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Flying U.S. To Europe & Back  
User currently offlineATA1011Tristar From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 88 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3812 times:

Hello Airliners.net Users,

My mother is flying to Europe on Monday. She has never been to Europe before and would like to anticipate some things (gates, immigration, customs, etc.). I have never been to Europe either, but, as the aviation enthusiast in the family, I said I would help her research. I think I have everything pieced together now.

Would someone please look over my assumptions and correct me if need be?

To Europe: CWA-MSP-AMS-CPH-OSL

  • CWA-MSP-AMS KLM Codeshare/Delta Flight
  • AMS-CPH KLM Flight
  • CPH-OSL SAS Flight
@CWA - Check in w/ Delta Connection and print SkyTeam boarding passes for CWA-MSP, MSP-AMS, and AMS-CPH. Go through security.
@MSP - Arrive at B Concourse; depart from G Concourse. Passport check at gate by gate agent before MSP-AMS.
@AMS - Arrive at E Pier. Arriving in Schengen and staying in Schengen for remainder of flights (AMS-CPH-OSL), thus immigration. Go through security at gate and passport check at gate by gate agent before AMS-CPH. Any idea what Pier KLM's AMS-CPH flight usually uses at AMS?
@CPH - Arrive at Terminal 2; depart from Terminal 3. Collect baggage to transfer to SAS, which triggers customs (coming from U.S. [MSP], connecting through Schengen [AMS], and ending in Schengen [CPH]). Check in w/ SAS, print SAS boarding pass, and leave baggage at the check in counter. Go through security. Passport check at gate by gate agent before CPH-OSL.
@OSL - Schengen (CPH) - Schengen (OSL) = no immigration at OSL/CPH and no customs at OSL. Collect baggage and exit OSL.


From Europe: CPH-AMS-MSP-CWA

  • CPH-AMS KLM Flight
  • AMS-MSP-CWA KLM Codeshare/Delta Flight
@CPH - Check in w/ KLM and print SkyTeam boarding passes for CPH-AMS, AMS-MSP, and MSP-CWA. Go through security. Passport check at gate by gate agent before CPH-AMS. Depart from Terminal 2.
@AMS - Schengen (CPH) - Schengen (AMS) = no immigration or customs at AMS/CPH. Passport check at gate by gate agent before AMS-MSP. Depart from Pier E.
@MSP - Arrive at G Concourse; depart from B Concourse. Arriving in U.S. on international flight, thus U.S. immigration and customs. Collect baggage to go through customs. After immigration, check in w/ Delta/Delta Connection and leave baggage at the check in counter. Go through security.
@CWA - Collect baggage and exit CWA.

My mother has connection times ranging from 1 hr 45 min to 3 hr 30 min. Thank you in advance for your help!

-ATA1011Tristar

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 3798 times:

It should be possible check bags all the way through to the final destination in both directions. Is everything on one ticket? Sometimes a carrier will refuse to through-check bags unless it's all on the same ticket, but very often they willl do it.

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Thread starter):
Go through security at gate and passport check at gate by gate agent before AMS-CPH.

No, you have to clear passport control before entering the Schengen area of the terminal. And the security check is also right after passport control, not at the gate for Schengen flights. There are no formalities at the gate. They may or may not ask to see your passport with your boarding pass. The last couple of times I left AMS on KL to GVA they didn't want to see my passport.

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Thread starter):
Any idea what Pier KLM's AMS-CPH flight usually uses at AMS?

Piers B, C and the upper level of D are Schengen gates. If it's a KL 737 it will be either C or D (not sure if one is more common than the other for Scandinavia flights). If it's an Embraer 190 it will be the B pier and probably a 50-50 chance that the aircraft will be parked at a remote stand requiring a bus to the aircraft.

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Thread starter):
@AMS - Schengen (CPH) - Schengen (AMS) = no immigration or customs at AMS/CPH. Passport check at gate by gate agent before AMS-MSP. Depart from Pier E

Since AMS is the last point of departure from the Schengen area, there is passport control before entering the non-Schengen area. And the security check for non-Schengen flights is at the gate. And there will definitely be a passport check when boarding.


