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I am a Canadian citizen travelling from Vancouver Canada to Mallorca Spain. There is a stop over at Newark airport in US. (YVR > EWR > PMI and PMI > EWR > YVR) back.

I am wondering if there is any type of baggage recheck in (I have to pick up my baggage at EWR and put it on the next flight to Spain???)

The first leg is with Air Canada and second leg is with United Airlines, which are Star Alliance partners. So I am hoping the baggage automatically travels from Canada to Spain without any recheck ins

Can anyone kindly confirm?

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For your specific itinerary it's a little unique, and will vary in each direction.

All passengers travelling to the US will need to pass through US immigration and customs, even if they are only in transit. See this answer for some details on why that is.

On your outbound trip (YVR > EWR > PMI), you will pass through US immigration and customs whilst still physically in Canada, at Vancouver airport, under a program called Pre-Clearance. You do not need to physically carry your bags through customs, but they will be held by US immigration there until they allow you to pass through to the boarding area (at which point are have officially "entered" the USA).

When you arrive in Newark from Vancouver, you arrive basically as a US domestic passenger would. As a result, your bags will be automatically transferred to your international flight without you having to collect them. You will not need to pass through immigration or security, you can simply go directly to your gate. (Depending on the airport you may need to go through security if it is not possible to get from your arrival gate to your departure gate without doing so, but I don't believe that's required for AC/UA at EWR).

On the way back (PMI > EWR > YVR) it's a different story. You bags will be tagged all the way to your final destination, however you will need to pass through immigration and customs on arrival in the US, which means you will need to collect your bags at Newark, walk them through customs, and then re-check them at the baggage drop area which is just outside of customs. From there you can head through security to your gate for departure.

Note that as you will be entering the US (in both directions) you will need to have the legal right to do so. If you're a Canadian citizen then you're generally going to be fine there, but if you're not then you will require either an ESTA or a US Visa before you will be allowed check-in for your initial flight.

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  • Oh wow thank you so much for such a thorough answer. I think your answer provided way more information than what Air Canada told me after 3 hour wait call. Do you think on the way back to Canada, given 2 hour layover, the immigration +customs + recheck bag will be possible or way too tight for the whole process?
    – uniudon
    Jul 6 at 21:28
  • 2 hours may be tight depending on how busy they are at the time, but if you miss your flight they will put you on a later one at no charge.
    – Doc
    Jul 6 at 22:29
  • As always, if your trip is on a single ticket you're generally fine with stopovers. Tickets are issued only when they observe the minimum required time to transfer between flights. Jul 7 at 6:30
  • This is largely complete, but Air Canada operates out of Terminal A at Newark while United is (mostly) in Terminal C, so you'll have to take the monorail between terminals and clear security.
    – mlc
    Jul 7 at 12:45
  • @mlc United also operates out of terminal A, and there is an airside bus that connects A and C without the need to reclear security.
    – Doc
    Jul 7 at 14:40

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