BA – luggage not checked through to final destination – am I right to be annoyed

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  SimonS1 28 Nov 2018
at 15:54

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  • BugAdvisor

    My son (BA Silver) and I (BA Gold) were ticketed MCO-JFK-LHR. The MCO-JFK portion was AA Economy and departed 13:35. The JFK-LHR was BA World Traveller Plus.
    We then had separate bookings on BA: LHR-PRG and LHR-NCL – both almost four hours from landing. I presented the booking references at the MCO checkin and asked if our bags could be checked all the way through – the desk advised that this wasn’t possible.

    My question is: I am I wrong to expect that luggage on two separate bookings, both BA, can be checked through?


    Afraid so.

    Policy changed a while back and seperate tickets does not permit through check in.

    Per :-

    If you are connecting onto another flight, you can check your bags through to your final destination, providing:

    All your flights are on one booking reference with the same ticket number, or
    All your flights are with oneworld airlines booked under the same booking reference, even though you may hold separate ticket numbers.

    If you have booked two separate flights on separate booking references to reach your final destination, for example Edinburgh to London followed by London to New York, you will need to:

    Check in your bags for your first flight e.g. Edinburgh to London.
    Follow the signs for ‘Arrivals/Baggage reclaim’ in London to collect your bags.
    Check them in again for your second flight e.g. London to New York.
    Allow sufficient time to connect to your next flight


    It is technically possible but it’s clearly a decision taken to further reduce costs via exposure to risk if there’s a misconnection, and to further degrade service levels.


    It’s a real pain. I recently travelled AKL to HKG with CX and connected to BA flight to LHR on a separate booking reference and Cathay through-checked my bags. I was very surprised and obviously delighted they did this.

    Not through-checking when both reservations are BA just seems mean especially for a gold card holder …. but maybe we should no longer be surprised by their creativity when it comes to cost cutting.


    Was it BA at MCO that wouldn’t check the bags all the way through or was it AA?

    While no defence of BA, it’s hard to lay all the blame at their door if the check in desk was an AA one.


    I am curious as to how your FF status is relevant?

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    Sadly, BA seem to be holding firm on the customer hostile route when it comes to through-checking bags on different PNRs. Other oneworld alliance members tried the same and have subsequently reversed their decision, so the likes of Qatar and Cathay happily through check to BA on separate PNRs, but BA won’t do the same in reverse. It seems to leave BA more exposed (since they end up responsible for the bags that QR & CX have thru checked).

    What astonishes me even more is BA not thru-checking on BA-BA separate tickets. The inference to me is that customers are trying to chisel by cost saving via purchasing separate tickets. Perhaps some are, but not everyone. The concept that someone may book a JNB-LHR-JNB ticket, and a while later add on a second destination such as Rome, where on the return the customer wants to thru check for their own convenience, seems to have evaded BA’s bean counters. The result: BA treats customers as potential evaders rather than valued guests. Do BA really think that many people are savvy enough to circumvent fares? If so, perhaps something is wrong with their fares department and they are charging too much.

    oneworld: The alliance that revolves around you (unless you are on BA, where you have to fly on one ticket/PNR!).


    Iberia also seem to have a problem with this. I have on two occasions had to purchase separate tickets for ALC-MAD-ALC when connecting with CX from MAD to SIN via HKG notably when using redemption or upgrade vouchers on CX. CX in SIN on the return sector happily checked the bag through to ALC and issued a boarding pass MAD-ALC. The bag on both occasions never made the connection in MAD.It arrived a day or two later. The reason it seems was the IB system did´nt recognise the CX PNR on the IB flight!!. When I have booked all six sectors on a paid ticket no problem. IB apparently has the worst record in Europe for lost baggage!!


    If it’s possible they should just do it.


    Perhaps the answer is to vote with your feet and choose another airline/alliance.
    I’ve never had a problem with Star Alliance member airlines doing this, even when travelling on separate tickets

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    It appears that the work-experience kid at BA bought the cheap economy version of the awful FLY check-in system and this low cost version can’t cope, or is not set up, with connecting two PNRs. The old BA system was very robust and had no problem! Ask any BA ticketing expert and you hear the same story….


    It appears that the work-experience kid at BA bought the cheap economy version of the awful FLY check-in system and this low cost version can’t cope, or is not set up, with connecting two PNRs. The old BA system was very robust and had no problem! Ask any BA ticketing expert and you hear the same story….

    There is no reason why it can’t be done… fact there is a long thread on FT with many examples of it happening.

    More likely BA has made a decision that where people choose separate tickets (quite often to save money, and sometimes without regard for things like minimum connection times) then they will not offer the benefits and protections applicable to a single journey.

    Like all such situations a few people will lose out (particularly those on mileage redemptions) but in most cases it is possible to buy a single ticket for the journey with interlining if required.

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