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Connecting With Star Alliance Members  
User currently offlinenovak500 From Canada, joined Dec 2007, 68 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5418 times:

Hello,

First off, just got back from an amazing trip to Spain and wanted to thank those who helped with answers to some non-aviation questions I've had a long the way.

My question this time is in regards to my flight from Toronto to Malaga, connection through Brussels.

I booked my tickets through Air Canada and flew Air Canada (Flight AC832) to Brussels where I connected to a Brussels Airline flight (SN3735) with a AC code-share flight number of AC6350 to Malaga. I booked this iteneriary as with past expereicnes when I've booked with "Alliance" partner airlines the trip has been easy and I get all my boarding passes when I check in at Toronto for my connections. I flew direct home from Madrid so no issues there.

When I did check in this time I only received boarding passes for the Toronto-Brussels segment and was told I would need to check-in in Brussels for the connection to Malaga, although the bags where checked through to Malaga. I asked her to double check and she said she was not able to print passes for the BRU-AGP segment, even though it was a code share. I mentioned Brussels Airlines was a Star Alliance member (and I was suprised when she said she never heard of them) but she said she could not do it.

Once through security I asked again at the AC customer service desk, they had never heard of Brussels Airlines either and I got the same answer about having to check-in in Brussels.

I might be way off here, but I thought (and its been my experence-albeit with OneWorld) that if I bought a ticket, which had a code-share segment with an "Alliance" partner airline I could check-in all the way through to my destination?

This probably would have been less of an issue but the flight to Brussels was 2 hours delayed in departing due to an mech issue with the aircraft (I do give AC full credit for getting us on our way in 2 hours given we were boarding when they told us of the mech issue and they were changing planes) but it made for a mad-scramble through Brussels to find the right counter, check-in and make the gate, which we did.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1030 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5403 times:

I'm not sure if this would be the reason for your issue, but I almost had a similar issue when checking in for an itinerary that involved a connection from United to Lufthansa at SFO. When I checked in online on united.com it would only give me a boarding pass for the United flight, and lufthansa.com wouldn't let me check in for the other flights, either. When I went to check my bags at the airport I asked the agent if she could check me in for my Lufthansa flights. She started to tell me I would have to check in with Lufthansa at SFO, but another agent overheard and said "Oh, I think I might know what the problem is." As it turned out, since my final destination was India Lufthansa want an agent to verify that I had a visa to enter India before I could check in. She entered my visa information and gave me boarding passes for all my flights.

Like I said, I don't know if that would be the problem you had, since I kind of doubt Canadians need a visa to enter Spain, unless Brussels Airlines has some sort of blanket policy for all international passengers.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25381 posts, RR: 49
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5403 times:

No through-check is not always possible amongst partner airlines code-share or not.

For example flew a few recent trips in Europe, and Turkish as unable to check-in for a Swiss connections, while United could not check-in for a THY connection.

Even between the US and Canada, United is not always able to assign you a seat let alone check you in for a connecting Air Canada service.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinenovak500 From Canada, joined Dec 2007, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5394 times:

That's good to know, guess I have just been lucky in the past. Next time I book in this type of senerio I'll check to see if I can check-in to destination in advance.


Although, how do the bags get checked through to the final destination if I cannot?


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25381 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5392 times:

Interlinening a bag is something totally different then actually checking a passenger in. The process of tagging a bag to your connecting flight simply means forwarding your back to the second airline, who then would accept it and transport it once you get checked in.

There really is no simple way to check on whom can through check to whom within alliances, as even partners that can - eg United - Air Canada will have issues when a partners flight is on not open for check in, is suspended or hold in the reservations system.
A good example was a trip I had on AA/CX earlier in the summer. AA could check me in for my second CX leg, but not the first one as the flight was not open for checkin in the system. Another time a flight was open, but all the seats were blocked off which essentially made it impossible to check people in.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1871 posts, RR: 41
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5378 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting novak500 (Reply 3):

Although, how do the bags get checked through to the final destination if I cannot?

From what I understand is that you are actually checked in to the final destination, and your luggage is tagged all the way there, but the printing of the boarding card might be an issue. I see this a lot of times every week on Star Alliance connections.



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2429 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5299 times:

I am from the business and I know a little bit of SN and *Alliance...

Quoting novak500 (Thread starter):
but I thought (and its been my experence-albeit with OneWorld) that if I bought a ticket, which had a code-share segment with an "Alliance" partner airline I could check-in all the way through to my destination?
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 5):
I see this a lot of times every week on Star Alliance connections.



Both you are right! Well, nearly every *Alliance airline I am working with is using their own in-house system or is using the in-house system of the ground handling company in charge. If these systems are not linked or not correctly configuered, a complete "through" check-in might be not possible (on top of other problems, like API & Visa data etc.!).


User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3068 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5293 times:

Many alliance members will check you all the way, but sometimes they just can't.

For instance, I recently flew EVE-OSL-FRA-BKK-PER. This was on 3 different Star alliance airlines, but on one ticket (bought with frequent flyer points). SAS was able to provide boarding passes all the way to BKK and check my baggage in all the way. The reason is that arrival into Australia requires the system to check visa details. In my case, SAS check-in couldn't do that, so it would check me in as far as possible.

This is just one of many reasons why an airline wouldn't be able to check a passenger all the way. There are plenty of others. But as long as baggage is checked all the way through, I see this as a non-issue really, as all you have to do is check-in at a transfer point, which usually means you don't have to go through immigration (so it is quick and easy).

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 709 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5261 times:

I've had the same issue with US/UA flights where they can't check you through on each others codeshare flights, I missed a flight once because of this problem. Does seem to undermine one of the oft quoted benefits of an alliance that it makes the travel process simpler for the traveler. I don't know why but *A seems to have this issue far more than Skyteam, can't speak for OW.

User currently offlinenovak500 From Canada, joined Dec 2007, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5243 times:

So do airlline alliances provide any consitant benefits for consumers?

User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1360 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5210 times:

I guess this is just because of different systems. On very long trips it may also be because check in hasn't opended for some connectig flights (i.e. you fly from Dubai to Honolulu via Germany and LAX or something, then the LAX-HNL may still not be opened for check in). But in any case, is this such a big deal? I mean there are transfer counters in the transit area, or you may just go to the gate and get it there. There is usually no need to exit the transit area anf check in landside... I do understand its easiert to have all the passes since the beginning, but as long as your bag is checked through I don't see it as a problem...

There are by the way some similar issues with other things: I.e. lets say you book a ticket FRA-ZRH-MIA and MIA-FRA. it's a LH ticket and all flights have LH flight numbers. ZRH-MIA is operated by LX. Then you will not be able able to do some advanced seat reservation, as LX and LH's reservation system don't work together in this matter... You would be able to do this ig the ZRH-MIA was booked under LX flight number, but then you would get a very high price.... And this even though their the same company. Crazy, isn't it?


User currently offlineCoal From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2049 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5100 times:

I had a similar experience before. I checked in at SIN and SQ printed boarding passes for me for SIN-TPE-LAX on SQ as well as LAX-CLT-TLH on US. On the return, US would only print boarding passes for MIA-PHX-LAX and I was told I would have to check in at LAX for the SQ flight back. The bag was tagged all the way through though. I wonder if this had anything to do with clearing docs at check in for the int'l flight?

Cheers
Coal



Nxt Flts: VA SYD-CBR-SYD | QF SYD-DFW | AA DFW-TLH-MIA-DFW | QF DFW-SYD
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