH-MID flight departed more than 24 hours after the time that the TG agent in BKK (attempted to) check the bag.

There were two more folks in the same situation having come in from BKK via NRT and onward UA connections after the 24-hour limit. I was the first one at the Customer Service counter and the CSR had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. Then the others showed up and the CSR helping another fellow understood and explained it to my CSR.

I really don't know if that 24-hour restriction is still a thing, but it crossed my mind while reading the posts.
It was on a single ticket, but I checked a bag through MNL-GUM-NRT-DEN-IAH-AUS once. Trust me, I was in Manila well more than 24 hours before my IAH-AUS flight departed.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 7:31 am
  #427  
 
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UA/TPA-EWR then TK to IST, will UA thru-check luggage to IST

If I book 2 separate award tix, morning on UA from TPA>EWR, then evening EWR>IST on TK (so different PNRs) will UA thru check my luggage to IST? Can I cross-reference/link the 2 PNRs?
I've done it before on DL, uncertain about UA. Thx.

Last edited by elizadoo; Dec 23, 2023 at 7:59 am
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 7:37 am
  #428  
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UA doesn't fly to JFK.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 7:48 am
  #429  
 
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Thx, I meant EWR. Will edit.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 8:39 am
  #430  
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Originally Posted by elizadoo
If I book 2 separate award tix, morning on UA from TPA>EWR, then evening EWR>IST on TK (so different PNRs) will UA thru check my luggage to IST?
They should, provided that the stop in Newark is not overnight and is less than 12 hours. Arrive about half an hour earlier than you normally would, as not every agent knows how to do this and they may need to get their help desk involved. Also note that some people have found agents unable / unwilling to do this even though, by policy, they should.

Originally Posted by elizadoo
Can I cross-reference/link the 2 PNRs?
Cross-referencing PNRs doesnt accomplish anything on UA.
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Old Dec 23, 2023, 11:48 pm
  #431  
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As I have mentioned before, a so-called link is nothing but a comment in the "Remarks" field at the end of each passenger name record (PNR), providing the six-character record locator (confirmation number) of the PNR for the other portion of the journey.

Depending on workload, this Remark entry may or may not be noticed by other agents. There is nothing automated about it, whatsoever.
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Old Dec 31, 2023, 12:05 pm
  #432  
 
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Interline SFO-MNL. MNL-BKK separate tickets?

Hello, I read several comments in this thread to educate myself. My itinerary: UA business class SFO-MNL on one ticket, Thai Airways MNL-BKK business class with a 6 hour layover on separate ticket. Both flites operate in the same terminal. Based on UA policy and ticket agent cooperation it looks like I should be able to interline my checked baggage. Correct? UA appears to have a small footprint in MNL with their new direct flite SFO-MNL since around late OCT,2023 and flites to Guam so I hope it would not be a struggle for ground personnel to transfer the luggage or miss seeing the interline. Of course I have enough time and could pick up my bag in MNL, clear customs/immigration, check in with Thai airways, and clear immigrations again. Not looking forward to this since it sounds like it is a long and slow process to do, a recommendation of checking in 3 hours early. I would like to relax in the lounge instead. But this process would give piece of mind that the luggage made it to the next flite. It appears Thai Airlines only has one flite a day from MNL total. My flite to BKK leaves approx.1pm so I guess the check in counter would open about 3 hours earlier? Does the interlining sound workable?

the below comment from SPN Lifer gives me some worries :
"As I have mentioned before, a so-called link is nothing but a comment in the "Remarks" field at the end of each passenger name record (PNR), providing the six-character record locator (confirmation number) of the PNR for the other portion of the journey.

Depending on workload, this Remark entry may or may not be noticed by other agents. There is nothing automated about it, whatsoever."

Last edited by gallen5555; Dec 31, 2023 at 12:20 pm Reason: update
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Old Dec 31, 2023, 12:27 pm
  #433  
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Originally Posted by gallen5555
Hello, I read several comments in this thread to educate myself. My itinerary: UA business class SFO-MNL on one ticket, Thai Airways MNL-BKK business class with a 6 hour layover on separate ticket. Both flites operate in the same terminal. Based on UA policy and ticket agent cooperation it looks like I should be able to interline my checked baggage. Correct? UA appears to have a small footprint in MNL with their new direct flite SFO-MNL since around late OCT,2023 and flites to Guam so I hope it would not be a struggle for ground personnel to transfer the luggage or miss seeing the interline. Of course I have enough time and could pick up my bag in MNL, clear customs/immigration, check in with Thai airways, and clear immigrations again. Not looking forward to this since it sounds like it is a long and slow process to do, a recommendation of checking in 3 hours early. I would like to relax in the lounge instead. But this process would give piece of mind that the luggage made it to the next flite. It appears Thai Airlines only has one flite a day from MNL total. My flite to BKK leaves approx.1pm so I guess the check in counter would open about 3 hours earlier? Does the interlining sound workable? ...
Interline of these separate tickets should not be a problem (unless this is overnight). The process will be done in SFO (allow 20 minutes extra). There is nothing you will need to do in MNL (although some suggest checking with the TG GA for peace of mind to make sure the bags were transferred)

Originally Posted by gallen5555
the below comment from SPN Lifer gives me some worries :
"As I have mentioned before, a so-called link is nothing but a comment in the "Remarks" field at the end of each passenger name record (PNR), providing the six-character record locator (confirmation number) of the PNR for the other portion of the journey.

Depending on workload, this Remark entry may or may not be noticed by other agents. There is nothing automated about it, whatsoever."
The remark filed has nothing to due with bag interlining
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Old Dec 31, 2023, 12:46 pm
  #434  
 
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thank you WineCountryUA, fellow SFO FLYER. The flites are not overnite. The SFO-MNL Flite arrives in MNL at 7am and the MNL_BKK flite leaves 6 hours later at 1pm. Great suggestion about checking with the TG GA to see if bags transferred!

Last edited by gallen5555; Dec 31, 2023 at 12:52 pm
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Old Dec 31, 2023, 1:42 pm
  #435  
 
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Flying EWR-SXM (St Maarten)-SBH (St Barts) in a couple months on a purchased 016 ticket, which includes the connecting flight on Winair. Used miles for spouse and couldn't get a through ticket, so booked her just to SXM, with a separate ticket SXM-SBH on the same Winair flight I'm on.

Based on what I read here, it looks like it would be best to check both our bags on my ticket, as her bag isn't likely to be interlined.

Anything else I should do or keep in mind, other than confirming with the Winair GA (and my AirTags) that the bags made it onto the connection?
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