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UA will not Short Check bags (but some loopholes)

UA will not Short Check bags (but some loopholes)

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Old Aug 20, 22, 5:09 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: WineCountryUA
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"Short Checking" -- the practice of checking bags to a location short of your travel destination is no longer permitted by UA (and many airlines). It is believed one reason for this is to discourage "Hidden City Ticketing."

There are a couple of exceptions / loopholes
-- Over nights in route stays -- you are overnight at a connecting city.
Long layover/connection check through baggage question (consolidated)
UA policy on connecting bags requiring recheck

-- Port of entry for USA arrivals
At most USA port of entries, you will have clear customs and you then can exit with your baggage (or recheck).
This does not work at IAD mid-field arrivals since must clear TSA to exit.
Also PreClearance airports (where you clear immigration and customs at the departure international city -- such as most Canada-USA flights and DUB and some Caribbean)
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Old Aug 21, 22, 9:59 am
  #376  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I still expect the computer to try to check your bag through. The phrase it uses for the upcoming trips is absolutely meaningless. I've gotten (e.g.) Austin to Houston many a time when I've connected through Houston, even though I'd very rarely fly it on its own. So, I'd give myself plenty of time at IAD and come ready to explain the situation. Something like, "I specifically added a stopover in Miami in order to drop this luggage off," with a printout of the section of Rule 23 I pasted yesterday. With any luck, I'm wrong, the computer will check your bag to Miami, and you'll just have expended a little extra effort.

Please report back with your experiences after you fly.

Good luck!
Thanks, and will do!

As I think about it, the answer may be revealed at OLCI -- if UA lets me check in for just IAD-MIA, I should be good.

Also, isn't the fact that UA charged me 20 Plus Point per segment pretty good evidence that UA considers these separated segments with an intervening stopover, rather than a through connection? (I'm making up my own unofficial terms here ... .)
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Last edited by st530; Aug 21, 22 at 4:00 pm
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Old Aug 26, 22, 12:51 pm
  #377  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
I still expect the computer to try to check your bag through
Not on separate tickets it won't.. I end up with same-day back-to-back separate tickets with as little as an hour connection on a semi-regular basis and I have never had the system try and check my bags through across two tickets. Every time I have to get a TA to do it at the airport manually.
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Old Aug 26, 22, 1:50 pm
  #378  
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Not on separate tickets it won't.. I end up with same-day back-to-back separate tickets with as little as an hour connection on a semi-regular basis and I have never had the system try and check my bags through across two tickets. Every time I have to get a TA to do it at the airport manually.
Correct, but the OP didn't purchase separate tickets.

Originally Posted by st530 View Post
As I think about it, the answer may be revealed at OLCI -- if UA lets me check in for just IAD-MIA, I should be good.
Agreed.

Originally Posted by st530 View Post
Also, isn't the fact that UA charged me 20 Plus Point per segment pretty good evidence that UA considers these separated segments with an intervening stopover, rather than a through connection? (I'm making up my own unofficial terms here ... .)
It's circumstantial evidence, but, yes, it's in your favor. It it had only asked for 20 PlusPoints, that would have been pretty solid evidence against your plan, but it's not quite as strong in the other direction (because the PlusPoints could be based on faring, where 4 hours is unquestionably a stopover).
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Old Aug 26, 22, 2:12 pm
  #379  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Correct, but the OP didn't purchase separate tickets.
Totally misread that.

What will "OP" do if their first flight is delayed such that they can't retrieve and drop off their bag in time to make the connection? In that case if it fares as two one-ways just book two one-ways on separate PNRs?
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Old Aug 26, 22, 2:59 pm
  #380  
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Originally Posted by raehl311 View Post
Totally misread that.

What will "OP" do if their first flight is delayed such that they can't retrieve and drop off their bag in time to make the connection? In that case if it fares as two one-ways just book two one-ways on separate PNRs?
Being on a single PNR gives protection for OP to get to the final destination. I'm guessing, from context, that OP would prefer to skip dropping the bag in MIA if it came down to that -- otherwise, I think separate tickets would have been the way to go.

It's possible that OP could be delayed 5 hours -- still in time for the connection but not time to drop off the bag. In that case, SDC would be a potential option, as would trying to find a sympathetic member of the ground staff to handle the rebooking. OP isn't breaking any rules here, so I don't foresee too much of a problem getting taken care of if delays send things sideways.
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Old Sep 7, 22, 12:53 pm
  #381  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Correct, but the OP didn't purchase separate tickets.


