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A few days ago I saw "baggage recheck" point on the Hamburg airport*.

In what situations is such recheck needed? Is it only for international, connecting flights?

* I just saw the place where his baggage recheck was supposed to be done but there were no people doing the recheck at that time

  • The question is about hand luggage or checked baggage? The first one is very frequent (on travel from smaller airports/intercontinental travels). Seldom it is done at boarding (on specific cases). On some EU flights, the checked baggage will arrive at an airport without customs (small airports), so the custom and recheck is done at a previous airport. The question is very open. We need more data. – Giacomo Catenazzi Sep 28 '18 at 12:01
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi I don't think we're going to have any more data. OP saw a "baggage recheck" point, OP was curious what that was. But you certainly hit the nail when you said that baggage recheck is necessary when someone flies in transit from outside the EU to a small airport that lacks customs facilities. – ach Sep 28 '18 at 22:13
  • Some people might check in for all flight segments, but might access their luggage during a connection (to access medicine, for example). – mdd Sep 29 '18 at 19:40
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In a generic sense, "Baggage Re-check" is used to drop your checked baggage where you have been forced to collect it part-way through your trip, AND where the baggage has been "tagged" to somewhere further along from where you collected it.

The normal reason you need to collect your bags in the first place is in order to carry your bags through customs - but whether you need to do that or not will depend on the exact situations.

The most obvious case is somewhere like the US, where all (*) passengers are required to carry their bags through customs, so every passenger arriving on an international flight into the US is required to re-claim their bags, take them through customs, and then drop them at the baggage re-check.

(* In practice a small number of US airports have facilities where some passengers connecting to an international flight can avoid this, but lets ignore them for now!)

Then there are countries like Australia where passengers connecting to an international flight do not need to collect their bags, but anyone connecting to a domestic flight will need to collect their bags, take them through customs, and then re-check them.

Within Europe (or at least, European Union countries) you generally take your bags through customs at your final destination. However, not all airports have customs facilities, and if you are connecting from an international flight to an airport without customs facilities then you need to collect your bags at the connecting airport, take them through customs, and then re-check them.

However, the number of airports in the EU without customs facilities is small, and the number of passengers travelling to such cities is also small (especially on a single ticket), so as a result very few people will actually use the re-check area - as you discovered!

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