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UA ticket - How to determine / verify luggage allowance?

UA ticket - How to determine / verify luggage allowance?

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Old Dec 20, 15, 7:41 am
  #1  
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Baggage allowance confusion LH => UA

I haven't been able to get a completely straight answer on baggage, and my ticket and the online baggage calculator conflict. The online discussion is helpful but still leave me confused. (Mods: I'm not sure if there's another thread this should be tacked onto.)

In January 2015, my wife and I flew SFO-CDG on United. The original return ticket was out of Rome (FCO) in October 2015, on United metal. The original ticket was clear that, as 1K members, we got 3 bags each @70 pounds on all segments.

The uncertainty arises because subsequently changed the return to January 2016 (a little under a year from the outbound). We are now on Lufthansa to FRA then UA to SFO (with the UA portion upgraded to C with GPUs).

The problem is the LH coach segment from FCO-FRA. The ticket receipt, after making the change, shows that we are only allowed 1 bag each of 50 pounds from FCO-FRA as well as from FRA-SFO. However, the online baggage calculator says we're allowed 3 bags of 70 pounds. As I understand the DOT rules, the calculator is consistent with the DOT rules that baggage allowances are consistent throughout an itinerary. Of course, the calculator also says we need to check in with United (which is not possible)!

Would the intervening change to our itinerary (including airlines) have superseded the default DOT rules? 1KVoice said they deferred to Lufthansa on baggage allowances. Lufthansa's phone line said we got 1 bag of 50 pounds plus a second 50 pound bag as *G.

If the LH check-in agent wants to charge us, I see three things we can do

1. Argue that the DOT rules apply, so our baggage allowance shouldn't change mid-itinerary. Show the printout from the online baggage calculator (but not from the ticket receipt, which indicates I should be charged).
2. If #1 fails, ask if they would please choose to designate United as the Most Significant Carrier (which is reasonable here) and to apply United's rules
3. If #1 and #2 fail, pay the fees.

Any other suggestions? Before I discuss with the LH agent, I want to make sure I know the rules!
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Old Dec 20, 15, 8:45 am
  #2  
 
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When flying multiple carriers, isn't it the rules for the longest flight that trumps the others?
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Old Dec 20, 15, 8:49 am
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
I haven't been able to get a completely straight answer on baggage, and my ticket and the online baggage calculator conflict. The online discussion is helpful but still leave me confused. (Mods: I'm not sure if there's another thread this should be tacked onto.)

In January 2015, my wife and I flew SFO-CDG on United. The original return ticket was out of Rome (FCO) in October 2015, on United metal. The original ticket was clear that, as 1K members, we got 3 bags each @70 pounds on all segments.

The uncertainty arises because subsequently changed the return to January 2016 (a little under a year from the outbound). We are now on Lufthansa to FRA then UA to SFO (with the UA portion upgraded to C with GPUs).

The problem is the LH coach segment from FCO-FRA. The ticket receipt, after making the change, shows that we are only allowed 1 bag each of 50 pounds from FCO-FRA as well as from FRA-SFO. However, the online baggage calculator says we're allowed 3 bags of 70 pounds. As I understand the DOT rules, the calculator is consistent with the DOT rules that baggage allowances are consistent throughout an itinerary. Of course, the calculator also says we need to check in with United (which is not possible)!

Would the intervening change to our itinerary (including airlines) have superseded the default DOT rules? 1KVoice said they deferred to Lufthansa on baggage allowances. Lufthansa's phone line said we got 1 bag of 50 pounds plus a second 50 pound bag as *G.

If the LH check-in agent wants to charge us, I see three things we can do

1. Argue that the DOT rules apply, so our baggage allowance shouldn't change mid-itinerary. Show the printout from the online baggage calculator (but not from the ticket receipt, which indicates I should be charged).
2. If #1 fails, ask if they would please choose to designate United as the Most Significant Carrier (which is reasonable here) and to apply United's rules
3. If #1 and #2 fail, pay the fees.

Any other suggestions? Before I discuss with the LH agent, I want to make sure I know the rules!
Are you a 1k? Then you will get 2 bags. End of story. If your wife is on the same pnr, so will she. A simple google search will give you the results: http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...en&cid=1000390
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:01 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by IADFlyer123 View Post
Are you a 1k? Then you will get 2 bags. End of story. If your wife is on the same pnr, so will she. A simple google search will give you the results: http://www.lufthansa.com/online/port...en&cid=1000390
This is incorrect. OP will be traveling as *G and under the rules for intercontinental flight as J pax. So it's 3 x 32kg/70lb. LH in FCO should be familiar with this.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:09 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
This is incorrect. OP will be traveling as *G and under the rules for intercontinental flight as J pax. So it's 3 x 32kg/70lb. LH in FCO should be familiar with this.
Isn't 1k a *G? How does that make it incorrect? If you check the link, it's a Lufthansa page with information about status passengers, so I beg to disagree!
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:09 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by dimramon View Post
When flying multiple carriers, isn't it the rules for the longest flight that trumps the others?
Under U.S. DOT rules since Jan. 2012, U.S. carriers aren't obligated to apply the IATA Most Significant Carrier baggage rule. The DOT has its own single ticket/single allowance rule.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:19 am
  #7  
 
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Here is a screenshot of LH's baggage allowance for intercontinental travel:

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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:30 am
  #8  
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Both my wife and I are 1Ks.

The question is whether LH or UA rules 'should' apply here. If we were starting the itinerary with LH, I'm pretty sure LH rules (two bags, as noted above, at 50 pounds each) would apply unless LH's agent chose to designate UA as the most significant carrier.

But since we started the itinerary with UA, I believe United's rules should apply (three bags of 70 pounds).

BUT when we changed the itinerary, the reissued ticket listed Lufthansa's baggage limits, not United's. I don't think that's right and, indeed, the baggage calculator differs from the ticket.

But the rules don't always seem clear. Possibly changing the ticket changes how the DOT rules get applied? I don't see why but it might.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:34 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
Here is a screenshot of LH's baggage allowance for intercontinental travel:
oh! This is a wrinkle I didn't consider. Even though the connecting leg to FRA is in coach, LH could also apply the business-class limits because the FRA-SFO flight is in C.

That's yet another argument to make to the agent.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:38 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
Both my wife and I are 1Ks.

The question is whether LH or UA rules 'should' apply here. If we were starting the itinerary with LH, I'm pretty sure LH rules (two bags, as noted above, at 50 pounds each) would apply unless LH's agent chose to designate UA as the most significant carrier.

But since we started the itinerary with UA, I believe United's rules should apply (three bags of 70 pounds).

BUT when we changed the itinerary, the reissued ticket listed Lufthansa's baggage limits, not United's. I don't think that's right and, indeed, the baggage calculator differs from the ticket.

But the rules don't always seem clear. Possibly changing the ticket changes how the DOT rules get applied? I don't see why but it might.
Here's where I have to disagree where you are viewing it as a whole itinerary and not flight segments which in your case spans nearly a year.
You're basically saying (status aside) that if you flew from the A to B in Economy and back in First Class you should get whatever the economy baggage allowance even for your flight back in F. And then by the same token on the opposite side if you flew from A to B in First class and then flew back in Economy you should get your First class allowances all the way through.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:51 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by sinoflyer View Post
This is incorrect. OP will be traveling as *G and under the rules for intercontinental flight as J pax. So it's 3 x 32kg/70lb. LH in FCO should be familiar with this.
At a minimum the OP will get 2 free bags, which is by the way the *G rules of two additional bags above the normal/ minimum amount of free bags. For LH Euro economy, there are no free bags so the minimum *G bag allowance is 2.

To the OP, the ticket receipt is showing the standard or non status bag allowance for your fare class on LH. Don't worry about what the ticket receipt says beyond ensuring you Checkin at the *G counter for your first flight. The *G agents have seen your situation before and will act accordingly.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:56 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
I haven't been able to get a completely straight answer on baggage, and my ticket and the online baggage calculator conflict. The online discussion is helpful but still leave me confused. (Mods: I'm not sure if there's another thread this should be tacked onto.)
I asked a similar question a few weeks ago (NH instead of LH). I called ANA and they made it clear: their counter, their rules. If you check in at an LH counter they will very likely apply their rules. Not UA's rules.

As if happened for me, UA allowed me 3 bags. NH allows 2 bags *plus* a third if you're *G. I was told I had to produce my card. I didn't. It was in the record so there was no discussion at all. Checked 6 bags for me and my wife and didn't say a word.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 10:00 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
...But since we started the itinerary with UA, I believe United's rules should apply (three bags of 70 pounds)....
You are confusing bag fee waivers at United counters with applicable bag charges. A bag fee waiver for the third bag provided by United to a 1K is not necessarily provided at another airline's counter. At LH, you are not a 1K, you are a *G.

If you were in coach, United's bag charges are 1 free 50lb bag, 2nd at $100, 3rd at $200. Those are what the applicable charges would be without frequent flyer allowances. When you check in at a United counter, United waives the fees for bags 2 and 3 as a 1K and also allows you to put in 20 more pounds in each bag. If you checked in at United at FCO, those same waivers would have gotten you 3 bags "free". It wasn't really free - it was 1 free bag and waivers for 2 more on bags 2 and 3. Since you checked in at a LH counter, LH would charge United's normal bag charges (1 free 50lb bag, 2nd at $100, 3rd at $200), unless *G or LH rules provide a more generous allowance/fee. In either case, the 1K waiver and extra weight allowance available at a UA counter DOES NOT apply at a LH counter.

I can run the scenario again w/ a business class ticket, but you are definitely confusing waivers available at UA counters with UA-defined applicable bag charges due elsewhere. A lot of people do...

Last edited by IAH-OIL-TRASH; Dec 20, 15 at 10:24 am
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Old Dec 20, 15, 10:08 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by lancelot21 View Post
The question is whether LH or UA rules 'should' apply here. If we were starting the itinerary with LH, I'm pretty sure LH rules (two bags, as noted above, at 50 pounds each) would apply unless LH's agent chose to designate UA as the most significant carrier.
You are assuming that LH will apply LH's rules for intra-Europe flight in economy. I really don't think this will happen. You have an international E.U.-U.S. ticket, and even LH's own rules in that regard is 3 x 32/70.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 10:20 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
I asked a similar question a few weeks ago (NH instead of LH). I called ANA and they made it clear: their counter, their rules. If you check in at an LH counter they will very likely apply their rules. Not UA's rules.

As if happened for me, UA allowed me 3 bags. NH allows 2 bags *plus* a third if you're *G. I was told I had to produce my card. I didn't. It was in the record so there was no discussion at all. Checked 6 bags for me and my wife and didn't say a word.
Not really - ANA applies UA's applicable bag charges (sans waivers) unless their allowances (incl. *G benefits) are better. I believe a lot of people confuse waivers of applicable bag charges at UA counters with applicable bag charges.
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