American Says They Aren’t Ending Through-Checked Baggage on Separate oneworld Reservations

On June 1 the oneworld alliance (which includes airlines like American, British Airways, Iberia, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and more) changed its policies so that member airlines no longer had to check bags to their final destination for passengers traveling on more than one reservation on a oneworld airline.

Member airlines also wouldn’t be required to check customers in to their final destination on the second reservation, either.

Airlines still can do this and I asked American Airlines about any changes to their policy.

I was told that American is not changing anything at this time, and will continue to thru-check bags on multiple reservations when those reservations are for travel on oneworld airlines.

So if you are flying on one reservation for travel on American Airlines, and a second reservation for travel on Cathay Pacific, you’ll still be able to check your bags all the way through to your Cathay Pacific destination when you first check in with American. That’s great.

I sought further assurance and was told that American intends to keep this policy in place and not change this service.

Of course now that oneworld rules have changed they would be permitted to in the future if they so choose.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. And what will Cathay do on the way home? Check all the way through on the American flight?

  2. How will they enforce their desire to have you all on one itinerary with their new pricing on multiple segments?

  3. I traveled on AA last year on a single EY ticket (AA to CDG connecting to an EY flight) and they couldn’t manage to through check our luggage. We had to claim everything in CDG and then pay for storage until the EY check in opened in the evening so we could go into the city.

  4. Agree with @SST — why bother booking a positioning flight with an airline in the same alliance, if they won’t provide the most basic services? Might as well just shop around for the best fare if I will be inconvenienced like this anyway.

  5. used today with malaysian airline onward to cathay pacific on separate booking. No issue!

  6. Seems the hyperlink on “Airlines can do this” isn’t working. I am hoping the link goes to detailed instructions I might send to Iberia, which has never been able to do this for me.

  7. Flights between U.S. and Europe via Alaska Air/Icelandair do check luggage all the way through. Stay w/ the small airlines.
    When American merged w/ US Airways, my US points transferred to American. American let me keep them for 4 months, then “expired” them. Screw American.

  8. @Gaurav – not sure what your point it. EY isn’t in oneworld so no – AA won’t check your bags through on separate tickets.

  9. @Stu, if you read what I posted, I was on a single ticket itinerary. The point was that if AA was unwilling to check baggage through on a single ticket with a partner it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that they are moving in this direction even for OW partners (plus vent a little bit of lingering frustration). Hope that clears it up for you.

  10. That’s great but what if your first flight isnt’t onmAmerican? I’m booked on a BA flight from LHR to MIA followed by an AA flight from MIA to RDU and they are on separate tickets.

  11. @ Fran- on the way home, you’ll have to pick up your bags at your first port in the US, clear customs and immigration, and give them to your onward carrier- there’s no through baggage check when arriving in the US.

  12. I tried to do this on AA and BA just last fall and American wouldn’t check through to my final destination. I ended up having to wait several hours to recheck my bag in Paris.

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