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My itinerary:

  1. UA: Indianapolis -> Newark (operated by ExpressJet). Flight# UA**
  2. ANA: Newark -> Tokyo (operated by UA). Flight# NH**
  3. VNA: Tokyo -> Hanoi. Flight# VN**

ANA policy allows 2 free checked bags, but UA baggage calculator shows that I'll have to pay $100 for my 2nd checked bag. I tried calling UA customer service and was told they have recently changed their policy. The rep however was unable to point me to the document announcing said change.

However the information here says that the Most Significant (marketing) Carrier policy will override other carriers', which means only ANA policy will apply to my itinerary.

Am I missing something? Can I use this information to fight with them at the counter when I'm actually flying? This is a big deal because my family are flying together and it may cost us over $300 on checked baggage.

EDIT: added flight numbers.

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Your linked rule, talking about the Most Significant Carrier, says "In case of code share flights this will be the Operating Carrier, unless that carrier publishes a rule stipulating that it will be the Marketing Carrier". Doesn't that mean your MSC is UA? –  DJClayworth May 29 '13 at 20:53
In my tickets, it does not say anywhere that UA is the Marketing Carrier (MC). Unless UA has a rule that it is the MC on any flight it operates, that I'm not aware of. –  hellocrowley May 29 '13 at 21:56
@hellocrowley The marketing carrier is simply the airline whose flight number is on your ticket. The operating carrier is the airline whose plane you will physically board. For example, United 880 flies NRT-HNL; United is the operating carrier. If your ticket says UA880, United is also the marketing carrier. If it says OZ6604, then Asiana is the marketing carrier. For US6476 it is US Airways, for NH7024 ANA, etc. –  choster May 29 '13 at 22:28
If you bought your ticket through ANA you have a grace period from this policy if you check in online from June 1 to September. –  Karlson May 29 '13 at 23:05
@choster I've added more flight details to my question. Thanks for the help so far. –  hellocrowley May 29 '13 at 23:56

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

United Does honor IATA Resolution 302. Simple as that.

Where you are going wrong is confusing marketing carrier and operating carrier.

Your flight from Newark to Tokyo may have a ANA flight number, but it's operated by United, and when it comes to baggage (including IATA 302), it's the operating carrier that is important.

Under IATA 302, the airline that flies you Newark to Tokyo is the Most Significant Carrier, and thus it is their baggage rules that apply.

United has recently changed many of their international baggage charges, and from the 1st of June, for flights from the US to Japan, the first bag is free, whilst the second bag is $100 (presuming you do not have United/Star Alliance status). It is these rules that apply for your flight, not those of the marketing carrier (ANA).

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aha, saw the question earlier and was all "why hasn't Doc answered this yet" ;) –  Mark Mayo May 30 '13 at 1:19
Upon reading Resolution 302 again, I think you're right. Most Significant Carrier (MSC). (In case of code share flights this will be the Operating Carrier, unless that carrier publishes a rule stipulating that it will be the Marketing Carrier). I should have done my research better. I bought this ticket because I have two acoustic guitars whose boxes exceed 61", which ANA allows :( –  hellocrowley May 30 '13 at 1:27

UA Baggage Rules do apply but the reasons offered by the "accepted" answer are incorrect. Res302 doesn't apply to your journey. For journeys beginning or ending in the USA, the USDoT regulations take precedence over IATA Res302.

USDoT requires that the first marketing carrier's baggage policy is applied. In this case, that's segment 1 of the journey, Indianapolis to Newark, marketed by UA. From their website, it looks like UA policy is the default FMC rule. (Some carriers have a MSC policy).

The process to work out which carrier's baggage rules apply to your journey is:

  1. determine applicable regulations (USDOT, CTA, RES302)
  2. the first marketing carrier decides whose baggage rules to use (based on MSC or FMC)
  3. that carrier's baggage rules apply to the whole Journey
  4. if there is a stop of greater than 24 hours on the ticket, subsequent segments are charged as a separate Journey
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Care to add references to the regulations you are citing? –  JoErNanO 2 days ago

The new baggage policy implemented by the airlines are a nightmare. In this case where you depart from IND TO EWR on UA, and then from EWR to TYO, the US DOT made a ruling that when a carrier starts a journey that carriers bagggae allowance applies to/from the USA for his complete journey. Therefore, UA applied the correct procedures, and the regulators is to be blamed for a bad ruling.

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