I have a 3 stop return flight plan from ICN (Seoul) scheduled in a few months. I opted for this flight plan due to the discounted price it was offered at.

The plan is ICN -> DTW -> MSP -> FNT.
DTW is only an hour or so drive away from FNT, but instead the airline is opting for me to spend 9 hours going through Minneapolis.

Can I convince the airline to release my luggage? And if they won't release my luggage, how will it be returned to me? (Maybe I can just go pick them up in flint? :)

I plan on asking them since it can't hurt to ask, but I wondered if anyone had any experience with this. Airline is Delta.

  • 1
    Why not just change an itinerary?
    – Karlson
    Mar 12 '14 at 19:28
  • possible duplicate of Do you have to take the second leg of a flight?
    – Karlson
    Mar 12 '14 at 19:28
  • @Karlson, It happens to be half the cost to do it this way.
    – user606723
    Mar 12 '14 at 19:33
  • 2
    @Karlson, I believe this is not a duplicate as this question has baggage concerns as the other one did not as well as a few other specific questions.
    – user606723
    Mar 12 '14 at 19:38
  • 7
    THIS IS NOT A DUPLICATE of the question listed. That question refers to a domestic flight. This is an international flight feeding into a domestic flight, where the passenger is considering leaving the itinerary at the international connection point. This gives a very different answer.
    – Doc
    Mar 13 '14 at 0:06

Skipping a flight you're checked in for with bags is generally not a great idea. Since your bags can't fly without you (because Terrorism(tm)), they have to unload your bags, which will almost certainly delay the flight and piss off the baggage handlers. In other words, doing this would usually be a bit of a dick move on your part.

However, in this particular case (as Doc notes), you're flying internationally from Korea to DTW, which means your bags will be unloaded so you can collect them and take them through Customs. So:

  1. Nothing happens, you can simply leave during your layover.

  2. The airline will mark you as a no-show for that flight. Nobody cares if you do this occasionally, but the airline will eventually twig on if you do this (say) every week and might send you a nasty letter, confiscate your frequent flyer miles and/or ban you from flying with them again.

  3. and 4. See above: you're required to collect your bags at DTW anyway, so all you need to do is not check them back in afterwards.

  • 5
    Sorry, but this is incorrect. As DTW is the point of entry into the US the bags will be unloaded anyway, and it will be the responsibility of the passenger to collect them and take them through customs.
    – Doc
    Mar 13 '14 at 0:03
  • Crap -- you're right, completely overlooked that! Fixing answer now. Mar 13 '14 at 1:56
  • 2
    There's also the issue that subsequent legs will be cancelled, so if you'd booked ICN to X return, you wouldn't be able to board the return flight to ICN
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 13 '14 at 5:05
  • 2
    @user606723 My source is passing through US immigration and customs several dozen times in the past few years. That's definitely how it works.
    – Doc
    Mar 13 '14 at 19:00
  • 1
    @user606723 See also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. Mar 13 '14 at 22:56

If you check bags, your bags will go to the final city in your ticket, you will not. So this only works with carry ons (except for international flights arriving in the U.S. and a few other countries, because you have to pick up your bags on arrival in the U.S. and walk them through customs, then drop them back off. If you’re checked to a domestic destination other than the one you arrive at in the U.S., you can just not drop your bags back off. So if your final destination is your arrival city, you can terminate there.


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