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SFO-SYD on UA, then SYD-CHC on NZ: can I check baggage thru?

SFO-SYD on UA, then SYD-CHC on NZ: can I check baggage thru?

 
Old Feb 6, 10, 10:19 pm
  #1  
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SFO-SYD on UA, then SYD-CHC on NZ: can I check baggage thru?

I have an award ticket on UA from SFO-SYD, arriving early morning around 8:00am. I have a purchased flight that evening around 6:00pm to CHC on Air New Zealand.

Can I check my baggage all the way through? The Air New Zealand site implies no since the 2 tickets are not on the same paper. Anyone actually done this? My worry is that Air New Zealand will not be open or accept my bags so early if I have to re-check them in myself.

Here is the word from their site:
Connecting with Other Airlines

If you have a connecting flight with another airline, your baggage may be through-checked if Air New Zealand has an interline agreement with the other airline. Your flights must also all be on the same ticket. If your flights are ticketed separately, baggage may only be through-checked if your tickets are issued in conjunction with each other.
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Old Feb 6, 10, 10:26 pm
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Should be fine. The AirNZ silly policy applies only for when AirNZ is the first carrier on your journey. The United agent most likely won't know about - nor care - about AirNZ's policy and check your bag right through. I did a TG/NZ interline a couple of weeks ago no problem on separate tickets.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 3:10 am
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I have never had a problem checking bags LAX-SYD-CHC on UA/NZ with separate tickets.

On the return trip, Air NZ most likely will not check your bags all the way through to the US. Make sure you have enough time between flights in SYD to clear immigration, collect your bags, go through customs then back upstairs to check in again. Last time I did this I waited one hour for the bags to appear on the carousel and almost missed the connecting flight. To be on the safe side, allow 2-1/2 - 3 hours.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Feb 7, 10, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by Axey View Post
Should be fine. The AirNZ silly policy applies only for when AirNZ is the first carrier on your journey..
Yes. And even then it simply gives them the authority to ddecide. The two times I tried, I was always granted interlining by NZ. The policy is not mandatory to adhere to for their agents.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 10:13 am
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I did this last November, no problem.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
I have an award ticket on UA from SFO-SYD, arriving early morning around 8:00am. I have a purchased flight that evening around 6:00pm to CHC on Air New Zealand.

Can I check my baggage all the way through? The Air New Zealand site implies no since the 2 tickets are not on the same paper. Anyone actually done this? My worry is that Air New Zealand will not be open or accept my bags so early if I have to re-check them in myself.

Here is the word from their site:
I've had pretty good luck checking bags through when it's all within the same alliance (*A and OW), even on separate tickets. The glaring exception to this is BMI.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 10:40 am
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Ack, FT dropped my reply.

NZ check in at SYD will only open 3 hours before departure (due to use of QF staff for check in). However UA should be able to through tag your bags. When you check in at SYD (either landside or at transfer desk) be sure to show your baggage tags.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by chchkiwi View Post
I have never had a problem checking bags LAX-SYD-CHC on UA/NZ with separate tickets.

On the return trip, Air NZ most likely will not check your bags all the way through to the US. Make sure you have enough time between flights in SYD to clear immigration, collect your bags, go through customs then back upstairs to check in again. Last time I did this I waited one hour for the bags to appear on the carousel and almost missed the connecting flight. To be on the safe side, allow 2-1/2 - 3 hours.

Enjoy your trip!
I have hit this problem before and never got an answer that made any sense to me as why this should be the case. Why is it?
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Old Feb 7, 10, 1:42 pm
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Not a problem

Never, ever had a problem ckng through SEA-SYD-AKL (or TRG, ROT, CHC) on >1 tkt. Have been doing it at least 2x/yr since UA dropped AKL. UA agents haven't even asked whether I HAD 2nd tkt, just took my word that I did & rolled out the tags. Returning equally uneventful. A colleague once had a problem at CHC when NZ agent said he couldn't ck through to US since he was going to be on the ground at SYD for >8hr (said it was an Oz immigration rule); he did prevail.

You will need a visa & must go through immigration if you plan to visit SYD for the 10hr you're on the ground. Your baggage might find itself on the way to CHC before you (not supposed to happen, but believe me, it does), so if you get to CHC & your baggage isn't apparent, ck w/ agent to see whether it's living in 'unclaimed'. If for whatever reason you decide to forgo a quick visit to SYD, the NZ lounge is a lovely place to spend time -- take a shower, eat good food, drink good wine, relax in comfort -- have happily spent 6hr there. It takes a lot of time to clear immigration, get onward BP, dash to town, rush back, pass through really tough security 2x, & get to gate.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 1:44 pm
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The answer that I've been given by NZ agents (who then did through-tag them) was that as the initial carrier they are liable for the expenses of lost bags. The risk of lost bags is (unsurprisingly, I suppose) higher for connections than terminating itineraries. So NZ would rather not bear more risk of lost bags.

This made sense to me, but I've traveled enough to know that front-line staff may sound confident in what they are telling you, but it may not be true.

Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
I have hit this problem before and never got an answer that made any sense to me as why this should be the case. Why is it?
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Old Feb 7, 10, 1:48 pm
  #11  
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Smile Visit to chc

Originally Posted by blueman2 View Post
I have an award ticket on UA from SFO-SYD, arriving early morning around 8:00am. I have a purchased flight that evening around 6:00pm to CHC on Air New Zealand.

Can I check my baggage all the way through? The Air New Zealand site implies no since the 2 tickets are not on the same paper. Anyone actually done this? My worry is that Air New Zealand will not be open or accept my bags so early if I have to re-check them in myself.

Here is the word from their site:
Autumn in Christchurch!
What do you recommend?
New restaurants?
New places to visit?
would love to know what's great and new in Chch now.
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Old Feb 7, 10, 2:03 pm
  #12  
og
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Originally Posted by EOS View Post
would love to know what's great and new in Chch now.
Change is something that happens slowly in NZ (that is good!). There are more and more great coffee shops and they actually do know how to make good coffee (so long as you say "extra shot...").

Perhaps excursions out of the city may be appropriate (eg Trans Alpine Highway (or railway), drive to the Marlborough wine area, Kaikoura etc?
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Old Feb 7, 10, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by EOS View Post
Autumn in Christchurch!
What do you recommend?
New restaurants?
New places to visit?
would love to know what's great and new in Chch now.
A day trip to Akaroa is nice. Some good coffee shops around the centre. The Arts Centre and the Art Gallery is good. Around there they also have a nice little market in Cathedral Square with lots of good home made stuff including food. The Port Hills are scenic, and Lyttleton Harbour is quite twee.
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Old Feb 8, 10, 9:23 pm
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just did it

just ckd 5 pieces of baggage through SEA-SFO-SYD-AKL-TRG on 2 separate tkts; no problems, no questions, very routine.
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