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New baggage policy – interline through baggage check discontinued

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So far this is a policy of US Airways, but undoubtedly the other airlines will follow.

"Effective July 24, 2012, the DOT has mandated new baggage rules requiring airline passengers to pay the same published baggage fees[1] and have the same allowances for their entire itinerary. As a result of this new policy, effective August 1, 2012, US Airways will no longer be through checking passengers’ bags when they have been ticketed on separate tickets. For interline itineraries where the passenger has their entire journey on one ticket, we will continue our practice as it is done today, however when the tickets are split (e.g. ticket 1 on US Airways from Phoenix to Honolulu and ticket 2 on Hawaiian Air from Honolulu to Lihue) we will only check the bag to the destination on the US Airways ticket.

A ticketing and baggage agreement is required to ticket interline itineraries on one record (PNR). Published minimum connect times are only valid for interline itineraries; minimum connect time cannot be precisely calculated when bags are not through checked."
-US Airways

In order to minimize the problems this will cause (missed flights due to the extra time needed to claim bags, schlep them to the next ticket counter, and check in for the next flight), it appears to be more important than before to get your flights on a single ticket.

[1] Carriers are not required to recognize exemptions to other carriers’ baggage policies such as free first or second bags due to frequent flyer status or loyalty credit card membership. The carrier’s published baggage fees or US Airways’ baggage fees must be charged, depending on a variety of factors including first marketing carrier and/or most significant marketing carrier.

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