Traveling on Separate Tickets: How Checked Bags and Protection During Irregular Operations Work With American and oneworld

Reader Robert wanted to know,

I wish to understand how business class flights booked with Avios points and different One World partners can be put together to form a single itinerary with a common luggage limit. Imagine, for the sake of example, that the longest leg is JFK-MAD on Iberia booked by transferring Avios points to Iberia. The other legs are YYZ-JFK booked on American using Avios points at BA and MAD-LHR booked on BA using Avios points at BA.

While American no longer ‘through checks’ bags to your final destination when traveling on separate tickets, they have an exception when those tickets are on oneworld alliance airlines.

Furthermore, and this is beyond the scope of the question, it’s worth noting that when you’re connecting between American and another oneworld airline, American will treat you as though you’re on a single ticket in the event of irregular operations.

So if you’re redeeming an American flight and then an Iberia flight, whether you’re on one ticket or two, you’re effectively going to be treated on one for baggage and flight protection purposes.

In the case described above it’s no problem to through check bags under the same rules as if this were a single ticket.

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. Stupid question– are Minimum Connecting Times Enforced for Through Checked Bags? Or if I am ‘illegal’ by 10 minutes will they refuse to check it through?

  2. What if you are connecting from an AA flight to a Cathay Pacific flight where the CX flight was booked separately with Alaska miles. In the event of irregular operations on the AA flight, are you protected on the CX flight even though Alaska is not a OneWorld member?

  3. Does the bag interlining policy apply to the case where onward travel is on a oneworld carrier, but not ticketed by a oneworld carrier? I can’t find anything on the AA website about this.

    In my case, I’m flying on a paid ticket BOS-JFK on AA (001 stock). Then flying an award JFK-SCL on LA, ticketed by AS (027 stock).

    Clearly, AA is not required to treat these as a single tickets for irrops (and I have left a lot of time in JFK). But I would hope I could check my bags all the way through from BOS to SCL.

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