Check your bags all the way

The last thing you would expect to find on a BoardingArea blog is advice in favor of checking bags. There are many reasons not to do it. For example, if you’re hoping for a last minute schedule change, or you want to get bumped from an oversold flight (for compensation, of course), you will have a tough time if your bags have already been checked through. And, when you arrive at your destination, do you really want to be standing around with the crowds at the luggage carousel?

However, there are times where checking bags makes sense. Maybe you’re flying with a big family and simply have too much stuff to lug around; or maybe you have multiple layovers and you simply don’t want the hassle of worrying about your bags. Whatever your reason, did you know that if you have back to back flights booked on different carriers you can still check your bags all the way through? For example, let’s say you booked a Delta flight to LA and then, separately, booked the next leg of your trip on Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu. When you check your bags at Delta, simply show the ticket agent your full itinerary (including the Hawaiian Airlines part) and asked them to check your bags all the way through. In addition to the convenience factor, you can save some money this way especially if you have status on Delta, or a Delta credit card, that allows you free checked bags. You will find that you won’t be charged for checking bags on the second leg!

Update: Several readers have commented that this trick doesn’t always work. In particular, reader Derek says that this will not work with Southwest Airlines. So, while you can’t count on this always working, if you’re going to check your bags anyway, you might as well ask.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. 1- if you have a lot of luggage then checking is needed.

    2- for the ‘smaller bag trips’ make sure everyone has their 2 bags to carry-on. I also would check my bag on the return leg in preference to the trip out. At least on the return you are not in such a critical situation with clothes that if the bag is lost, you’ve got more time to get it recovered.

  2. This only works where both carriers have an interline agreements AND they actually want to check your bag through.

    I have found that increasingly carriers will not check bags through where the flights are not on a single itinerary regardless whether they actually could do it or not.

    I suspect there are costs involved somewhere that are greater for the first carrier if bags are checked through.

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