INTL to INTL Connection ATL

Old Jul 7, 16, 8:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: ATL
Programs: DL Diamond
Posts: 85
INTL to INTL Connection ATL

I've had great success with an occasional "hidden city" itinerary and jumped on some great biz fares ex-Canada to JNB on KLM/DL recently. Was able to route my return trip through ATL where I live. Great.
As the trip approaches, I'm realizing that I'm gone a while and would be FAR easier to be able to check a bag, even on the return.
So there are two logistical questions -
1. Is it possible when connecting from an international flight in ATL to take my luggage through customs and simply exit the airport? I seem to recall connecting passengers being separated from ATL-bound pax. (this is assuming a domestic connection)
2. Will my checked luggage even have to go through US customs in ATL if my onward flight is to Canada? I understand that I'll go thru immigration, but would the checked bag (un)helpfully go directly on the international flight to YYZ?
I'm sure someone else has faced this before, but my search didn't turn up much.
dcjono is offline  
Old Jul 7, 16, 8:49 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 18,844
Originally Posted by dcjono View Post
I've had great success with an occasional "hidden city" itinerary and jumped on some great biz fares ex-Canada to JNB on KLM/DL recently. Was able to route my return trip through ATL where I live. Great.
As the trip approaches, I'm realizing that I'm gone a while and would be FAR easier to be able to check a bag, even on the return.
So there are two logistical questions -
1. Is it possible when connecting from an international flight in ATL to take my luggage through customs and simply exit the airport? I seem to recall connecting passengers being separated from ATL-bound pax. (this is assuming a domestic connection)
2. Will my checked luggage even have to go through US customs in ATL if my onward flight is to Canada? I understand that I'll go thru immigration, but would the checked bag (un)helpfully go directly on the international flight to YYZ?
I'm sure someone else has faced this before, but my search didn't turn up much.
Yes, ATL is an airport that if you're connecting INTL-INTL then your bags just transfer, no more needing to pick them up. It won't come out on the baggage belt.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jul 7, 16, 11:01 pm
  #3  
In memoriam, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,408
Waiting patiently for the posts that say that this is, theft, fraud, unethical and illegal. . . . . . Yada, yada. . . . .

3. . . . . 2 . . . . . 1 . . . . .
davetravels is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 2:13 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Internet
Programs: Alaska Mileage Plan
Posts: 695
You can ask for your bags to be short checked to Atlanta - say you need to change into a suit or whatever. Generally speaking, airlines will do this, although they will also warn you that re-checking the bags on time is your responsibility.

Hidden cities itineraries can go wrong though - note that there is no guarantee that you'll get to connect through Atlanta if there are irregular operations or a schedule change! You could easily be routed through another Delta hub (such as Detroit).
TProphet is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 3:21 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: LHR
Programs: DL DM 1MM, BA Silver
Posts: 10,170
Originally Posted by TProphet View Post
You can ask for your bags to be short checked to Atlanta - say you need to change into a suit or whatever. Generally speaking, airlines will do this, although they will also warn you that re-checking the bags on time is your responsibility.

Hidden cities itineraries can go wrong though - note that there is no guarantee that you'll get to connect through Atlanta if there are irregular operations or a schedule change! You could easily be routed through another Delta hub (such as Detroit).
IME, a layover has to be long enough to justify the short-check.
rwoman is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 4:26 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 18,844
Originally Posted by TProphet View Post
You can ask for your bags to be short checked to Atlanta - say you need to change into a suit or whatever. Generally speaking, airlines will do this, although they will also warn you that re-checking the bags on time is your responsibility.

Hidden cities itineraries can go wrong though - note that there is no guarantee that you'll get to connect through Atlanta if there are irregular operations or a schedule change! You could easily be routed through another Delta hub (such as Detroit).
Short-checking is not always easy anymore. It's also a clear sign that you've done hidden-city ticketing. The agent may even ask for additional fare/change fee. Bottom line when doing hidden city ticketing it's best to not do anything that will give the airline proof.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 6:50 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Programs: FD, Frequence, KrisFlyer, BA Executive Club
Posts: 55
I've always been offered the option to purple tag my bags through ATL when doing international transfers. If you buy duty free you have to collect your bags on arrival at ATL so you can repack your liquid purchases; if you don't you lose them at security.

You then either hand them back to the folk manning the conveyor belts after customs or just walk out of the exit with them.
gerardfarrell is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 7:00 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 18,844
Originally Posted by gerardfarrell View Post
I've always been offered the option to purple tag my bags through ATL when doing international transfers. If you buy duty free you have to collect your bags on arrival at ATL so you can repack your liquid purchases; if you don't you lose them at security.

