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I'm considering traveling LAX >---> SYD >---> DPS (Indonesia) in a few months. Delta on the first leg, then a plane change to Virgin Australia for the second. Only 2 flight numbers on each, so there really is an airline change.

Delta told me the bags would automatically pass thru to DPS without going thru Customs in AU, BUT the price is so right (cheaper than a straight flight LAX >---> SYD) that I'm considering NOT having my bags pass thru and instead spending some time in Oz before getting a separate flight to DPS later.

It's a 15 hour flight followed by a 6 hour flight with less than 5 hours between and I've had problems with DVTs in both legs and PEs in both lungs just 3 years ago, so I'm leery of spending that much time (20 hours) in a plane over a 26 hour span. I really feel I'd be better off with at least a few days between legs.

Is there a way to NOT have my bags automatically pass thru at a plane change?

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What you need to do is to ask the check-in counter to short check you bag. They can do it but it is at their discretion, specially if they feel the time to get the connection time is tight.

What you can also do is ask them to change the second leg of your flight to a later date. Some airlines do it for free, others for a fee, plus any fare difference if there is one. In this case, they would check the bag in only for the first leg.

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I did something similar a while ago, and funnily while going to Indonesia too.

Although, I'm not sure if I got your problem right. What you are going to do, judging by what you wrote, is to book two distinct flights: that is not a single flight divided in two legs, and as such in SYD you will be given your luggage back.

As I said, I made the same thing on MXP->DXB->CGK, and I got three tickets: one from MXP to DXB, one from DXB to CGK, and one from CGK to MXP. So, at DXB, I just got my bag back and spent three days around.

If instead you book it as just one flight with two legs, usually you get no more than 23 hours of layover and in that case you'll not get your luggage (unless you do as Itai suggested).

Finally, there are some company that allow to book a flight and extend the layover up to quite a few days, but it depends from the company itself and the destination city.

My personal suggestion, go to a travel agency. I never use them, but if you want to do things like those they have much more experience and much more options than you can find on a website :-)

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