Last summer the oneWorld Alliance stopped to permit passengers on separate tickets to through-check their baggage to the next carrier, a rule that Qatar Airways will now depart from.
According to the Australian Business Traveler (ABT) Qatar Airways will permit through-check again effective March 1st 2017 which makes life much easier for many passengers.
When oneWorld came out with this rule it automatically created headache for passengers who sometimes or on a regular basis travel on separate tickets (we wrote about it here).
Qatar Airways operates many international routes worldwide including (obviously) from the Middle East and Africa where passengers often carry plenty of baggage.
The airline already created their own way of circumventing the oneWorld Rules in regards to lounge access in Doha where they created separate lounges which they named Business Class Lounge and First Class Lounge to adhere to the oneWorld rule-book wording while having their real Business & First Class under separate names (Al Mourjan & Al Safwa) with no access for oneWorld status customers on Economy Tickets at all.
Now with the new baggage rules the folks at Australian Business Traveler (ABT) got info from Qatar Airways that the airline will abandon that restriction effective March 1st 2017. You can follow their entire article here.
… An update to the airline’s ground services manual issued on February 23 and sighted by Australian Business Traveller instructs that even under seperate tickets baggage can be through-checked for Qatar Airways and Oneworld member airlines as long as the MCT is adhered to.
A spokesperson for Qatar Airways confirmed the change to Australian Business Traveller, saying the new rules would take effect from March 1.
“Qatar Airways is pleased to offer passengers the courtesy of through-check of themselves and their bags to their final destination when travelling on multi-sector journeys involving connections onto other Oneworld member airlines, even when the trip is booked using separate tickets.”
But it won’t necessarily work on the other way, such as a return journey which starts on another oneWorld member before connecting to a Qatar Airways flight.
“Customers should note that through-check may not be possible on their return journey if their trip starts with another (Oneworld) airline that does not provide the same level of service,” the spokesperson added.
Keep in mind that one the issues when interlining baggage is the liability on the part of the airlines when it comes to missing or damaged baggage which was likely one of the reasons why oneWorld pulled the handle on the longstanding practice that customers were permitted to interline their bags across tickets and airlines.
As mentioned even though Qatar Airways will start to offer the service again, this might likely not be the case when your trip starts with another airline.
Qatar Airways – British Airways = OK
British Airways – Qatar Airways = NOT OK
I’m not sure for how many problems this practice accounts for but it’s not a very customer oriented solution from a worldwide alliance. If they have problems with baggage then they should either train their ground personell to a) inspect baggage at check-in and make passengers sign the baggage release form as well as b) monitor their baggage handling staff to make sure they treat the passengers property more carefully.
oneWorld should realize that the point of having the alliance is for passengers to have a more convenient and seamless travel experience. Interlining to non-alliance airlines is a bit of a stretch even though I have done that before as well but the baggage forwarding within the same alliance should be the absolute minimum.
Good that Qatar Airways decided to do the right thing here (for once) and that customers will be able to fly on multiple tickets again without having baggage issues.