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2 Flights, Separately Booked, Customs Twice?

2 Flights, Separately Booked, Customs Twice?

Old Aug 12th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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2 Flights, Separately Booked, Customs Twice?

Hey all. So, I'm flying into Madrid on september 6th and then out again to Marrakech about 4 hours later. We had to book it this way as the flights to and from Madrid round trip were presents from my boyfriend's parents, using their AA miles. Will we have to go through customs twice, once to get out of New York, and then from Madrid to Marrakech? Or will we transfer OK since we are in the airport already?

Also, I have heard that since Iberia and AA are both oneworld carriers, they may be able to transfer luggage. Is that true, or will we have to check out and check in luggage?
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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I doubt the luggage would transfer, but you could ask AA.

If the arriving and departing flights use the same terminal, you might be able to avoid going through security twice. Maybe AA can tell you that too.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 06:06 PM
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You have to ask the first airline if they transfer luggage.

You don't go through Customs (your belongings/luggage) on leaving any country. You go through Immigration (people) and Customs when you arrive in a country.

However, if you are able to stay airside and your luggage is checked through you won't have to actually enter Spain - and can just head to Marrakech.

If the airline won;t transfer your luggage and you have to collect it and go through Customs - that will mean Immigration as well - in both places.

But you won;t have to go through either (just security) on leaving the US (and naturally showing your passport at check in and security.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 06:38 PM
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"If the arriving and departing flights use the same terminal, you might be able to avoid going through security twice. Maybe AA can tell you that too." Sorry, but you have to go through passport control and customs. There is no way around it.

Since the tickets are separate, you will have to collect your luggage and head to the checkin counter for your flight to Marrakech in order to obtain your boarding pass and drop your luggage off. After that, you will have to clear security and passport control before boarding your flight to Morocco, which departs from Terminal 4.

Just be aware that it could consume most of the 4 hours your have between arrival and departure, even if fluent in Spanish. They have this weird check in procedure (check-in desks 810 - 859) and since you will not be able to check in using your credit card or Frequent Flyer card, it can be a real pain. Also, make sure the weight of your luggage is within Iberia's weight limits, otherwise it will cost you dearly.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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In the Madrid airport, distances are amazingly long between terminals and gates - go where you need to go immediately before taking a lunch break or such.
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Old Aug 12th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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It's not the distance between T4S and T4 that is the issue, it's going through passport control, customs, check-in and back through security and passport control. Our last adventure through T4 took nearly an hour just checking in but it could have easily been two hours if there were more flights and passengers that day.
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Old Aug 13th, 2013, 08:53 AM
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Thank you all for your replies, it's super helpful. I'll call AA to talk to them to double check, but we will make sure not to waste any of our time if going through security/customs again is unavoidable. We are not fluent in spanish, definitely rusty, so taking the language barrier into consideration, we'll give ourselves the full time and assume making much more than a bathroom stop might not be an option!

Any other tips or advice, please let me know!
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