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Air Travel/Why do I have to re-check baggage?

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Question
I'm flying American Airlines from Oklahoma City to Dallas, then from Dallas to Tokyo. It is all on one ticket and everyone was telling me that I would NOT have to re-check my bags after getting into Dallas. However, when I called the airline they told me I would be required to. Why is this and how come some of my friends didn't have to do this?

Answer
I've always had to recheck my baggage flying from Tokyo to a US hub before heading to my final US destination, but I've never heard of having to recheck luggage domestically on the way out of the country. That is absurd.
The purpose of rechecking luggage entering from a foreign country is for Customs. But rechecking luggage domestically on the way out would serve no purpose.

I honestly don't know if AA and the other US air carriers have changed their policies recently. When you get to the ticket counter to get your boarding pass, ask the CSR if the bag will go all the way through from OKC to NRT. There is no rational reason it shouldn't.
On the other hand, you WILL need to pull your bag on your way home, go through customs with it, and then re-deposit it as soon as you are through customs. That's how I've always done it. It's just a minor inconvenience.  

Air Travel

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Matthew Smith

Expertise

CAN: Airport Security (NOT immigration).
Airport planning and design. Airport development.
Airline pricing/yield/revenue management (NOT prices for individual tickets)
grant process
PLEASE STOP ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FLY FROM A TO B!!!
PLEASE STOP ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW MUCH PARTICULAR AIRLINES WILL CHARGE FOR YOUR BAGS!
That's why your airline has a website!

Experience

Formerly Director of Operations at a small commercial airport.
Formerly worked for a state government issuing and managing airport development grants.
Formerly worked for TSA. (Not as bad as it appears to the average passenger.)
Formerly worked at an airport in planning and operations.
Also formerly worked as a Price Analyst for a wildly unpopular airline.
Currently teaching overseas until the job market improves.

Organizations
AAAE, AOPA, AzAA

Publications
Collegiate Aviation Review (2008)

Education/Credentials
B.A. English and Religious Studies, Hobart College M.S. Aviation Management Technology, Arizona State University --specialty is airport planning and design

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