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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
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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 Jan 2, 2022, 4:43 pm
  #1  
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UA Bag Interlining If Separate Tix with *A Partners (YES) & Non *A Partners (NO)

I have an award booked on SQ IAH-MAN and I am looking at booking an award OKC-IAH on UA. I understand that it should not be an issue for UA agents to check bakgs through at OKC to MAN, but will COVID requirements create any issue?
Will I have to still go check in at SQ counter in IAH?
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by elbaez4288
I have an award booked on SQ IAH-MAN and I am looking at booking an award OKC-IAH on UA. I understand that it should not be an issue for UA agents to check bakgs through at OKC to MAN, but will COVID requirements create any issue?
Will I have to still go check in at SQ counter in IAH?
Interesting question. UA's travel ready center (for a UA flight to UK) requires uploading of the pre-travel PCR test and the UK passenger locator form before you get a BP w/ "Travel ready" on it. If SQ is able to check you in before you leave OKC, it shouldn't be a problem. I can see a potential problem if you don't have the Singapore check-in ready in OK. As to the SQ counter in IAH, if you have to show documents, maybe someone in their lounge (if accesible) or at the gate (maybe too short a timeframe) might be able to help w/ document check if needed w/o going through security.
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 6:08 pm
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Originally Posted by elbaez4288
I have an award booked on SQ IAH-MAN and I am looking at booking an award OKC-IAH on UA. I understand that it should not be an issue for UA agents to check bakgs through at OKC to MAN, but will COVID requirements create any issue?
Will I have to still go check in at SQ counter in IAH?
Not related to Covid but regarding baggage...
I had a IAH-MAN on SQ a couple of years ago and a STL-IAH on a separate ticket and they were adamant that they couldn't check my bags all the way through from STL..
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by pkerr
Not related to Covid but regarding baggage...
I had a IAH-MAN on SQ a couple of years ago and a STL-IAH on a separate ticket and they were adamant that they couldn't check my bags all the way through from STL..
Checking thru on separate tickets is a carrier dependent policy, if starting with UA, the OP will be fine connecting to SQ. SQ makes its own policy.
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA
Checking thru on separate tickets is a carrier dependent policy, if starting with UA, the OP will be fine connecting to SQ. SQ makes its own policy.
Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying but I did start with UA. And they wouldn't check my bag through on my IAH-MAN flight with SQ.
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 10:27 pm
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Originally Posted by pkerr
Maybe I'm not understanding what you are saying but I did start with UA. And they wouldn't check my bag through on my IAH-MAN flight with SQ.
Was your ticket basic economy? If it wasn't, UA policy is that they should be able to interline baggage to SQ, even on separate tickets.
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Old Jan 2, 2022, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Was your ticket basic economy? If it wasn't, UA policy is that they should be able to interline baggage to SQ, even on separate tickets.
Can't rule out OP may have run into an inept agent...

Edit: Maybe inept is too harsh. Maybe inexperienced is better - checking through to another carrier on separate tickets is probably a rare situation for a lot of agents and they need to work through a couple to get the experience.
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Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Jan 3, 2022 at 11:10 am
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Old Jan 3, 2022, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL
Was your ticket basic economy? If it wasn't, UA policy is that they should be able to interline baggage to SQ, even on separate tickets.
Nope. Regular coach ticket. I had done some research prior to the flight about that very issue and found some instructions on what to say to the agent. The agent even got a supervisor and they didn't know how to do it either. As IAH-OIL-TRASH mentioned, there may have been some ineptitude involved.
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Old Jan 3, 2022, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by pkerr
Nope. Regular coach ticket. I had done some research prior to the flight about that very issue and found some instructions on what to say to the agent. The agent even got a supervisor and they didn't know how to do it either. As IAH-OIL-TRASH mentioned, there may have been some ineptitude involved.
My wife and I have flown UA between STL and ORD at least twice a year for several years. I suspect the UA staff at STL are not regular UA employees (all outsourced) and it was a training issue, even for the supervisors. You may have had a different experience if you had departed from a different (meaning larger) airport, like ORD.
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Old Jan 3, 2022, 10:50 am
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Right after I moved to RNO I had a flight to NRT via ICN on OZ from LAX with a positioning flight from RNO. It took them about 5 minutes to check the policy and they ended up talking to the Help Desk to get an override of some sort, no problems from then on other than a quick call for the override. Fast forward a couple of years and connecting to TYO via IAH on BR, computer barfed and they ended up making a new parallel UA PNR to make it work. Took about 20 minutes and I haven't had that issue, unsure whether it was a Help Desk issue or another UA IT enhancement. Coming back on all of them there hasn't been any issue airline wise (except when UA ripped of the OZ tag and rerouted it through PHX and LAS on AS (the untagged bag forwarder that month from TBIT)). When I was living by SMF there was never a problem beyond having to get the override from the Help Desk.

Last edited by ttuna3; Jan 3, 2022 at 3:30 pm
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Old Jan 3, 2022, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by cheltzel
My wife and I have flown UA between STL and ORD at least twice a year for several years. I suspect the UA staff at STL are not regular UA employees (all outsourced) and it was a training issue, even for the supervisors. You may have had a different experience if you had departed from a different (meaning larger) airport, like ORD.
Wouldn't surprise me one bit.
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Old Jan 4, 2022, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by globetraveler
GS agent advised me that they can make an exception for interline agreement carriers only, for *G and above.
Is there a list of interline agreement carriers anywhere?
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Old Jan 4, 2022, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by bariww
Is there a list of interline agreement carriers anywhere?
UA Interline Baggage Agreements (single PNR / ticket)

Note there many be minor differences between ticket interline agreements and bag interline agreements.

Some carriers post their interline partners, UA does not. ExpertFlyer is one source for up to date listings.
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Old Jan 5, 2022, 12:48 pm
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What about the reverse - through check in of bags when transferring from *A carrier to United. Granted all bags have to be claimed for customs upon arrival, however having through check in, we can hand over the bags immediately after clearing customs rather than carrying the luggage all the way to United counter. In tight connections this can be an advantage.

Recently on a flight from Singapore to IAH via LA, SQ did not accept through check in to United and told me to recheck at the United checkin counter. They were on separate tickets.
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Old Jan 5, 2022, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by hyho61
What about the reverse - through check in of bags when transferring from *A carrier to United. Granted all bags have to be claimed for customs upon arrival, however having through check in, we can hand over the bags immediately after clearing customs rather than carrying the luggage all the way to United counter. In tight connections this can be an advantage.

Recently on a flight from Singapore to IAH via LA, SQ did not accept through check in to United and told me to recheck at the United checkin counter. They were on separate tickets.
The separate ticket interline of bags is a carrier dependent policy. UA will do it, SQ may not. It all depends on the first carrier.
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