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FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance on AA & Other Airlines (consolidated)

Old Sep 29, 17, 11:06 pm - Wikipost
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FAQ: Checked Baggage / Luggage on AA and Partners:
How much am I allowed? Can I check it through? Assistive or sports equipment, etc.

Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

Code:
Through Checked Baggage Policy (AA, 1 Sep 2016)
 
 To align American Airlines (AA) with our oneworld partners and to reduce 
 baggage mishandlings, we will now only through check customers and 
 baggage when all the tickets are in the same PNR.
 
 Through check-in will be honored between the following carriers only:
  • American Airlines and American Eagle
  •  oneworld airlines and affiliates
What if I have separate tickets in the same PNR for itineraries with American to a non-oneworld carrier? Our policy on American to non-oneworld airline tickets has not changed. We will not through check customers or bags even if the tickets are in the same PNR What would be the bag charges if the customer holds separate tickets in separate PNRs? American will not through check a customer’s bag, regardless if it is a oneworld carrier. The customer will need to collect their bag at the final destination on the AA ticket. They will pay for the bag on the second ticket when they recheck it. This may involve exiting the secure area, then claiming and re-checking the bags. The Minimum Connecting Time (MCT) will usually not be sufficient when the customer has separate tickets issued for each airline. International flights will usually require claiming bags, clearing customs and rechecking bags on another carrier to be continued to their next destination. What will customers be charged if we can through check the bag? The charges would depend on what tickets the customer holds in the same PNR. Do Alaska and our other codeshare/interline partners count as affiliate airlines? No, the oneworld affiliate airlines are generally the regional partners of the other oneworld carriers. If a customer held an AS ticket and an AA ticket in the same PNR we would not through check the bag. They would need to reclaim then recheck their bag with AS.
EXCEPTION: "Customers traveling on separate tickets where one segment is an award ticket and another has been purchased can through-check bags. Travel must be on American or oneworld partners, and not on partners outside the oneworld alliance (like Etihad or Air Tahiti Nui). Tickets much be in the same reservation." -Gary Leff, Boarding Rea

Q. Can I check my baggage through?

A. If you are flying AA and / or oneworld airlines, even if on separate PNRs / itineraries, most likely you will be able to check your baggage through.

YES: Due to new rules instituted by oneworld in June, and by AA 1 September of 2016, baggage between the fifteen oneworld airlines on the same PNR are required be through checked.

NO: However, if the trip is booked separately, or with non-one world partners, through checking by AA will not occur; baggage will have to be recovered at baggage carousels landside and rechecked at the next operating airline's counter (depending on your initial operating carrier's policies about through-checking on separate booking).

On U.S.A. domestic or regional travel, you will have to retrieve your baggage and re-check the following day if your stop is overnight, or recheck, if your connection is eleven hours or longer. On international travel with overnight connections under the same PNR, you often will be able to through check (as long as the new ticket conditions are met).

If you are flying AA and a non-oneworld partner on separate PNR / tickets, you will have to recover and recheck baggage, particularly on separate PNRs. If there is no interline agreement between the airlines (e.g. AA and Delta, Southwest, etc.) you will certainly be required to do so.

See Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld no longer required

See Australian Business Traveller article. (Link)

Q. If I'm connecting using AA on a single PNR but have a stopover at my connecting airport, can I check through or recheck?

AA will generally not through check bags or allow you to recheck bags if your layover exceeds eleven hours.

Q. Which carrier's rules apply?

Note: Checked baggage allowances may vary by status, class of service, origin or/and destination, type of baggage. Some AA affiliated credit cards allow one free checked bag on domestic travel - some up to four or eight passengers on the same itinerary.

A. It depends. On separate PNRs AA will collect baggage fees due, and the other airlines will collect what is due under their baggage policies.

On through-checked baggage, USDOT regulations require the marketing carrier of the initial segment baggage rules apply to USA originating (or ending, iirc) flights. E.g. flying QF as an AA codeshare, or QF connecting from AA marketed by AA, AA rules would apply. These take precedent of IATA rules if travel begins (or ends) in the USA.

