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I am traveling to New Delhi (Delhi) from Philadelphia. I booked the forward and return journey in a single reservation. I have just connecting flights from Manchester and Doha. My flight path is:

  1. Philadelphia to Manchester (AA) (Layover: 05 Hr 10 min)
  2. Manchester to Doha (Qatar) (Layover: 02 Hr 26 min)
  3. Doha to Delhi (Qatar).

My return journey:

  1. Delhi to Doha (Qatar) (Layover: 03 Hr 30 min)
  2. Doha to Manchester (Qatar) (Layover: 14 Hr 35 min)
  3. Manchester to Philadelphia (AA)

I am an Indian citizen and I hold a valid US F1 visa. Do I have to re-check my luggage at Manchester and check back in with Qatar airways? I called the airlines and every time they are giving me a different answer. Today they told me that I need to check out and check in with Qatar again at Manchester.

  • We already have comprehensive information for transit visas in the UK, so I've deleted that part of your question. – David Richerby Dec 26 '18 at 20:07
  • @choster Thank you for replying. I edited the question and included more details. – banu reddy Dec 26 '18 at 20:26
  • @DavidRicherby Thank you providing the link. I appreciate it. – banu reddy Dec 26 '18 at 20:26
  • In most cases a single reservation means your bags are checked through and you don’t need to reclaim and re-check them. Check if all flights are actually on a single booking / ticket: a single PNR (the booking reference) or e-ticket number should give you access to all flights (try using the “manage my flight” section of the booking airline with that info). Some sites will sell you separate tickets even if you made a single transaction: you will get separate PNRs and ticket numbers in that case. – jcaron Dec 26 '18 at 23:08
  • I’m a bit surprised by the routing, it doesn’t seem to be quite a common thing, especially both ways. Did you specifically request a stop-over or a multi-city itinerary including Manchester? – jcaron Dec 26 '18 at 23:17
4

Since you have 5 hours in Manchester, there will be plenty of time to pick up your bag and recheck it if you need it.

Even if other sources of information fail you, you can get the straight word from the check-in agent when you actually check the bag. The agent will know whether the bag tag they're applying is only for Manchester or all the way your final destination.

5

Ask the check-in agent if you need to re-check your luggage.

Even if you do, you don't need a visa, thanks to your US visa.

3

Your bag should be checked-through to your final destination; in the outbound case, through to Delhi, in the return case, to Philadelphia; and there is no need to collect and re-check your bag en route in either Manchester or Doha.

Manchester Airport is capable of handling international-international bags for AA to QR. (Indeed, it can handle most other interlining, except to/from some very small domestic operators in the UK for some Byzantine customs reasons, which do not concern us here.)

If AA or QR fail to check the bag through properly, ask them to do it, or ask for a supervisor.

Below is the information from the Timatic airline database on customs clearance procedures for United Kingdom. Note exemption 1, through-labelled international baggage does not need to be customs-cleared.

Baggage Clearance:
- If Aberdeen (ABZ) is the first airport of entry, baggage is
cleared at Aberdeen. Baggage of transit passengers with a
final destination of Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) will be
cleared at the first airport of entry. In all other cases,
baggage is cleared at the airport of final destination or at
an International Community Airport (ICA) in the United
Kingdom if it is labeled accordingly.
- Exempt:
1. Baggage of transit passengers with a destination outside
the United Kingdom if it is labeled to that destination;
2. Baggage of passengers who embarked in another EU Member
will not be cleared at all (use Blue Exit).

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