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Taking a one-way flight on Singapore Air to Bangkok that has a stopover in Narita and planning to get out during the layover (ultimate destination is Tokyo) since the flight was a lot cheaper. The layover is about 15 hours long, we land in Narita at 7pm and the plane leaves at 11 am the next morning. Will I be able to retrieve my checked baggage in order to prevent my luggage from going to Bangkok?

  • Which airline is your original flight on? – JonathanReez May 24 '16 at 17:32
  • the whole trip is on Singapore Air – Willawilla May 24 '16 at 17:36
  • sorry kind of confusing – Willawilla May 24 '16 at 17:36
  • So to be clear, you actually only want to fly LAX-Tokyo, and the cheapest option you could find was LAX-Tokyo-Singapore-Bangkok on Singapore Airlines? – jpatokal May 24 '16 at 22:25
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    @Berwyn Elementary, my dear Watson: the only two Singapore Airlines destinations at Narita are Singapore (which they have to transit to get to Bangkok) and Los Angeles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narita_International_Airport#Passenger – jpatokal May 25 '16 at 3:23
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Unless you specially request it, you will not be able to retrieve your bags at Narita, since they will be checked through to Bangkok and transferred directly to the next plane. You will thus need to bring everything you need with you as carry-on luggage.

However! There is an option to request at check-in that they "short-check" your bags to Narita only. This is getting harder and harder to do, and is not guaranteed, but since you do have a nice long overnight layover of 15 hours, it's possible, and per anecdotal evidence Singapore Airlines should allow this.

Also, do you have a ticket out of Thailand? If you're flying one-way, you are likely to be asked for one at check-in, and may be denied boarding without it: Do I need a bus/train/plane ticket out of Thailand in order to get a Visa-on-Arrival?

Update: Corrected answer to note that short-checking may actually be a realistic possibility here.

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    I don't think it's unreasonable to short-check for a 15 hour overnight layover. – Berwyn May 24 '16 at 23:09
  • As it is an overnight layover, he should be able to claim his bags and recheck them in the morning. – user13044 May 25 '16 at 0:19
  • I find this answer either incorrect or mis-informed. When checking in luggage at the baggage drop, ground staff usually confirm where your bags are to be sent to. I had a recent PER > SIN > NRT flight with only a 90 min stopover in SIN and they still asked me whether my bags were to be checked through or picked up in Singapore. The problem that the OP will have is a Japanese Transit / Tourist Visa. Unless a long term Visa is obtained, Japan requires proof of exit (ie. a ticket out of the country). If you don't make that flight, you are technically an illegal entrant. – The Wandering Coder May 25 '16 at 0:55
  • @TheWanderingCoder They do have proof of exit, namely the continuing flight to BKK. It's not illegal to enter legally and change your plans, as long as they leave by some means before the Japanese entry permit granted at Narita expires, and if the OP is an American citizen, they'll get 90 days, no questions asked. – jpatokal May 25 '16 at 3:29
  • @jpatokal I have both an Australian and UK passport, both of which have 90 days (180 in the case of the UK passport), the law is that you still need to show proof of exit if requested and can be denied entry for failing to provide this proof. In practicality however this isn't often checked. Anyway, as OP's exit flight is the next day, overstaying that time after being requested to show the ongoing ticket and being accepted is considered deception, which if caught could face deportation and a permanent ban from the country. Once again, not usually enforced, however this does sometimes happen. – The Wandering Coder May 25 '16 at 5:30

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