Deciding to check a bag after int'l arrival

 
Old Jan 21, 09, 11:10 pm
  #1  
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Question Deciding to check a bag after int'l arrival

Iíll have a Caribbean international arrival at FLL, and will then connect. Iíd prefer to travel with carry-ons, but I may want to get liquids at the originating airport shop. I understand that thereís no baggage check charge for international trips, but there is for domestic. If I legally take the bottle onto the first flight, but then need to put it into a bag after FLL customs to check it for the continuation, will it be considered a domestic check and subject to a charge? So maybe I should check the bag if I think itís likely Iíll buy something? Suppose I check the bag, putting up with the wait at FLL customs, since I have a long layover, and if I donít have liquid and choose to remove the check tags, carry the bag on and not wait for it at my late final arrival, will that raise alarms?

It looks like at FLL international arrivals are at Terminal 4 and AA departures are at Terminal 3. Is the dropoff point at T4 equipped to check a previously unchecked bag, or would I need to take it to T3? Also, I see that AA doesnít have OLCI for international trips; I thought I saw that it is possible to enter passport information on the site and expedite airport check-in; is that right?
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Old Jan 21, 09, 11:41 pm
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I know you'd prefer to go with carry-ons, but in this scenario your best bet is to check your bags all the way. Get your duty free on the way and when you have to pick up your bags to clear customs in FLL, put the liquor in your checked bag before returning it.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 12:09 am
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I agree with the above poster.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 2:42 am
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I had similar experience LHR ORD DCA. Checking bags at ORD was not a problem. Aagent had seen the mid point check in before and was OK with it.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 7:47 am
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Depending on where you come from in the Caribbean, you may "pre-clear" customs at the origination of your trip. I remember doing this in NAS, however, I can not remember if we were required to re-clear security upon arrival in the US. If you depart from a "pre-clear" location, you may be able to keep your liquids with you, depending on when you purchase.

Good Luck!
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by MIAFlyer View Post
Depending on where you come from in the Caribbean, you may "pre-clear" customs at the origination of your trip. I remember doing this in NAS, however, I can not remember if we were required to re-clear security upon arrival in the US. If you depart from a "pre-clear" location, you may be able to keep your liquids with you, depending on when you purchase.
AUA has this as well. This will work if the liquids are purchased after the second security screening. At that point, as I was reminded once by a Customs official in Aruba, you are on "US soil." There will be no further need for security checks on domestic connections.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 10:32 am
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Thanks. This will be from PAP; I didn't mention it because I thought I'd be getting odd looks distracting from the question. I'm sure they don't have preclearance. I've heard of good deals at the airport shop there; if anyone's familiar with PAP airport, is it the usual duty-free shop arrangement where you would only get there after making the decision to check a bag or not?
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Old Jan 22, 09, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by rove312 View Post
Suppose I check the bag, putting up with the wait at FLL customs, since I have a long layover, and if I donít have liquid and choose to remove the check tags, carry the bag on and not wait for it at my late final arrival, will that raise alarms?
I've done that (not rechecked my bag after clearing customs) in the past and it's never been a problem.
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Old Jan 22, 09, 8:03 pm
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I doubt this is true of the Caribbean, but note that some airports (ICN and NRT, for example) will not let you take liquids purchased airside onto US-bound flights; there is a (cursory) bag search. (edit: I don't think this applies to duty-free purchases.)

Otherwise, I think there is no need to check bags on the int'l leg. Since the itinerary is international the agent will let you check bags at FLL, especially if you explain your reason.
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Old Jan 23, 09, 10:15 am
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slightly OT, but at RDU I was required to recheck bags en route to AUS after clearing customs from flight from LGW. this was back in Nov '07 though.
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