As promised, here’s how those same airlines from yesterday fare when it comes to international baggage check-in times (except Southwest, which doesn’t fly internationally). The situation here is much cleaner than domestic.
As you can see, most airlines say you must check bags 60 minutes prior to departure regardless of airport. United gets the gold star for actually have a flat 45 minute rule instead. And then there’s Delta.
Delta easily gets the award for most painful rules here. They actually have five different times here, and two of the airports (Bogotá and Nassau) have different rules depending upon whether you use the contract of carriage or the website. Ugh. Why does Delta require two (or three) hours in Bogotá when American only requires 1 hour? No idea. This should really be cleaned up.
|American (Conditions of Carriage)||Default|
|Continental (Contract of Carriage/Website)||Default|
|Delta (Contract of Carriage)||Default||OTP||ACC, BOG, NAS, PLS, UVF||SVO||IST|
|Delta (Website)||Default||OTP||ACC, PLS, UVF||BOG, NAS, SVO||IST|
|JetBlue (Contract of Carriage/Website)||Default|
|US Airways (Website)||Default|
- If you don’t know these airport codes, you can look them up here.
- Anything that is bold in the table means that the airline has differing rules for that airport on its website when compared to its contract of carriage. I would recommend obeying the more strict of the two, but if you find yourself stuck, you can try to fight for compensation from customer relations after the fact. (You’ll never get anything resolved at the airport.)
- International travel includes all flights going from the US to another country or vice versa. Flights between the US and Canada do not count as international.
- American and Northwest are the two airlines for which I could not find the contract of carriage. American has their conditions of carriage, but Northwest has nothing for international other than guidelines on the website.
- Neither United nor US Airways actually specify this information in their contract of carriage. It looks like United just forgot to include international information in their combined Domestic/International tariff.
Whew. I’m glad I’m done with this exercise.