Did Oneworld just make your next trip more of a nightmare?

Did Oneworld just make your next trip more of a nightmare?

In a move which could cause connection chaos for many travellers, airlines belonging to the Oneworld alliance – among them Qantas, British Airways and Cathay Pacific – are no longer required to check passengers and their baggage through to their final destination on some connecting flights.

The new scheme, which came into effect from June 1st, impacts passengers whose journey involves flights on more than one airline where their travel encompasses more than one booking, rather than all flights being listed under a single booking reference.

A spokesman for Oneworld has confirmed the unpublicised changes to the ‘interline’ accord between each of the group’s 15 member airlines, which also includes American Airlines, Finnair, LAN/TAM, JAL, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Read: Qantas tightens up check-in for connecting Oneworld flights

How the Oneworld changes will affect you

The best way to explain what the new rules mean to travellers is by way of example.

Let’s assume you’ve booked a Sydney-Singapore flight with Qantas, and also made a second booking with British Airways to hop onto one of BA’s Singapore-London flights on the same day.

As both Qantas and British Airways are Oneworld members, Qantas was required to tag your baggage from Sydney all the way through to London and ideally issue your Singapore-London boarding pass when you checked in for the initial Qantas flight at Sydney.

All of that becomes optional under the revised system.

Following the example above, instead of stepping off your Qantas flight to Singapore and heading to the airport lounge, or the departure gate of your flight from Singapore to London, you could be required to clear immigration, wait for the bags to arrive from your Qantas flight and take them through customs.

You could be spending more time here under the revamped Oneworld rules

You’d then go to the British Airways counter, line up to check in your bags and collect your Singapore-London boarding pass, go back through passport control and then relax in the lounge – if you still have time.

Airlines choose their service level

Oneworld communications chief Michael Blunt tells Australian Business Traveller that “individual member airlines are free to offer service above and beyond the (Oneworld) alliance minimum standard if they so choose, so some may continue to offer through check-in for customers travelling on separate bookings.”

However, Australian Business Traveller understands that most Oneworld airlines are likely to favour the minimum effort of the new ‘minimum standard’ and check passengers through only to the final destination on their first ticket, not to the next destination on a separate booking.

Airlines may or may not feel obliged to make your life easier...

“All our member airlines will be delighted to continue to check them and their baggage through to any of the 1,000 plus destinations on the alliance network, on multiple sectors,” Blunt says, “provided the itinerary is all on one booking so we are aware of where they and their baggage want to end up and we can plan accordingly and ensure the best possible customer service delivery throughout the journey.” 

You’re safe with a single booking

The revised rules don’t apply to travellers with multiple flights listed under a single booking (even a booking which includes several individual tickets, as can be created by a skilled travel agent), who can continue to be checked-in for their final destination at the start of the journey.

That covers scenarios such as Qantas passengers jetting to the USA with domestic connections on American Airlines, or to Santiago with further flights on LAN/TAM (LATAM), when the entire trip was made under the one booking.

So why the change?

Blunt says the interline rules were relaxed to encourage travellers to book their entire journey on one reservation, as this obligates all airlines involved to help you reach your destination – even if onward connecting flights have to be re-booked or re-routed by the airlines at no charge to the customer.

“Experience has shown that using separate tickets for different sectors presents multiple problems in delivering an alliance’s through check-in/customer support promise,” Blunt reflects.

A delay or schedule change to the first flight in a journey can prevent travellers from catching an onward flight they’d booked separately, and which the fare rules of that second ticket may not allow to be changed.

“As anyone who has stood in a check-in line behind someone doing this can testify, that can be a lengthy process,” Blunt explains.

Oneworld says self-service systems can make connections harder to manage

“And this at a time when, in response to the preferences of the majority of customers, check-in and baggage drop are now moving towards self-service and online options,” which don’t usually provide this functionality.

Travellers respond

Relaxing the ‘interline’ obligations of Oneworld member airlines is likely to inconvenience passengers looking for flexibility in planning their trips, says systems engineer Shaun Ewing.

“l frequently book a return Qantas flight to Los Angeles or San Francisco before I firm up my travel plans within the US” Ewing says.

“Once my domestic US itinerary is set I’ll book separate flights, typically on American Airlines.”

Ewing is concerned the revised scheme is more likely to see him shuffling back and forth between baggage carousels and check-in counters rather than enjoying the streamlined travel experience which airline alliances claim to deliver.

“While the new arrangements may save check-in agents a few minutes at a time, the potential for impact on myself as a customer is huge.”

“I find that when agents have issues checking bags through it’s not because of the process, it’s because they’re simply unsure of the procedure. Check-in agents that are used to doing it can tag the bags through very quickly without adding too much time to the overall process.”

Mal Murray, a London-based IT security consultant, says his “loyalty to Oneworld airlines is in part based on the ability to through check baggage, collect boarding passes and not have to worry about immigration, customs and baggage collection at intermediate airports or complex interlining rules.”

