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Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 22
reviews: 2
Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

So I am looking to fly Zurich-Washington DC to visit a friend. This involves a stop in Philadelphia. The US Airways site says flights to/from Europe have free checked luggage but domestic US charges $25. The US Airways site says they will check bags through to your final destination.

Does this mean I don't have to pay the checked baggage fee for PHL-DC?

I plan to then fly DC-Detroit, and Detroit-Zurich via Philadelphia.

If I understand correctly, I will only have to pay the $25 checked baggage fee on the DC-Detroit flight?? I was having a heart attack thinking I'd have to pay 3 x $25 and have to go around checking my bags in twice...

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 22
1. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

One ticket all the way through? if yes then put away the heart pills you will have the same free luggage allowance as the International legs so you are on the hook for $25

Edited: 5:35 pm, January 30, 2014
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 19,889
reviews: 5
2. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

If the first flight on your ticket from ZRH has the US Airways code (for example US711) then you are subject to US Airways baggage allowances. That means for the entire transatlantic itineraries (including the domestic legs) you get one checked bag free. The only one you'll need to pay for is the entirely domestic leg DC-DTW ($25 first bag).

usairways.com/en-US/…baggagepolicies.html

Winchester, United...
posts: 497
3. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

Also note that your bag *won't* be checked through to Washington. When flying to the US you have to clear immigration and customs at the first airport you land at. It's like you intend to leave the airport but at the last second veer off to recheck your luggage and go back through security

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 19,889
reviews: 5
4. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

"Also note that your bag *won't* be checked through to Washington."

Okay semantics. The bag WILL be checked through, and no bag fees payable. But yes on arrival at PHL for US Customs requirements, you'll have to collect your bags and pass through Customs and then hand them back. But again no bag fees would be payable for that.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 22
reviews: 2
5. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

Thanks for the info!

That's really annoying about the bag. Is there a drop-off counter specifically for people doing international transfers? As in, I don't have to queue with all the people who are doing a normal check-in?

Also: I assume you have to drop your bag off a certain time before the flight?

Oddly enough, I have never done a flight transfer that involves a domestic leg.

Nashville, TN
posts: 4,824
reviews: 8
6. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

There's usually a drop off point right after you clear customs to return your bags to the airline. You won't have to go to the ticket counter to recheck them. However, you will need to reclear security. On your return to ZRH, your bags will be checked asll the way through and you will not see them until you arrive at your final destination. There are no customs/immigration checks when departing the US.

Liverpool, UK
posts: 12,454
reviews: 23
7. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

"Is there a drop-off counter specifically for people doing international transfers?" - There will be a bag drop point just after customs, normally a conveyer belt with a few baggage handlers, they just check your baggage tag and take it off you, it has never taken me more than a couple of minutes and is not comparable to the check in/bag drop process.

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
posts: 27,494
reviews: 132
8. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

great advise in the previous posts. Just to clarify, this bag dropoff place is inside the federal inspection area after customs and before your leave that area. Look for signs or just ask. If you leave that area and go outside to the meeting point, they won't allow you back in as it will be a security issue and you will have to drop it off at a regular check in counter.

what is your layover time when you arrive in the US ? Have you thought of just driving from Philly to DC instead of waiting for a flight , flying, collecting bags and then driving or being driven to your friends' house -- outside of rush hour it is about a 2 hour drive give or take depending on where you are going in the Maryland/ Virginia/DC area -- plenty of folks don't actually live in DC but in the burbs around the city

9. Re: Paying for checked bag on domestic part of Europe-US flight?

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