The days of through baggage check-in for international arrivals in India were over in 2022. If your final destination is a domestic flight away from your port of entry (a major international airport) in India, you cannot check-in your bags through the final destination, as per Indian government’s regulatory mandate for inbound international passengers. The checked baggage regulation requires you to collect your bags from the international arrival belt at entry airports in India and recheck-in the bags for your connecting flight for onward domestic travel. Though your itinerary from the origin of travel to the entry airport in India and then to the final destination has a common PNR.
Air India was among the first few airlines to have implemented Indian government’s checked baggage regulation for international arrivals. Other international airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Qatar Airways followed the mandate. Air India and other airline partners of IndianEagle.com, a leading air-ticketing partner of Indians in America, had communicated the regulatory mandate through a bulletin.
The new checked baggage regulation became a disruptive change in the smooth arrival process at major Indian airports for inbound travelers having a common PNR for both international flight and connecting domestic flight. Precisely, through baggage check-in does no longer apply to itineraries like the one below:
Your origin of travel is New York and final destination is Tirupati. You travel on British Airways flights from USA to India, arrive at Hyderabad RGI Airport, and connect on Air India for domestic travel to Tirupati.
Mandatory recheck-in of your checked baggage at entry airports in India causes a great deal of inconvenience to families traveling with kids and senior citizens traveling alone. The process to recheck in bags for connecting domestic flights is tiresome and time-consuming. The Meet and Greet Services available at major Indian airports are a great help given the upcoming scenario.
“India-bound international travelers from the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Singapore and other countries should choose itineraries with a layover of 2 hours or more between their arrival at a port of entry and the connection to their final destination. It will help avert any sort of inconvenience. We recommend itineraries with significant connection time in India to our customers,” said the chief travel advisor of IndianEagle.com.
The regulation for international arrivals does not apply to international departures from India. If the airline (s) operating your itinerary, let’s assume, from Hyderabad to Dallas via Mumbai, Chennai to Seattle via Bengaluru, from Ahmedabad to Newark via Delhi does not require you to recheck-in your bags at Mumbai, Bengaluru Kempegowda, or Delhi IGI airport, the above regulation does not apply to you.