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I can't seem to get a clear answer to this question, I hope someone can help.

My wife is an Iraqi citizen she recently got her visa to Canada (Permanent Residence). I purchased 2 separate tickets for her because it was a lot cheaper. First leg of the trip is from Erbil to Istanbul and the second leg is from Istanbul to Canada.

First flight is booked with kiwi.com and it is a Turkish Airlines flight, second flight is booked through Air Canada website. There is 17h between the flights.

When I first called Air Canada they told me that she cannot be checked all the way through because these are separate bookings even though both airlines are part of the Star Alliance program. I then called Turkish airlines and they said it depends on the airport in Erbil but they should be able to check her all the way through since we are Star Alliance partners.

I tried to apply for a visa online through the Turkish government site but Canadian permanent residence visa is not listed part of the drop down options as back up document, therefore you cannot apply for a Turkish visa online. Only Schengen and USA are listed.

The consulate in Erbil is not picking up the phone and if they do, they tell you the number you dialed is for Turkish citizens within Iraq and they give you a number to call which doesn't get answered.

Is there no way around this? Will they really not let her pick up her bags to be re-checked back in to the Air Canada flight? Seems ridiculous to me. We are not planning to go out into Turkey, just want to be able to claim baggage and re-check back in to catch the flight to Canada.

Is my last resort really to cancel the bookings lose money and re-book one ticket?

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    Keep in mind that there are two airports in Istanbul (IST and SAW). It appears that Turkish Airlines operates flights from Erbil to both airports, while Air Canada only flies out of IST. If your wife will be flying into SAW and out of IST, she will certainly need to enter Turkey. – Zach Lipton May 25 '16 at 4:28
  • Hi G2m, before anyone can help, in the first instance you need to clarify which Airport in Istanbul and if it is the same airport. You may have accidentally booked the two different airports. BTW of course it's too late to say this now but as general advice for anyone googling here "I purchased 2 separate tickets for her" ... never ever buy two separate tickets for travel, never. – Fattie May 25 '16 at 13:00
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Turkish airlines is known to be fairly "variable" when it comes to things like this, and the outcome often depends on the actual person checking you in rather than any formal policy.

Even their own website is confused as to the correct procedure, claiming in the section "International transfer passengers (flight routes issued on separate ticket) continuing to a foreign destination with another airline" that you need to BOTH collect your bags (which would require going through immigration), and remain airside and go to the transfer desk (which will not result in your baggage being transferred).

Officially their policy appears to be that they do NOT interline baggage (ie, check it through to the final destination) in cases like this - however this seems to be at the liberty of the actual check-in agent.

However in this case you have an additional complication - a layover of 17 hours is beyond the normal 12 hours that Turkish seems to ever allow for interlined bags so I'd say it's very unlikely that they will allow it.

Further adding to the complication, Turkish Airlines will not be able to issue a boarding pass for the Air Canada flight - leaving her to get one at the transfer desk in Istanbul. However as AC only has one flight per day to Istanbul (the one she is one), their transfer desk will probably not be open at the time she arrives which means that she will be stuck in the arrivals area for probably 12+ hours - and as far as I remember there are no facilities (food, etc) in that part of the airport... She may be able to get around this with online check-in - I'm not sure of AC's policies on online checkin when visas are involved.

  • Every Kiwi answer gets this comment: check travel.stackexchange.com/q/134484/4188 before using their guarantee. – chx Mar 30 at 15:28
  • @chx This answer has nothing to do with kiwi.com. It's other than it being mentioned in the question it's completely irrelevant to either the question or the answer... – Doc Mar 30 at 15:35

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