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.
Last updated on October 28th, 2011