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Can I leave a large suitcase (~ 28.0 x 19.75 x 12.5 inches, i.e. 71.12 x 50.165 x 31.75 cm, and ~15 to 20kg) at TPE during a 4-hour layover, and pick it up 4.5 days later when I come back to TPE, so that I can take the large suitcase to Taipei downtown? If so, where shall I leave the suitcase, and how much does the storage cost?

Context: I am flying SFO->TPE (arriving at 6 AM local time for a 4-hour layover)->CTS (New Chitose Airport); HKD (4.5 days)->TPE (arriving at 7 PM local time for a few days stopover)->SFO. I'll be staying at CTS/HKD (Japan) for 4.5 days, and SFO->TPE->CTS is a 4-hour layover in TPE. All flights are with EVA Airways and were booked together.

I found 3 airport luggage storage options at TPE:

  1. Smart luggage lockers: don't seem to satisfy my requirements as according to https://en.hellowings.com/blog/post/taoyuan-airport-luggage-storage (mirror) the maximum storage length is three days
  2. Bonded Luggage Service: I'm confused whether I can use it because https://www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/arrival_baggage (mirror) says "you may deposit it at the bonded luggage counter for collection on departure.​"​ -> I don't want to collect the large suitcase on departure, but instead as I arrive to TPE and head to downtown Taipei.
  3. Left Luggage and Packing Services: https://www.taoyuan-airport.com/english/arrival_baggage (mirror) says "provide left luggage service and home collection and delivery services." so it sounds to me that the service is about moving the suitcase around instead of storing it.

I am a French citizen so as far as I know I can enter Taiwan if needs be to deposit my suitcase before leaving to Japan.


Abbreviations:

  • CTS = New Chitose Airport
  • HKD = Hakodate Airport
  • SFO = San Francisco International Airport
  • TPE = Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
  • What airline, and are youe SFO-TPE and TPE-CTS flights booked on the same ticket or separately? – Doc Aug 30 at 2:56
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    It would be so much easier to understand the context of a question if the authors used the full name of the airports beside the abbreviations at least once. – user90371 Aug 30 at 3:15
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    @ReddHerring I very strongly disagree, the airport names are not ambigious, easy to understand, the full names are unnecessary visual noise which makes it harder to get to the meat of the question. I rolled this back. Not to mention -- how deep does the rabbit hole go? Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport? Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport? – chx Aug 30 at 4:17
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    @chx You're entitled to your opinion but rolling back an edit made by the OP would seem a step too far. – user90371 Aug 30 at 4:26
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    @chx Well, pardon us all for cluttering up YOUR StackExchange with things YOU don't find helpful! I guess we should all just memorize every airport code since you have. – Harper Aug 30 at 19:09
33

Your initial problem will not be where to store your bag, but getting access to it in TPE.

By default, your bags will be checked through to your final destination - in your case that's CTS/Chitose Airport. In order to instead have your bags delivered to the baggage carousel in TPE you will need to ask the staff at the check-in counter in SFO to "short-check" your bags only as far as TPE.

However now days most airlines will NOT short-check bags, especially not on a 4 hour layover. There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary reason is that it's a common ask of people booking "Hidden City" ticket, where they book to a cheaper destination (eg, CTS), but only intend to fly as far as the connection point (eg, TPE). By denying short-checking of bags the airlines make it much more difficult for passengers to use such tickets.

The second reason many airlines will refuse to short-check bags is the impact of delays. For example, if your first flight is delayed by 3 hours, then you would have plenty of time to make it to your second flight - if your bags were checked all the way through. But by short-checking bags, you are basically guaranteeing that you're going to miss the connection as you will need to go through immigration (twice!) plus wait for baggage claim - all of which will take time.

Whilst it's certainly possible the agents will agree to short-check your bag if you ask and give a good reason, I would plan on them refusing and you having to take it with you all the way to CTS.

  • 1
    Thanks, this is very good to know! (in my case the main reason why I'm leaving the suitcase in TPE is because EVA Airways changed my flight path so I'm hoping that EVA Airways will allow me to short-check bags, but that's indeed a concern) – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 30 at 3:20
  • It is mind boggling that you can get the first flight to TPE cheaper if you book a second flight in addition. I do understand how this comes from yield management, but it still feels extremely weird. – Martin Ueding Sep 1 at 11:34
10

According to this thread

Bonded luggage will be sent to luggage hold, can't be reclaimed as carry on.

so that's definitely out.

I found two posts (1, 2) both of which says the left luggage service is what you need.

Left Luggage is your traditional luggage storage, but an agent touches it.

And:

I have used the left luggage service at TPE before. Yes, it's open to the public and it is outside of the secure area, so you should be fine. There is an attendant on duty at the counter to collect payment and answer your questions. I think you may need to show a confirmed ticket within the 30-day limit, but you don't necessarily have to arrive via the terminal.

However

The only thing to be aware of (I made this mistake once) is if you have a connecting flight in Taipei, they really don't want you to exit the secure area of the airport. Once we were traveling back to the U.S. from southeast Asia via Taipei (stayed in Taiwan for a few weeks prior) and left some luggage at TPE that we didn't need on our vacation. We had to go through customs and get reprinted boarding passes to go out and claim our left luggage. The airport security was not happy with us.

It seems the service is provided by Pelican Express and their page (mirror) has a price table "Luggage Deposit Service" (at least in the Google Translated version) which says a 151~186 cm bag for every 24 hours is NT$ 640 (roughly 20 USD). One size smaller is NT$ 480. This page has rudimentary maps, too.

  • 2
    Why would someone downvote this answer? This is great information. – Franck Dernoncourt Aug 30 at 19:22

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