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Thru-baggage tagging at check in

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Thru-baggage tagging at check in

Old 17th Sep 2013, 12:34
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Thru-baggage tagging at check in

A question for check in agents:

I am flying BNE-SIN-AUH-DUB and then DUB-CFN. The two journeys have been booked separately but there is something like 2.5 or 3 hours between them. The airlines involved have an interlining agreement with each other but do not codeshare on any of the above routes at least.

I have been advised by a consultant from the airline that will check me in at BNE that through -checked bags to CFN will be possible as long as I present my boarding pass for the onward journey.

I am interested to know how this is achieved by the check in agent, partly because I'm genuinely interested and partly because it may be a left of field request for the agent I get on the day and I would like to maximise my chance of success, so to speak. It is understandably a great relief to not suffer the rigmarole of collecting and redropping bags after a 29 hour journey so knowing exactly "what" to say the agent if applicable would be a great help.

Many thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to answer.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 13:35
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Can you check me in all the way to CFN?

This is one of the days where having print-outs of all your reservation details may help the process go more smoothly.

(As far as I remember that's (almost, I asked for AMS) how I checked in at CBR for a two booking trip (via SYD) to AMS and got checked through, with luggage)

Last edited by MathFox; 17th Sep 2013 at 13:36.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 14:25
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It should be possible to check a bag in to pretty much anywhere that is served by commercial airlines. Getting boarding cards for the last leg from the initial airline may not be possible though, so visiting the airlines desk in DUB may be required, where you may need to hand them over a copy of the bag tags so they can add them in to their system.

For example on the DCS I currently use it's simple to add in an onward flight and print a bag tag for pretty much any airline a passenger may be travelling onwards with weather or not it's our one, a partner, a codeshare or even one which has nothing to do with us. The boarding cards will usually only come out if it's an airline in the same alliance as us or one with which we codeshare or interline with.

You should have no problem checking the bag in all the way, 2 tags will probably be printed off to enable all those airport codes in one journey, but that's fairly standard. Have all your flight numbers and bookings ready so that the agent can add them in to their system. They may also need to add eticket numbers, so have them on hand too.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 14:29
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Wish I had known that. I recently flew BKK-AUH-AMS-DUB. The AMS-DUB portion was separately booked. We got off at AMS went through immigration paid for EXCESS weight and 're boarded.Through baggage would have saved time and money( to say nothing of stress).
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 15:08
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If the journey is on one ticket (and a ticket is not the same as a reservation) then the likelihood is that through checkin is possible. But you're on 2 separate tickets. Furthermore, the DUB-CFN will be on flyBE? flyBE don't have many interline agreements so the chances are you will NOT be able to through check in this case.
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 16:38
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Flybe probably has an an interline agreement with the 1st airline. See Flybe | Corporate | Media | News archive. It is possible that 1st airline will not send luggage on with two tickets. You will find this out when you check in at BNE, but as others have recommended have all of your details readily available.

This used to be a no-brainier, if you could show tickets with an OK status they would check the bags through. More recently some (larger) airlines have been refusing claims when bags go missing as 'they don't have a single contract' meaning that some (smaller) airlines have had to absorb significant Warsaw/Montreal claims when things go pear-shaped.

As an example BE would be responsible to you to pay your claim if bags lost/damaged even if 1st airline mishandled at SIN. Normally BE would claim from 1st airline but if they refused they would be stuck for the entire amount. Because of this some airlines no longer accept through checking.

Wasn't it much better with binding IATA Resolutions, before the ACCC, the EC and the US DOT took those away? (Rhetorical question, no need to respond)
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Old 17th Sep 2013, 17:41
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The check-in agent "should" be able to check your bags to the final destination, but that might not mean the bags get there. I once had a ticket routing MAN-AMS-CDG-JFK-YYZ flying with various SkyTeam airlines on the same ticket. It confused the check-in agent to see so many airports on the outbound leg, but she still managed to check my bags.

Unfortunately, even though I made it to YYZ no problem, my bags didn't initially get past AMS, arriving in YYZ 2 days after I did.

My advice, make sure you have some essential change of clothes in your hand luggage!
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 00:31
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Originally Posted by edi_local View Post
For example on the DCS I currently use it's simple to add in an onward flight and print a bag tag for pretty much any airline a passenger may be travelling onwards with weather or not it's our one, a partner, a codeshare or even one which has nothing to do with us. The boarding cards will usually only come out if it's an airline in the same alliance as us or one with which we codeshare or interline with.
Awesome, this is just what I was looking to find out.

I'm assuming if we check in online for the final leg of the journey, it won't matter whether or not a boarding card is issued at the check-in desk since we'll have printed it out at home first anyway?

Otherwise, if it will be necessary to see the check-in agent in DUB, how will we know? If the bags are checked through to CFN and we have checked-in for that leg online already, can we not proceed directly to the boarding gate in DUB? Correct me if wrong!

