Qantas will no longer transfer travellers' checked luggage onto connecting flights with Oneworld partner airlines from September 1st if that connecting flight has been made under a seperate booking.
The decision follows a contentious move by Oneworld – as first reported by Australian Business Traveller last week – under which the group's 15 member airlines are no longer required to check passengers and their baggage through to their final destination on some connecting flights.
Those flights are ones where a passenger's journey encompasses multiple flights listed on more than one booking, rather than all flights being listed under a single booking reference.
"Qantas will be implementing the new oneworld ticketing arrangements on 1 September 2016" a spokesperson for the airline confirmed to Australian Business Traveller.
"From 1 July Qantas check-in agents will be informing customers checking in on separate Oneworld tickets the policy has changed and that for travel from 1 September, they will need to book connections in a single booking to be eligible for through check-in to their final destination."
This will impact connections from Qantas flights onto the likes of American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, LAN/TAM, JAL, Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways.
Seamless connections a thing of the past for some
Let’s say you’re flying with Qantas to Hong Kong and then connecting onto a Cathay Pacific (or its regional sibling Dragonair) flight to China, as many business travellers do these days.
If your Qantas and Cathay Pacific bookings were made together or listed a single booking reference then your bags will be checked all the way through from Australia to your Chinese destination, as usual – and when you check in for the Qantas flight you’ll probably also get your Cathay Pacific boarding pass.
This means you can arrive at Hong Kong, go through the transit channel and head straight to the airport lounge before hopping onto your Cathay Pacific flight to China.
However, if those two flights were booked separately rather than appear under a single booking reference, you’ll need to
- clear immigration at Hong Kong
- wait for the bags to arrive from your Qantas flight and go through customs as if you’re leaving the airport
- then line up at the Cathay Pacific checkin counter, hand over your luggage and collect the boarding pass for your CX flight to China and go back through passport control
- and then relax in the lounge, if you still have time – although it's more likely you’ll end up rushing straight to the flight’s departure gate.
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