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I fly from Paris Orly airport (ORY) into Newark (EWR) on La Compagnie (terminal B), then fly on United from EWR to Nashville, Tennessee (BNA) (assume terminal C).

La Compagnie said they do not interline baggage with other airlines. Do I need to go through customs, gather my luggage and then take the train or bus to terminal C, check in with United, and then go thru security? Or is there a way that I don’t have to go through security again?

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    Since the two flights are ticketed separately, you should consider it as two completely separate flights, as if you were flying to New York and then later flying to Nashville. Don’t forget that you need to be at the UA check-in counter before their check-in deadline, and that if you do not, you will be considered a no-show, and your ticket probably cancelled (possibly with further segments in the same ticket, including return flights), and you may need to book and buy a new ticket (at last minute prices) if you miss your flight. Better have quite a bit of margin.
    – jcaron
    Commented Feb 19, 2023 at 21:19
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    @jcaron You're right about it being two separate itineraries, but you can check in for the United flight on your computer of phone before ever leaving Europe. You'll still need to get to the check-in desk to re-check your bags before the baggage drop cutoff, though. That's usually only 30-45 minutes before departure for U.S. domestic flights, though (not sure about UA's limit at EWR specifically.)
    – reirab
    Commented Feb 21, 2023 at 6:28

2 Answers 2

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La Compagnie flies from France which doesn't have any pre-clearance airports.

That means

Do I need to go through customs, gather my luggage and then take the train or bus to terminal B, check in with United and then go thru security?

Yes. All passengers entering the US need to clear immigration and customs at their first port of entry into the US. (unless they depart from a pre-clearance airport)

If you are on a single ticket with a connecting flight you can drop your bags right after customs again. In your case you will need to drag your bags to a United check in counter. United operates mostly out of Terminal C but has also flights from Terminal A. I think all check-in is still in C (and there is an airside shuttle bus to A), but I'm not 100% sure. Check with United.

Or is there a way that I don’t have to go through security again?

No.

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    Note also that this process will take quite some time. Instinctually I would allow 3–4 hours to make this connection on separate tickets, though I don't have a lot of direct experience with EWR and I tend to be overly conservative with such things. Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 14:17
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    @MichaelSeifert Even if things in EWR tend to go fast (which I doubt, unless things have gotten better the last 10 years), I'd still allow 3-4 hours at least due to having separate tickets. If the inbound flight is delayed, United is going to treat it as a no show, and will not re-book for free on a different flight. I'd even allow for more hours if you aren't a returning ESTA traveller.
    – Abigail
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 17:13
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    @Abigail: Personally, I wouldn't risk it. I'd either buy separate travel insurance, or take an overnight in New York (or probably somewhere cheaper in the general metro area, since New York itself is going to be fantastically expensive).
    – Kevin
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 18:25
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    Because of this, I would strongly advise against the itinerary. @LauraMiller should stay on the same airline or stick with codesharing airlines, if at all possible.
    – moonman239
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 20:15
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    FWIW, I just found out if Laura leaves around March 8th, she can fly Lufthansa from Orly to Munich and then to EWK from which she'd take a United flight to Nashville, and it'd be business class the whole way (which is presumably what she wanted).
    – moonman239
    Commented Feb 20, 2023 at 20:21
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To add to the already existing correct answer:

If you have had contact with your checked bags you will have to reclear security, period. This is because there are many things permitted in checked baggage that are not permitted to be carried on. It would be a glaring security hole to not recheck passengers at that point.

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