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I was wondering if there's a definite policy to allow people with two or more reservations with different airlines to have their luggage sent directly to final destination, without having to recollect and check in at intermediate steps; does it depend on previous agreements between companies, on visa/nationality, etc.?

My case is Edmonton -> Montreal (Westjet) and Montreal -> Paris (KLM), with 2:05h layover, ITA nationality, but I guess one would like to know if, at least theoretically, just showing all the tickets at first check in is enough to get luggage tagged and shipped correctly.

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I don't know about every airline, but I nearly got in trouble in 2011. I flew from Tajikistan to Kyrgyzstan via Kazakhstan - two different flights. However, they were on separate bookings, and I didn't have a visa for Kazakhstan - so my luggage came out and I couldn't exit airside to get to it! Fortunately a kind airport staff member took my details and went and bfound the bag for me, checked it in for the next flight, and I picked it up in Kyrgyzstan :) – Mark Mayo May 26 '14 at 10:40
well, at least my specific case is different, in that the first step is not international – jj_p May 26 '14 at 10:56
@MarkMayo You've gone thru some next level shit man. – Aditya Somani May 27 '14 at 1:12

There is, unfortunately, no universal rule on this. Each airline has different agreements with different airlines.

You would need to call WestJet to see if they have an Interline Agreement with KLM. If they do, then likely you can check them through. But as you have two separate tickets, it will ultimately be at the discretion of the check in agent on your first flight.

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thanks for the answer; can code-share as in be considered stronger that interline, or are they just different? – jj_p May 26 '14 at 11:56
A code share agreement usually includes Interline agreements (as boarding passes and baggage need to connect). So likely they have an Interline Agreement in place with KLM. Show both tickets at check-in, be polite and you could enjoy a leisurely connect in Montréal. But again it is discretionary, not a guarantee. – Tom May 26 '14 at 12:01
from the link looks like they have not an interline agreement with KLM, or they will specify it as China Southern that appears in both lists – Guido Preite May 26 '14 at 12:03

Be sure to mention that you'd like your luggage to end up at your final destination and then double-check the baggage tags.

If we hadn't done that on our last international trip, my luggage would have arrived without re-checking it, but my husband's bags would have been left behind in another country although we were traveling together!

Luckily, we caught the slip at check-in, before our bags disappeared out of sight and the airline representative corrected her mistake.

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