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Skip last flight leg arriving in EU from USA

Skip last flight leg arriving in EU from USA

Old Mar 7, 2020, 12:40 pm
  #1  
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Skip last flight leg arriving in EU from USA

In about 8 weeks we are traveling on one way awards tickets to FCO from SFO with a connection in ZRH.
The flight to ZRH is with United. We are planning to check bags on this trip (almost never do).
This is the start of a multi month trip.
Do we collect our bags in ZRH to go through customs?
If we decide not to continue to Italy (possible be cause of COVID) would this cause any problems with EU immigration or the airlines or ?
Thanks
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 3:54 am
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You will have a passport check in ZRH but not see your bags until you get to Rome. You will have no interaction with customs anywhere, unless you are importing goods beyond your allowances. If you do check bags these will go to Rome, unless you ask for them to be short checked to Zurich, which the agent may or may not be willing to do. If you decide not to travel to Rome, it is probably easier to call United to change the ticket to Zurich only.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:12 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
You will have a passport check in ZRH but not see your bags until you get to Rome. You will have no interaction with customs anywhere, unless you are importing goods beyond your allowances. If you do check bags these will go to Rome, unless you ask for them to be short checked to Zurich, which the agent may or may not be willing to do. If you decide not to travel to Rome, it is probably easier to call United to change the ticket to Zurich only.

Similar situation but with travel in just a few days. UA obstinate about no free changes (which I find ridiculous). I'd be carry on only. Would there be any problems then?
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by MCIUnitedGuy
Similar situation but with travel in just a few days. UA obstinate about no free changes (which I find ridiculous). I'd be carry on only. Would there be any problems then?
With hand luggage only, no problem. Just realize that the minute you dont board one flight, all others on the ticket will auto cancel. Why is it ridiculous that UA should offer a free change?
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:26 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
With hand luggage only, no problem. Just realize that the minute you dont board one flight, all others on the ticket will auto cancel. Why is it ridiculous that UA should offer a free change?
Well they're offering free changes to everyone who bought tickets after March 3rd when the virus was a known issue. We bought these tickets in December when nobody had ever heard of the virus and they will not waive the change fee. Seems to me it should actually be the other way around.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by MCIUnitedGuy
Well they're offering free changes to everyone who bought tickets after March 3rd when the virus was a known issue. We bought these tickets in December when nobody had ever heard of the virus and they will not waive the change fee. Seems to me it should actually be the other way around.
Where are you going?

The reason UA sent that email around yesterday was to encourage people to continue booking flights (bring money in) even if a change (note, not cancellation is made later.). It was not to assuage peoples real or imagined risks of infection.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
Where are you going?

The reason UA sent that email around yesterday was to encourage people to continue booking flights (bring money in) even if a change (note, not cancellation is made later.). It was not to assuage peoples real or imagined risks of infection.
Rome, in a few days. Neither my wife nor I are scared of getting the virus. But one of us has an employer that has required any employees visiting the country of Italy to "self quarantine" (aka don't come to work) for two weeks upon return. So Delta and AA's change fee waiver covers Rome and United's doesn't. So maybe I'm frustrated and that is making me find it ridiculous.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 8:13 am
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Keep checking. COVID policies are changing hourly (as are government-imposed COVID restrictions).
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Old Mar 9, 2020, 2:18 pm
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Thanks guys. If we make a last minute decision to jump ship in Zurich we will just have to go carry on only. We are still hoping to spend that first month in Rome. Strange times...
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Old Mar 9, 2020, 2:43 pm
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Id have no hesitation going to Rome. Youll have the city to yourself!
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Old Mar 9, 2020, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by LondonElite
Id have no hesitation going to Rome. Youll have the city to yourself!

As we are in our golden years 62 & 69 we are a somewhat concerned with the health issues. We are even more concerned with being prohibited to do our forward travel to other parts of Europe.
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Old Mar 9, 2020, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by 2RETIREDTRAVELERS
As we are in our golden years 62 & 69 we are a somewhat concerned with the health issues. We are even more concerned with being prohibited to do our forward travel to other parts of Europe.
Yes, those are indeed valid concerns!
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Old Mar 10, 2020, 5:30 pm
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Suddenly, all my UA reservations have a travel waiver attached to them. I think they have a blanket waiver for all tickets with a travel date through April 30.

That should mean, no change fee. A change in destinations would still likely incur fare difference, of any.
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Old Mar 11, 2020, 5:42 am
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...but no free cancellations.
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Old Mar 11, 2020, 10:10 am
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On a purely practical level, if you get off in Zurich and, critically, tell the airline (which I guess will be LX) you won't be continuing to Rome, they will haul your checked bag from the system and eventually it'll get delivered to you - although it could take a while.

If you just fail to board the flight it is possible, even in Europe and under certain circumstances, that the bag will travel onward without you - and then you'd probably be responsible for retrieving it from FCO.

That's why HBO is by far the best answer.

Personally I suspect - given the shutdown in Italy and the number of airlines cancelling flights - it is extremely likely you'll be offered an option to terminate in ZRH anyway if your travel is in the near future. Given your background, and even with my reasonably cavalier attitude to travel, in your position I would not consider it sensible to visit Rome.
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