“When attending a conference, I like the ability to book the single booking to and from the conference and then add some leisure time at the end. Without through checking of baggage,  there is little incentive to choose a Oneworld airline for that second leisure flight.”

“Without interlining of baggage on separate air fares, it removes one of the main reasons why I'd fly Oneworld to connect to or from another ticket and makes changing plans difficult.”

Also read: Qantas tightens up check-in for connecting Oneworld flights

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

103 comments

  • tuzza1

    tuzza1

    10 Jun, 2016 02:12 pm

    Seamless?

    It's frequently not possible to book online with one ticket anyway. Grrrrr

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  • pprofpopp

    pprofpopp

    10 Jun, 2016 07:44 pm

    Quite correct   I can't see a single advanatge to a passenger/member here. What are they thinking????

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  • mmusto

    mmusto

    10 Jun, 2016 11:42 pm

    Absolutely correct... often not possible to booking online with one ticket / PNR. So are we being driven back to Travel Agents / GDS?

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  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    12 Jun, 2016 03:23 pm

    Use a good travel agent and you won't have any problems.

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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    10 Jun, 2016 02:20 pm

    I can see this being a problem for alot of folks who needs visas just to pass immigration and go get their bags to check them in again.
    Although it is unlikely to affect me, my wife who holds the passport of a nation with rather low 'passport power' will feel it.
    I can already see very tense situations occuring where I am checking in my wife's luggage beccause she is stuck airside.
    I know that isn't going to go down to well. 

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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    10 Jun, 2016 02:29 pm

    Too right fxdxdy. I mean, this is going to be a nightmare for anyone having to clear immigration just to get back into the same side, let alone anybody having a 'low power' passport. What a joke.

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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    10 Jun, 2016 02:55 pm

    I suppose we can only live in hope that most, if not all the OneWorld carriers will choose to exceed the minimum service standard and will offer to forward bags.

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  • autvlr

    autvlr

    10 Jun, 2016 08:17 pm

    It's not looking positive. This was found on the CX Agents website, updated 1 June.

    http://www.cxagents.com/cxa/gc/en_HK/ln2


    The following is noted that CX won't through check-in in this scenario:

    Quote:
    c. Two tickets for the journey in two different PNRs (regardless of travelling carriers), 
    e.g.: 
    FCO-LHR – tkt nbr xxxxx123
    LHR-WAS - tkt nbr xxxxx124
    Two separate PNRs : AB12CD and EF34GH
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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    11 Jun, 2016 12:03 am

    First they reduce the amount of status points we can earn on each of them.

    Now they reducing their interline baggage services.

    Next it will be the lounges & then the points redemption options and then the stand by priority privileges until they become nothing other than a loose alliance of airlines that share nothing but a logo.

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 06:58 am

    It won't be if its issued on one ticket. Even on non-alliance carriers, when issued as one ticket will allow the airlines to interline freely. eg BA-UA. 

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:21 pm

    Damn!

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  • Serg

    Serg

    10 Jun, 2016 06:02 pm

    Yep, damn it! My last 3 trips to Europe I booked partially by point and partially by money. I cannot do it in one booking, period. Also no agent can do it for me – they do not care about your points. All times they happily connect booking together and checked all baggage to destination. So now I have to pick it from carousel, go around with immigration, passport control, new check in and so on. Then if I miss my flight who became faulty? They simply like to take off responsibility from them and put all burden on passenger. Nice “service”.

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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    10 Jun, 2016 02:25 pm

    Ohhhh, give me a BREAK...

    So, for example, if I fly QF to HKG, and then CX to TPE/PVG (or vice versa) on a seperate booking, I'm gonna have to go and collect my bags and re-check??

    What were they thinking?? This spares the check-in agent a few minutes, and burdens the traveller by 30 / 45 / 60 minutes, traversing the airport to re-check? This is an absolute farce.

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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    10 Jun, 2016 03:35 pm

    I'm certain the more service oriented airlines of oneworld (such as CX, Qantas, etc) will continue to check passengers luggage all the way through, even though this is beyond the minimum requirements. They surely won't be deaf to the expectations of their customer base.

    This puts them at odds with some other oneworld members who treat their customers like... well... trash, and do the absolute bare minimum (AA springs to mind haha). I expect these members, who don't particularly pull their weight, will discontinue checking baggage the entire way through to final destination.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 03:49 pm

    I'd say AA does more then it needs to. The only times I've ever had issues with AA checking bags through to other tickets was when the agent didn't know how, or when dealing with ex-US staff.

    AA gives many of the things for Sapphire (such as Priority boarding, baggage, checkin) to Ruby as well.

    In fact, to date, the times that I've had issues have either been when dealing with out station contract staff for AY, US staff at DCA and LAS, or when IAG has been involved with baggage.

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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    10 Jun, 2016 05:50 pm

    If I were a method actor, and I were cast to play the role of a nasty, over-the-top, miserable airline employee... I would be doing the bulk of my character research at AA LAX check-in, and with cabin crew on AA shorthaul domestic flights.