Finally, other posters mentioned interline agreements between the airlines. From what I can garner from their websites there is an agreement in place, but there seems to be ambiguity when it comes to separate tickets as to what will be permitted. I guess I will have to wait and see. The most important thing for me is that I'm told for certain whether I need to collect bags in DUB, preferably before I arrive empty-handed in CFN
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 12:26
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A boarding card for the DUB-CFN flight isn't necessary. If you've got it great, but you might be outside the time limit (no idea what BE does). Having your e-ticket printed out showing an OK status is just as good.

If '1st airline' accepts bags through to CFN that will be shown on your baggage receipt. The tag on the bag should have CFN on it, as well as all the other connecting points in sequential order. If it only says DUB that's where the bag will end up. If it says DUB and CFN then the bag will go through to CFN.

I'm not sure how the Irish do it. You may have to clear immigration and customs at your first point of entry. If so, and regardless of where the bag is tagged to, you will have to clear immigration, pick up your bag, clear customs and then either give the already tagged bag to CFN to the airline - or if it's only tagged to DUB you will have to check-in the bag with the local operator. (Is it really BE?)

Last edited by ExXB; 18th Sep 2013 at 12:27.
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 13:50
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Originally Posted by chuboy View Post
Awesome, this is just what I was looking to find out.

I'm assuming if we check in online for the final leg of the journey, it won't matter whether or not a boarding card is issued at the check-in desk since we'll have printed it out at home first anyway?

Otherwise, if it will be necessary to see the check-in agent in DUB, how will we know? If the bags are checked through to CFN and we have checked-in for that leg online already, can we not proceed directly to the boarding gate in DUB? Correct me if wrong!
If you have a boarding card for the CFN leg then you'll still need to go through security, immigration and probably customs in DUB anyway. If you have a boarding card then you should be able to go directly to the gate after all the relevant checks. If you don't then a 10 second visit to the transfer desk should be all you need to get that boarding card in DUB. Personally I would visit the desk of the CFN airline anyway to make sure they have my baggage details in their system and maybe find out if the bag has made it to at least DUB.
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Old 3rd Nov 2013, 23:40
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One last question: from the perspective of the check-in agent, does checking in online for all flights prior to arriving at the bag-drop desk have any bearing on whether through-checked bag tags can be issued?

Apologies but I am totally ignorant as to how your DCS software works!
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 07:29
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Here, for what it is worth, is what I know, and have been telling people for ages.

A separate ticket, on a separate booking is a separate contract: Bags cannot be checked through between tickets/contracts, As you can imagine, this issue arises often on flights from AKL to LHR.

The reason for this is that the airline that accepted the bags initially, is taking responsibility for both you, and the bags, all the way through to CFN. Were your bags to be lost or late on the last sector they would be liable, and would also be liable for accommodation costs in a delay, since responsibility had been accepted for the entire journey.

You may get lucky if the check-in agent makes a mistake, but I would be surprised. Please let us know how you get on.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 09:39
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Originally Posted by TightSlot View Post
A separate ticket, on a separate booking is a separate contract: Bags cannot be checked through between tickets/contracts.
Indeed.

The most common reason for making separate bookings is because it appears cheaper. This is in part because if you make a through booking the airline has greater costs. There is the cost provision for the likelihood that you have to be reaccommodated or put up overnight at the transfer point because the connection was missed, and also the much greater chance of bags being mis-handled in the transfer, with the quite substantial additional costs of repatriating them to you after the journey finishes. The carriers know the percentages of any of this happening, and how much overall it all adds to their costs.

Regarding the original question, the customs will check you and your bags, which you will therefore have to have collected, at Dublin, where you are entering the European Union, regardless of your ticketing status. The onward trip is a domestic flight where pax just walk off at the end. In any event there are no customs staff at Carrickfinn.

Last edited by WHBM; 4th Nov 2013 at 09:41.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 10:20
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TightSlot, you are right ... but.

Under IATA Baggage rules it is the delivering airline that have the responsibility of dealing with the customer in the event of a baggage irregularity. They initiate the baggage trace and deal with any damage issues. In the event it is up to them to claim from the ticket issuing airline (who has the money) who may well claim against a third airline who might be to blame.

For years airlines applied these rules to all checked through bags. However some bean counters at some airline realised that they could save a fortune if they just refused claims when a single contract (ticket) didn't exist. So, connecting carriers started to take hits, often when it was not their fault and they began to refuse connecting baggage from the airline that started this. A lot of tit-for-tat reactions means that today many airlines will not accept baggage through check with two tickets.

BA, for example, state explicitly on their web-site that they will only accept baggage with two tickets when the connecting airline is a oneworld carrier. So a NZ/BA through check is no longer possible with two tickets.

Woody, the operative words in your post are 'a few years ago'. Don't try it today.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 10:52
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I flew from ZRH to LHR with LX and then on a separate ticket from LHR to EDI with BA.

When I checked in in ZRH I asked them to tag my bag through to EDI and they were more than happy to do so. Didn't even question it. The agent simply said that she would check if they had an interline agreement with BA, they did (I knew they did), and that was that. 6 hours later my bag appears at EDI. All I had to do was give my tag numbers to BA at LHR.

