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If/When I reclaim/recheck luggage?

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Aug 14th, 2012, 11:36 AM
  #1
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If/When I reclaim/recheck luggage?

My flight is from Nashville International to Newark Liberty International (Operated by EXPRESSJET AIRLINES DBA UNITED EXPRESS) to Stockholm Arlanda (Operated by Scandinavian Airlines) to Turku Airport. Do I have to reclaim and recheck my luggage at all? Or will I just drop it off in Nashville and pick it up when I land in Turku? How will I know everything to do when I have never flown before?
mbandersen12 is offline  
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Aug 14th, 2012, 02:42 PM
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I'm going to guess your flight was all purchased as one ticket and you don't have an overnight layover in Newark. If so, you'll check your bag in Nashville and won't see it until your final destination. Don't worry, airports are well marked and if you're still not sure, the staff are always nearby to answer questions.

When you check-in, you should get your boarding passes for the BNA-EWR and EWR-ARN legs of your flight (and possibly the ARN-TKU leg). The boarding passes will show your seat assignments, gate number, time the flight leaves and when boarding begins. It may also have a "boarding group number". Some airlines board by groups, others by row number.

After check-in head to the security line. Remember to pack liquids, gels or aerosols over three-ounces in your checked bag. In your carry-on, have your essentials such as valuables, toiletries smaller than 3-oz. travel documents and whatever else you may need during your flight or in Finland for the first day if your bag is delayed.

The first agent will check the name on your boarding pass against your identification. For security screening, you'll have to remove your shoes and coat/jacket (if you're wearing one), empty your pockets and put them along with your bags through the x-ray machine. You'll pass through the scanner or magnetometer and may be randomly be selected for a more thorough screening. You can get a description of the process at the TSA site. www.tsa.gov/what_we_do/screening/index.shtm

When you arrive at Newark, check the monitors to make sure your flight hasn't changed gates since you left Nashville and head there. You may have time to shop or grab a bite.

When you arrive at Arlanda, you'll pass through Immigration/Passport Control. The officer may ask a few questions about the purpose of your visit or how long you will stay, or may simply stamp your passport and wave you on. When you're done, look for the sign that says "Connecting Flights". Check the monitors to see what gate your flight to Turku departs from. If you don't have your boarding pass, you'll need to stop at the SAS counter. You probably will have to go through security screening again, and head to your gate. When you board your flight, you'll need to show both your passport and boarding pass to the gate agent.

When you arrive in Turku, claim your bag from the carousel and you will see a customs door marked "Nothing to Declare" and another if you're bringing a large amount of goods into the country. Choose the appropriate exit from the arrivals hall.

When you return to the US, you will need to pass through immigration and customs at the first point you touchdown. (https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det.../458/kw/travel)

The crew will distribute blue customs declarations at some point during your flight. Complete the information and hand it to the officer with your passport when you arrive. She/He will stamp it, scan your passport and return everything to you. Next, you'll claim your luggage.

As you exit the arrivals hall (whether it's Newark, JFK, Boston or wherever), you'll hand the customs declaration to the officer. After you exit, you'll see airline counters for passengers with connecting flights to re-check bags. Hand your bag to the agent and head to the security screening line for your flight to Nashville. If your connecting flight needs to be changed for any reason, the staff at the counter can do that and issue a new boarding pass.

If you want to know what you can bring back into the US, check the Customs and Border Patrol site at https://help.cbp.gov/app/home and click on the link for the pamphlet Know Before You Go.

Enjoy Finland.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 08:42 PM
  #3
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Yes, it was all purchased as one ticket. And thank you so much! Your reply was so detailed and helpful.
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Aug 14th, 2012, 09:34 PM
  #4
 
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Citylights: That was a terrific/clear description of the whole process. When I saw the thread title I was going to put in my 2¢ worth - but there is really nothing else to add. Good job!
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Aug 14th, 2012, 09:42 PM
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You're welcome. Just another bit of advice if you've never flown before. Remember that weather, heavy air traffic, crew shortages, mechanical problems and many other factors can wreak havoc with schedules. Be a bit flexible and keep a "Plan B" in the back of your mind if your original plan isn't available for whatever reason.

For example, if your Newark-Stockholm flight is canceled because of an equipment problem, SAS may say they'll rebook you on the same flight the following day.

If that's not acceptable, be firm but polite and ask about other options. They may include connecting through another city (like SAS through Copenhagen) or flying on a partner airline (like Lufthansa through Munich).
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Aug 14th, 2012, 09:47 PM
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Thanks, janisj. After rereading, it sounds like I may have done this once or twice and actually know what I'm talking about. ;-)
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Aug 15th, 2012, 11:28 AM
  #7
 
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Also don't be afraid to ask questions along the way. Like if the agent at the desk says, "concourse B, Gate 24" and you aren't sure which direction to go, don't be afraid to speak up.
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Aug 15th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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The OP is flying SAS from EWR. That means a switch of terminal and re-clearing of security there.
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Aug 16th, 2012, 10:21 AM
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Citylights that was amazing !

I would add a mini-detail: add to the carry-on list any medications you might take.
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