For IATA governed international itineraries, baggage rules of the Most Significant / Prevailing Carrier apply:

In compliance with the new baggage policy issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), free baggage allowance and extra baggage charges for tickets issued on or after 1 April 2011 which involve one or more flights provided by other airlines will be based on a new method. If your journey includes connecting flights with more than one airline, the baggage allowances and fees of the airline that operates the longer leg of the itinerary (MDC) will apply throughout the itinerary. For example, if you fly a transpacific leg with one carrier and a domestic leg with another, the baggage allowances and fees of the carrier that operated the transpacific leg would apply to the whole journey, regardless of which carrier issued the ticket. (Language from Cathay Pacific.)

The Most Significant Marketing Carrier (MSC) is:
  • For travel between IATA areas: The first carrier flying in between two of the IATA areas
  • For travel between IATA sub areas: The first carrier flying in between the sub areas
  • For travel within an IATA sub area: The first carrier crossing an international border
IATA divides Areas and sub-areas. For example:

Area: North America, Central and South America, Hawaii
Subareas:
  • Canada, Mexico
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • South America

Area: Europe, Middle East
Subareas:
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Africa

Area: Asia, Guam, Southwest Pacific
Subareas:
  1. Japan, Korea
  2. Southeast Asia
  3. South Asian Subcontinent
  4. Southwest Pacific
[SIZE="3"]Q. Can I through check my baggage if I have an overnight stop?[/SIZE

That will probably depend on your first operating carrier. Some carriers have no problem with through checking bags if you're stopping overnight, e.g. Qatar Airways with an overnight in DOH, but AA often uses a maximum of under 12 hours to determine whether you can through check or must recover bags on overnight stops. However, ground agents may vary.

Q. What are my AA and oneworld baggage allowances with [_______] status?

See here on aa.com for updates

A. Complimentary bags
In some cases, you won't have to pay the baggage fees for up to three 23 kg / 50 lb bags (32 kg / 70 lb some premium passengers). Find out if this applies to you. EXPs could have to three checked 32 kg / 70 lb bags.

1st checked bag is complimentary for:
  • Eligible AAdvantage® Aviator™ and Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers (on domestic American Airlines operated flights)
  • AAdvantage Gold
  • oneworld Ruby
  • Alaska MVP members
1st and 2nd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Platinum
  • oneworld Sapphire members
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold
  • Confirmed Business Class customers*
2nd and 3rd checked bags are complimentary for:
  • Confirmed First Class customers on 3-cabin aircraft*
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald
  • Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K
  • Active U.S. military and/or dependents with ID traveling on orders (1st - 5th bags free of charge)
  • Active U.S. military with ID on personal travel
Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald are allowed one more checked bag:

*See AA reducing some checked baggage allowance tickets pchs on / after 29 Mar 2016

Note: on through baggage: oneworld policy no longer entitles checking baggage through when using oneworld flights when connecting on separetily ticketed segments. Only AA and MH will still through-check baggage with separate PNRS.

Q. Do I have extended baggage allowance as AAdvantage Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald? (Yes, as of 1 Feb 2013

A. All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

See:
Customer Planning Advisory
Subject . . . APS 13002 – Extra bag for oneworld Emerald

Date . . . . . . Effective: February 1st, 2013
Issued . . . . .January 31st, 2013

Overview . . .Extra bag for oneworld Emerald
. . . . . . . . . . To improve the travel experience for our top tier customers
. . . . . . . . . . we are pleased to offer all oneworld Emerald members
. . . . . . . . . . one extra bag in addition to their free allowance.

Detail. . . . . All oneworld Emerald customers, including AAdvantage
. . . . . . . . . . Executive Platinums, will be entitled to an extra bag.

. . . . . . . . . . Emeralds will have the following allowance:
. . . . . . . . . . First/Business 4 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . Main Cabin 3 free pieces up to 70lbs (32kgs)
. . . . . . . . . . This applies to both international and domestic travel
. . . . . . . . . . on/after 1st February.

