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I looked on the internet but couldn't really find a clear answer (maybe there isn't one as the airline doesn't know it themselves either).

Anyway, I booked a flight, Brussels to Costa Rica with Delta. Looking at their baggage fees, when flying Europe to Central America, checked baggage is included. However, I have a 20-hour layover in Atlanta (both outgoing and returning flights). I understand they cannot check my luggage through from Brussels to Costa Rica, as the stop is longer than 12 hours. So can I take my bags for free all the way to Costa Rica, or will they treat each segment separately (as I have to take out the bags and check them in again?).

This was the only/quickest option to go from Brussels to Costa Rica when flying Delta. I would really find it unfair if they charged for all the bags... but yeah sometimes life isn't fair...

Has anybody had something similar?

  • Similar, yes, exactly the same, no: A US Airways agent once told me that their internal rule is if a stop-over is >=24 hours, they start charging for baggage for such a domestic part of an international ticket. But that was US Airways and in 2012. – DCTLib Aug 29 '18 at 8:57
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If, as you seem to indicate, you are on a single ticket for your entire journey, your baggage would be checked from Brussels to Costa Rica, the cost included in the fare, and you would not need to retrieve and re-check during your layover in Atlanta.

Delta's Through-Check Baggage Policy

Effective for travel on or after January 11, 2016, Delta will check a passenger’s baggage between the origin and destination airports that are issued on a single or conjuncted** ticket exclusively. When issued on one ticket, Delta will also continue to check baggage through to the ticketed destination for interline itineraries. If a second ticket is presented for travel, Delta will only check the bag to the destination of the Delta ticket(s). Baggage may be claimed at the De lta-ticketed destination, and then re-checked by the customer with the downline carrier for the next flight.

** A single ticket also means a conjuncted (i.e., conjunctive) ticket. Conjuncted tickets are sequential in number on same ticket stock. It is not possible to conjunct tickets from different airlines.

Exceptions

In cases as noted below, when more than one ticket is presented, Delta will continue to through-check baggage from the origin to the destination.

  • An entire journey (itinerary) consisting of Delta-marketed / Delta-operated flights
  • SkyMiles Award plus a ticket with Delta-marketed / Delta-operated flights
  • Delta ticket plus a ticket on the Delta partner airlines listed below:
    ○ Aeromexico (AM)
    ○ Air France (AF)
    ○ Alitalia (AZ)
    ○ China Eastern (MU)
    ○ GOL (G3)
    ○ Jet Airways (9W)
    ○ KLM (KL)
    ○ Korean Air (KE)
    ○ Virgin Atlantic (VS)
    ○ Virgin Australia (VA)

  • Delta ticket plus a:
    ○ SkyTeam pass ticket
    ○ Ticket with travel on a Visit USA (VUSA) fare
    ○ Connection to a Delta charter flight

Update:

A Facebook chat with Delta Airlines with a similar itinerary and long layover this morning confirmed, since the outbound flights are all on Delta, you do not pick up baggage in the Customs Baggage Claim area in ATL. They will be checked to your final destination. Unfortunately, I'm not finding the options you've suggested for your return flights. It appears they are not all Delta flights, therefore, you would claim and recheck on your return flights.

You may wish to chat directly with Delta about your actual itinerary for confirmation.

  • This answer is correct from a charging perspective, but Delta will generally NOT check bags through for a >12 hour connection, or an overnight connection. – Doc Sep 10 '18 at 2:29
  • @Doc I did FB chat with Delta about this, giving flights numbers and with a nearly 20-hour layover in ATL, and the response was that they would be checked through on the outbound. I didn't have OP's actual flights, so the return could not be clarified. – Giorgio Sep 10 '18 at 14:43
  • Delta's contract of carriage used to include a statement that they would not check bags for any connection >12 hours. This statement seems to have been recently removed. From what I can make it, this rule is still generally enforced, but given that it's not explicitly listed it's difficult to be sure... – Doc Sep 10 '18 at 16:51
  • @Doc understood.. it's encouraging that Delta responds promptly on FB chat, and a passenger could interact prior to booking or travel. – Giorgio Sep 10 '18 at 16:54

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