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Thru-baggage tagging at check in

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Thru-baggage tagging at check in

Old 4th Nov 2013, 19:20
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Thru checking baggage

There is one other small problem that can arise when thru checking baggage. I was travelling NPL-AKL-PEK on Air NZ then PEK-LHR with British Airways all on the one ticket. I checked in at New Plymouth with 2 items of baggage a total of 9 kgs only. They tagged the bags all the way through to LHR and gave me boarding passes as far as Peking. At Peking I had to just check with BA for a seat number and boarding pass. BA at Peking asked where my luggage was and I showed them the two baggage tags issued by Air NZ. I was then told that I had excess baggage charges to pay as they (BA) only allowed 1 item of checked baggage and I had two. Because Air NZ operate on a total weight system and as I was on a through ticket I explained this to BA and told them the Air NZ limit was 23kgs and I had only 9kgs. They still wanted me to pay excess for my two bags and after well over an hour of pleasant discussion (no raised voices from either side) they eventually went down to check my two bags were only 9 kgs, came back and said "this time we will let you off." The moral is twofold, if you have any change of airline when through checking baggage, check the other airlines baggage rules. Secondly, don't rant and rave at the Agent who is just doing what his rules say he has to do, but politely explain why you are in the position that mean you are breaking his airlines rules.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 19:44
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but politely explain why you are in the position that mean you are breaking his airlines rules.
But don't expect that will change anything.

Baggage is a bloody nightmare to be honest when it goes wrong. And 99% of the time by the time its discovered.

a) its nothing to do with the agents at the point of arrival.

b) its nothing to do with the last airline that you travelled with.

c) There is a cost to get it all sorted out.

d) a lot of the time there isn't actually a lot that can be done.

My record is one woman who had done something similar from NZ destination a small regional airport with one operator. Biz class with 3 other airlines then ours for the last sector. Baggage didn't make it. Tears and pleading in arrivals. Showing of baggage receipts which of course the regional airport didn't have a link into the system. Last flight of the week 2 days before the next.

Sent away with a list of phone numbers to call. Quite irate that we wouldn't phone them for her. Monday no rush bags, even more upset because she was given the run around on the phone and departed back 10 days later still no bags. They turned up 3 weeks later and thankfully I spotted them and refused them and sent the handler her number when we got back. As I suspected they had been trapped at Helsinki, there was over $1200 of charges to get the bags back to NZ and outstanding charges. Which because I had refused them was the handlers problem not my airline, they tried to get us to accept them 3 times but I had briefed the other crews not to accept.

I don't know if she ever got them back.

You do feel for the PAX but after you have tried to help once and been stung for it both time wise and huge arguments for back charging the associated costs. Even if you want to help you are instructed to keep well away from it to the point of being rude and not get involved. Your contract is from A to B and if the person has through checked bags and they don't turn up at the aircraft its thier problem.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 20:26
  #23 (permalink)  
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chuboy I think you have your answer! Take some hassle yourself along the way.
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 11:08
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Note - this is a commercial decision of the airline, not a technical one. It's almost always technically feasible
Indeed it is technically feasible to through-check your baggage almost anywhere on the planet, even if you don't have a ticket at all.

A friend of mine in Oz discovered this a few years ago when she took a domestic flight on Qantas from Brisbane to Canberra. Direct, non-stop flight, 100% domestic, so pretty low-risk on the lost baggage scale.

Her bag didn't arrive in Canberra. Neither was it left in Brisbane. It was eventually tracked down in - wait for it - Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Turns out the person ahead of her in the check-in queue at Brisbane had been travelling to Salt Lake City, via SYD and LAX. The agent had somehow printed an extra baggage tag for this person (or it had been jammed in the machine, and came out when the next tag was printed), so that the tag ended up on my friend's bag - which was then duly and efficiently sent off on a rather longer journey than my friend.

She got it back eventually. And I now always linger at the check-in counter to watch the agent attach the correct tag to my suitcase.
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 12:39
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Cool

A habit I got into long ago, know the three letter airport* code of your destination and make sure that's the last code printed on the tag. A couple of times I've stopped it and said "I'm going via Toronto, not to it".

However travelling on a mixture of passes and ID tickets this was often a two, or more, ticket itinerary, and they didn't design the system for us.

*There are airport codes (LGA, JFK, EWR) and city codes (NYC). Sometimes they are the same thing, but often not.
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 16:52
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May I suggest Tight Slot, that this might be a good thread to add to the FAQ? I know that newbies tend NOT to check it first but at least we can then tell them where to go. (if you know what I mean)
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Old 5th Nov 2013, 22:38
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Many thanks for sharing your expertise everyone, much appreciated.

My question was purely from a technical standpoint, I realise there are commercial reasons why things won't be done but that's true of everything, isn't it! I will double check with the airline to make sure through-checking will be allowed on the day.

Also, can someone elaborate on checking with BE in Dublin about baggage numbers in the system? How does this work? I would have thought tag numbers were stored in a database independent of the carrier airline. Am I mistaken?
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 00:31
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Very informative thread. I've been in aviation since '65 and have learned from your comments.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 08:04
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Nice thread guys, and following a sensible suggestion (Thanks) now added to FAQ thread.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 09:02
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No Central data base for bag tag numbers, although there are a couple (which talk to each other) for bag tracing.