Agreed.


It's circumstantial evidence, but, yes, it's in your favor. It it had only asked for 20 PlusPoints, that would have been pretty solid evidence against your plan, but it's not quite as strong in the other direction (because the PlusPoints could be based on faring, where 4 hours is unquestionably a stopover).
So at check-in the two segments (IAD-MIA and MIA-IAH) were treated as a single itinerary with a connection/layover (i.e., I could not check in for just IAD-MIA). So it looks like i will have to have a discussion tomorrow morning at IAD with the GS agent to convince him or her to check my bag only to MIA and not all the way through to IAH. Wish me luck!
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Old Sep 7, 22, 1:11 pm
  #382  
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Originally Posted by st530 View Post
So at check-in the two segments (IAD-MIA and MIA-IAH) were treated as a single itinerary with a connection/layover (i.e., I could not check in for just IAD-MIA). So it looks like i will have to have a discussion tomorrow morning at IAD with the GS agent to convince him or her to check my bag only to MIA and not all the way through to IAH. Wish me luck!
That's what I was afraid of. Good luck indeed. 🤞
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Old Sep 8, 22, 6:39 am
  #383  
 
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So to close the loop on post 363, this morning at the GS desk at IAD, the agent moved so fast she already had the baggage claim sticker printing out before I could ask her if I could short-check the bag to MIA. When I asked, she looked at the claim sticker and said "It's already checked only to MIA." She then said something like "If your connection time is more than a certain number of hours ...." then she trailed off before asking me if I wanted the MIA-IAH boarding pass as well.

So the bottom line is all's well that ends well, but I still don't know which criteria the system used to determine (without intervention) that the bag should only be checked to MIA.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon! Landed in MIA and patiently waited at the conveyor belt. No luggage. Checked the app and noticed it said arrived in MIA and the next step was to be loaded onto IAH flight. Then I looked at the claim ticket and sure enough it had been checked all the way through. The GS agent at check-in at IAD misspoke (and I just took her word for it and didn't even look at the claim ticket).

Luckily, the ground baggage agent at MIA was willing to go back and get the ground staff to retrieve it. So for the second time, all's well that ends well, but intervention was indeed needed!
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Last edited by st530; Sep 8, 22 at 3:03 pm
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Old Sep 14, 22, 8:11 pm
  #384  
 
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Anyone recently have experience with short checking a bag for a UA-EI connection? I have a ORD-LHR-DUB flight with a 4+ hour connection and want to pick up my bag (an empty suitcase I borrowed and would like to return to its owner) in LHR if possible.
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Old Sep 14, 22, 8:40 pm
  #385  
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Originally Posted by Santander View Post
Anyone recently have experience with short checking a bag for a UA-EI connection? I have a ORD-LHR-DUB flight with a 4+ hour connection and want to pick up my bag (an empty suitcase I borrowed and would like to return to its owner) in LHR if possible.
On a single ticket, your bags will be checked thru to DUB. EI connection does not change that.

You can ask at ORD but UA policy is check thru to DUB. You should not see your bags at LHR

This about preventing hidden city ticketing..
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Old Sep 15, 22, 6:12 am
  #386  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post

This about preventing hidden city ticketing..
Which is a huge issue with DUB as premium fares are often much lower there.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 4:49 pm
  #387  
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
On a single ticket, your bags will be checked thru to DUB. EI connection does not change that.

You can ask at ORD but UA policy is check thru to DUB. You should not see your bags at LHR

This about preventing hidden city ticketing..
What about on an overnight layover?

I'm landing in LHR at 1000 and departing for DUB at 0600 the next day (so, 20 hours on the ground).
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Old Oct 4, 22, 5:45 pm
  #388  
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Originally Posted by Virazuno View Post
What about on an overnight layover?

I'm landing in LHR at 1000 and departing for DUB at 0600 the next day (so, 20 hours on the ground).
In this case, your bags would be checked to LHR.
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Old Oct 4, 22, 5:47 pm
  #389  
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Originally Posted by Virazuno View Post
What about on an overnight layover?

I'm landing in LHR at 1000 and departing for DUB at 0600 the next day (so, 20 hours on the ground).
As mentioned in the thread's wiki, overnight or >12 hour layovers, will force a short check.
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Old Nov 4, 22, 5:14 am
  #390  
 
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If the connection is just a tad under 12 hours (say 10-11) - is there any flexibility NOT to through check a bag? ("Asking for a friend")
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