Flying two different airlines

Old Nov 16th, 2012, 02:28 AM
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Flying two different airlines

My friend and I will be traveling to Seoul, South Korea this spring. We live in Minneapolis and found that it was much cheaper to purchase tickets to Seoul from San Francisco, so we are flying Sun Country from Minneapolis to San Francisco and then United Airlines from San Francisco to Seoul. Since I booked these two flights separately and on my own I am wondering how we will deal with getting our checked luggage from Minneapolis to Seoul. We only have a 2 hour lay over in San Francisco so I don't think it would be logical to collect our baggage and check it onto our second flight on our own. Can we have our luggage transfered for us by the airlines? I can't believe this didn't cross my mind until now! If someone could let me know how to go about dealing with this that would be great. Thanks!
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 04:07 AM
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I believe that Sun Country and United do not have a baggage agreement. Therefore, you would not be able to check bags through from Minneapolis to Seoul.

Also, if your flight to SFO is late and you miss the flight to ICN, your reservation and ticket on United will be canceled, with no refund.

It can easily take 30-45 minutes for your luggage to be delivered. So, if you can manage to travel with carry-on luggage only, your chances of making the flight to Seoul will be dramatically improved.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 06:40 AM
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You will likely no have any choice about transferring your luggage because I very much doubt that Sun Country has an interline baggage agreement with United. Not only that, but you will have to check in for the United flight at SFO at the counter (and show your passport). If your Sun Country flight is on time, you may make it or you may not, but there will be little time for error, so just hustle over to United.

On the positive side, I think both airlines fly into the main terminal, so the transfer may be doable. I'd strongly recommend doing a carry-on only trip (at least from Minneapolis to SFO).


And by the way, since these are two separate tickets, United won't be responsible if you don't make their flight. Sorry about that, but you are likely really on your own.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 10:19 AM
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"We only have a 2 hour lay over in San Francisco so I don't think it would be logical to collect our baggage and check it onto our second flight on our own."

Not logical at all, but at this point you have no other choice.

You are leaving yourself very vulnerable to missing your second flight if the first is delayed. Strongly recommend you change to an earlier flight to SFO. Hopefully you went for the 'flex' option when purchasing your tickets.

Also, what about your return flights? Will you face the same problems then, or do you have more time for the connection?

If you can't change to earlier flight, do make plans to travel carry-on only to give yourselves a better chance of making the connection.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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We decided that we will travel carry on only, and we CAN switch to an earlier flight but the only option would be to fly to SFO the day before and spend the night in the airport. I guess at this point I am trying to decide if the two hour layover is enough time (given that we will not be checking baggage). My friends and family seem to think 2 hours is plenty of time, however the responses posted here are making me think otherwise...

Our flight home is a different story, My boyfriend works for Sun Country so we will be flying standby from SFO to MSP and we will just catch the first available flight. I insist on flying to SFO on Sun Country because his job gets me a fairly substantial discount on my ticket from MSP to SFO.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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United recommends that you appear at SFO no later than 90 min. before your departure, in order to get bags checked, go through security, and get to the gate. Since it's likely SFO-ICN is served by a 747 (or so it shows on the schedule) then you'd probably need to be at the gate an hour before, or at a minimum 45 minutes. If your Sun Country flight is even a few minutes late (and, note, SFO is not known for being uncongested in the mornings, and also it's not known for having the best weather on the west coast) then I just can't see it happening in your time frame.

Fortunately, Sun Country's change penalty is only $75 per ticket, which is way better than some airlines charge ($150 seems to be the going rate.) So I wouldn't even hesitate to contact Sun Country and move your tickets to the previous evening. (I'm assuming you're taking the 7am MSP-SFO flight, connecting to United's 11am departure from SFO?) $150 plus a hotel might be a steep price to pay, but I'll bet it's a lot less than having to buy a walk-up ticket on United.

Risking that short a connection on an intercontinental flight is, in my view, not prudent at all. Solve the problem now.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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Sorry, I was writing while you were posting.

If it's just carry-on, then so be it, but I'd still be nervous as hell.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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It looks like both flight come into the Intl Terminal, but the lines for security at the intl Term can be horrendous if you are leaving in the evenin as a lot of flights to Asia leave then. I would not risk it at all w/ two separate tickets - UA has NO responsibility to get you to Seoul if you miss your flight.
GO the night before, priceline a 4 star hotel at sfo and you won't be out too much more $$>
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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When are you flying? If during the Winter months, I'd be concerned of potential weather delays at MSP. I'd definitely fly in the evening before. You can take the BART into San Francisco and enjoy a lesisurely day prior to the long flight to ICN.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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mjz_kc: "When are you flying? If during the Winter months . . ."

The OP says they are flying in the 'Spring'.

Cbear31891: You could make the flight just fine. But IF you don't you will either have to buy another ticket on UA at the full walk up fare on the next flight (could cost thousands) or if the flights are full - not get there at all.

I'd never EVER (EVER rely on a 2hr connection for an international flight on two different bookings. Any glitch at all and you are SOL.

Definitely change your flight to SFO!
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Whatever UA tells you, if you decide to check bags, those need to be checked at 60 min before departure time. Not when arrive at the line at SFO, but received by UA.
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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I'd take the much earlier flight and would simply stay in a hotel. Why would you sleep in the airport? You can easily save the cost of a cheap hotel room in 6 months. There's no need to put yourself through the stress of a two hour transfer time.
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Old Dec 1st, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Cbear, what everyone is saying is true about the two separate tickets if you have any kind of hiccups you're SOL with United. I would suggest you cover yourself with travel insurance which will pay for any loss you may incur or any additional expenses you may incur if you miss your SFO connection. Ordinarily 2 hours should be ok but if the Sun Country flight is delayed you don't have much buffer. I usually recommend anyone flying on separate tickets to book the flights with a minimum of 4 hours in between but sometimes even then you can get screwed if there a significant delay, which there can be. Again get the travel insurance, its not expensive, I use CSA but another good company is Travel Guard, just google for their website you can get online quotes and policy online. If you have any questions regarding calculating your trip cost for the lowest possible premium let me know. Good luck and have a great trip.
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