I'm booking a flight one-way from Ashgabat to Dublin via Istanbul. If I book the two legs separately, both with Turkish Airlines, it'a about €120 cheaper than booking it as a single (again with Turkish Airlines, no idea why). Does anyone have an idea if they will still check my baggage through to Dublin, or will I have to collect and re-check in (I have time, but don't want the hassle, as well as the fact I'll probably have to get a visa stamp "on arrival").

  • 1
    Most full-service airlines will, many LCCs (Low Cost Carriers) won't. I'd expect Turkish Airlines to check through when you show both sets of ticket details, but I'm not certain, so hopefully someone with experience can confirm
    – Gagravarr
    Mar 26, 2015 at 16:57

3 Answers 3


Turkish Airlines has a web page detailing their transfer procedures. In your case:

  • International transfer passengers flight routes issued on single ticket continuing to a foreign destination with Turkish Airlines

    Passengers disembark with only their cabin baggage and proceed directly to the boarding gates without any flight or passport procedures.

    Passengers who have not obtained their boarding pass for the connecting flight at the initial point of departure must apply to the Turkish Airlines Transit Check-in desk.

  • International transfer passengers (flight routes issued on separate ticket) continuing to a foreign destination with Turkish Airlines*

    Passengers reclaim their baggage from the international arrivals hall and proceed to the international terminal to apply to the relevant airline counter for check-in procedures.

So if you book separate tickets, you will need to collect your luggage and check it in again. (Seems like an acceptable hassle to me for €120.)

Note that Turkey does not do any passport checks for passengers in transit (staying in the international transit area of the airport), whether they collect their checked luggage or not. You only need a visa if you want to get out of the airport.

In general, booking separate tickets has the downside that if your first flight is delayed and you miss your second flight, the airline disclaims responsibility. With a single ticket, it's always the airline's responsibility to get you to your final destination. In the case of Turkish Airlines, their rules state:

If due to circumstances beyond its control Carrier cancels or delays a flight, is unable to provide previously confirmed space, fails to stop at a passenger's stopover or destination point, or causes the passenger to miss a connecting flight on which the passenger holds a reservation, Carrier shall (…)

I believe that a separate plane ticket (even with the same company) is not considered a “connecting flight” here, so with separate tickets you would be on your own. That may be worth paying €120 more.

  • 3
    Would he be allowed to board the flight from Ashgabat to Istanbul without being eligible to enter Turkey when he only has an unrelated onward ticket? What if he misses the onward flight and is not allowed to enter Turkey without a visa? Turkey planned to abandon the visa-on-arrival procedure early 2014, but has kept the procedure running on selected airports.If I understand the Turkish MFA visa information page correctly, the visa-on-arrival procedure has been abandoned permanently since Jan 1st, 2015. Mar 26, 2015 at 21:32
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    With both tickets from the same airline, he might be able to convince the person at check-in to check it through, if everyone is feeling friendly that day. Mar 26, 2015 at 21:36
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    FYI (I forgot about this thread after the trip), I simply asked them at check in, and showed both my bookings, and they were able to check my luggage all the way through to Dublin. Thanks Turkish airlines.
    – Sokratees9
    Mar 23, 2016 at 15:18
  • 4
    This answer is COMPETENTLY WRONG. As (basically?) all airports, baggage collection at IST is AFTER passport control. There is no way to collect your luggage without going through immigration, and absolutely no way to re-check it without being airside. There ARE transfer desks landside (before re-clearing security) however that will not help with non-interlined baggage.
    – Doc
    May 26, 2016 at 20:26
  • 2
    @Dmitry Exactly. And the "international arrival hall" is AFTER passport control. Which means that someone that needs to collect/re-check their bags needs to go through passport control. Which means they need a visa (presuming they need one to enter Turkey). The statement "Note that Turkey does not do any passport checks for passengers in transit (staying in the international transit area of the airport), whether they collect their checked luggage or not" simply makes no sense, as there's no way to collect checked luggage AND stay in the transit area.
    – Doc
    Sep 1, 2021 at 15:41

From the official instructions:

Our transfer passengers, coming from an international point and continuing to an international destination with Turkish Airlines, whose flight routes are not arranged with a single ticket* Learn more

Get your baggage from the international arrival hall. Go to the international terminal and the related airline’s counter for the check-in procedures of your upcoming flight. *Excluding passengers whose routes are arranged with a single ticket with a Star Alliance member airline or an airline having a codeshare flight agreement with Turkish Airlines and passengers having a connecting flight to Taiwan (TPE-KHH-RMQ) with a foreign airline in Turkish Airlines operated flights to Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Kuala Lumpur.

Source: https://www.turkishairlines.com/en-int/any-questions/transfer-transit-passengers/

But they seem to be completely wrong:

  1. Usually airports register the baggage to the final destination.
  2. It seems that it's not possible to follow the official instructions because you can claim the baggage only after the passport control (if a comment by another user here is correct).
  • "international arrival hall" does not imply that you stay in transit. This is basically where you end up after going through passport control. This is to distinguish it from the domestic arrival hall, where you pick up your luggage if you came off a domestic flight. Sep 2, 2021 at 9:43

You have two separate journeys, even if they are on Turkish Airlines. The second flight will not have your name as a passenger and thus your luggage will not be transferred.

In fact, your luggage will be tagged only till Istanbul when you check-in. As far as the airline in concerned, you only have a ticket to Turkey, so you need to make sure you are able to enter Turkey. Either you are exempt, or have applied in advance for a transit visa. This is because you will not be allowed to board unless you are able to terminate your journey in Turkey.

Once you land in Istanbul, you will follow the normal passenger that are going to Istanbul - you will follow the arrivals queue rather than the transit queue. You will most likely have to go through immigration, collect your luggage, go through customs and then enter Istanbul.

Then, simply follow the signs for international departure and check in again at the Turkish airline counter for your next flight. Hand them your luggage, this time they will tag it to Lisbon. Present your passport and flight reservation, get your boarding pass, go through security, immigration and then board your next flight.

Make sure you have sufficient time between flights to complete all the formalities and account for any delays.


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