Do You Have to Recheck Baggage on Connecting International Flights?

Are you having a connecting flight soon? Connecting flights can be very stressful, and adding checked baggage complicates things. Many people are confused about whether to recheck their bags, which can create many problems in their journey. If anything goes wrong, your baggage can get lost or go through unnecessary security. But worry not. In this blog post, we will be discussing everything you need to know about connecting flights and the baggage process. So, stay tuned.

Rechecking Baggage on Domestic Flights

Flying within the country can be a little easier than flying internationally. Passengers can usually expect their checked bags to be automatically moved to the next flight for domestic travel inside the United States. This applies if they are using the same airline and have a single ticket. However, it is advised that you inquire about the airline’s travel advisories in advance, particularly if they will have a lengthy layover.

If you have booked your journey on two different tickets, particularly if you are changing airlines, you might need to recheck your bags during your layover.

Rechecking Baggage on Connecting International Flights

Are you wondering if you need to recheck baggage on connecting international flights? You won’t be required to check your luggage when traveling to any place by airplane. You may relax knowing that your bags will be followed all the way to your destination. However, in the US, such is not the case.

If you have a connecting aircraft that lands in the US from an international location, you must pick up your luggage and recheck it on your next journey, regardless of the carrier.

In Case of International Flights Connecting the USA

All travelers entering the United States from other countries must have their baggage with connecting flights checked. The primary reason for this is security. It would be beneficial if you cleared customs upon arrival and then boarded your following plane.

Multiple federal statutes and regulations mandate it, but the primary one cited by CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is in Title 19, Chapter I, subsection 162.6 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This section states that “All baggage, person, and merchandise that arrive in the Customs territory of the United States from places outside it are liable to inspection by a CBP officer.”

Officers from CBP may request that you report to a secondary area so that your bags can be further screened before you leave the customs area. An officer will go through your luggage, should you be chosen, to search for anything prohibited from entering the nation. You can speed up that process by having your luggage with you at that moment.

Anything that Customs officers know or have good reason to suspect breaches an Immigration and Customs Enforcement law, a Customs and Border Protection law, or any of the government agency laws can be seized under that search authority. This could include contraband, illegal goods, stolen or smuggled goods, or products that are deemed dangerous to import into the nation.

CBP Preclearance Facilities

The CBP Preclearance facilities are available at 15 locations across 6 countries, including Canada, Bermuda, Aruba, the United Arab Emirates, the Bahamas, and Ireland. Travelers who have passed their preclearance facilities are not asked to have their luggage checked further.

Ask When your Baggage is Being Checked

Rechecking your baggage with connecting flights is subject to different regulations based on the duration of your layover, the locations of your connecting flights, and airline regulations. Make sure you clarify with the staff about whether your bags will be checked through to your final destination when you check them in. Verify the tag affixed to your bag again. It will prominently display the airport code for your suitcase’s next stop.

Always Listen to the Announcements

If you are unsure whether you need to recheck your baggage with connecting flights, pay attention to the airlines’ announcements upon arrival. They will help you determine whether your luggage needs rechecking. Similarly, signage in the airport when you disembark will indicate if you have to claim your baggage before proceeding to your connecting flight.


Passengers often have doubts about rechecking baggage on connecting international flights. The above information can make your travel easier and more comfortable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do your luggage get transferred on a connecting international flight?

If it is an international flight, you will need to pick up your checked suitcase from baggage claim. You will then have to go through immigration and customs. You will then go through your bags again for the domestic flight.

Do we have to go through security again for a connecting international flight?

There are very few instances where you have to go through security again for a domestic connection, mostly at airports where the terminals aren’t connected. Even when switching terminals, it’s uncommon to go through security again for a domestic-to-international connection.

Do I pick my bag up if I have a connecting flight?

If you book a layover trip with the same airline, your luggage will be carried over to your ultimate destination automatically. However, if the two flights are operated by separate airlines, you might have to claim and recheck your luggage during your layover.

How do I know if I need to recheck my bag?

One of the two airport codes—your intermediate or final destination—will be printed on the bag in three letters. Tell the agent right away if it isn’t either of those! You should double-check it if it’s an intermediate stop; if it’s the final goal, you may relax knowing it’s tagged all the way through.

What is the difference between a layover and a connecting flight?

Both are very similar. However, a layover can last from half an hour or less to 24 hours and beyond, whereas on a connecting flight, you will find yourself running for the gate.

How is luggage transported on connecting flights?

The connecting bags are loaded onto a trailer and driven immediately to the next plane by the baggage workers on the runway or apron. The offloading process starts as soon as the plane is stopped at the gate; the passengers do not need to wait for the jetway.

Do I need to pay twice for baggage on a connecting flight?

Generally, you don’t have to pay twice for your checked baggage if it is checked through your final destination. However, there are a few exceptions. If you are flying with different airlines, you might be required to pay a baggage fee for each airline.

What happens if I miss my connecting flight due to a delayed flight?

If the airline caused the missed connection (e.g., a delayed initial flight because of mechanical issues), the airline should rebook you on the next available flight. If the next departure flight is early the next morning, the airline should arrange for you to travel on a different carrier or arrange lodging and food.

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