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Bag Transit Confusion at LHR A3-UA, missed connection -- Compensation question

Bag Transit Confusion at LHR A3-UA, missed connection -- Compensation question

Old Jun 22, 22, 2:50 pm
  #1  
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Bag Transit Confusion at LHR A3-UA, missed connection -- Compensation question

I flew from ATH-LHR-ORD Sunday June 20 which made the news for how bad LHR was. Here is my situation: our flight was ticketed by UA but the first leg from ATH was with Aegean. We got off the ATH flight and my boarding pass said Baggage Claim IT. There was no United rep within sight so I went off with the herd through customs to baggage claim. It didn't seem right, I thought our luggage was checked all the way to ORD, but since the UK isn't in the EU anymore I just wasn't sure. Anyway, no luggage at baggage claim, so we went through security to get to our gate for the next flight. The lines were EXTREMELY long and we ended up missing our connecting flight to ORD. We were fortunate enough to get on the next flight but in economy. We had paid for Premium economy on the original missed flight.

My questions are
1) did I screw us up by going through UK customs to baggage claim in the first place? I have a sneaking suspicion we could have just gone to our gate for the next flight and our luggage would have been checked through to ORD. But my Boarding pass said baggage claim IT and there was no one to ask until I got to the United checkin area. In retrospect I really wish I'd stayed on the good side of security and found a United representative. But right now I'm unsure of if we did the right thing or not and at the time that question took a back seat to getting rebooked and through security again to our next flight.
2) Are we owed the difference between the price of the Premium economy seats we purchased and the economy seats we got on the next flight?

Our baggage never arrived at ORD that day and we finally got it delivered two days later. I saw a news story about LHR that day and thousands of suitcases not where they were supposed to be so I had a good idea where it was. Overall, I'm grateful just to have gotten back the same day- a lot of people didn't- but I need to have a better understanding of the baggage claim system on international flights so that I don't repeat this incident in the future. I've traveled internationally many times and never have had any issue but apparently I don't understand it as well as I thought.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 2:57 pm
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Most likely, you messed up by going through immigration and trying to retrieve your bags. On a normal ATH-LHR-ORD transit booked on one ticket, you would only collect your bags at ORD. The baggage claim info is automatically printed on the boarding pass. The place to look would've been your baggage claim checks. If those had said checked through to ORD, then you would've just cleared transit security at LHR and continued onto your flight without missing it. If for some strange reason they were only checked to LHR per your baggage check, then yes you would've had to exit immigration, claim your bags, and pass through security.

To add, in most places, you only collect your bags at your final destination, not when in transit. The US is the oddity that makes you pass through immigration and collect bags at your first entry point into the country, not your final destination.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 3:03 pm
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…and long security lines are not UA’s fault. Hard to see a case for compensation here. Maybe a trivial something for delayed bags.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 3:07 pm
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So you have two issues at play:

1) Does your Aegean luggage tag states whether it was checked through to ORD? If yes, then there's no need to reclaim and recheck the bag. You just need to present your BP and luggage either at the UA transfer desk, or at the gate.

Also, for future reference, whether you need to reclaim and recheck is country and airport dependent - UK's membership status with the EU has no bearing in this case.

2) Since the reason why you missed the flight has nothing to do with UA, it is unlikely they will provide a refund of the difference.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 3:11 pm
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If you are in transit and have questions like this the recommended path is to follow the signs to transit/transfer and then visit a transfer desk to ask the questions. Exiting like that could create immigration issues depending on the country and your visa.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 3:31 pm
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off topic
Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
....To add, in most places, you only collect your bags at your final destination, not when in transit. The US is the oddity that makes you pass through immigration and collect bags at your first entry point into the country, not your final destination.
Many countries require you to clear immigration & customs, with all your bags, at your port of entry. Some countries allow customs, if any, at the final domestic destination.
A USA oddity is no airside international transit (without immigration customs, etc). USA require full entry (visa, immigration etc) even if only in USA for a few hours to board another international flight. Not aware of any other country that requires that (but may be some).
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Old Jun 22, 22, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
off topic

Many countries require you to clear immigration & customs, with all your bags, at your port of entry. Some countries allow customs, if any, at the final domestic destination.
A USA oddity is no airside international transit (without immigration customs, etc). USA require full entry (visa, immigration etc) even if only in USA for a few hours to board another international flight. Not aware of any other country that requires that (but may be some).
Probably why most people don't / won't transit here. Why would a Brit fly into EWR to get to YYZ when there are numerous alternatives. It would have to be a screaming deal for me to do it given my experience with US customs. As I recall years back, probably pre 911, MIA had a transit area where those traveling into the Caribbean and South America could transit through but apart from that I don't ever recall a US transit airside zone.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
Why would a Brit fly into EWR to get to YYZ when there are numerous alternatives.
You underestimate how cheap most leisure travelers are. If it's $5 less, most would do it.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
You underestimate how cheap most leisure travelers are. If it's $5 less, most would do it.
Perhaps but all I can do is shake my head.... Time is money, what does an hour in a customs line cost?
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Old Jun 22, 22, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
Perhaps but all I can do is shake my head.... Time is money, what does an hour in a customs line cost?
And choosing to do so in New Jersey

/s
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Old Jun 22, 22, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
Probably why most people don't / won't transit here. Why would a Brit fly into EWR to get to YYZ when there are numerous alternatives. It would have to be a screaming deal for me to do it given my experience with US customs. As I recall years back, probably pre 911, MIA had a transit area where those traveling into the Caribbean and South America could transit through but apart from that I don't ever recall a US transit airside zone.
I believe lax had a transit area as well
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Old Jun 22, 22, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by nomad420 View Post
Probably why most people don't / won't transit here. Why would a Brit fly into EWR to get to YYZ when there are numerous alternatives. It would have to be a screaming deal for me to do it given my experience with US customs. As I recall years back, probably pre 911, MIA had a transit area where those traveling into the Caribbean and South America could transit through but apart from that I don't ever recall a US transit airside zone.
Hang out in the BA forum. It can be amazing to read when a Brit books something like LHR-MIA-MEX because it is so cheap but are denied boarding in LHR because they don’t have an ETSA.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 10:47 pm
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IT = In Transit
Yes, the missed connection is on you. You can always request refund of the price difference, let us know what happens.
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Old Jun 23, 22, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by TomMM View Post
Hang out in the BA forum. It can be amazing to read when a Brit books something like LHR-MIA-MEX because it is so cheap but are denied boarding in LHR because they don’t have an ETSA.
Or they do have an ESTA, but only a one-way ticket to Mexico or Canada: https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/...ry-requirement
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Old Jun 23, 22, 3:30 am
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2) Are we owed the difference between the price of the Premium economy seats we purchased and the economy seats we got on the next flight?

If you're referring to UA's
Premium Plus product - then you may be owed a difference.
If you mean Economy Plus (more legroom) - then they should refund you that.
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