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  • Serg

    Serg

    10 Jun, 2016 06:05 pm

    AA is worst airline that I ever flown with. I am so happy that America is not my usual destination.

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 07:02 am

    Nope. CX already told me that they can't unless its a CX-CX/KA flight. Its due to a system upgrade on ALTEA that all OW airlines use. The system just will not permit a thru check in if the ticket is not in the system. 

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  • cdirnber

    cdirnber

    10 Jun, 2016 02:33 pm

    That's where a travel agent comes handy as the agent can always insert another flight into the same PNR, even if the base fare/flights have already been issued.  That's a service your internet-based booking engine cannot provide.  To take the above example: you book flights from SYD to London via Singapore (two tickets).  In the first instance you book SYD-SIN and a travel agent can then (at any time, other than on BA!!) add your SIN-LON sector into the same PNR - baggage problem solved!

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:43 pm

    cdirnber,

    Does this not change the fare rules? Or is this the  case of the olden days with paper tickets where you just need to write it the ticket number of the separate booking on your other ticket?

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  • Jay

    ausJCP

    10 Jun, 2016 03:05 pm

    Hey TRB, the fare rules often change within single PNR's anyway, so that shouldn't be a problem right? (For example, say when you book a QF Red e-Deal sale fare one way, and a Saver fare on the way back.)

    A hodge-podge of fare conditions shouldn't cause problems, given the PNR is just a locator number for your package of flight sectors?

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 03:21 pm

    OK then.

    If this is really a thing, it would look like my work travel agent will be getting a fair bit of my personal travel business going forward...

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  • Joshb

    Joshb

    10 Jun, 2016 02:38 pm

    Decision by committee strikes again.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:39 pm

    The thing I find curious is this:

    Oneworld is saying this is an unpublished rule for a service lots of people have come to expect. Surely to maintain good customer experience, they should publish this change so that people won't end up arguing with check in staff at airports.

    Unless of course the impact to this relates to select airlines within the alliance, who are physically unable to check through on multiple PNR (supposedly BA with their new check-in system). i.e. Oneworld does not envisage this to be a problem for most other oneworld carriers with things being BAU.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:45 pm

    By the way thanks Chris for flagging this! You seem to beat the travel blogs to the post! It was just a rumour on Flyertalk. Now someone has cited your article on Flyertalk as evidence. Good job!

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:46 pm

    Does oneworld have a twitter account? Is there a way to complain/make noises?

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 02:52 pm

    oneworld as a company has very few ways to contact it. There only way I've ever found is an email contact form that is hidden behind the FAQs section of their website.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 Jun, 2016 02:55 pm

    TRB: It's @traveloneworld, but tends to simply re-tweet posts shared by its airlines, not make any new posts of its own.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:59 pm

    Thanks Chris!

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 03:15 pm

    The email form I found on the oneworld site appears to have disappeared (or is in a part of the site that is no longer working).

    Last time I used it, I got a reply from enquiry @ oneworld.com. Not sure if it's still in use.

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  • Jono

    Jono

    10 Jun, 2016 04:42 pm

    They do seem to be a hard to find one. Just cause of my love of cutting through red tape, I did a quick search and found an office number (+1 212 716 0700), but haven't tried that out. 

    I'd suggest searching sites like Yahoo! Answers.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 02:50 pm

    The oneworld members I've asked about this have said nothing was changed and that through checking to other oneworld member airlines was still valid.

    The only places where there have been reported issues about this are in the same places that weren't through checking before anyway.

    The problem, if there really is one, seems to be a change to the amadeus Altéa system.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 02:55 pm

    Which oneworld airline currently uses Altea, besides BA?

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 Jun, 2016 02:56 pm

    Qantas, for one.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 03:03 pm

    OK.

    So if QF uses Altea and QF has been able to interline baggage for separate bookings, then the supposed reason that BA can't do it with Altea is BS (BA recently made changes to upgrade to Altea).

    So it can't be a system issue can it?

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  • autvlr

    autvlr

    10 Jun, 2016 03:04 pm

    CX...for a few years now, and they haven't had a problem with interlining to separate PNRs to other airlines.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 03:04 pm

    most of oneworld (BA, CX/KA, AY, QF, QR, RJ, UL) uses some form of Amadeus.

    AB does, but is said to be moving to Sabre. JL is moving to Amadeus. LA and AA use Sabre. JJ is moving from Amadeus to Sabre. Not sure what MH is using.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    11 Jun, 2016 06:40 am

    CX have now confirmed this policy. This absolutely sucks.

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    10 Jun, 2016 02:57 pm

    Wow, this is a major impact for oneworld travellers. Especially fares you can't normally get online in one booking. I go out of my way to fly Qantas ex Melb or Sydney to HK and then connect CX to Taipei vice versa return. Usually have to book seperately as the QF website doesn't always allow this option to book at once. (Rather giving me codeshare options with China Airlines which aren't a OneWorld carrier through Brisbane).  If this means having to clear customs/immigration just to collect bags and recheck, I would definitely rethink my options. Defeats the purpose of having an alliance. 