You then either hand them back to the folk manning the conveyor belts after customs or just walk out of the exit with them.
I've been able to keep duty free, but it must be in the clear security bag and have the receipt inside. Haven't had to check it in awhile. Of course with TSA YMMV if you get an agent who allows it or not.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 8:45 am
  #9  
formerly B7e7US
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. / Washington, DC
Programs: AA/DL PLT, Priority Pass, Marriott / Hilton Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Hertz Presidents Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,197
Unless things have changed recently, INTL - INTL at ATL involves claiming the luggage, going through customs, and dropping off the luggage at the baggage re-check just as if you were connecting to a domestic flight.

In over 25 flights connecting INTL-INTL in the US during the past 5 years, the only place where I have been able to skip the baggage claim was MIA when arriving on a BA flight and connecting to an AA international flight, and this was only once. Other than that, standard procedure, be it in ATL, JFK, MIA, CLT, or PHL, has always been to claim the luggage and go through customs.
SDQBound is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 8:50 am
  #10  
formerly B7e7US
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. / Washington, DC
Programs: AA/DL PLT, Priority Pass, Marriott / Hilton Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Hertz Presidents Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,197
From http://www.atlanta-airport.com/inter...ger/types.html

3. International inbound connecting at Hartsfield-Jackson for International travel: These passengers are arriving in Atlanta from a city outside the United States to connect on an international flight for travel outside the United States.

Passengers arriving at gates on Concourse F will process through immigration and customs at the Concourse F Federal Inspection Station (FIS).
Passengers arriving at gates on Concourse E will process through immigration and customs at the Concourse E FIS.
After the immigration inspection, passengers pick up their checked baggage.
After the customs inspection, passengers’ checked baggage is rechecked and transferred to international connecting flights.
Passengers are required to pass through a security checkpoint.
To reach a connecting flight, passengers will follow signs to the Airport’s people mover system, The Plane Train, which connects the international concourses (E and F) to all other concourses and the domestic terminal.
SDQBound is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 9:43 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 18,844
Originally Posted by SDQBound View Post
This hasn't been the case at a number of airports including ATL for at least a year or two. If you connect international to international your bags don't come out and transfer like any other.

I know it's not from the ATL webpage, but here's the FAQ for DTW passengers that shows this is indeed a thing. DTW INTL-INTL Connections

Last edited by flyerCO; Jul 8, 16 at 9:59 am
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 9:56 am
  #12  
formerly B7e7US
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. / Washington, DC
Programs: AA/DL PLT, Priority Pass, Marriott / Hilton Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Hertz Presidents Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,197
Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
This hasn't been the case at a number of airports including ATL for at least a year or two. If you connect international to international your bags don't come out and transfer like any other.
If this is in fact the case, something must be wrong with my reservations then. As I said, in the last year alone I've connected INTL-INTL at MIA, JFK, and ATL, being JFK the most frequent one (7 times in the last 12 months), the rest only a few times. Last INTL-INTL connection was 3 weeks ago, and I had to drag my luggage through customs, turn in the customs form, and immediately recheck the bag.

Could you please then clarify what needs to be done during check-in to ensure my bags are sent to the final destination without being delivered to the carousel?
SDQBound is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 10:18 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 18,844
Originally Posted by SDQBound View Post
If this is in fact the case, something must be wrong with my reservations then. As I said, in the last year alone I've connected INTL-INTL at MIA, JFK, and ATL, being JFK the most frequent one (7 times in the last 12 months), the rest only a few times. Last INTL-INTL connection was 3 weeks ago, and I had to drag my luggage through customs, turn in the customs form, and immediately recheck the bag.

Could you please then clarify what needs to be done during check-in to ensure my bags are sent to the final destination without being delivered to the carousel?
I wish I could, but I know there's no need to pickup baggage. As I pointed out above with the DTW link this is a real thing. Only thing I can think of is that they're sending the bags out to the carousel with all other luggage and then simply re-checking them. However ATL if I remember was one the very first to no longer require re-checking baggage for INTL-INTL.
flyerCO is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 10:24 am
  #14  
formerly B7e7US
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. / Washington, DC
Programs: AA/DL PLT, Priority Pass, Marriott / Hilton Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Hertz Presidents Circle, Amex Plat
Posts: 4,197
I am aware of DTW and DFW (for some flights). I have yet another INTL-INTL connection, Delta-Delta in ATL twice next month so I will report back. It will be amazing if I don't have to claim my luggage!
SDQBound is offline  
Old Jul 8, 16, 10:32 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: TPA
Programs: DL Diamond, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,249
Originally Posted by TProphet View Post
You can ask for your bags to be short checked to Atlanta - say you need to change into a suit or whatever. Generally speaking, airlines will do this, although they will also warn you that re-checking the bags on time is your responsibility.

Hidden cities itineraries can go wrong though - note that there is no guarantee that you'll get to connect through Atlanta if there are irregular operations or a schedule change! You could easily be routed through another Delta hub (such as Detroit).
Luckily for him, JNB is only served on DL via ATL. Worst case scenario is the flight cancels out of JNB and he's rerouted through CDG/AMS/LHR. Even in that case, he would still have the option of taking the next available JNB-ATL flight or at the very least standby for it.
ChiefNWA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: