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adeben Oct 17th, 2012 04:38 PM

Checked-in Luggage Using Different Airlines
I did not know this routine existed until recently, so maybe it may be of interest to other folks.
Last week, I travelled from Frankfurt to Hong Kong via Doha on Qatar Airlines. From Hong Kong, I flew on to Melbourne with Cathay Pacific. In a further complication, the Qatar fligghts were in Business Class, and the Cathay in Economy. At Frankfurt, I asked the person at the Qatar counter if I could check my luggage right through to Melbourne. She said I could as long as I had an on-line boarding pass for the Cathay flight, which I did. She then issued me with a baggage check that indicated that the bag was headed for Melbourne.
At Hong Kong, I was able to use the transfer procedure to access the Cathay flight rather than go through Immigration, collect my luggage, and then check-in, as I had done on previous trips. At Melbourne the bag appeared on the carousel as intended.
As I said above, I was not aware that this level of co-operation existed between airlines, and therefore it may be news to others. Certainly it made the logistics of a long trip much easier.

Gardyloo Oct 17th, 2012 04:45 PM

These are called "interline baggage agreements" and they are very standard; most airlines have them with most other airlines, regardless of their partner status or membership in airline alliances.

P_M Oct 17th, 2012 04:55 PM

I'm glad your trip went smoothly but this is really nothing new. However it's always possible someone out there is hearing this for the first time so thanks for posting.

MmePerdu Oct 17th, 2012 05:14 PM

Adeben, did you find it surprising because you were flying on 2 separate tickets for your journey to Melbourne? If it was not 1 booking but 2 it would explain needing your second boarding pass to accomplish it. It's good to know it can be done as I don't think that's always been the case.

P_M Oct 17th, 2012 05:29 PM

I usually book everything on one ticket but once in a while I find a better deal by using 2 tickets. In at least the last decade it's been possible to check bags all the way through if the 2 airline companies have an agreement to do so. I clearly recall doing this in 2004 on my trip to Switzerland. I don't remmber the first time I ever did this but I can tell you I've never had to pick up a bag and re-check it at a connecting airport.

Once again, this is not something new. But if it's new information to anyone out there in Fodorland then I'm glad we are getting the word out.

rkkwan Oct 17th, 2012 06:20 PM

Interline arrangements have been around for decades among major airlines. What a flyer today needs to realize is that 1) many low cost carriers don't have such arrangements and 2) with the myriad of baggage fees on US carriers, you may find more and more situations where your bags won't be transferred when bag fees are involved.

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