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Lacks of OneWorld benefits on some BA fares  

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slalom
(@slalom)
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On a round Europe trip I booked a flight from AMS to LHR through the BA web site.

I booked the lowest cost flight. Higher cost options included increased baggage allowance. I assumed that as an AA EP/Emerald I'd be entitled to a free checked bag.

When I did my on-line check-in, I was prompted to pay for bags. I called the EP desk to make sure my status was correctly set, which it was, and they connected me to the BA "crossover" desk to confirm my entitlement to free checked bags as an emerald flyer (which they did). They were unable to change my check-in to include a free checked bag (I think emeralds get 2, but I only needed 1), but assured me they would fix it at AMS when I checked in.

At AMS, I was informed by the BA agent that I'd purchased a "handbag only" ticket and was not able to check a free bag. I pointed out my status, and that their web site indicated emeralds were entitled to additional free checked bags (so ticket gets you "0", I should be entitled to 1 as an emerald). They refused and after some discussion, I paid a €75 fee for my bag. At online checkin that would have been €50.

Just wanted to post as a warning, particularly since my qualification for a free bag had been confirmed by BA on the phone.

If your ticket is "handbag only" (and I have no recollection of seeing this, only that I didn't want to pay the up charge to check a bag when I booked the flight) Emerald baggage privileges don't apply.

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Posted : May 20, 2017 12:08 pm
Wandering Aramean
(@wandering-aramean)

This is the correct application of the rules for HBO fares. Similar applies on most *A HBO fares, too, FWIW.

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Posted : May 20, 2017 12:40 pm
slalom
(@slalom)
Silver

I'm ok with that, but it wasn't clear when I booked the ticket, nor when I spoke to BA the day before flying. If they had give me correct info, I could have save €25.

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Posted : May 20, 2017 1:18 pm
Wandering Aramean
(@wandering-aramean)

Sounds like you were speaking to AA, not BA. While it would be nice for AA to know the partner carrier's rules I'm not all that surprised they don't.

ETA: Oneworld calls out the HBO rule on its website:

Extra baggage allowance for Emerald frequent flyers
As an Emerald frequent flyer you can check in one additional bag for free in addition to your ticketed baggage allowance when you fly on oneworld airlines. If your ticket mentions a weight allowance, you can check in an extra 20kgs (44lbs). (This benefit is not available on British Airways 'Hand Baggage Only' fares on select short-haul routes.)

On the AA site the mention of extra baggage allowance provides details specifically only for AA metal, "Total of 3 bags on American."

The BA site also explicitly mentions that HBO fares are excluded.

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Posted : May 20, 2017 2:26 pm
HKGExpat
(@hkgexpat)

This is a slippery slope in my opinion. Once ad hoc rules for individual fares start negating the partner carrier benefits, massive devaluation can easily ensue. If OneWorld wants to give itself a clear competitive advantage, they should make it clear in solidarity that elite status benefits ALWAYS trump fare rules that would ordinarily apply to non-elites. This is especially true now that qualification is becoming increasingly revenue based anyway.

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Posted : May 24, 2017 11:53 am
slalom
(@slalom)
Silver

Wandering Aramean, post: 2790387, member: 23 wrote: Sounds like you were speaking to AA, not BA. .

I called the AA EP desk and they connected me to BA, so I was in fact speaking with a BA rep who had full access to my PNR.

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Posted : May 24, 2017 7:27 pm
slalom
(@slalom)
Silver

HKGExpat, post: 2790786, member: 135527 wrote: This is a slippery slope in my opinion.

...I agree...it doesn't make intuitive sense that I should have to pay extra to get the benefit. If the benefit is +1 free bag over the allowance, and the allowance is "0", i should be allowed to check one bag.

If I have to pay more to get 1 free bag, it isn't really free.

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Posted : May 24, 2017 7:48 pm
customdirect
(@customdirect)

Oneworld is not the only alliance that can not seem to provide uniform elite benefits across its airline members. I am traveling on a *A business class award as a UA 1K/*Gold member. Business class is not offered on the second segment on Aer Lingus metal. In spite of my status, I had to pay IE $15.00 pp for advance seat assignments in the single class cabin (I am sure IE Star gold members have access to Economy plus on UA which is an "upgraded product", particularly with an I class ticket). We did not discuss luggage but since my originating flight is on UA, at least I will (likely) not get dinged on our bags.

This is not best practice for either alliance and not good for business as well.

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Posted : May 24, 2017 9:38 pm
UncleDude
(@uncledude)

At least OneWorld give award access in First Class [although sometimes limited] Unlike Star where Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines..do their own thing. Also various Star Airlines i.e Thai also restrict First Class Lounge access to Top Tier Star Members.

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Posted : May 25, 2017 4:01 am
MSPeconomist
(@mspeconomist)

customdirect, post: 2790848, member: 213675 wrote: Oneworld is not the only alliance that can not seem to provide uniform elite benefits across its airline members. I am traveling on a *A business class award as a UA 1K/*Gold member. Business class is not offered on the second segment on Aer Lingus metal. In spite of my status, I had to pay IE $15.00 pp for advance seat assignments in the single class cabin (I am sure IE Star gold members have access to Economy plus on UA which is an "upgraded product", particularly with an I class ticket). We did not discuss luggage but since my originating flight is on UA, at least I will (likely) not get dinged on our bags.

This is not best practice for either alliance and not good for business as well.

This situation is somewhat different as Aer Lingus isn't a member of *A, although they're apparently a redemption partner for award tickets using UA miles. It's as if you had purchased a ticket from UA using an airline with which UA interlines, so that UA is effectively acting as your travel agent.

Your UA status doesn't matter unless you are flying on a *A member or there's some explicit bilateral partnership with UA that has provisions to recognize UA (rather than *A) status.

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Posted : August 17, 2017 11:56 am