Processing . Please override the excess baggage mask using the OT
. . . . . . . . . . code using the explanation Emerald. Automation for this
. . . . . . . . . . change will be in place later in the year.

<redacted issuing personnel>

Reference . . .APS13002


Q. How many bags can I check?

A. Check up to 10 bags if your trip is:
  • Domestic
  • Transatlantic
  • Transpacific
Check up to 5 bags if you’re traveling to / through / from:
  • Mexico / Caribbean / Central America*See footnote
  • South America*See footnote
*There are seasonal and year-round baggage embargoes and restrictions


Q. Can I "split" my allowance? E.g. can I split a 23 kg / 50 lb per bag allowance and check two bags weighing up to 23 kg / 50 lb together?

A. No. Per bag weight maxima or number of bags allowed can not be shared or split.

Q. What are my Overweight Baggage Charges?

A. aa.com: Oversize and overweight baggage

We’re pleased to say that your bag can weigh up to 70lbs./32kgs at no extra cost if you are:
  • First Class
  • Business Class
  • Executive Platinum
  • oneworld Emerald
If you are checking more than 3 bags charges will apply.*

Additionally:

Link to checked baggage policy

Link to oversized and overweight baggage policy AA has a "hard limit" of not accepting any baggage that exceeds 45 kg / 100 lb for check-in.


Q. Must I recover and re-check my bags arriving from another country?

A. If you are arriving in the U.S.A. from an international airport, it will depend:

1) If you check in at airports like AUH, DUB, YVR etc. where you process USCBP immigration and customs prior to boarding, your flight will arrive in the U.S. as a domestic flight. Your bag can be checked through (assuming other conditions mentioned above are met), you will be able to proceed to your next flight airside.

2) If you are otherwise arriving from an international airport, you will generally be required to pass USCBP immigration, recover your baggage at the indicated carousel and process through Customs. As you depart the Customs hall, you can re-check your baggage for your continuing flights prior to departing the airside part of arrivals. You will generally have to produce a valid boarding pass and pass through TSA Security to return airside to continue your travel.

3) A very few airports DFW, MIA) in the USA allow through ("ITI") checking for certain passengers arriving internationally and departing on another international flight. This will result in an "ITI" (International to International) check with ITI sticker on your boarding pass, and baggage will not have to be collected and rechecked. ITI passengers may still be required to pass through immigration, exit through customs gate and pass back through security. See this FT thread.


Helpful resource links:

Link to American Airlines' policy on through checking baggage as of 1 Sep 2016. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

AA: American Airlines a Checked baggage policy (includes infant assistive and medical devices, mobility devices, pets and specialty sports items).

See No More Multi-Reservation Through-Checking across oneworld

See Change to through-checking Oct 2014 (interlining) baggage on separate tickets

oneworld: oneworld Extra baggage allowance (status / class of service)

Please see FT: EXP / Emerald extended baggage / luggage allowance 1 FEB 2013 (master thread) if you are AA Executive Platinum / oneworld Emerald.


Link to archived thread with older posts.

Updated 9 Sep 2016 - JDiver

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Old Sep 8, 16, 2:51 pm
#1
Thread Starter

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: SFO and SNA/LAX
Programs: JL JMB Diamond 1.4 MM, UA 1P 1.2 MM
Posts: 229
FAQ: Baggage / Luggage Rules, Allowance on AA & Other Airlines (consolidated)

Flying on an AA award. SFO-LAX-NRT. SFO-LAX is economy since the F class award was not available. LAX-NRT is in F on JL. My question is this, at SFO, does my mother in law with no status get to check in at the first class AA counter? Or does she have to line up at the Y counter since her first leg is in Y? Thanks in advance.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 7:37 pm
#2
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Originally Posted by Goosh View Post
Flying on an AA award. SFO-LAX-NRT. SFO-LAX is economy since the F class award was not available. LAX-NRT is in F on JL. My question is this, at SFO, does my mother in law with no status get to check in at the first class AA counter? Or does she have to line up at the Y counter since her first leg is in Y? Thanks in advance.
She will most likely have to check in at the Y counter, as she has no status and her onward ticket is in Y.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 7:39 pm
#3
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics

Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA EXP / 5.5 MM; HH <>; SPG Gold; Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 56,507
MODERATOR NOTE: The Wikipost has been updated to reflect AA's new through baggage checking rules, which you can also see here. Notice that different protocols are followed in IROPS / OSO conditions.