When a bag is checked that airline will send a message to all down line airlines advising them that bags are on their way. When a bag is transferred to the connecting airline they will record it in their system, and should link it to your booking (positive bag match). Double-checking at the connecting airport ensures the airline won't hold the bag until positive confirmation that you have made the connection. It isn't something I would do with a single ticket, but would do with two tickets. As I said the system allows this to happen, but it wasn't designed to do it.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 10:46
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The airline won't know to be honest, the checkin agent certainly won't.

It all depends on the policy in Dublin in the baggage bays. Even if the system is butchered to give a through baggage if it gets trapped even if its listed against your ticket number it still won't make the aircraft. None of the crew will know if its on board or not, the only way of finding out would be to get hold of the bingo card from the baggage crew leader or physically watch it go on.

And if your bag doesn't turn up in Donegal don't be surprised if you get told to deal with Dublin.

And the other thing is your getting off an international flight from the middle east so your going to have to clear passport control and customs as its your first entry port into the EU. You won't be able to just internal transfer airside. Donegal isn't an international entry airport I don't think unless notified before hand and the BE flight will be classed as internal.

Also as well that flight is going onto Scotland so you will have to clear the Irish-UK security stuff.

Don't be surprised if trying to force your bag through doesn't set off a load of security protocols for both smuggling and terrorism.

Customs & Immigration

Seems to confirm what I think will happen.

So your on a none starter anyway.
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Old 6th Nov 2013, 12:12
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If it was me I've have the bag tagged to Dublin, claim it, clear customs and proceed to the bag drop. 2 1/2 hours should be plenty for this.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 00:49
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I would be inclined to agree with you in general there ExXB. Although I have asked an airline rep twice now and they have confirmed both times that even with separate tickets, the bags will be tagged through.

I'll wait for an answer from Irish customs about collecting at the first point of entry before I commit of course. Not much point going through the hassle of through-checking if I need to pick up and drop of bags anyway.

Many thanks for your advice again everyone.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 08:54
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Found this at IATA.

"Baggage Clearance regulations::
Baggage is cleared at the first airport of arrival in Ireland (Rep.).

Exempt: baggage of passengers with an onward connection to Cork (ORK), Dublin (DUB), or Shannon (SHN); baggage of passengers who embarked in another EU Member State , baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside of Ireland (Rep.)."

It doesn't appear you meet the exemption as your destination is CFN.

IATA is the publisher of the TIM (Travel Information Manual) which is the bible for airline staff world wide. I would trust it.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 11:06
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Can you actually define what you mean by airline rep?

Are you talking about someone who actually works in airline operations or some sheila that's gets paid minimum wage to check bags in?

There are also another load of regulations to do with that flight because it goes onto Scotland. So there is different baggage search requirements and you also have to get the once over by the Garda.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 12:29
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Originally Posted by mad_jock View Post
Can you actually define what you mean by airline rep?

Are you talking about someone who actually works in airline operations or some sheila that's gets paid minimum wage to check bags in?
Somewhere in between I suppose. A "contact centre agent" based in Manchester, who confirmed the answer to my question twice via email.

I don't know how intimately familiar they were with Irish customs regulations, of course.
There are also another load of regulations to do with that flight because it goes onto Scotland. So there is different baggage search requirements and you also have to get the once over by the Garda.
I won't argue with this, as I understand the aircraft does continue on to GLA after arriving in CFN (but with a different flight number).
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 12:50
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Originally Posted by ExXB View Post

It doesn't appear you meet the exemption as your destination is CFN.

IATA is the publisher of the TIM (Travel Information Manual) which is the bible for airline staff world wide. I would trust it.
I have seen the same just now reading a manual published by Irish Revenue Office. So I guess that settles it, after all that

Well, at least I learned a thing or two.
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Old 7th Nov 2013, 13:11
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Well, Bon voyage and let us know how it goes.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 20:53
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Great thread guys! Perfect example of the collective knowledge that makes PPRuNe so interesting to read

Would I be right in assuming that it is possible to get your boarding card issued if you make two independent bookings during the same journey? Hypothetically, if I have two separate tickets, e.g. DUB-AMS with Aer Lingus, then AMS-FRA with Lufthansa, could I get my Lufthansa boarding pass issued by Aer Lingus staff in Dublin (assuming I had no checked baggage)?

If online check-in is not available, this might take a lot of the stress out of making independent point-to-point bookings.
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Old 8th Nov 2013, 21:25
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I would doubt that EI could issue a LH boarding pass. Their two systems won't communicate with one another in such a way to allow through check-in.

Usually through check in is only available if all segments are on one airline, or if the airlines share an agreement through an alliance.

Having said that I've seen strange things happen. Boarding cards for LX flights printed by BA on BA stock. Flights for BE printed by KL and flights for CX and QF come out of the SN system. So really, if it works then great, if not then nothing to get mad over.
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