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I have been looking at various conversations like this one. I will be traveling Mumbai(BOM) -> Doha (DOH) -> Cape Town, South Africa (CPT) in a roundtrip manner. I have a layover of 22 hours in Doha till the next connection, both ways. Both the legs and ways I am flying Qatar Airways, so it's Qatar Airways all the way.

Does checking in luggage has to do with making sure nobody took items out or your luggage or it has not been torn ? I will be doing the plastic roll around my backpack but it would be good to have a bit more idea.

Edit - @zach-lipton Is there a way to know it before starting what the process would be, maybe at the check-in counter before boarding at the first leg of the journey for the second itself, or do I have to go to the baggage claim and see if my baggage turns up ?

Also does it mean that I would have to keep the luggage with me for those 22 hours (or/and store it at a storage locker) for that amount of time.

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    To be clear: checking in a bag doesn't mean looking at it to "check" on its contents; it means giving the bag to the airline staff and having them tag it so it is checked into the airline's system. You'll do this when you start your journey, and depending on your itinerary, may need to reclaim your bag and check it back in at intermediate points. – Zach Lipton May 13 '16 at 16:08
  • When you check in the bags in Mumbai, you should ask them at the counter whether the bags can be checked through to your final destination or whether you'll claim them in Doha. With a 22 hour layover, it will depend on the airline's policy if they are willing to hold your luggage for that long. Note that, if you need to claim the bags in Doha, you'll need to comply with whatever formalities are necessary to enter the country, including a visa if one is required. – Zach Lipton May 13 '16 at 18:11
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What this refers to is the necessity of claiming your baggage, going through customs once more, then re-checking it again for your next flight. The process is pretty straightforward so you already know what you need to do, just as if you had arrived at your final destination, go to the carousel get your bag, proceed to customs, then to the airline counter to check it again.

If you were planning on leaving the airport of course that means you'll have your luggage with you, but plenty of large airports have lockers and temporary storage for such scenarios.

Some countries do not differentiate between transiting passengers and those whose final destination is the country in question, so everyone has to go through customs. On the other hand, some places do and the airline will automatically transfer your luggage to your connecting flight without you needing to do anything

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