Had that bag going missing then presumably, with no LX presence at EDI, I would have gone to BA. Would they have dismissed my claim and sent me back to LX? Would they have refused to rush the bag up to EDI even if the bag had made it as far as LHR?

Could BA have refused to carry my bag at LHR because I came from a non One World member and didn't re-check it with them or do inbound bags not bother them?
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 12:09
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Originally Posted by TightSlot View Post
Here, for what it is worth, is what I know, and have been telling people for ages.
Thanks and appreciate your input. I have seen evidence that an interlining agreement that exists between the two carriers, of sorts. There are plenty of reasons why it may not work I am sure.

The customs issue is a big one, although an email from Dublin authorities suggested that bags can be checked through to either of the domestic airports serviced (Kerry or Donegal) and that is where they end up with no need to collect in between. Perhaps they are searched separately? Theoretically, shouldn't someone connecting to an EI Regional flight from DUB-KIR after arriving on EI from the USA not have to collect their bags before passing through customs? Should that not also apply to any through-checked bag? In any case, as long as I know whether to collect the bags first in Dublin before I arrive in Donegal I am satisfied.

The other possible issue is that while an interline agreement exists between BE and the other airline, the flight to Donegal is operated by Loganair with a BE flight number. I don't know the IATA rules well enough to know if this has additional implications for through-checking even an interline agreement is in place.

I am of course able to collect my bags in Dublin if I have to. If it's not possible I can accept that. I was just interested to know whether it is possible and if so how I could make it happen. I have an inkling that the airline in Brisbane use contracted check-in agents who might not know about every interlining agreement in place with their clients, so I had hoped there might be some magic buzzwords I could utter to come to an understanding

I will give it a go anyway when I travel in a few weeks and report back.

By the way, is there any advice as to the question of whether online check-in prior to arriving at the airport has any bearing on the ability for the check-in agent to through-check bags?
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 14:24
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Checking in online shouldn't affect the ability to drop bags. You just need to make sure each individual airline has your bag tag numbers in the system for the flight you're taking with them. Having a boarding card already shouldn't affect their ability to add a bag tag number in to their system.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 16:21
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An Interline agreement covers journeys involving more than one airline on a single ticket. Travelling on two tickets is not an 'interline' journey.

So, you have a single ticket with the routing GVA BA LHR NZ AKL, BA at GVA will check the bag through to AKL. The contract you have is for transport of you and your checked baggage from Geneva to Auckland.

If you have two tickets GVA BA LHR; LHR NZ AKL this is not an interline journey. BA do not have to check the bag through. Their contract with you is to deliver you and your checked baggage to LHR. They could check it through to AKL, because all the systems are in place, but they chose not to.

If you have two tickets, check with the first airline before you arrive at the airport, so you will know what their policy is. Double check on your return because you likely will be checking your bag with a different airline. It could work one way but not the other.

Note - this is a commercial decision of the airline, not a technical one. It's almost always technically feasible, but if head office has decided they are not going to do it, they are not going to do it.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 16:22
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It's all well and good for passengers to claim that the airline can tag your baggage to your final destination. However, reality may be different -- the check-in agent may be new, ill informed, or just cranky.

I recently had just that problem on a three-leg trip MLA-DUS-YYZ-SEA all booked on one Skyteam ticket. Numerous phone calls, with impatient lineup behind me, as agent debated checking bags through YYZ. Couldn't do it, despite my protestations.

Wound up spending 2 full hours in the ridiculous mess that YYZ has become to pick-up and recheck my bags.
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Old 4th Nov 2013, 18:18
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This through tagging by check in agents who don't have a clue is a huge pain in the backside to be honest.

The are multiple things that can happen to your bag if your bag is tagged but no agreements in place.

1. It gets chucked off the belt in an airport somewhere along the route into a pile in the baggage bays.

2. It could go out on the belt in any airport along the route.

3. It may be held awaiting charges being paid.

4. It may be picked up by the computer and routed automatically to the correct aircraft.

5. The boys just walk across the baggage bay and stick it on the right trolley and it makes the flight.

If there is no agreement in place there sometime is a charge somewhere between 20 and 90 euros for a transfer. And in some countries they won't release it until that's paid. Then there is a bun fight between handling organisations over who pays it. Then there is the charge for actually getting it to where you are.

Any country where you go through immigration for transfer again it may be against local regulations to through check bags without going through customs and there may not be a process in place for you to pick up clear customs and then drop.

The check in agent is doing you no favours what's so ever checking it through by butchering the system into producing a through tag.

Personally as a pilot I don't even ask about it if I am travelling. If they do it automatically then fair enough. But I would suggest you never try and hassle them into doing it. You are just asking for your bags to disappear for a period of time if you ever get them at all. As they are quite easy to make disappear when on the computer they have been put out onto the belt in some airport.

Not all airports have the same system and it may very well work with some trips. But that's more luck than the system being in place for it to work.
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