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Combining with Positioning Flight
I want to take advantage of some cheap west coast – Europe flights but don’t live in a major hub, so I was going to buy separate positioning and transatlantic tickets. What are some things to keep in mind when booking positioning flights? I’m especially worried about baggage so let me know if that’s just impossible when combining separate reservations. I really don’t want to exit, collect bags, and then re-check in.
I’m looking at either AS, AA or DL positioning flights to LAX and then either AA, BA, or AF to Europe. (All credited to AS.) Are there any compatibility issues here? Is AA followed by AA the only way to do this? Thanks, any advice would be really helpful!
What you need to be aware of are interlining agreements between your carriers which determine if they can check baggage through on other carriers. So AA and AA is definitely a yes. In most cases airlines that have partnerships also have the capability to through check, so think AS with AA and BA, AA to BA etc. However, just because it’s possible, doesn’t mean that the gate agent will do this for you, it is strictly YMMV especially when you are traveling on two tickets. You should be prepared do exactly what you have mentioned (leave the secure area, pick up bags, etc). You also want plenty of time for your connection. If your first leg is delayed, you are not eligible for any accommodation from your second carrier if you don’t show up for you flight.
While you may be able to get your bags interlined out of the US, it doesnt matter much when you return from Europe. Interlined or not, you MUST collect bags at the US entry airport, clear customs and then recheck your bags. Same applies even even if you’re flying in from a city with USCBP Preclearance.
[USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] , Thank! I appreciate the help! I noticed you didn’t include DL. I assume that’s because they cut all their reciprocal agreements? I’m curious if you ever book separate positioning flight tickets. If so, do you always plan for it not working just in case? I feel like Tiffany has taken some with only a couple hours layover, but the last example from Ben, he spent the night in SF.
[USER=29]@David W[/USER] Thanks to you too. I guess if I couldn’t get my bags checked all the way through I could just leave after customs and go straight to the ticket counter. Generally international bags show up quick so that’s helps with turning things around 😉
No, I just used a couple of examples, no removal of DL on purpose. I would assume if you were on one ticket with AS and DL you’d be able to through check your bags since they are at least, nominally, partners.