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I'll be leaving Morocco within the next week, and I'm wondering whether I'll need to re-check my luggage after my connecting flights. I fly from Casablanca to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to London via Lufthansa. From London I fly to Newark, this time with United Airlines. Will my luggage automatically be put onto all of my connecting flights, or will I be responsible for handling this?

I'm somewhat nervous about the Casablanca and Frankfurt airports. In Casablanca, I don't know how easy it will be to check in since I speak no French and only a little Arabic. In Frankfurt, I only have 54 minutes between my flight to London. And that's if the flight is perfectly on schedule. Will things at the Casablanca airport be fine? And is 54 minutes (potentially less) enough time to go through security and board my next flight?

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I think I've seen several questions here touching upon the same thing... At least this one, also about a connection at Frankfurt, might interest you: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/7118/… –  Jonik Jul 8 '12 at 20:15
    
Thanks for your comment. Although it doesn't exactly mitigate my anxiety, it's good to be informed. –  Ben Jul 8 '12 at 20:55
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You will be able to check your luggage all the way from Casablanca to Newark. Lufthansa and United are closely related, and luggage transfers between them are not a problem.

If all three flights are on the same ticket then this will happen automatically - but it's worth checking the tags as they put it on the luggage to make sure. It should have a list of the airports you're going through - "FRA", "LHR" and "EWR" on it.

If the flights are on different tickets then be sure to have a printout of the flight details with you, and they will be able to check it all the way through - but you will have to ask for it! At a minimum you'll need the confirmation number, but it's worth having the full details (ticket number, confirmation number, flight numbers, etc)

You will be required to collect your luggage in Newark regardless of your final destination as it's your first entry point into the US, however if you are continuing you can still get the luggage tagged to your final destination in Casablanca, which will make re-checking it easier.

Lufthansa check-in staff in Casablanca will be fluent in English, German, as well as the local languages so you should not expect any language issues.

Neither Morocco nor the UK are part of the Schengen region, so your transfer in Frankfurt is basically an international to international transfer, and there is no need to go through immigration. 54 minutes is cutting it a little fine, especially as FRA has a habit of using buses to get passengers to/from flights - but presuming you're on time (and especially if both flights are in the same terminal which they probably will be) then you should be fine.

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Thank you for your answer, it has taken a lot of stress off my shoulders. I'm not exactly sure if I have the full details of my flight, though. I just printed out the intinerary from Expedia. My dad told me that I should only need my passport, intinerary, and photo ID. I really hope they speak English. –  Ben Jul 10 '12 at 17:13
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If your itinerary lists all of your flights, then you're good to go! You don't need "photo ID" as such - that's what your passport is for! –  Doc Jul 10 '12 at 19:11
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It's uncommon to find check-in staff in any major international airport which don't speak at least rudimentary English, irrespective of the airline. English is pretty much the default language of air travel these days. With a major German airline like Lufthansa, I would have no concerns. Worst case, there will be someone nearby who will speak English. –  Andrew Ferrier Jul 11 '12 at 15:36
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Since other questions have been closed and pointed to this one for answers regarding baggage transfer between airlines, I just wanted to point out that, while the above answer is correct specifically regarding UA and Lufthansa, it's not true for all airlines. Any airlines that are part of the same alliance will almost certainly check your bags all the way through to your final destination, but some airlines have no 'interline' agreements with other airlines and, thus, will not transfer bags to or from other airlines. A notable example in the U.S. is Southwest Airlines. For the general case, you'd need to check with at least one of the specific airlines involved in your itinerary. For an upcoming trip from Nashville to Asia, I'm flying Southwest from Nashville to San Francisco and then Korean Air from San Francisco to Seoul. I checked with Southwest and they confirmed that they can only check my bags to SFO and that I must recheck them with KAL to ICN from there.

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