A LoyaltyLobby reader dropped me an email today on an issue he was having with Iberia, who refused to check his bag through Hong Kong when flying on separate tickets.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I just when to the airpor at VLC to MAD with Iberia then I have flight in a separate ticket MAD-DOH-HKG with Qatar and Iberia refused to check in my baggage till HKG even flying in business class and I am Iberia Platino (OW emerald) of course I have call the Platino customer care phone number and the lady said that recently OW have a meeting and decide to stop check-in baggage for flights with separated tickets and without any notification to OW members!!!! can you believe it ???
Do you have any info about ? so for what there is an airline alliance ?????? Thanks God I had 90 min at MAD to get my bags and then check-in again at QR counter I still astonished really cannot believe it. Please I need your advise because I have my return flight same way HKG-MAD with QR and then MAD-VLC with IB ans at the return only I have 60 min between flights and there is no time to wait for luggage and check-in it again !!!! I’m really angry with the situation there is something I can do????
It is very unfortunate that this is true. Airlines don’t like when you fly on separate tickets. Sebastian covered this on a recent piece here.
You may have bought a nicely priced Qatar Airways fare from Madrid to Hong Kong and the price from VLC would have been much higher. Many discounted fares (even business class ones) don’t allow add-ons.
In the past, airlines didn’t have any issues checking your bag through to other airlines as long as they had an agreement in place to do this. It didn’t matter even when the airlines belonged to different alliances.
This has now slowly changed. Airlines are simply trying to extort as much money from the travelers as they can and the internet has made comparing prices much easier than what it used to be in the past.
I do continue flying on separate tickets, but I leave plenty of time between flights or arrive the night before in case of complicated itineraries. I don’t usually buy short-haul flights long in advance just in case there are re-timings on long-haul ones that would lead to missed connections and having to throwaway tickets.
There is nothing stopping Qatar Airways through checking his bag in Hong Kong all the way to Valencia Airport and they may do it. If they don’t, the reader’s only option is to purchase another flight for the MAD-VLC segment. This is probably a very good use of British Airways or Iberia Plus Avios as it is a short flight.