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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..

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    Why would you want not to have your bags checked through? Without knowing what you're trying to achieve, it is hard to give relevant advice. – Henning Makholm Oct 1 at 22:07
  • I typically pack light and carry on when I travel. For this trip, I feel as if I will want/need to check one bag (larger size toiletries, sunscreen, bulky shoes, etc), so I was wondering if it would be wise to check all the way through. On some prior vacations to Europe from the US, luggage was mis-routed, so all I wanted to know was if anyone had any words of wisdom on whether to check all the way through, or should I check to each city and then re-check (I'm three different carriers). – Chucknycuws Oct 2 at 1:15
  • Regarding mis-routing: always take a minimum amount of necessities with you in your hand luggage. – Jan Doggen Oct 2 at 7:42
  • Mis routing is a risk either way. Probably larger when you handle the bugs 3 times instead of just once. – Hilmar Oct 2 at 13:46
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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.

  • thank you very much. Your comment makes total sense. Check @ Newark and retrieve in the Maldives!! – Chucknycuws Oct 2 at 1:16
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    @Chucknycuws I once waited nearly a week in the Maldives for my delayed baggage to arrive because of the limited number of flights. Lesson learnt - pack essentials plus some swimwear and at least one ‘outfit’ in your carry on in case the worst happens and you find there is very little or nothing to buy that a) fits you and b) you would remotely want to wear (even if your insurance is ultimately picking up the bill!) – Traveller Oct 2 at 13:41
  • Thanks. That’s the plan. Appreciate the advice. – Chucknycuws Oct 2 at 23:26

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