What happens with missed connections if flying Qantas then American Airlines?

I have an award fare with Qantas (SYD-LAX). If I buy a cash fare with American (LAX-ORD) and the Qantas flight is delayed such that I miss the AA flight, what happens?

Qantas’ AA partnership page says:

If you missed a connection due to the late arrival of your aircraft, the delivering carrier is responsible for ensuring you make your final destination.

Who’s the “delivering carrier” in this situation?

If the flights are on separate itineraries, you are not protected if the first flight delays and you miss the second flight.

Hey @Quixic , I did this EXACT itinerary a few weeks ago! I booked an award ticket for the SYD-LAX leg and then I had to purchase the flight to ORD separately. I choose the 11am departure out of LAX to give me around 4 hours of transit time (QF11 arrives at around 7). If everything goes to plan that gives you quite a bit of time in LAX to comfortably sort yourselves out (recheck luggage at the transit counter, get boarding passes, etc). I would say I would’ve still been pretty calm if there was a 1-2 hour delay.

I was definitely not protected though, so AA didn’t know I was coming off a QF flight and they definitely would’ve left without me if there was a major delay. However, one silver lining is that AA has a really flexible flights change policy. As long as you book Main Cabin or higher, you should be able to at least standby or even change to a later flight online within 24 hours of departure if there is space. So, if your flight gets delayed by a lot, you could try and change to a later flight for peace of mind while you are still on Australian soil. Hope that helps!