We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
5 posts
7 reviews
Save Topic
Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

I emailed Qatar Airways concerning an issue I had with their baggage ticketing on international flights. They kindly responded with the following verbatim email statement:

"Baggage tagging : As per procedures, the check in agent will tag the bag to the final International port of entry as reflected in the ticket itinerary. It is required of every passenger to collect their bags at the final port and recheck their bags on domestic carriers after having cleared the bags from the customs hall."

As in our personal case, this requires rechecking bags and paying the additional baggage fees of domestic carriers, not to mention the hassle of carting bags to the connecting airline check-in counter.

Fredericia, Denmark
Level Contributor
37,532 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

Were you travelling on 2 separate tickets?

Spain
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick, Almeria
Level Contributor
7,075 posts
278 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

Normal proceedure if booked on one ticket is that you have to go through immigration, collect your luggage and then take your luggage to the connecting flights desk which is usually close by.

If you are on a single ticket then the bags should be tagged through to your destination but you still have to go through the above proceedure at the point of entry to another country.

Edited: 02 May 2011, 05:46
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
5 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

There appears to be a question as to whether one or two tickets are in play, as if this would make a difference. With respect to Qatar it doesn't appear to be relevant. Their statement reads that bags will be ticketed to the " final International port of entry as reflected on the ticket itinerary." Final international port of entry is the operative phrase not ticket itinerary. Their policy statement further says that..."It is required of every passenger to collect their bags at the final port and recheck their bags on domestic carriers." The phrase "every passenger" seems pretty specific to every passenger "re-checking" bags. I can only interpret this as their policy regardless of whether one is flying on a single or multiple tickets. Maybe there is a difference at times between Qatar practices vs. their policy...or possible class of service. If there is/are a difference(s), I think Qatar is sufficiently intelligent and precise to clarify those differences to eliminate ambiguity. Why perpetuate confusion and misunderstanding? If you remain uncertain, you best ask Qatar and not rely on what you assume to be normal procedure, as I did.

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
37,905 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

RRB1221--you apparently deliberately ignored the question as to whether you were on one ticket or two. My gut feeling it was two. In that case Qatar doesn't owe you anything. Reality is, they may not have the personnel at the airport to redistribute bags. Don't forget on two tickets they are unable to get your bag into the computer system of the second airline. ( why should the second airline allow what amounts to an outside party, be allowed access)

It is understandably upsetting that you have to pay more baggage fees. However, that is the cost of flying today and this should be figured in when budgeting a vacation.

Australia
Level Contributor
375 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

My experience has always been that you have to collect your baggage for customs clearance at the first entry point in a country, regardless of whether you have ongoing travel. On a most recent trip, (Sydney Australia to Edmonton, Canada) my bags were ticketed through to Edmonton, but I had to collect them at Vancouver to clear customs before having them put on the Vancouver/Edmonton flight. Air Canada all the way, no extra changes for re-checking my baggage. But I still had to collect them prior to going through customs. And it was the same on returning home. Customs checks are done as you enter a country, not at some domestic airport within the country.

With low cost carriers, however, even without customs (ie for internal flights in Australia), some LCCs require you to collect and recheck baggage for each connecting leg of a route, regardless of ticketing. And there is a charge each time.

(which is why I fly Virgin or Qantas rather than Jetstar).

As with all inquiries, before you buy your ticket, read the fine print. And then read it again.

Edited: 02 May 2011, 13:32
Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

OP is travelling on 1-ticket DOH-HOU-TPA. QR cannot tag your bags all the way to TPA bcos you have to clear International Arrival customs at HOU as this is your first point of entry into the US. The 2nd leg of yor flight from HOU to TPA is domestic. There will be no customs clearing at Tampa bcos your flight will arrive at the domestic terminal at TPA and there is no customs clearing for domestic.

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
31,308 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

>QR cannot tag your bags all the way to TPA bcos you have to clear International Arrival customs at HOU as this is your first point of entry into the US<

No that's not correct. They CAN tag your bags through to the final destination on the ticket. It's whether they choose to or not that's the question.

Example. Last year I flew BLR-FRA-SFO-PDX, two flights on Lufthansa and the final leg on United. My bag was tagged all the way to PDX. Yes I had to claim it at SFO to clear customs, but immediately after customs I handed over to a United agent and carried on to my gate. No need to check in again.

Also, according to Qatar's baggage page, they explain that when connecting to a UA or AC flight in the US or Canada, your checked baggage allowance is the Qatar allowance and not the lower UA/AC allowance. That points to their checking bags through to the final destination. So I'm guessing the email received by the OP is not correct, or is answering the wrong question.

www.qatarairways.com/global/en/baggage.html

PS - I'm pretty sure QR flies to IAH (Houston Intercontinental) and not HOU (Hobby).

Edited: 02 May 2011, 15:50
Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
6,183 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

oppss... ok... point taken. I had a US domestic flight after an international arrival and I also could not tag my bags all the way to destination. I had to clear customs at my first point of entry. Maybe not all US airports and not all airlines have that facility whereby u can hand over your bags for the next flight after customs?

Spain
Destination Expert
for Travel Gadgets and Gear, New Brunswick, Almeria
Level Contributor
7,075 posts
278 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

In my experience most international airports have some capability for handling luggage for connecting flights on the same airline.

I am wondering if QA has a very generous baggage allowance and will not check bags through due to other airlines complaining abbout ongoing baggage weight??? Pure speculation on my part.

Malaysia
Level Contributor
169 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Beware of Qatar International Baggage Policy

I returned from Auckland last month by Emirates to Kuala Lumpur and connect by Malaysia Airlines for my final destination in Penang. I was on a single ticket and my baggage was tagged through to Penang and my baggage cleared customs at my final destinationation