Older posts or posts with obsolete content due to oneworld (Jun 2016) and American Airlines (1 Sep 2016) baggage through checking have been moved to the Archive thread here (as indicated in the Wikipost).

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 9, 16 at 9:14 pm
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Old Sep 12, 16, 1:30 pm
#4

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Between GLA & EDI
Programs: Emirates Skywards Silver; BA Silver
Posts: 23
Baggage query

I recently flew AA GLA-PHL-DTW. I am OneWorld Sapphire. I took 3 suitcases. I was told by the AA call centre when I phoned to check the first bag is free, the second bag is complimentary due to status and there would be a £65 charge for the third bag. When I got to the airport I was told they always have this issue and I would need to pay £140 for the extra 2 bags. On following up with AA they have said the first two are free but the third would be the £140 so this was the right charge. But surely as I get two bags free the third should be £65 and if I had a fourth that would have been an extra £140?

Thanks
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Old Sep 12, 16, 5:00 pm
#5

Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by voyager83 View Post
I recently flew AA GLA-PHL-DTW. I am OneWorld Sapphire. I took 3 suitcases. I was told by the AA call centre when I phoned to check the first bag is free, the second bag is complimentary due to status and there would be a £65 charge for the third bag. When I got to the airport I was told they always have this issue and I would need to pay £140 for the extra 2 bags. On following up with AA they have said the first two are free but the third would be the £140 so this was the right charge. But surely as I get two bags free the third should be £65 and if I had a fourth that would have been an extra £140?

Thanks
It looks as if their thinking is that the first bag is free, the fee is waived for the second bag, and you pay the fee for the third bag at the published rate for a third bag.
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Old Sep 12, 16, 9:30 pm
#6
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Originally Posted by voyager83 View Post
I recently flew AA GLA-PHL-DTW. I am OneWorld Sapphire. I took 3 suitcases. I was told by the AA call centre when I phoned to check the first bag is free, the second bag is complimentary due to status and there would be a £65 charge for the third bag. When I got to the airport I was told they always have this issue and I would need to pay £140 for the extra 2 bags. On following up with AA they have said the first two are free but the third would be the £140 so this was the right charge. But surely as I get two bags free the third should be £65 and if I had a fourth that would have been an extra £140?

Thanks
The 1st bag charge is $0
The 2nd bag charge is $100 but waived due to status
The 3rd and subsequent bags are charged at $200

GBP140 is approximately $200, so looks correct
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Old Sep 19, 16, 9:03 pm
#7

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Hi All

I am platinum flying in economy LHR-CLT-MEM with my wife and a lap infant.

What is the baggage allowance that my lap infant will get? I can't seem to find a clear answer anywhere. Do they get the same allowance as me? I know I am allowed to bring a stroller and car seat but what about checked baggage?

Also I put in for a miles upgrade to business and the agent said baggage allowance would be upped as well. Forgot to ask about infant.. if we get upgraded does lap infant also get upgraded baggage allowance?


We are moving countries so we will have a lot of luggage.
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Old Sep 19, 16, 10:27 pm
#8

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Originally Posted by Goosh View Post
Flying on an AA award. SFO-LAX-NRT. SFO-LAX is economy since the F class award was not available. LAX-NRT is in F on JL. My question is this, at SFO, does my mother in law with no status get to check in at the first class AA counter? Or does she have to line up at the Y counter since her first leg is in Y? Thanks in advance.
Considering that if flagship checkin were available, you'd be allowed to use it based on the JL flight, I can't imagine that you wouldn't be able to use the first class checkin in SFO. It's a first class itinerary, even though the first segment is in Y.
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Old Sep 19, 16, 10:33 pm
#9

Join Date: Jun 2016
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Originally Posted by conklaven View Post
Hi All

I am platinum flying in economy LHR-CLT-MEM with my wife and a lap infant.

