Do I have to collect/recheck baggage on connecting flights? (2023)

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Understanding whether you'll need to pick up checked baggage while connecting can be difficult, especially if you're new to flying. This is because sometimes you will need to collect your luggage and other times your luggage will be moved automatically.

This is affected by many factors, such as whether you are connecting in another country, whether that country requires all arriving passengers to recheck baggage, whether you have purchased both flight segments in one ticket, and whether both airlines have inter-line flights. . contract.

In this article, we will explain what happens to your baggage on connecting flights, so that you know at which stops you will need to recheck your baggage and at which stops your baggage will be automatically transferred.

Quick guide: Will I have to collect (re-check in) my baggage on a connecting flight?

  • Domestic flights + single ticket:Your checked baggage will be moved automatically, even if you are traveling with different airlines.
  • Domestic flights + booked separately:Your checked baggage will most likely need to be checked in again*, unless both airlines you fly have an inter-airline agreement.
  • International flights + single ticket:The probability that your baggage will be sent automatically, even with different airlines, is 70/30, depending on the country you are flying to.
  • International flights + booked separately:You will most likely have to check your baggage again every time you connect.

*Rechecked baggage means picking up checked baggage at the connecting airport, going through customs and immigration, and then checking it back in for your next flight.

Tip: remember to check your checked baggage tag

When checking in your baggage at the check-in counter,Look at the tag that the airline employee puts on your bag. He'll tell you where the bag is going.If you are going to a connecting country/airport, you will need to re-check in your baggage there. If you go to your final destination, you won't have to check your baggage again. This is the most accurate way to find out if you will need to recheck your baggage or not.

If you are unsure, you can ask the clerk at the check-in counter or call the airline before going to the airport. Some airlines also allow a brief baggage check if you ask for it, which basically means you'll have to check your bags again. This is useful if you want to access your checked baggage during a layover.

When will your baggage be automatically transferred to connecting international flights?

1. Both flights are booked on the same ticket

If you are traveling from one destination to another but have a layover en route and both flights are on the same ticket (i.e. you bought them in one purchase, possibly through a broker), your bags will likely be screened all the way to your destination final goal.

This means you won't have to worry about picking up your baggage from the carousel and having to check it in again. You can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

2. Flights are booked with different airlines, but both airlines have an interline agreement

Do I have to collect/recheck baggage on connecting flights? (1)

Iinterlinear agreementIt is an agreement between two airlines that decide to form a partnership. It allows passengers to book routes with multiple airlines (including connecting flights) without having to book each one separately. For example, if you were to book an American Airlines flight to an airport where American Airlines does not operate, you would most likely be offered a connecting flight somewhere where the first or second flight would be operated by American Airlines and the others by a partner airline such as Delta or United.

If two airlines have an interline agreement, this means that the first leg airline will automatically recheck the baggage of the partner airline.This means that travelers booking tickets with airlines that have an interlining agreement only need to check in once for all flights in their trip, and their baggage will be automatically handed over to the other airline.

So how do you know if both airlines have reciprocal agreements? Well, if you booked both flights on the same website and they have the same ticket, then they have an interlining agreement. But other than that, there's really no easy way to tell unless you google both airlines + "interliner" and do all the research yourself.

Sometimes, even for two flights with different airlines that have been booked separately, the checked baggage is automatically carried to the final destination because both airlines had interlining agreements that you were not aware of.

When will you need to collect (re-check in) your baggage on connecting international flights?

1. Each flight is booked separately and the airlines do not have an interline agreement

If you fly with different airlines with different tickets (i.e. each flight was booked separately), there is a high probability that your baggage will not be handed over automatically and you will have to do it yourself. Apart from a minor inconvenience, re-checking your baggage yourself is not that difficult.

if hethe scale is quite long(3 hours or more), you may not be able to check in right away as the check-in desk may still be closed. In this case, you can take a tour of the airport or grab a quick snack.

Once the check-in counter opens, all you need to do is check inleave your bags, collect your boarding pass, go through security and wait to board your plane at the gate, just like on your first flight.

2. The connecting country needs customs clearance

If you are traveling abroad and the connecting country requires customs clearance, you will need to leave the plane, collect your baggage, clear customs and then recheck your baggage. It's a bit tricky, especially since you just want to rest before your next flight, but it's a requirement, so there's no escaping it.

This requirement exists because some countries want to ensure that all arriving passengers do not bring anything illegal with them. Even those who do not leave the airport and came there only for a short transfer. This means you need to do some research to find out what types of items are illegal in your country. For example, most countries will not allow plants, fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, certain types of knives and certain dangerous goods to be brought in. Your checked baggage will be scanned for these items during customs and immigration.

For example, if you are flying overseas and arrive in the United States on a connecting flight to another destination in the US, you will need to recheck your baggage the first time you land in the US. However , different rules apply in each country .

They are heresome countrieswhich require arriving passengers to re-check their baggage on the first landing, even if it's just a connection:

  • United States
  • You have
  • Mexico
  • Europe (all EU countries are considered as one whole in this respect, so only when entering and leaving the EU)
  • Philippines

3. The next airport on your route does not have customs clearance

Sometimes, especially when flying to less popular airports, you will need to check your baggage again on your last connection. This only happens if the last airport you arrive at is not cleared through customs, so you will have to go through it at the previous airport.

For example, if you were flying to New York (USA)– Amsterdam (Holland) – Girona(AA small Spanish airport with no customs clearance near Barcelona), you will have to check your baggage againAmsterdam, WhyGeronaIt has no customs facilities. However, if you were flyingNew York (USA) - Amsterdam (Netherlands) - Barcelona (Spain)you will not have to check in your baggage againAmsterdam, WhyBarcelonaIt has customs facilities.

