Qatar Airways Updates Their Checked Baggage Policy For The Better

While I think the oneworld alliance is the all around most rewarding alliance for frequent flyers, I was very disappointed in a policy change they made last June. As of June 1, 2016, oneworld changed their policy so that:

  • Oneworld airlines no longer have to check your bags through to other oneworld carriers if you’re booked on separate tickets
  • Oneworld airlines no longer have to protect you in the event of a misconnect when on separate tickets

oneworld

While oneworld’s missed flight protection was quite generous, allowing passengers to check bags through on separate itineraries should be an absolute no brainer. You want to encourage people to stick within the alliance, and it’s not like airlines have much to gain by inconveniencing passengers and making them visit the baggage carousel during their layover (which becomes especially problematic if someone doesn’t have a visa to visit the country they’re transiting).

Oneworld airlines were of course free to go above and beyond and continue to allow passengers to check bags through on itineraries, though unfortunately most airlines seemed keen to cut this benefit. For example, American and Cathay Pacific quickly adopted this new, stricter, policy.

However, since then we’ve seen some airlines undo this policy. For example, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia once again allow you to check through bags when traveling on separate itineraries. Of course the issue is that you need the cooperation of the airline with which you’re checking in, so this isn’t very helpful if you have an American ticket connecting to a Cathay Pacific ticket, for example.

Well, it looks like another airline is reversing course when it comes to this policy. Per AusBT, as of March 1, 2017, Qatar Airways will once again allow passengers traveling on separate oneworld itineraries to check their bags through.

Qatar-Airways-A380-First-Class-113

This is a common sense change on the part of Qatar Airways, so kudos to them on that. However, this is only so useful if not all airlines are onboard, so here’s to hoping that other oneworld carriers follow along and update their policies as well.

Comments

  1. I will be traveling on Qatar in December from Helsinki to Kuala Lumpur with a connection on Malaysia Airlines to Singapore (on a separate booking) – I called Qatar Singapore office to confirm this and they insist that this is not the case despite citing the austbt article. They insist that this is not guaranteed.

  2. I know the feeling of a paying for a transit visa due to the through checked bags restriction. The worst thing is when the One World airlines refuse to confirm though check bags over the phone and you end up getting a visa you don’t even need because on day of travel the counter agent will check your luggage all the way to your final destination like it’s a normal process.

  3. I just travelled with Qatar JFK-DOH-AMM-TLV where AMM-TLV was on an award, they checked the bags at JFK without any issues till TLV…

  4. CX were more than happy to through check for me last week. I’m sure, depressingly, that BA won’t ever bring this back however….

  5. Just bribe the check-in agent with some chocolate and be friendly. These two things work wonders nowadays.

  6. I had two separate itineraries, all paid travel, all on Qatar, and they would not check bags through for me. They gave several reasons, but I just thought it was crazy. I almost had to get a visa to go collect bags and recheck, but due to a late arriving aircraft, would have missed my flight. I was able, after a long time pushing and not being willing to back down, get someone at the transfer desk to go grab and retag bags. They got on the plane, but then didn’t make the connection, which led to a horrible hour in CAI trying to get them.

  7. Head For Points reports that it was BA which pressed for the original OneWorld restriction, and of course BA has gone even further and refuses to book bags through if you even have separate tickets on BA itself!

    So don’t hold out any hope of BA showing contrition for what was a passenger-inconveniencing move: their stubborn, penny-pinching and arrogant attitude to their customers will again prevail methinks.

  8. Was able to checked in my bags to final destination without any fuss from QR staff in Doha with separate booking.
    DOH-KUL by Qatar Airways (staff rebate ticket id90), KUL-AOR by Malaysia Airlines (normal revenue ticket).

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