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Connecting international flights in Narita

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Ho Chi Minh City...
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Connecting international flights in Narita

Hi friends,

I'll be flying to Hawaii from Vietnam, connecting in Narita for 6 hours. However, the fares are separate from Vietnam to Narita (VN airlines) and from Narita to Honolulu (UA). Appreciate if anyone can advise if I need to claim the baggage and check in again, and 6hrs is sufficient for such process given the flights are separate? (if the 1st flight delayed then can be a problem right?) and if the baggage fee is calculated separately for the 2 flights?

Great thanks if you can help.

Grom

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
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1. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

At check-in, ask if VN can interline your bags with UA so they will be checked all the way to HNL. If not, you will need to go through customs, clear immigration and check-in again with UA at NRT. Baggage allowance and fees will be separately calculated.

If VN and UA can interline check your bags, all you have to do then is go to the transfer desk at NRT, pick up your boarding pass, and go through transit security. You will not have to go through immigration and claim your bags.

6 hours are normally enough although if you face a massive delay, you might not be able to catch your UA flight so be sure to understand your UA fare rules should you miss your flight.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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2. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

Hi, thanks a lot for your reply. One more question, if I need to go through customs and check in again, can I do it right after I check out or need to wait for 2 hours before the next flight and the baggage will be with me till then? If can check in immediately I can free up and go take a rest somewhere.

Thanks.

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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3. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

Whether you can check-in right away depends on when UA opens its check-in counters relative to the flight time. It is likely though that you will be able to check-in since UA has earlier flights leaving for other destinations before the HNL flight.

If you cannot check-in, you can use the storage facility at NRT for your luggage and then walk around. NRT has decent shopping for an airport. Also, nearby Narita town is a great place to go for a couple of hours.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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4. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

Thanks a bunch, mate, you are of great help :)

Italy
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5. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

I don't think you can check your luggage through as you didn't buy a through ticket and theyre different airlines but in any case 6 hours is enough if your plane arrives on time. If you post this on the air travel forum you'll get more info from the experts. There's a link to the Air Travel forum here on the right.

tokyo
Destination Expert
for Tokyo
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6. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

Are you a US passport holder or a Vietnamese passport holder (or some other passport holder)? If you are a US Passport holder then you'll have no problems entering through Immigration and Customs. If you hold a Vietnamese passport, then you'll need a visa which complicates the issue a bit more.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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7. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

Thanks Chrella, I updated my schedule so the transit will be about 12 hours >.< I posted the baggage question in the forum as your suggestion :)

tokyosubway, if I'm not getting out of the airport then it'll be ok without a visa huh?

tokyo
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8. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

It's not about leaving the airport. It's about leaving the secured airside of the airport to pick up your luggage if you need to.

Once you step through Immigration booth you are in Japan (doesn't matter if your intent is to never step foot outside the door of the airport).

Assuming you cannot interline your luggage, then you need to go through Immigration first, then pick up your luggage then go through customs.

If you are a US Passport holder (or Passport holder from any of the countries listed here: mofa.go.jp/j_info/…novisa.html )

Then it's no problem, cause all those countries listed there have waiver-waiver / visa-free travel agreements with Japan.

If you had a Vietnamese passport for example, Vietnam doesn't have a visa-waiver agreement with Japan, then it becomes a bit more complicated if you need to pick up your luggage.

Ho Chi Minh City...
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9. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

I have a VNmese passport, so in this case you mean I need to have a transit visa beforehand to collect my luggage and check in again?

If I go through to Connecting flight instructions at the airport, then I still need to go through immigration and customs? Omg, it's getting complicated.

Kanazawa, Japan
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10. Re: Connecting international flights in Narita

As you are flying on two separate tickets there is a chance you will not be checked through to Hawaii you might be, but might not be, and you won't know for sure until you check in.

If you cannot be checked through, your documents for entering Japan will be verified - if you have no visa, because Japan does not offer visa exemption to hetman passport holders, the airline will likely refuse to carry you - no visa, no boarding.

If you can't be checked through you need a visa because baggage claim and checkin counters are outside immigration. Were you booked through on a single ticket and checked through to Hawaii this would not be an issue. But you cannot claim baggage and check in fir your next flight without going through immigration so you cannot stay in the transit area.

This is only one problem with booking connections on separate tickets. Another problem arises if you miscounted. Neither airline will be responsible for the miscounted and, depending on the fare rule of the ticket, it could be very costly to complete your journey.

So I always recommend booking to you final destination on a single ticket. It eases the risks of connecting.

You should ask Vietnam Airlines if they are able to check you through to Hawaii on United. With the understanding that even if it is possible, with separate tickets whether it actually happens at the check in counter is entirely up to the staff'.

To be safe, you should have a transit visa.