(Guide) How to recheck your baggage during a layover

Do I have to collect/recheck baggage on connecting flights? (2)

If your baggage is not handed over automatically, collecting it in your connecting country and checking in again is not that difficult. The process usually goes like this:

  1. Upon arrival at your transfer destination, you will need to collect your checked baggage at the airport at a designated location. You won't be able to miss it as airline staff won't let you wander around the airport without checking your luggage first.
  2. With checked baggage, you will have to go through customs and immigration. You will need to show them your passport and they will check your luggage for items that may be illegal to bring into this country, such as meat, eggs, milk, fruit, vegetables and illegal items.
  3. Sometimes airports have a dedicated security check area where you will simply leave your luggage immediately after customs clearance.
  4. At other airports, you will have to recheck your baggage manually by queuing at the check-in counters. If there are more than two hours left until your next flight, you will probably have to wait until the check-in desks for your next flight open. If that's the case, I hope you packed a good book. Grab a coffee or snack, find a seat, and be prepared to wait for the flight to open for check-in.
  5. After opening the check-in counter,leave your bagsand collect your boarding pass.
  6. PassSecurity controlas usual.
  7. Go to your gate and wait for boarding to begin.

Read on: Can I leave the airport during the layover?

Frequently asked questions about the new baggage check

What happens to baggage on connecting flights with the same airline?

Unless your connecting flight is in a country that requires all passengers to clear customs and immigration, your checked baggage will automatically be carried over to your next flight. Some countries, such as the United States, require international passengers to go through immigration and customs control on their first landing, even on connecting flights.

What happens to baggage on connecting flights with different airlines?

This depends on whether you bought both flights in the same booking. If so, the airline most likely has an interline agreement, which means your baggage will be automatically carried over to your next flight and you won't have to check it in again. However, if you have purchased both flights separately on different bookings, you will most likely need to check your bags again at the connecting airport, unless both airlines have an interline agreement. There is no other way to really know if this is the case than to call the airline directly.

Will I have to recheck my baggage on domestic flights?

On most connecting domestic flights, there is no need to recheck your baggage. If you have booked both flights in one booking, your baggage will always be taken to your final destination. If they were purchased separately, you will most likely have to check your baggage again at the connecting airport.

What happens to baggage on international flights with a domestic connection?

If you are flying to another country and then have a stopover on a domestic flight to another airport, you will most likely need to check your checked baggage again when you arrive at your destination country. For example, if you were flyingNew York, USA - Barcelona, ​​​​Spain - Girona, Spain, then you will have to re-check in your baggageBarcelona, ​​​​Spain. This is because most countries require all arriving passengers to clear customs and immigration when first landing in the country, even if it's just a connection.

Do I have to pay a baggage recheck fee?

In general, you should not pay extra fees to re-register baggage while connected. If you have purchased flights within the same booking and have already paid the checked baggage fees for both flights, or if the checked baggage is free, no additional fee should be charged.

The only case where you would have to pay is if you bought checked baggage for the first leg of your flight and you forgot to buy checked baggage for the second leg. In this case, you will need to purchase additional baggage when checking in again at the airport, and the cost of last-minute checked-in baggage is usually slightly higher compared to buying baggage online.

What is the difference between a transit, a connecting flight, a connecting flight or a connecting flight?

Transit, transfer, layover and layover are terms used to describe a connecting flight with two or more flights and a stopover in between.

Transit and transfers usually involve short connections between 30 m and 4 hours. The only difference is that in transit you get off and fly on the same flight, and in case of transfer you transfer to a new plane (or maybe even a different airline).

Stopovers and connecting flights are generally long connections on connecting flights, lasting from 4 to 24 hours. Ladder refers to a connection slightly longer than the scale, but there is no distinction as to when exactly this happens. Stopovers are usually only a few hours long, and the term transfer is used to describe overnight transfers where you have to spend the night at the airport.

Read on: Airport Travel Terminology 101: The Complete Guide

What is the minimum parking time when traveling with checked baggage?

The absolute minimum time needed for a short connection is 30 minutes for domestic flights and 60 minutes for international flights. This means you'll arrive on time, you won't have to check your baggage again, and customs and security lines will be short enough.

That being said, I never book flights with such short connections. I recommend booking connecting flights 2 hours for domestic flights and 3 hours for domestic flightsinternational flights. Most people who travel frequentlyI generally agree with this principle., and some even prefer to add an extra hour to the stopover.

You should reserve more time for connecting flights as planes will often be delayed by 20-60 minutes. From personal experience, I can confidently say that this happens maybe once every four flights. In addition, sometimes you may encounter double security or the queues for security and customs can be exceptionally long on that particular day.

Personally, I like to cool off, get some fresh air and eat during a longer stopover. Having so much free time can help you avoid the stress that can build up during transportation.

Can I check in my baggage for a short time?

If the break is long enough, sometimes airline staff will let you "short check"Your checked baggage, which means it won't be checked in at your final destination. In short, short check-in means intentionally re-checking your baggage during a stopover.

A short check is useful if your layover is long enough and you plan to do something during your layover. For example, if you had a layover in Berlin where you had an appointment scheduled, you might need access to your suit. In this situation, it is worth asking an airline employee if there is a possibility of a short baggage check-in to Berlin, because you will need access to the checked baggage in which the apartment compartment is located.

Works:Personally, I always take everything I need with me during a my hand luggageand avoid short checks if possible.

last words

It's usually quite easy to understand if you'll need to check your baggage again if other factors are known, such as whether both flights were purchased under the same booking and where your stopover will be. However, you should always check the tag attached to your checked baggage to be sure; if you are heading to your final destination, you will not need to re-register your baggage. Or you can contact the airline and ask directly.

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