Rules for baggage on flights overseas

Q&a

December 10, 2006|By SAN JOSE (CALIF>) MERCURY NEWS

We're flying to Rome. American Airlines has booked us on British Airways from London to Rome. Will we be restricted to one checked bag according to the latter airline's rules?

If your flights have the same record locator, you'll be allowed to travel under American Airlines' international baggage allowance: two checked bags per passenger up to 50 pounds each. This is because British Airways, a code-share partner with American, has agreed to give passengers a more generous baggage allowance on connecting flights.

What's a record locator? It's a six-letter code that airlines use to find your itinerary and baggage claim number. If you made your reservation online, you can find it by going to American's Web site and calling up your itinerary; if you booked over the phone, you should have been sent an electronic receipt.

In this case, you're fine with two bags going to Rome. However, we suggest you call American and ask about your return trip. If you're including a London layover, it's possible you may not be allowed two checked bags from Rome to the United Kingdom.

Can you recommend an Australian vacation for a family that includes two teenage girls who enjoy the beach, hiking and horseback riding?

If it's your first visit, you might want to make Sydney your primary destination and consider side trips to see more of the country.

In Sydney, you can walk across (or climb to the top of) Sydney Harbor Bridge, learn to surf at Bondi Beach, cruise the harbor or visit the Sydney Opera House. If your kids are fascinated by Australian wildlife, there are two animal parks within a 45-minute drive - Koala Park Sanctuary (koalaparksanctuary.com.au) and Featherdale Wildlife Park (featherdale.com.au) - where they can feed a kangaroo or wallaby and cuddle a koala.

Sydney is a great location if you want to venture north toward Brisbane or south toward Melbourne for overnight trips.

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