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I will be switching airlines to reach the US. Will I have to pick up my checked-in luggage again and submit it at the new airline's counter (United) again?

I'm confused about the whole process of what I would do at my layover. This is my first time flying internationally alone, so I also wonder if airport staff will be able to guide me through every step of the way?

I booked tickets with United Airlines. I was able to book tickets for both flight carriers with them. I would go to BLR and travel with Air India to DEL, and then I would travel with United to ORD. The layover would be at DEL. My flight is in a few days

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    You dont need to send a comment twice. Just add a comma and the second name. (i.e. (@ for first name only)Willeke,jcaron) May 28 at 12:16

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As long as both flights are on the same ticket, in this instance, this is what should happen:

  • In BLR, when checking in, they should see both flights in your booking. They will usually reconfirm by asking “what is your final destination today?”.
  • They will “check-through” your luggage to the final destination: you’ll see the labels they stick on your luggage will have both DEL (usually smaller print) and ORD (usually larger print).
  • They will usually give you boarding passes for both flights
  • You’ll go through security, to your gate, and board your aircraft.
  • In DEL, you will not see your luggage, it will be transferred to the next flight.
  • You’ll go through exit passport control and possibly another security check (don’t know the details in DEL)
  • You’ll go to your gate and board your second flight
  • In ORD, you’ll go through passport control (immigration), reclaim your bags, go through customs, and that’s it.

Make sure when you check-in that you are indeed checked through to your final destination.

If for some reason they can’t issue the boarding pass for the second flight in BLR, you’ll need to get it in DEL, usually from a “transfer desk”. The agents in BLR should be able to tell you exactly how and where.

In DEL, make sure you follow signs for “transfers” or “connecting flights”, not “exit” or “baggage claim”.

Depending on the airports and airlines there could be lots of staff around to assist you or none at all. But it is always quite well signposted.

Note that things could be quite different for other combinations of flights/airports (including in the way back).

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  • 'In DEL, you will not see your luggage, it will be transferred to the next flight.' Are you sure about this? Thank you so much for the elaborate and helpful response. "Make sure when you check-in that you are indeed checked through to your final destination." Does this mean that I will have to ensure that I have both boarding passes? I apologize for all the questions, thank you!
    – repat
    May 28 at 13:15
  • As long as both flights are on the same ticket I received my e-ticket itinerary with both of the flights with different airline carriers on there. However, United Airlines is telling me that I will have to check-in with Air India at BLR. It seems that United doesn't have a counter at BLR, so would that have anything to do with the procedure I would have to undergo? Thanks.
    – repat
    May 28 at 13:25
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    @repat if both flights are on the same ticket, in this specific case (domestic to international), then there is really no reason for you to have to see your luggage. In the opposite direction I couldn’t say, as different countries have different policies for international-to-domestic. As I wrote, it’s possible you could not get the second boarding pass even if you are checked through to the final destination. Just ask the agent at check-in, or look at the tags on your luggage.
    – jcaron
    May 28 at 13:26
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    @repat to be able to sell the two flights on the same ticket, the two airlines have an “interlining agreement” which allows them to sell such connections, making sure luggage is transferred from one flight to the next even if they are operated by different airlines. As they wrote, go to the Air India check-in desk in BLR, and they’ll see the complete itinerary as if it were on the same airline.
    – jcaron
    May 28 at 13:28

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