Etihad Airways has become the latest airline to stop the through check of passengers and luggage travelling on separate tickets. In a note to travel agents, Etihad writes:
Effective 1st of February 2017, guests who are travelling on separate PNR(s) as a result of purchasing separate ticket(s) are not eligible for through check-in to their final destination, neither shall their baggage be through tagged to final destination. This policy applies to all EY to EY, EY to EY Partners and EY to Other Airlines (OAL) flights, and effective for tickets issued on/after February 1.
Please note the following:
· Baggage would be checked in to the final destination of the PNR/ticket containing the applicable flight for which the guest has presented themselves.
· Guests are advised that they must collect any baggage, clear Immigration and Customs and re-check their bags in locally for any onward flight on a separate ticket.
· Guests must have the appropriate travel documents to enter the country at the respective transfer point. Any guest who does not have the appropriate travel documents to enter the country at the transfer airport shall be denied travel.
Note: Etihad shall not be responsible for the repatriation and associated costs and/or interim expenses for any guest who fails to collect their baggage at the transfer point and chooses to continue their journey without it.
Etihad joins a number of airlines that have stopped the practice of through check on separate tickets. Last year, oneWorld removed a policy requiring oneWorld members to through check on oneWorld airlines. A number of oneWorld airlines have now ceased through check to other airlines.
However, Etihad have gone a step further than many airlines by stopping through check on even its own services. A number of airlines, such as Qantas, have retained through check when connecting to one of their own services.
In many cases the ability to through check can eliminate the need for Visas in intermediate countries. Under the new rules, you will need to have the appropriate documentation for the country that you are transitting. This may be a significant consideration for some travellers.