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I'll be travelling next week with the following itinerary:

  1. Flight #1: Lahore (LHE) to Abu Dhabi (AUH).
  2. Flight #2: Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Chicago (ORD).
  3. Flight #3: Chicago (ORD) to Manhattan (MHK).

All of these are connecting flights and were booked as one.

I will have to go through the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) pre-clearance facility in Abu Dhabi (AUH) for immigration purposes. I have a few questions:

  • I will check in my bags in Lahore (LHE). After entering Abu Dhabi (AUH), would I have to collect my bags prior to visiting the CBP facility at the airport? Or will my bags be directly brought to that destination?
  • After I have cleared the CBP facility, would I have to manually check-in the bags at Abu Dhabi (AUH) airport?
  • After I have landed in Chicago (ORD), would I have to collect my bags and check them in again before catching my last connecting flight? I'm not sure whether the first port of entry would be Abu Dhabi (AUH) or Chicago (ORD) in my case.
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    The fact of your citizenship and residence has nothing to do with your having to clear CBP immigration and customs in Abu Dhabi. Everyone on your AUH-ORD flight has to do that, as does everyone on (virtually?) all flights from AUH to the US. – phoog Aug 3 '18 at 15:04
  • @phoog Edited the question by excluding this information. – user82261 Aug 3 '18 at 15:07
  • I should add that I'm quite sure that the answer to the third bullet point is *no * but I don't know enough about the other (more important) parts of your question to answer authoritatively. – phoog Aug 3 '18 at 15:27
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    @JimMacKenzie also, web searches are your friend: etihad.com/en/before-you-fly/us-preclearance: "...allows US bound passengers to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they depart." – phoog Aug 3 '18 at 16:59
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    @phoog I was at work with limited time. Thanks for finding that. – Jim MacKenzie Aug 3 '18 at 19:18
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Your bags will remain checked, and you won't have to claim them to go through US preclearance at Abu Dhabi. They'll show you a picture of your bags on a monitor and ask you to identify that they belong to you. If they want to look in your bags for any reason, they'll have them brought up to the customs area for inspection. Otherwise, they'll send you on your way to your flight. In either case, you won't need to claim or check them in Abu Dhabi.

When you arrive in Chicago, your flight will essentially be treated like a domestic arrival. Your checked luggage should be transferred automatically to your next flight, and you should confirm that the bag tags applied in Lahore indicate that your bags are checked all the way through to MHK. However, Ethiad uses terminal 5 in Chicago, so you'll likely need to change terminals and go through security again to reach your next flight.

Your bags should appear at the baggage claim when you arrive at MHK (which, for the avoidance of any doubt, is Manhattan, Kansas, not the more famous Manhattan, New York).

  • That's exactly what happened. Thanks so much! – user82261 Aug 12 '18 at 2:46

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