Nor does it require member airlines to protect each other’s passengers in the event of a missed connection.
The new policy states that “all member airlines are expected to check in passengers and their baggage to their ultimate destination on multi-sector journeys across the oneworld network, wherever possible, when all sectors are ticketed under the same booking/PNR.”
If a passenger is flying from Sydney to Singapore on Qantas and from Singapore to London on British Airways on a single PNR, for example, Qantas will tag the bags for London and British Airways will accept the bags. But if the two flights are booked on separate PNRs, either carrier can opt out.
But the fact that the new policy will not necessarily apply across the board—some member carriers may choose to do more for passengers than is required—could create some confusion.
And the member airlines are not exactly broadcasting the fact that passengers may have to adjust their behavior.
Cathay Pacific’s CXAgents site says: “With effect from 01 Jun 2016, all oneworld carriers have agreed that through check-in will apply ONLY to passengers travelling on an oneworld itinerary ticketed on a single ticket or where segments are ticketed separately but in the same PNR record.
“To align with the change, disruption policy will also be revised to exclude protection for passengers holding separate tickets that is not booked under the same PNR.”
But announcements on other member carriers’ websites are either hard to find or not present, and the news is being disseminated largely through forums like FlyerTalk.
The Star Alliance and SkyTeam adopted similar policies years ago.