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  • crosscourt

    crosscourt

    10 Jun, 2016 02:59 pm

    What a load of codswallop! Are these people serious? Why bother having an alliance? I checked the date, no its not 1st April, thinking it was an April Fools Day. OneWorld revloves around you, remember that ... well that slogan went out the window ages ago. This guy Michael Blunt needs to let the so-called powers that be who make such stupid calls that they need to get out and about and join people like us who are on and off planes constantly and having to deal with frequent delays cutting connection times etc. OneWorld is not an alliance it is a group who look to make things difficult instead of streamlining. No spin from people like Mr Blunt will change attitudes.

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  • Charles Elliott

    Pommy Battler

    10 Jun, 2016 03:12 pm

    The solution is easy, just buy Star Alliance tickets instead.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 03:22 pm

    That's not a solution, that's a compromise ;)

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  • autvlr

    autvlr

    10 Jun, 2016 03:37 pm

    I actually think Star Alliance has the same minimum requirement.

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  • dennis626

    dennis626

    11 Jun, 2016 12:10 pm

    They do See my comment below. And just to add insult to injury at Changi their system showed my Lahr Stockholm flight but refused still to check me through

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  • 11sjw

    11sjw

    10 Jun, 2016 03:42 pm

    Seems like "Hand Luggage Only" is the way to go.

    The race to the bottom continues.

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  • loopflyer

    loopflyer

    10 Jun, 2016 03:53 pm

    Recently flew Europe-IST-ICN-US on Turkish and Asiana, a Star Alliance award, 2 PNRs.  Turkish Airlines policy is to recheck bags in Istanbul if separate PNRs, but mercifully in Europe they checked them through to final.  I would have missed my connecting IST flight, to boot I would have needed a visa to get to the baggage claim!  Also, had I missed my connection, Turkish AIrlines was under zero obligation to rebook me to Korea-US.  So I understand the OW 'reasoning', but it still causes grief. They should have made it easier, not harder on travelers, but the boyz in the legal department prevailed.  I try to avoid separate PNRs when I can and when I have a short connection time, or I know the connecting airport is a challenging one (e.g. CDG, LAX)

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  • dennis626

    dennis626

    10 Jun, 2016 04:01 pm

    I got caught by same thing 3 years ago with Star Alliance.  I booked SQ Mel Sin Lhr with stopover in Sin and then online with SAS LHR Stockholm.  At Changi SQ refused to check my bag through as the SAS booking was not in their system. We had to collect baggage in LHR clear customs and check in at SAS departures, waster a couple of hours  but fortunately no terminal change.  The SQ guy at Changi admitted it was all about revenue and that had I booked SQ through to Stockholm I would have paid much more.

    It stinks and could cuse the unknowing passenger serious problems in a country where he needed a visa to land and collect his luggage and could not get one on arrival

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  • Leigh Hincks

    leighsydnychina

    10 Jun, 2016 04:23 pm

    This stuff is insane.  I have had all kinds of problems with this stupidity, especially when travelling through China.  Admittedly, the Chinese scam foreigners, but apart from that I expect other airlines to do better.  As a business traveler, why would I support airllines that do not support me?

    I will check on this, but if it is not published, where do I check?  Also, from now on I will ensure that my luggage is transfered for me.  If the airline will not guarantee that, then neither I, nor my staff will use any of these airlines.  Well done.

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  • Jono

    Jono

    10 Jun, 2016 04:23 pm

    Geez, if they water down the minimum standards anymore, we'll have to start refering to them not as an alliance but rather the 'OneWorld group of airline leaders who gather at a pub every so often to have a chat'.

    I suppose as some people have mentioned it's a revenue thing. I noticed that there are some consultants who encourage people to buy seperate tickets to save cash. Fares fair I suppose.

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  • sasha

    sasha

    10 Jun, 2016 04:41 pm

    Two thoughts if I may. While not bashing oneworld, this article singles out oneworld, arguable unfairly. In reality, oneworld has for far too long exceeded the airline industry standards and those offered by other alliances and we have not paid for that luxury. We should all be happy we benefited for this long. However, the industry standard remains and it should be noted that the largest airlines around the world have for a decade already been refusing to through-check bags when on seperate itineraries. What's missing in the article is the commercial rationale for this. There is an issue about who owns the customer and who is responsible for the bag. If on one ticket there are rules around this and who pays the compensation for lost or damaged baggage. Also rules around rebooking. If on seperate tickets, if the first leg is delayed, or bag is lost in transit connecting between flights, who's fault is it? Technically, this is not a single customer. For far too long we as customers have expected too much for free. We would buy single tickets if the price is right, but we split ticket to save a buck. But then why should we expect if we split ticket to save money that we should pass on the cost burden to airlines? It's not really fair. As someone who travels a lot, I believe we should get what we pay for, and we should be more reasonable about our expectations. The examples of flying long haul into the US and then connecting domestic also don't make sense. One has to collect and recheck in the bag anyway. So this does not add a huge inconvenience unless travelling in eco and connecting at peak time with long check-in lines. Otherwise the immigration process is required anyway. If we are all willing to pay a premium for oneworld members to provide higher standards of service, then by all means, let's pony up and surely oneworld members will accomodate. But if we keep chasing $2 savings, we don't have a right to expect any business to exceed the industry standard, we should simply be thankful when they do. My humble opinion.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    10 Jun, 2016 05:29 pm

