Who handles the transfer of checked baggage on international flights on multiple carriers?
I am flying this weekend on United Airlines from Raleigh to Chicago then on Scandinavian Airlines to Stockholm, Sweden (RDU-ORD-ARN). On my return flight I will be flying on Scandinavian Airlines from Stockholm to Copenhagan to Washington then on United Airlines from Washington to Raleigh (ARN-CPH-IAD-RDU). I booked all these flights through Orbitz in one booking. I am checking one bag. At any point during these transfers do I have to pick up and re-check my bag, or will it be transferred automatically? I think I read on IAD website that I will need to pick it up & re-check it when transferring from an international flight to a domestic flight. I'm SO confused! Please, please help! I would just bring a carry-on and leave it at that, but it's going to be snowing in Stockholm and I can't fit 8 days worth of sweaters, jeans, boots and huge coat in my carry-on. Any help would be welcome! Thanks!!!!!!! :)
Air Travel - 3 Answers
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Simple really! When you arrive in Chicago from Raleigh, collect your bag, and check-in for your Scandinavian Airlines flight to Stockholm. Then coming home you baggage will be checked through to Washington, and you'll need to collect it again, and check-in for the Washington to Raleigh flight.
the two airlines have an agreement for checked bags. they will be tagged to final destination. but coming back when you land at IAD you will need to collect bag for customs. there will be an area soon after to recheck the bag to RDU. it is an easy process, dont worry
If you've never flown internationally, your confusion is certainly understandable. It's really not as difficult as it might seen. Basically, you'll check your luggage in before your originating flight. The only time you'll have to do anything with it (other than pick it up at your final destination) is when you have to clear customs at the point of entry into a foreign country. Let's take your flight from RDU-ORD-ARN. You'll check the bag in before your flight from RDU. It will automatically be transferred in ORD to your flight to ARN. When you arrive in Stockholm you'll pick up the bag, clear customs, and be on your way. Since ARN is you first point of entry into a foreign country that is where you'll clear customs. On the return trip you'll check your bag in at ARN and it will automatically be transferred for the flight to CPH and then to your flight to IAD. While you are in CPH you are considered to be "in-transit" and will be held in a restricted part of the airport until your flight to IAD. The reason for this is so that you (or your luggage) don't have to clear customs. When you arrive at IAD (your first point of entry into the US) you will claim your luggage and clear customs. Your luggage will then be taken back from you and checked through to RDU. There will be airline personnel at every step of the way that can answer any questions you might have. Don't worry. You'll do fine. Have a wonderful trip!