What is the baggage allowance that my lap infant will get? I can't seem to find a clear answer anywhere. Do they get the same allowance as me? I know I am allowed to bring a stroller and car seat but what about checked baggage?

Also I put in for a miles upgrade to business and the agent said baggage allowance would be upped as well. Forgot to ask about infant.. if we get upgraded does lap infant also get upgraded baggage allowance?


We are moving countries so we will have a lot of luggage.
I don't believe the infant is entitled to any bags other than specific infant equipment. Whether your upgrade clears or not, as a platinum you're allowed two bags per person. However, if you're in business, the bags can be up to 70 lbs each.
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Old Sep 19, 16, 10:48 pm
#10

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Originally Posted by jay_dubya View Post
I don't believe the infant is entitled to any bags other than specific infant equipment. Whether your upgrade clears or not, as a platinum you're allowed two bags per person. However, if you're in business, the bags can be up to 70 lbs each.
no bags? Wow... I usually fly BA and they are entitled to the same baggage allowance as the person they are assigned to.
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Old Sep 19, 16, 11:03 pm
#11

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Originally Posted by conklaven View Post
no bags? Wow... I usually fly BA and they are entitled to the same baggage allowance as the person they are assigned to.
Google turned this up on the AA French website for US domestic travel, curiously the section for TATL does not contain the language about an infant without a seat.:

Infant Baggage Allowance

Infants occupying a seat travelling on a child fare are allowed the same checked and carry-on baggage allowance as an adult
Infants not occupying a seat do not have a checked baggage allowance. The additional items listed below are allowed as carry-on

Additional Items

The following items are allowed for each child / infant regardless of the fare purchased:

One nappy bag as carry-on
One checked fully collapsible child stroller / pushchair or child carrier to check-in. The child carrier can be taken in place of a pushchair, but not in addition to a pushchair
Child safety seats and fully collapsible pushchairs can be taken to the gate. Large pushchairs, non-collapsible or weighting over 20lbs/ 9kgs will not be accepted at the gate and will need to be checked in at the check-in counter
Child carrier can be carry-on if within 22in / 56cm in length, 14in / 35cm in width and 9in / 23cm in height
One child's restraint seat
https://aa.com/intl/fr/travelInf...allowUsDom.jsp
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Old Oct 7, 16, 4:52 pm
#12

Join Date: Jun 2003
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I am flying XXX-DFW on AA then DFW-SEA on AS, all on one ticket. (It's an 027 ticket # because the AA segment was purchased with the AS marketed codeshare.)

I am both AA Gold and AS MVP Gold.

I want to check 3 bags. Never done that before, and I assumed that my first two bags were free and I'd pay maybe $25 for the third bag. But after doing a little research it looks the third bag will cost $150 because everyone pays the third bag fee for the third bag, even those who are exempt from the first and second bag fees. Is that correct?

And just want to confirm that AA will check the bags through to AS since it's all on one ticket.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 8, 16, 4:44 pm
#13

Join Date: Feb 2012
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Checked luggage / baggage slightly oversized - problem?

I just bought a new case and didn't check the size beforehand. It is 64 inches total and AA limit is 62.

Do you think they will check? I've never seen them get out a tape measure before but it will be my luck they start doing that I'm sure!!

A lot of the cases I'm looking at as a replacement also seem slightly too large.

Return the case or chance it?!
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Old Oct 8, 16, 4:48 pm
#14

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I've never seen them check size unless a bag is very obviously over.

BUT, I find that with large suitcases like that you risk going overweight if you actually fill up the suitcase. So you need to underfill and then lose the benefit of having that larger suitcase

Personally, if you can still return it, I would and buy something smaller.
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Old Oct 8, 16, 4:56 pm
#15

Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,018
If it is an obviously branded suitcase your main risk is that they have found it to be oversize at some point in the past so they recognise it more easily in the future...

If not then the odds are low, but if they do spot it then the cost is high so if you can return it I probably would...

Last edited by Mark_T; Oct 8, 16 at 5:20 pm
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