    "We would buy single tickets if the price is right, but we split ticket to save a buck."

    No, this is often not the case at all. We buy "split" tickets because plans are not completly confirmed yet or the routed needed is simply not offered online, leaving the only way to buy the flights at all is to use 2 tickets.

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    10 Jun, 2016 05:53 pm

    Sasha,

    Your point is fair but with OW we have come to expect this and see it as a part of the value proposition of that alliance. 

    You raise valid points about responsibility and consequences in the event of misconnect etc. As an alliance, they should be dealing with this by engaging in the process, not a race to the bottom by selecting the lowest common denominator.

    I would be interested to know the extent of the cost impact of having to accomodate misconnect/changes. My feeling is the benefit to the OW brand and the airline's brand as part of OW far exceeds the cost. 

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  • Dmitry Abramov

    dimi

    10 Jun, 2016 06:12 pm

    Why does the example of flying to the US and connecting to a domestic flight not make sense?

    The same rules apply to Australia or any other country: you have to take your bags through customs at the port of entry into the country.

    What makes less sense however, is having to collect your bags for an international connection to e.g. Canada or Mexico...

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  • percysmith

    percysmith

    18 Jun, 2016 04:06 pm

    Initially I agreed and passed your comment around.

    But having thought it further I now disagree. We did pay for it - collectively we all paid for it with any oneworld ticket assuming the feature is there.

    Now it's not - it is more analogous to a oneworld member moving from a previous 20kg checked bag allowance to HBO. It's not like we "didn't pay" for the privilege before, but changing the product on a prospective basis.

    I hope we now get a corresponding fare decrease.

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  • Rita Cavanagh

    Rita Cavanagh

    10 Jun, 2016 05:02 pm

    I'm going to Europe next week.  I should be OK going to MAN, on one ticket (QF and BA)   I'm not sure about coming home--fly Oslo to Helsinki on a separate ticket, then on to BKK with Finnair and transfer to Jetstar Asia to SIN on another ticket.  I'll just have to wait and see.

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  • autvlr

    autvlr

    10 Jun, 2016 07:13 pm

    Under the old rules you would still have a problem with Jetstar Asia between BKK and SIN. I don't think Jetstar interlines with anyone.

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  • Dmitry Abramov

    dimi

    10 Jun, 2016 07:19 pm

    Singapore Airport takes care of luggage transfers, though.

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 06:56 am

    If flying AY to AY on separate tickets, you're ok. But you'll only be checked through to BKK as Jetstar does not interline with anyone except QF. So you'll have to pick bags up at BKK and go through immigration/customs and then recheck in again.

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  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    10 Jun, 2016 06:33 pm

    This really is a backward step. Its all about the airline not the customer. 

    Pity help anyone with a FF points sector in an itinerary. Not happy.  

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  • gail stephens

    gazza48

    10 Jun, 2016 06:56 pm

    Interesting...having worked for one of the major airlines, baggage and the transferring of, has always been a nightmare and one we received a lot of enquiries/complaints on. Several years ago, a directive came thru advising what would and would not qualify for baggage transfer.  If your flights were on the one bkg/tkt and the airlines/airports involved had an agreement then baggage would be tagged to your final destination.  However, if the flights were on seperate tkts and the airlines involved were not OW then the bags would not be tagged to that airline and had to be picked up and re checked.  To be honest, I prefer sometimes to pick up my bag so I know it is going to the airline I am going on next.  Same reason I do not book tight connecting flights...to much can go wrong and baggage gets left behind. LAX is a nightmare when you are connecting from within North America to an Australian carrier.  Also normally the last airline on your tkt is the one who has to take responsibility if it is not on their flight, even though it could have been two airlines back that it missed the flight!

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  • harryonline

    harryonline

    10 Jun, 2016 06:57 pm

    Chris, are StarAlliance members obligated to check you through to your final destination on seperste bookings? 

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 Jun, 2016 09:06 pm

    This isn't a topic we've covered in this Oneworld article, so you'll need to contact Star Alliance for your answer.

