In December this year, I am planning to fly the Helsinki–Dubai–Mumbai route (and return). I am planning to stay in Dubai for few days on my way to Mumbai. If I book this as one ticket, I have to pay much more compared to booking two separate return tickets for Helsinki–Dubai and Dubai–Mumbai. I will have to book these with separate airlines (Finnair for Helsinki–Dubai and some other airline for Dubai–Mumbai).

I have two questions:

  1. I am not sure about checking my luggage through on my way back. I won't have a Dubai visa on my way back, so I cannot go out of the transit area to retrieve my luggage and check it in again. Do you think the airline that operates the Mumbai–Dubai route will be able to check my luggage in all the way to Helsinki?

  2. Assuming that Mumbai-Dubai airline doesn't forward my luggage, I can get by with just carry-on luggage. But can there be a problem checking in at Mumbai if I don't have Dubai transit visa?

  • Will you be booking onto airlines in the same alliance, and ideally airlines in the same alliance who offer codeshares, or would it just be two random different airlines?
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 30, 2014 at 8:10
  • It will be airlines from different alliance. Jun 30, 2014 at 8:43
  • I would take another look at booking a combined Helsinki-Dubai-Mumbai ticket, it really shouldn't cost you more than two returns. You should be able to book this as a single return ticket with a stopover. Jun 30, 2014 at 12:52

2 Answers 2


I just talked to Sharaf Travel agency in Dubai (+97143965186) to clear my doubts. They told me following things:

  1. I will not need transit visa if I am not leaving the transit area at Dubai airport.

  2. I can check-in my baggage at Mumbai airport and tell the airline staff that I will like to pick up my baggage in the transit area. From the transit area, I can drop off my baggage at Finnair counter inside transit area.

  • Thanks for coming back to share that! You might need to wait a little bit to do that but you could also “accept” your own answer.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 1, 2014 at 10:31
  • you will probably be unable to board the India-UAE flight
    – Akash
    Jul 4, 2014 at 18:40
  • 1
    Update: Sharaf actually gave me wrong information. One cannot get the baggage in transit area since that would be violation of security. However, on reaching Dubai airport, I went to Marhaba transfer desk and paid them 84$ to do the baggage transfer from Spicejet to Finnair. It was pretty hassle free. However, while going through immigration in India while boarding the Spicejet flight to Dubai, the immigration official had some doubts about letting me go since I didn't have Dubai transit visa. He let me go only after his senior told him that it's ok. Jan 18, 2015 at 12:20

It's difficult to know for sure but it seems too risky to rely on it if your ability to transit without visa depends on it (worse case scenario, you could be denied boarding on the return leg and be forced to pay much more for a direct flight or a proper connection). It's more likely to be possible if the airlines are both full service airlines from the same alliance or have some partnership (codeshare or interlining). It's almost certainly impossible if one of them is a low-cost carrier.

Also, even if the cheaper fares do not show up when searching for Helsinki-Mumbai directly, you might still be able to buy this itinerary as one ticket with a stopover (using the “multi-city” functionality on the web or going through a travel agent). If that's not possible (either because the airlines have no interlining agreement or because the cheap fares don't allow it), it does not bode well for your luggage situation.

You should in any case try to confirm this beforehand with the airlines.

  • 2
    Thanks. I confirmed with the Mumbai-Dubai airline and they said that they would not be able to forward my luggage at Dubai. :( Jun 30, 2014 at 11:35

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