International flights - luggage & customs

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#1
Ohio USA
608 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Like most Americans traveling to Europe, we have to take a domestic flight before starting the trans-atlantic flight.

Do we have to claim our luggage and have it re-screened in the international terminal, or are they just forwarded on by the airline?

We've got a 6 hour layover in Philadelphia (USAirways) and wonder if we'll be dragging our bags around for that whole time.
#2
11,185 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
On the way over your luggage will be checked through to your final destination (assuming your airlines have a baggage handling agreement, which most do).

On the way back you will have to claim your luggage at the first stop on US soil, then you'll recheck to your final destination. You won't have to go the the regular check in line to do this, however. There will be a re-check area close to baggage claim/customs.
#3
Greenville, SC, USA
51,352 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
No lugging around luggage during your layover. It will be checked thru to your final destination. Just check the luggage claim check you get when checking in to be sure it shows the right destination.
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Paul
#5
85,607 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Just remember on your return flight the first USA airport you arrive to even if it is a layover you have to retrieve your luggage and clear immigration and customs.

Keith
#6
81,538 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Pay attention when you check your luggage on your trip over. Verify they have tagged the bags to your final destination.

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#7
more or less in TX
10,418 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
The exception would be if you are traveling on an airline such as SouthWest that doesn't have an interline agreement with other airlines. If that is the situation you will have to claim your luggage and take it to the check in counter of your continuing airline.
#8
southern NM desert
10,955 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by Sue Do-Over
Like most Americans traveling to Europe, we have to take a domestic flight before starting the trans-atlantic flight.

Do we have to claim our luggage and have it re-screened in the international terminal, or are they just forwarded on by the airline?

We've got a 6 hour layover in Philadelphia (USAirways) and wonder if we'll be dragging our bags around for that whole time.
As others have said, your luggage will be booked through to your final destination. That is presuming your domestic flight is booked on the same ticket/itinerary as your international flight.
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#9
New York
5,115 Posts
Joined Jan 2000
And unless they've changed procedures, if you booked the international flight on the same itinerary/ticket, they won't charge you for luggage......at least that's what our experience was this past October. Don't know if that depends on airlines/code shares and/or other variables.
#10
SoCal
9,450 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by marco
And unless they've changed procedures, if you booked the international flight on the same itinerary/ticket, they won't charge you for luggage......at least that's what our experience was this past October. Don't know if that depends on airlines/code shares and/or other variables.
For our LA-Atlanta-Barcelona flight, we were charged baggage fees for the domestic part of the flight.
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#11
Baltimore
4 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I just entered the country via Philly on my way to Baltimore 2 weeks ago. You pick up your luggage right after passport control and once you go through Customs, you check it right back in and then off you go to the food court or gate area. Luggage carts cost $4 - I'm used to coming in via Dulles in DC where luggage carts are free in the international baggage claim area.
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