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  • sasha

    sasha

    11 Jun, 2016 02:50 am

    There is no obligation to through check bags on separate tickets and many carriers are strict about refusing this. I was shocked years ago departing with Cathay from Sydney when the agent asked what the final destination was. She realized it wasnt on the ticket, asked for the second ticket and they through checked the bags. I was blown away after flying with the biggest Star and Skyteam carriers where I never had this kind of experience. I have been told by check-in staff at some big airlines that if they through checked bags on separate tix it was grounds for disciplinary action. To some extent I can understand this. Why should airline A help to execute the product you purchase from Airline B if there is no commercial compensation - on that specific split ticket - for them? 

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 07:07 am

    They're not obligated and so it depends on each individual airline - again on separate tickets. SQ will interline and thru check most airlines on separate tickets unless airport rules say otherwise (eg LHR). UA tend not to. TG is fine. LH/LX/OS can be picky. AC at one point didn't either, then they did, and I don't know what their situation is now. Virgin Atlantic , for example would not interline with anyone on separate tickets. Maybe now they would with DL.

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  • wandering_fred

    wandering_fred

    10 Jun, 2016 07:08 pm

    Transpacific tickets to the USA will be horrendously priced if flying PEY/Y+ due to the flexible economy fare classes that are used on the connecting USA domestic flights. Combining with separately puchased "ordinary" tickets (likely sitting in the same cabin / seats) is far more financically sound. And you need to collect the bags in customs/immigration anyway.
    The issue of part award/points segments - part cash is an area most OW airlines can't handle within their OWN airline's systems.

    We live in interesting times.

    WF

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  • mmusto

    mmusto

    10 Jun, 2016 07:08 pm

    More ******** to try to force passengers to pay more for services that used to be included in the price of the ticket. Whatever happened to the good old interline agreements? In February, my wife and I checked in baggage in Phuket for a Qantas flight to Sydney via Bangkok, and successfully collected it in Sydney. However, on the return, Qantas would not check the baggage through to Phuket, so we had to collect it in Bangkok and recheck through to Phuket... a task made very difficult since we had our 12 month old daughter with us and Qantas lost her stroller somewhere between Sydney and Bangkok. Never ever again Qantas Intl... flying Singapore Air from Phuket to Sydney in two weeks time. FU QF.

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  • Joshua Jeremy

    jjeremy

    10 Jun, 2016 07:46 pm

    As far as I know, every time you have an in-going domestic flight, you will need to recheck your bags, because they want to know what you're bringing to the country (at least here in Australia). Like if you're flying from SIN-SYD-CBR, you need to recheck your bags in SYD, whist if you're flying back to SIN, you'll not need to recheck your bags in SYD.

    I believe there's no exception to this (I might be wrong), and really want to know if Singapore Airlines allow you to not recheck your bags in Bangkok, on your back to Phuket.

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  • mmusto

    mmusto

    10 Jun, 2016 11:55 pm

    SQ will be through SIN not BKK.

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  • sasha

    sasha

    11 Jun, 2016 02:38 am

    Mmusto. That is the point Joshua makes. when you flew domestic to international, the bag was legally permitted to be through checked. when you flew international-domestic, you have to clear customs. Your bag, I assume, had a baggage tag through to Phuket, but you had to clear customs in BKK since that was your international entry point, same as domestic entry to US, Canada, Russia, China, Australia, etc. I.e if someone flew Phuket into SYD to then connect to MEL, they would also be forced to clear bags in SYD. That's not Qantas, or the alliance, that is the law. So, it's unfair to get upset at QF. But your point is right, if you want to avoid this, then the best solution is an int-int connection. Same as if one connects Paris to Bogota via Toronto, one doesn't clear customs in Canadaand thus bags don't have to be picked up and cleared. So you're both right. 

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  • mmusto

    mmusto

    11 Jun, 2016 11:28 am

    Thanks for the comment, but this has nothing to do with customs clearance, Joshua. Please see below.

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 09:00 am

    From Phuket , you probably flew on TG right? TG will interline on separate tickets ... But QF has never checked through to another carrier on separate tickets.

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  • mmusto

    mmusto

    11 Jun, 2016 11:26 am

    GuyBetsy... exactly right. TG checked the baggage through to its final destination; TG HKT-BKK and QF BKK-SYD.  QF refused because they won't interline on seperate tickets. It seems we can expect more of this from Oneworld carriers in the future. It is often not possible to make a single booking for the whole journey when booking online. If it is possible, it is invariably a lot more expensive. 

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  • Bob Glover

    Bobfromwa

    10 Jun, 2016 09:08 pm

    I fly Virgin to USA  I go thru the wonderful US customs process and then onto Southwest in their roomy 737 with free  luggage and a brilliant boarding system (I pat the extra $10 for priority boarding). They don't show up on Skyscanner, maybe because of their pricing. Sure a bus in the air but always a free drink and nuts. recommenebed. However on an alliance flight one would expect check thru My 2 cents Bob

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  • zoomzoom

    zoomzoom

    10 Jun, 2016 09:32 pm

    Hey ABT, this is the sort of thing FF should be up in arms about. Frankly we should tell OneWorld and the airlines to wake up. Great opportunity for Star Alliance and others, like EK, show the benefits of seamless integration. 

