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Munich airport's Terminal 2 has the ideal layout for layovers within Star Alliance (one would presume):

  • Plane arrives at Terminal 2
  • you leave through the gangway
  • you are right in the corridor of all G or H gates
  • you proceed to your next departure gate and all is well

... but recently people tell me, everyone has to claim his or her luggage, exit transit area, and check in again.

  • Is it true?
  • What's the point? (boarding card issue? save on luggage handling staff?)
  • Doesn't that force all non-Schengeners to get a transit visa?
  • Are there hubs in Germany (not necessarily Star Alliance) where you don't have to leave transit, no matter which connection within code-sharing?
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2 Answers

I have changed planes at Munich coming from nonSchengen - eg Canada - headed for Schengen and while I had to line up and clear customs I did not have to claim my baggage. It added only 5 or 10 minutes to the transfer.

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Are you sure that you went through customs and not only immigration? Going through customs without your check-in luggage does not make much sense. –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 15 '13 at 9:49
    
You go through two separate gauntlets - a booth with an officer who sees your passport, and a windy little hallway with doors off it that some people were diverted into. I believe that was customs and perhaps if people need more attention their luggage is sent up there. In many places you go through customs before you claim your bags and most people then pick up their bags and leave. –  Kate Gregory Jul 15 '13 at 11:59
    
It still doesn't make sense to go through customs if you're only in transit. What if you have items with you, which you are not allowed to bring into Germany, but allowed to bring into your destination country? –  Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 15 '13 at 16:16
    
You get asked questions. You get looked at. And if they want to look at your checked luggage, they can. Customs and immigration people don't need your bag in your hand to guess if something is in that bag. –  Kate Gregory Jul 15 '13 at 16:25
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Normally you do not leave transit areas in German airports, but I cannot be 100% sure specifically for Munich (München).

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You should stick to facts rather than speculate. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Jul 15 '13 at 21:21
    
FACT: I have never seen any German airport where you would have to leave transit areas. Satisfied? –  Elchin Jul 16 '13 at 5:45
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