I am taking a vacation in the Maldives in November. I’m ticketed all the way through United and their Star Alliance partners. I’ll be starting the journey on United from Newark to Zurich. 4 hour layover and then changing to Swiss Airlines to Delhi. 4 hour layover in Delhi, and then connecting to Air India to Male. Would people recommend checking bags at Newark to my final destination, or, since I have sufficient connecting time in Zurich and Delhi, should I retrieve my bag(s) and then re-check them? Probably makes sense to just check in at Newark all the way through and hope for the best. Thanks for any feedback..
Unless you are planning to need something in your checked luggage, you should definitely not retrieve it during your layovers. It will make you far more likely to miss the connection. It will also make your experience much more stressful and tiring.
Four hours is a long time, but delays can happen, and it's much quicker to transfer the bags directly from one plane to another than to transfer them to the baggage carousel, where you have to wait for them to emerge before you recheck them and they are transferred to your next flight. You would also have to worry about possible delays at immigration, since you have to clear immigration before getting to the baggage carousel, and then clear exit controls to get back to your gate.
If you're worried about your luggage getting lost, I suspect that it would be marginally less likely to happen with a direct transfer than if you collect it and re-check it yourself, but it's very unlikely either way.