     

    Tell me guys, how do I protest?

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  • sasha

    sasha

    11 Jun, 2016 02:42 am

    How is this an opportunity for Star or others? oneworld was exceeding this policy, and in reality, some of the members will still continue to do it, but they are no longer obliged by the oneworld policy. In reality, most airlines around the world including members of the other two alliances and Emirates will not through check your bags either. That's their policy and it is strictly enforced. As someone who is a Platinum with a Star carrier, a oneworld carrier and with EK, I can say from experience that this was an added feature of oneworld, and we really should not bash them for taking it away unless we are willing to pay for the benefit. I.e. If you want to benchmark prices between Star, skyteam and oneworld carriers, then you have to also compare services apples to apples. 

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  • kt74

    kt74

    11 Jun, 2016 12:26 am

    There's clearly something going on in the separate ticket / interline baggage world... A couple of months ago, Bangkok Airways stopped interlining baggage:

    http://bangkokair.com/pages/view/separate_ticket

    Given that many of its passengers are connecting, and the airline partners with 20+ other international airlines including all of Oneworld and most of Star Alliance, and through tickets only ever seem available at full economy fare, it seemed to be a particularly perplexing decision...

    Now it appears as if everyone else is copying it!

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 02:29 am

    It doesn't matter if a TA books your ticket if you end up with two separate tickets even if your main reservation has all the bookings on it. It is still considered separate bookings.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    11 Jun, 2016 03:45 pm

    GuyBetsy, the advice we've received directly from Oneworld is that if your travel has multiple ticket numbers but both form part of the same booking (PNR), you'll be checked all the way through. Where tickets are part of two distinct booking references (PNRs), the airlines are no longer required to check you through the entire way.

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  • petriojala

    petriojala

    11 Jun, 2016 03:42 am

    BNE-ADL / ADL-DOH-CPH-HEL booked in July on three different Oneworld tickets.  Let's see what Qantas (the first carrier) says about that :)
     

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 09:04 am

    QF will not check through to HEL, that's for sure.

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  • drgmarshall

    drgmarshall

    11 Jun, 2016 07:15 am

    I think you can see by the number of comments that most folks thing this is a stupid idea. I've actually just suffered the unexpected consequence of this on a Star Alliance trip involving Air NZ, Singapore Airlines and United. In my case, I got on a plane in Perth with 3 cases and a 72lb weight limit, but then went to get on a United flight in the USA (after clearing customs and getting my bags) to be told I could only have 1 free bag and only 50lbs per bag. So now I'm way over weight on bags and up for a big expense for excess. What a nightmare that was. Looks like ONE WORLD want to go down the same path as those jokers at United.

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  • bl812

    bl812

    11 Jun, 2016 08:39 am

    yes already happened to me in January this year-was flying out from Heathrow on British Airways business class to Venice to catch an Emirates flight to Adelaide via Dubai and despite flying business and first class I was forced to collect my bags in Venice and go through the whole process again so  obviously this is not only effect from June!!

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 08:56 am

    Up until June 1st, BA would only transfer baggage onto Oneworld flights on separate tickets. Since you're travelling on EK, this was the case.

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  • Nuttynorton

    Nuttynorton

    11 Jun, 2016 08:53 am

    To be honest I didn't know you could even do this in the 1st place. I just assumed if you purchased 2 different tickets from 2 different carriers (even if they were both one world) you would have to clear imigration etc. Storm in a teacup this article I reckon. 

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  • GuyBetsy

    GuyBetsy

    11 Jun, 2016 09:06 am

    Have you travelled much? Most airlines had the ability to do this.. and most asian carriers still allow thru check in on separate tickets. Its a matter of time that I see this policy going away for everyone.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    11 Jun, 2016 03:49 pm

    Nuttynorton: This may not be a feature you've used or that's important to you, but I think it's clear from the other comments here that it's a feature frequent travellers had come to appreciate, thus why we've covered it here.

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  • Coutts

    Coutts

    11 Jun, 2016 01:16 pm

    QF interline transferred my bag from Sydney to Shanghai after 1-Jun, took the agent extra one minute with the entry. But CX refused to interline my bag from Shanghai to Singapore. I have to get out in HKG & recheck. It will make it difficult if I have to add side meetings during the trip with a separate ticket.

    It seems loyalty is no longer two ways. It's a poor decision and asking people to exercise their options. Star Alliance has no official guideline on interline transfer. It's the agents call.

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  • jaus

    jaus

    11 Jun, 2016 03:24 pm

    QR still doing it on request in ADL yesterday. Had a ADL-DOH-OSL on QR in J then OSL-LHR in Y on a seperate PNR. They were not quite sure about the process as its a reasonably new service and staff are still training. They wanted to be sure I would not be inconvenienced with having to collect and recheck. 

