I have a flight to Istanbul via Saudi Airlines, and from there to Moldova via Air Moldova. The tickets are separate, and so my question is, since I don't have Turkish visa and I can't claim and recheck-in my luggage, is there a service to do that for me, in Istanbul Ataturk airport? I'm asking because there are such services in Dubai (eg:- Marhaba).

  • Not sure such a service exist (due to customs implications it's quite rare), but be aware that you could have trouble boarding the first flight: Saudi Airlines will consider that your final destination is Istanbul and may deny boarding if you don't have the right paperwork. You'll have to convince them that you are indeed in transit.
    – jcaron
    Jan 4, 2019 at 12:39
  • 2
    Ask Saudi Airlines. Often the first airline will send your baggage to final destination (both flight are international). It is possible than you must pass on transfer desk and you should give the baggage ticket number, so that they will link the baggage to your ticket (else they will not board the baggage). But you should ask the airline to be sure. Jan 4, 2019 at 14:10
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi I don't think Saudi Airlines have an interlining agreement with Air Moldova. Also, even if they do have such an agreement, airlines often refuse to check luggage through to the final destination if the flights are not on the same booking. But it's worth asking.
    – jcaron
    Jan 4, 2019 at 17:15
  • @jcaron: it is not my experience. It is also cheaper for airlines. AFAIK interlining agreements do not matter: the ticket are independent and also the baggage rules. Without interlining agreements means that one should go in transfer desk for second boarding pass and to pass the baggage code to the second airline. Jan 5, 2019 at 17:20
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi If the luggage is not checked through to the final destination, it would require the airport to be able to retrieve your luggage from those that are supposed to be delivered on the baggage claim belts, re-tag it (considering that the second airline may have different piece/weight rules, or even that you may have been over quota on the first flight), and send it to your second flight. Good for you if you have had airlines/airports willing to do that, but I'm definitely not convinced this is something you can expect or count on generally...
    – jcaron
    Jan 6, 2019 at 0:32

2 Answers 2


Luggage or not, you're unlikely to get on the plane to Istanbul.

Luggage is one aspect; the second one is that, if your connection goes awry for whatever reason, you're not "insured" and will be stuck in Istanbul. Unless you pay for a new onward ticket, Saudia would then have to return you to Saudi, a situation they want to avoid at all costs.

This is why most handling agents simply don't classify transit on separate bookings as transit.. In fact, though Marhaba offers a self-connection service in Dubai, I've observed people (who only had hand luggage to boot) being denied boarding on flights Munich/Zurich -> Dubai due to the aforementioned connection risks.

The only one who can give you a binding answer is the handling agent for Saudia at your departure airport, so you need to contact them, explain your situation and ask whether they'll check your bags through and let you board the flight.


There is no way on earth to my knowledge that allows non passengers to claim and transfer luggage between flights on different bookings, that’s like inviting sending not so nice devices and not having to be on the plane yourself, neither have I heard of any such segued offered by any third party. I might be mistaken but I am lazy and travelled the world for 30 years so if there is a lazy way I normally have an idea

  • While it is not standard, it does happen.
    – Willeke
    Dec 4, 2019 at 11:25
  • @Willeke I have never even heard about that, I find it highly unlikely to say the least Dec 4, 2019 at 14:19
  • Read the comments on the question, that does mention (and how to find out where to find it) this system. (And as a passenger who usually buys tickets all the way or can easily get visa, you will mostly not need such a service.)
    – Willeke
    Dec 4, 2019 at 16:19
  • I've had it as as a service for me in a Kazakh airport, they went out and located my bag for me and transferred it. Also been escorted out by armed guards in Manila to identify my bag for a similar process. Definitely happens. However an official service, unsure. Otherwise I'd give it as an answer.
    – Mark Mayo
    Dec 4, 2019 at 23:23
  • @MarkMayoSupportsMonica as a planned service or as a must cause something happened ? Dec 5, 2019 at 7:53

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