User currently offlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3761 times:

AMS is very easy to navigate through. Viscount is very accurate in his post. She will have no problem. Best major airport in Europe.

User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4694 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3635 times:

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Thread starter):
After immigration, check in w/ Delta/Delta Connection and leave baggage at the check in counter.

You don't have to "check-in" as such at the main counter. As soon as you've gone through customs there will be a "transfer baggage drop-off" - or some other phrase to that extent. Leave you bag there. Note that this is non-airline specific, it's just a drop off point for all connecting passengers



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineATA1011Tristar From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 88 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Piers B, C and the upper level of D are Schengen gates. If it's a KL 737 it will be either C or D (not sure if one is more common than the other for Scandinavia flights).

Okay, thanks . . . she’s on a 737-800. Out of curiosity, are there other airlines besides KL that just say a flight will use a portion of an airport without listing a specific gate? On DL’s website, for example, the “Flight Status” tool shows the specific gates used by a flight in many instances.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
Since AMS is the last point of departure from the Schengen area, there is passport control before entering the non-Schengen area. And the security check for non-Schengen flights is at the gate. And there will definitely be a passport check when boarding.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
No, you have to clear passport control before entering the Schengen area of the terminal. And the security check is also right after passport control, not at the gate for Schengen flights. There are no formalities at the gate. They may or may not ask to see your passport with your boarding pass. The last couple of times I left AMS on KL to GVA they didn't want to see my passport.

With your words, the things I found during my research make perfect sense now. Thank you!

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
It should be possible check bags all the way through to the final destination in both directions. Is everything on one ticket? Sometimes a carrier will refuse to through-check bags unless it's all on the same ticket, but very often they willl do it.

The SK ticket was bought separately from the KL tickets at a later date. Are you saying that KL might transfer my mother’s bags to the SK flight for her?

On a similar note, if my mother is on standby and manages to catch an earlier flight in AMS or CPH (she has 3+ hr layovers in both), what is the chance her checked bag will get on the same flight as her?

Quoting toobz (Reply 2):
AMS is very easy to navigate through. Viscount is very accurate in his post. She will have no problem. Best major airport in Europe.

Thanks for the confidence, toobz. FWIW, I did not find any online complaints about AMS, unlike CDG!  
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 3):
You don't have to "check-in" as such at the main counter. As soon as you've gone through customs there will be a "transfer baggage drop-off" - or some other phrase to that extent. Leave you bag there.

Okay, makes sense . . . just like in the U.S. Customs hall at YYZ.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24075 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3550 times:

Quoting ATA1011Tristar (Reply 4):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 1):
It should be possible check bags all the way through to the final destination in both directions. Is everything on one ticket? Sometimes a carrier will refuse to through-check bags unless it's all on the same ticket, but very often they willl do it.

The SK ticket was bought separately from the KL tickets at a later date. Are you saying that KL might transfer my mother’s bags to the SK flight for her?

Suggest call DL (operating carrier MSP-AMS) and ask them what their policy is. Explain the flights are connecting but on separate tickets. There's probably a good chance they will check them through. Having to claim bags and go through the entire check-in process again at AMS would make the trip much less pleasant.

[Edited 2012-10-07 14:28:58]

[Edited 2012-10-07 14:30:48]

User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4694 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
DL (operating carrier MSP-AMS) and ask them what their policy is. Explain the flights are connecting but on separate tickets. There's probably a good chance they will check them through.

From experience DL are more than happy to check though luggage on different PNRs, and I'm 75% sure that DL's bag tags can actually take 4 flights as opposed to the normal 3



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2203 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3464 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 6):
From experience DL are more than happy to check though luggage on different PNRs, and I'm 75% sure that DL's bag tags can actually take 4 flights as opposed to the normal 3

Yes, DL can handle 4 flights on one tag. I've done it personally, on different PNRs (on DL and then AF). Make sure they input the correct codes, as I think they have to do it manually. It's essential you have the SK reservation.... Of course, it might not work on a SK flight at the DL desk given they're not partners and it's a separate reservation.


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