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connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

by JuliaVlasenko Online Now Sep 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM

I have two round-trip flights: Edmonton-Amsterdam operated by KLM and Amsterdam-Kiev operated by Lufthansa. I wasn't able to get the same itinerary for the same price operated by cooperating airlines (example: Air Canada and Lufthansa) such that the whole trip would be coordinated by the same carrier and I wouldn't have to worry about my baggage transfers between flights; according to my travel agent, KLM and Lufthansa don't do that. Basically, on the way back I am going to fly Kiev-Amsterdam, have 3hour layover in Schiphol and then fly Amsterdam-Edmonton. Will I have to clear my baggage at the customs in Amsterdam and therefore enter the Schengen area? Technically, I do not need to leave the airport transit area since both of my flights are international but if I do, will I need a transit visa or the Schengen visa? I am a citizen of Ukraine and will have a valid Schengen visa for the first part of the trip when I am staying in the Netherlands for 5 days, but that visa is one-entry only.

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8 Answers
  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by cgf Online Now Sep 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Generally it could be done when you do yout first check-in, sometime, not always it is possible do it, it depends from intermediate airport handling rule's (I did once thru AMS so, if not changed, it should be no problems), beside if at first check-in desk they are able to see second flight, but you'll know only when you'll do your check-in. It may happen you could do one way and not viceversa.

    I suggest to be at airport quite early, when check-in opens, when there are no lines as it's not always possible to see directly the second flight, there may be some workaround to do, not all may have the skill as it's not routine, again, be there early, with no lines otherwise they will not spend time around or call who could do it.

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by cgf Online Now Sep 6, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    >> I do not need to leave the airport transit area since both of my flights are international but if I do....

    I was wondering.. does LH flight's go directly to Kiev from Amsterdam or you've to go to Frankfurt or Munich first? probably you will do so and things may be [much] more difficoult for direct transfer of luggage.

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  • GrumpyDiver's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by GrumpyDiver Online Now Sep 6, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    It's generally possible to do especially if you have a single ticket and the agent at check in can check you baggage through to your final destination. If your travel agent tells you this, it is simply not true. I have been on a host of international flights where I did not use the same alliance. It takes a bit of sweat talking to do it on separate tickets, but it can be done as well.

    I've definitely remember doing a BA flight (it was a code share and the aircraft was operated by Finnair) and transferred onto an Air Canada flight to get home. My luggage was checked straight through to Ottawa.

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by pieter_jan_v Online Now Sep 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    I can only speak for my experience with KLM-Air Canada flights.

    No problem ever; you get one electronic ticket code for all back- and forth flights and luggage is labeled through.

    PJ

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  • JuliaVlasenko's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by JuliaVlasenko Online Now Sep 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    >>I was wondering.. does LH flight's go directly to Kiev from Amsterdam or you've to go to Frankfurt or Munich first? probably you will do so and things may be [much] more difficoult for direct transfer of luggage.


    You got a good point here, my flight Kiev-Amsterdam is actually connecting in Frankfurt, I also checked the assignment of the terminals in Schiphol and it looks like Lufthansa flights only use pier B (I looked it up on Wiki so don't know whether it's trustworthy enough en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amster... and that pier is a "dedicated Schengen area". So it seems that I will need to transfer from a dedicated Schengen area of the airport to a non-Shengen area to get on the flight to Edmonton.

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  • JuliaVlasenko's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by JuliaVlasenko Online Now Sep 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    >>I was wondering.. does LH flight's go directly to Kiev from Amsterdam or you've to go to Frankfurt or Munich first? probably you will do so and things may be [much] more difficoult for direct transfer of luggage.


    You got a good point here, my flight Kiev-Amsterdam is actually connecting in Frankfurt, I also checked the assignment of the terminals in Schiphol and it looks like Lufthansa flights only use pier B (I looked it up on Wiki so don't know whether it's trustworthy enough en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amster... and that pier is a "dedicated Schengen area". So it seems that I will need to transfer from a dedicated Schengen area of the airport to a non-Shengen area to get on the flight to Edmonton.

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  • JuliaVlasenko's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by JuliaVlasenko Online Now Sep 7, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    My ticket wasn't bought as a single ticket, I found two separate tickets on expedia searching separately for Edmonton-Amsterdam and Amsterdam-Kiev. This option was substantially cheaper than any other expedia's suggestions for multiple destinations Edmonton-Amsterdam-Kiev-Edmonton. Then I went to a travel agent to see if they can combine those two into a single electronic ticket and they told me it wasn't possible for the specific combination of these flights and airlines. Possibly one of the reasons is the fact I mentioned above - Lufthansa only uses the Schengen area pier in Schiphol. I guess I should have anticipated being in trouble with these tickets. I really doubt I will be able to convince people at check-in in Kiev (departure is at 5.35am) to arrange the direct baggage transfer but I will certainly try.

    Thanks everyone!

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  • cgf's Profile Photo

    Re: connecting flights with non-cooperating arilines

    by cgf Online Now Sep 7, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Amsterdam to Germany it's a schengen area, no doubts.
    I'm afraid you probably need a schengen visa.

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