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This question already has an answer here:

This is a generalization of:

Check in luggage at two different airports

Suppose I'm flying with a certain airline from point A to point C via point B. The maximum luggage allowance on this flight is, say, 2 pieces (never mind the exact weight and dimension limits). At A, I check in 1 piece of such luggage. The plane takes off and puts me in B, where I disembark and go into the airport.

At this point, one of the following happens:

  • I purchase a bunch of items in the duty free shops, including, say, a suitcase into which I put them.
  • A mysterious stranger somehow hands me a suitcase.
  • The airport has a luggage holding service past its security check and passport control area (I'm not sure there are such airports at all in the world), and I have deposited a piece of luggage there at an earlier time.
  • A friend of mine on the other side of the security, passport and customs checks walks up to the airline's counter, with a duly signed and notarized letter from me asking that they carry a second piece of luggage.

Let's assume my new suitcase is under the weight & dimension limits, but is too large and/or heavy to be carried on board. Assume also that I don't cross into the sovereign territory, i.e. don't pass passports, security and customs control.

Will I be able to have the airline carry my second piece of luggage from B to C? Or rather, are there combinations of airline, airport and scenarios from the above list for which I'll be able to have my second piece of luggage carried to C?

marked as duplicate by Itai, Giorgio, Ali Awan, Michael, Jan Sep 12 '17 at 7:55

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Actually, perhaps not a duplicate, because you're talking about doing this without exiting the secure area. At that point, it sounds like you're basically just asking the airline to gate check the bag, right? Which is what they would do if the overhead bins are full. If you find yourself boarding late, you may find you have no choice but to have your bag checked anyway. – Zach Lipton Sep 7 '17 at 22:22
  • @ZachLipton: That question doesn't discuss where you got the bag from, and I actually assume it's for a lay-over where you get past passport control security and customs and get the other bag (although I'm speculating). – einpoklum Sep 7 '17 at 22:22
  • I don't think it materially differs from simply having too much carry-on luggage. You will at least be able to gate-check it but might be charged some fee for the pleasure. On the other hand, if it falls within the carry-on luggage allowance and even if you end up gate-checking it for some reason (flight is full, etc.), it's always free in my experience. The carry-on allowance (and not where you got the suitcase from or the fact it's a layover) is what matters in the end. – Relaxed Sep 7 '17 at 22:38
  • @Relaxed: So, airlines really let you gate-check suitcases? No questions asked? For just a fee? – einpoklum Sep 7 '17 at 22:44
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    So there is no “extra phase”, it's something they are used to do and I have witnessed it countless times. I don't see the security concern either, the assumption is that anything present airside has been checked properly, the same applies to your carry-on. Far-fetched scenarios about people deliberately getting another suitcase do not change anything to that, which what I was referring to when I was asking about the downside. – Relaxed Sep 7 '17 at 23:05
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In scenario 1 - just gate check it. You won't be the first person to have bought too much at duty free. Gate checking is sometimes done without regard to previously checked bags or fees. But keep in mind, gate checked bags are hand tagged and not always in the tracking system, so sometimes harder to find if they go astray.

In scenario 2 - you should be arrested for stupidity.

In scenario 3 - again gate check it.

In scenario 4 - the check in counter agent should be arrested for stupidity if they allow it. Papers can be forged, you should check your own bags.

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    One-way trip to Guantánamo for scenarios 2 and 4 :-) – user67108 Sep 8 '17 at 5:09
  • But how does the airline tell which scenario we're in (other than no. 4)? – einpoklum Sep 8 '17 at 15:36
  • The "be arrested" was a tongue in cheek way to say "never accept something to take on a plane ftom a stranger". The airline won't know unless they ask you where you got the luggage. – user13044 Sep 8 '17 at 23:53
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There's another scenario, which happened to me. I was flying ORY-AMS-GMP (yeah a long time ago) on KLM, and checked in one large piece of luggage, keeping the rest with me, which was well over any reasonable limit for carry-on items. Luckily enough, ORY was always a backwater airport, and it was pre-911, so security was lax. I got on the small plane for ORY-AMS, and had about 40 kg of luggage with me in the cabin.

The flight attendants did look at me in a puzzled way, but the plane was empty -- something like a dozen people -- so it didn't matter much to them.

When I transferred to the AMS-GMP flight, on a 747 packed with rowdy Korean tourists overloaded with duty-free purchases, one of the KLM gate employees saw me, and in a very stern voice called me over. No Sir, I cannot not let you board with this much luggage. I point to the Korean pack mules around me. He shakes his head. No Sir, you are way beyond that... I don't know why Paris let you board with this much luggage, BUT I will have to send this one to the luggage hold. Free of charge, since it was KLM's mistake to let this come aboard the first plane. pointing at the larger piece of luggage. He filled out some papers, and gave me a receipt.

And indeed my two pieces of luggage were waiting for me in GMP. So it is indeed possible, but whether it will be free, and whether they'll make it in time is another story.

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I purchase a bunch of items in the duty free shops, including, say, a suitcase into which I put them.

A number of airports are able to take your bags in this scenario. (Many airports are little more than shopping malls with runways attached, so it is in their interests to allow this.)

For instance, Heathrow Terminal 5 has a specific bag drop desk at the airside customer service desk in the middle of T5A.

The airport has a luggage holding service past its security check and passport control area (I'm not sure there are such airports at all in the world), and I have deposited a piece of luggage there at an earlier time.

Qatar's business lounge in Doha has a dedicated and manned luggage storage facility, turn right as you enter the lounge, it is beneath the restaurant. Many other airport lounges will hold bags if you ask discretely.

A friend of mine on the other side of the security, passport and customs checks walks up to the airline's counter, with a duly signed and notarized letter from me asking that they carry a second piece of luggage.

If you are unable to check it in yourself in person, the bag should be shipped as cargo.

  • Shipping as caro - probably over $100; checking in a second bag: $0. Is there really no way to bridge these options? Also: "airside! that's the term I was looking for. Is the other side "land-side"? – einpoklum Sep 8 '17 at 15:36
  • @einpoklum No one else can check bag for you. You may have to find the time to go landside (yes that is the correct word). – Calchas Sep 9 '17 at 9:43
  • But can't they pass the bag to me as opposed to checking it in? They I can check it in at the gate. – einpoklum Sep 9 '17 at 10:52

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