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    11 Jun, 2016 07:00 pm

    Thinking about it, this might be an IATA thing.

    Only 2 or 3 years ago, everyone would check through across tickets to anyone, provided both carriers had an interline agreement.

    Now almost everyone has interline agreements with almost everyone else and IATA made it harder for airlines to charge the next/previous airline in the event of missing bags or misconnects. That's why it was cut back from the "check through to any airline, provided there is an interline agreement" to "just ourselves and alliance partners".

    Could IATA have changed something? They just had their AGM last week.

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    12 Jun, 2016 04:09 am

    So say we have bought two tickets seperately, is there a way to Pay to get them onto the same ticket/PNR?  Both tickets bought online.  Bit concerned now as i have a flgiht in a couple of weeks with CX TPE-HK / QF HK-MEL that were bought seperately.

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  • sdtravel

    sdtravel

    12 Jun, 2016 07:44 am

    BA have issued a statement that they wont interline separate PNR even if its BA to BA. 

    Here is to hoping QF still it.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    12 Jun, 2016 06:36 pm

    I've had times when BA refused to interline to the same ticket.

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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    13 Jun, 2016 09:48 am

    Interesting QF interlined me to Reyjakavik (different tickets) but Icelandair would not interline coming back hence a long wait at Heathrow (and with no lounge access in either direction but for different reasons)

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  • Cc777

    Cc777

    13 Jun, 2016 12:23 pm

    I can confirm BA are enforcing this policy. I just checked in at JFK on a business class ticket to London and have an add on BA sector from LHR to TXL with 3hr 30 min connection.

    The agent and supervisor tried to manually through check me after they received errors on their new check in system, and called IT support who confirmed that they are not allowed to check anyone through on 2 separate bookings regardless of the fact it's BA to BA, in business class, and we are emerald members.

    The agent was embarrassed and said "this is the first I've heard of the new rule, how are we supposed to enforce it?"

    Looks like the airlines are embracing this change quickly

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    13 Jun, 2016 10:05 pm

    not interlining on the same carrier is just poor form... especially in J class... if it were different carriers, then maybe they would have a case, but same carrier... Shame on BA

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  • TheRealBabushka

    TheRealBabushka

    14 Jun, 2016 09:56 am

    Wow...that is poor form.

    Goodness.

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  • Rufus1

    Rufus1

    13 Jun, 2016 05:26 pm

    Poor, poor customer service.

    Why on earth are they taking a backward step? 

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  • highflyer

    highflyer

    14 Jun, 2016 03:56 pm

    Just got confirmation back from CX via their facebook page that they will not interline if on a seperate ticket with a different oneworld carrier...in this case, QF..sighhhh.  -_- guess i will have to try my luck at the airport First class check-in counter...

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  • sdtravel

    sdtravel

    14 Jun, 2016 04:48 pm

    CX's official stance is also of BA

    http://www.cxagents.com/cxa/gc/en_HK/ln2

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  • Brian Tonkin

    tonky

    15 Jun, 2016 04:29 pm

    Just yet another arogant Move by One World and it's all about wanting to sell the tickets for your whole itinerary and not just one portion of your itinerary. This relatively quietly (almost secretly) announced change is going to lose them business and that lost business will go to more switched on client orientated Middle Eastern or Far Eastern competitors. When Qantas and others figure this out I bet they start making exceptions for Business and First Class passengers. Also keep in mind that many folks who fly Business or First also call the shots on the question of their company's "spend". Corporate sales guys from other airlines or CorpTravel Agents, re-tweak your sales pitch and go into action NOW.

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  • Himeno

    Himeno

    15 Jun, 2016 06:13 pm

    “And this at a time when, in response to the preferences of the majority of customers, check-in and baggage drop are now moving towards self-service and online options,”

     

    What is this oneworld spokesperson saying?

    Because airlines have been cutting back staff and adding more automation and self service, the customers "prefer" to use said self service because there is no other option.

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  • Davedownunder

    Davedownunder

    15 Jun, 2016 07:32 pm

    I would have though the solution was simple. First interlining does cost the airlines, people and airport charges so pass on the cost. I would happily pay an extra $5 or $10 to save the hassel. If the cost of missing flights or lost baggage then same pass it on like an insurance policy ie pay a little to cover someone elses accident (or missed flight)

    Second if a travel agent can put tickets together why not change the internet system to allow the same. I thought airlines were trying to cut out the middle men (women) to save paying them commisions. Take the savings and pass them to me and move my bags between airlines, after all I would do the work link the ticketsif I could.

    As someone said above, why drop to the lowest dominator just because the others have already. Alternatively call yourself a budget airline and get it over with.

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  • jsinclair1A

    jsinclair1A

    16 Jun, 2016 09:09 pm

    So oneworld has changed its policy  to what has been Star's policy for ages -  "To have baggage checked-in on flights that are operated by Star Alliance member carriers, the flights must be included in the same booking record."  What about SkyTeam? 

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