I am a Filipino citizen and I have a single itinerary ticket for a one-way trip to Tahiti, French Polynesia with a connecting flight in Narita, Japan on February 20 (Cebu -> Narita -> Tahiti). Unfortunately, I recently learned that my two airline carriers (Air Philippines and Air Tahiti Nui) are not partnered, so my luggage will not be tagged all the way to my final destination.

Air Tahiti Nui replied to me and said there is a chance I will have to personally collect my luggage, which would entail passing through Immigration/Passport Control (the person I spoke to didn't seem to know much). I do not have a visa (I did not bother to get one since I am only in the same terminal for arrival and departure) and my layover is only three hours.

I am wondering if the transit desk will be able to tag my luggage to Tahiti? If not, what do I do if I have to pass through immigration? I only intend to collect my luggage to check it in for my next flight (without leaving airport premises if possible). Would I be eligible for a transit pass/shore pass?

I already asked PAL and they said the Cebu check-in desk can't give shore pass applications. Is there any way I can have my baggage retagged at Narita? The airline carriers of my trip haven't been giving me clear answers. I am also still waiting for a response from the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines.

  • If you have to claim your bags, you will need to pass through immigration to reach baggage claim, which likely means a visa. Have you tried emailing Narita Airport and asking them? contents.narita-airport.jp/en/inquiry/mail.html And I assume you have a visa for French Polynesia, especially since you are flying one way?
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 4:06
  • @Tom Yes, this means a visa (if one does not qualify for visa-free entry and cannot obtain a "shore pass"). A visa for any other country does not waive this requirement.
    – fkraiem
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 5:30
  • @fkraiem - My question about the visa for Polynesia was not in relation to the Tokyo transit, it was simply in regard to the OP's mention that it was a one way ticket and something the OP will encounter before boarding their first flight from the Philippines.
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 6:27
  • A year ago, I checked my luggage through and switched planes in Narita but with the same airline and I got stuck on a slow moving line thru security. Leave plenty of time.
    – Yehuda_NYC
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 20:57

2 Answers 2


Where did you get issued the "single ticket"? Neither Air Philippines nor Air Tahiti Nui fly that route (as far as I could find). Did you purchase these tickets on flight aggregation sites which has essentially given you two separate tickets?

In Narita Airport, there is a transit path that allows you to transfer from one flight to another without going through immigration. Unfortunately you will be unlikely to use this if you need to collect your baggage, which is after immigration. See the connections guide on the Narita Airport page.

If your luggage is not tagged to your final destination, you will need to go through immigration then collect your luggage, then check in again in Narita. As you are a Phillipine National, you will need to contact the Embassy of Japan for a transit visa.

  • TN & PR do not have ticketing interline agreements with each other. Unless they previously had an agreement that was recently voided, I do not see how this could be issued as a single ticket. It might be possible to do it on a paper ticket by hand using a third carrier's ticket paper, but from the IATA regulation standpoint that's really dicey. Also, the two carriers do not have baggage interline agreements, so the luggage definitely will not be checked through.
    – Calchas
    Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:22
  • 1
    @Calchas that is what I suspected, in that case the OP must go through immigration etc Commented Feb 23, 2016 at 21:26

I do not think the embassy in Philippines can really help you because the immigration is another department. Although you have a visa from the embassy, the immigration still can reject you without any reason given. But you need not worry because there is a nice hotel in the airport before the immigration. So what I mean is the only people who really knows are the immigration in Narita. From what I know as a hyper frequent traveler, the officials in Narita will help you but your luggages may give you problems.

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