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Suppose I've self-arranged a connection through a given airport (connecting journey ticketed separately), and have checked baggage with me. I've made sure to do the usual things when booking a self-arranged connection (booked enough buffer time at the connection, ensured I have the right visas, etc.).

However, there's a possibility that the airline operating my first segment will fail to deliver my bags on time. When a bag delay happens, I see the baggage service agents at the destination to file a report and specify the address I want my bags delivered once they're found.

But what happens if I'm scheduled to, separately, fly out of the same airport on another ticket from the one I came into it on? Can I specify an address on the form that's very far from the connection airport? Will the airline deliver my bags there, regardless of distance, or is there a limit as to how far they'll deliver them?

The furthest I've experienced this is when flying into LAX airport on an international flight: we specified a delivery address in San Diego and there were no problems. But what if the address is in a completely different region of the world?

Are the rules different if the incoming segment is domestic or international, given the different treaties that apply to international travel and baggage (the Warsaw and Montreal conventions, etc.)?

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    I don't think baggage delivery is typically promised in the contract of carriage, but is just a courtesy provided by the airline. So it may be decided case-by-case depending on how convenient / expensive the requested delivery would be for the airline, and perhaps on how much they value your business (elite status, etc). Legally, I doubt they have any obligation to do anything beyond getting to the destination airport of your ticket, and perhaps compensate you for the delay in getting it there (if required by law). Feb 19 at 19:24
  • Good question, however I don't think you're going to find one specific answer - I suspect it won't even be one answer per airline, or one per airport.
    – Midavalo
    Feb 19 at 20:53
  • I suspect distance is less important then whether the delivery would cross any customs borders. Afaict baggage and cargo are treated very differently from a customs perspective. Feb 20 at 0:26
  • @PeterGreen I guess that would make sense if you flew domestic and your onward leg was international. But if your incoming leg was international, it'd anyway need to pass through customs. Also, in my case, the incoming segment was international, requiring it to pass through U.S. customs on the way to San Diego, and it made it without any issues.
    – gparyani
    Feb 20 at 0:35
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    Data point: when my baggage arrived one day late at the Antalya Airport in Turkey via Turkish Airlines in 2019 I had to pick it up myself. Thankfully, my tour operator helped with transportation between the hotel and the airport (~40km one-way).
    – yeputons
    Feb 20 at 23:25

1 Answer 1

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Good read on the overall topic https://thepointsguy.com/guide/lost-delayed-luggage/

A few conclusions

  1. There is no single standard, every airline has their own set of rules and are governed by different set of local legal standards
  2. Most airlines will go through some significant effort to deliver your bag. My record was 120 km. As far as I know, this is typically not done by the airlines themselves but by a local provider who covers an entire airport which are used by most airlines at a particular airport. This way the provider can pool all the delayed bags for a specific region and cover this fairly economically
  3. The above link covers your specific case: Delta indeed shipped a delayed bag to reach the customer at a different destination that was booked on a separate ticket. I'm guessing in this case this required some good will from the second carrier (who wasn't responsible for anything) so your mileage may vary greatly here.
  4. If they can't or don't want to ship it after you, they may either have to return it to the departure airport or declare it as lost and pay compensation. That's expensive (e.g. United pays $1500 per lost back), so if they can get it to your for less money, they probably will.
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    My data point: I once flew to CDG after having an impossibly tight connection at YUL. I made it; the bag didn't. I then hopped on the TGV to Avignon. My bag was delivered 3 days later. Not bad considering that hte delivery company didn't work weekends, and two of those days were a weekend. Feb 21 at 0:33
  • 100km? I've had my (delayed) transatlantic baggage follow me around most of the US (I can't remember the exact itinerary but it involved NYC, SFO, LAX, PDX, and SJC). It did finally get to me before returning to the UK, but only just. Must have travelled thousands of km. Would have been funnier if I'd been an astronaut and gone to the ISS though.
    – abligh
    Feb 21 at 6:34
  • 1500$ is not particularly much for a filled suitcase. If I only pack a coat, a suit, 3 shirts and a pair of shoes I would already be at about 1000 Dollars. Include some more casual pants and maybe a couple sweatshirts. Maybe an electrical device I'd easily approach 2000$. And I don't think my clothes are insanely expensive
    – SirHawrk
    Feb 21 at 7:34
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    my dad's record for delivering lost luggage was delivering it from Frankfurt (Germany) to Sao Paulo (Brazil). His bags got inadvertently loaded to a flight from Amsterdam to Frankfurt when he checked in for his KLM flight from Amsterdam to Sao Paulo. Lufthansa found his bags in Frankfurt, put them on their next flight to Sao Paulo, and delivered them to his hotel there. Bags were delayed by about 6 hours, not bad at all and a good example of cooperation between airports and airlines.
    – jwenting
    Feb 21 at 9:27
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    LOL "your mileage may vary" is being used literally here.
    – Barmar
    Feb 21 at 14:41

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