Baggage Check-In Times Part Deux

American, Baggage, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, Northwest, United, US Airways

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.

Airline 45 60 90 120 180 195
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        
Northwest (Website)   Default        
United (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.

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4 comments on “Baggage Check-In Times Part Deux

  1. Bogotá situation is simple…

    You have to pass to at least 5 security checks mainly for control of drug trafficking. By the way the table is incorrect ALL airlines in Bogotá or flying from Colombian cities to US or Mexico require no less than 2 hours for check in, Being American Airlines the sticklers to the rule.

  2. Sorry Robert, but the table is correct. Follow the links in the post to see from where the information came.

  3. Just an FYI that experienced travelers are probably aware of, but lines just to get your baggage checked can be horrendous.

    I arrived more than 75 minutes before my flight on United at LAX only to discover a line that stretched for a half a block OUTSIDE the building. And this was on an ordinary weekday. When I got to the head of the line, they told me I missed the 45 minute cutoff by 2 minutes.

    They charged me $75 each for a confirmed reservation on a flight 3 hours later. I am disputing the charge on my credit card, because it was their fault they had inadequate facilities for the traffic and had not notified us of the 45 minute cutoff.

  4. Yes… tables are correct… however reality is quite different.

    All airlines flying from Bogota requires not less than 2 hours for check in being Delta the only that requires 3 hours…

    I spoke with a friend that works for Delta security in el Dorado Airport (Bogota) and he explained to me that the 3 hour rules is to prevent delays on the flight due to the very common practice of Colombia drug enforcing agency to open the bags in front of the traveler to conduct inspections… this historically led to a lot of people being late to boarding, flights taking quite late than what was expected and worst people being denied boarding because the inspection…

    My suggestion… do not take in consideration this tables when you flight internationally… this means nothing particularly because reality in this countries is not ruled by any website.

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