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I am planning a trip to Rome, Italy from Bangalore, India.

Looking at the flight tickets, it will be 30% cheaper for me to book the Bangalore-Frankfurt and Frankfurt-Rome legs separately rather than as one ticket. They are all on Lufthansa though.

If I booked the tickets separately, when changing planes at Frankfurt, would I have to claim my checked in baggage and recheck in? Would it be possible to check the baggage through to Rome at my origin airport, Bangalore?

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Is the Frankfurt-Rome leg a Lufthansa operated flight or a Eurowings operated flight on codeshare with Lufthansa? –  Ankur Banerjee May 15 '12 at 10:04
    
I am looking up that leg on the lufthansa site, lufthansa.com, flight number LH 232. So I am assuming it is a Lufthansa operated flight. –  Bharat B May 15 '12 at 11:05
    
Not necessarily. Codeshare flights have a different flight number but could be on a single physical flight. If it's operated by a different airline, Lufthansa's site tells you 'Operated by...' –  Ankur Banerjee May 15 '12 at 12:49
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A 3-digit flight number is almost certainly a "real" Lufthansa flight. –  jpatokal May 15 '12 at 13:15

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, that should be possible. Just ask for your luggage to be checked through when checking in in Rome.

In my experience, it's generally possible to check through one's luggage if (and only if) both flights are operated by the same carrier. You don't necessarily have to buy the two flights in one.

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While you're correct, checking through on separate tickets is a courtesy from the airline, not a requirement for them, and an clueless or simply unhelpful agent may refuse. –  jpatokal May 15 '12 at 13:12

When you buy two separate tickets, if you miss your connection the airline won't help you. As far as they're concerned, your first flight coming in late is like your car breaking down on the way to the airport - unfortunate, but nothing to do with them. When you buy connecting tickets, once you check in onto the first flight, you're theirs and they will look after you.

Changing planes in Frankfurt, especially from out-of-Schengen to Schengen, takes much longer than at many other airports. (I've actually added it to the list of airports I won't make a connection in.) An hour is a VERY tight connection in Frankfurt - I have done it and had to beg people to let me jump to the front of the line etc, and nearly missed my plane. There is customs, security, and plenty more. A two hour connection would give you enough time in the airport as long as the first flight was not delayed. On separate tickets I would probably only feel secure with a 4 hour connection.

You might have to claim your luggage because of the customs check. Ask your airline.

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Coming into the EU, you will indeed want to have a fair amount of buffer, but on the way out the queues aren't usually too bad. Also, if both flights are Lufthansa, they'll likely use the same terminal and make the connection that much faster. That said, on separate tickets, you'll definitely want to have plenty of buffer time. –  jpatokal May 15 '12 at 13:13

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