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Briefs:  UA changes checked bag rules; AA adds Caribbean partner

In news of U.S. airlines, United has cut back on the number of free checked bags it allows for first and business class customers; American adds an interline partner for Caribbean connections at San Juan; and Alaska draws down a frequent flier deal with Icelandair.

• United passengers flying in first and business class are facing new rules for checked luggage. The free checked bag allowance has been reduced from three pieces to two for United Global First and United First passengers on domestic flights; and for United BusinessFirst and United Business flyers on domestic and international trips. However, members of MileagePlus who hold Premier Gold status or higher will still receive an allowance of three free checked bags. United said the change aligns its policies with those of its partner carriers and competitors.

• St. Croix-based Seaborne Airlines said it has kicked off a new interline agreement with American Airlines for passengers connecting between the two at San Juan, Puerto Rico. Baggage transfers between the two are now automatic, “and soon, all Seaborne flights will be displayed and sold on AA.com as part of this new arrangement,” Seaborne said. Seaborne flies from SJU to Vieques, Puerto Rico; to St. Croix and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and to Tortola and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands. In April, it will add service from San Juan to the islands of Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. It has a fleet of 17-seat Twin Otters and 34-seat Saab turboprops.

• Alaska Airlines said it will end its frequent flyer partnership with Icelandair effective June 1. Travelers will no longer earn credit in Alaska’s Mileage Plan for Icelandair flights purchased on or after June 1; Mileage Plan members can still book award travel on Icelandair through May 31, for travel through the end of February 2014.

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