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Baggage after immigration ?

Unalaska, Alaska
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Baggage after immigration ?

I will be making my first international flight soon. Once I alight, do i go thru immigration,baggage and then customs ? Pretty naive but what happens if someone takes off with your luggage (knowingly or unknowingly) while you are at immigration ?

Ghent, Belgium
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1. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

Would help to know which country you are traveling to

Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

It depends where you are going, and which route you are taking to get there. For example, if you flew to Budapest via Frankfurt, as both countries are in the Shengen area, you would clear immigration at Frankfurt, but collect your bags and clear customs in Budapest.

As for other people taking your checked bags off the carousel, it can happen, but is very rare, and when it does happen is usually an inadvertent mistake. You can minimize that risk by clearly labeling you bags and making them distinctive. My black Samsonite has a business card label, and I don't rip off any labels or security stickers that have been added by hotel concierges and the like. Hence the handles are covered with 4-5 different labels from Tokyo, Cairo, Bangalore, Bangkok and Shanghai.

bristol UK
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3. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

In most places you do immigration, then to baggage claim and finally customs. Unless immigration are really slow you normally beat your bags to baggage claim. If anyone steals your bags they have to run the risk of going through customs with it (unless a domestic flight) and there are a lot of cameras around.

Broadford, Australia
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for Melbourne
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4. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

I have had the baggage from a member of our party go home with Another.

This might seem to be a common thing when you look at all the plain black suitcases on the carousel, but this smaller bag had large bright pink lips printed all over it. It was after midnight; we seemed to have waited ages for this bag and grabbed it and went when it appeared on the carousel.

We didn't discover the swap until we drove 1 1/2 hours south of Auckland and unpacked for the night. Nobody in Auckland airport to answer the phone by then (Last one out turns out the lights) so husband called first thing in the morning and had to drive back with it.

Yes, there were two identical bags. We had then to wait for the phone call from Air NZ to say our bag had been returned (It had gone 3 hours North of Auckland) which took a day longer. But we got it back. After all, who really wants your old clothes, make-up and smelly gym shoes?

SO we always check the luggage label before wandering off with the checked luggage. We also put one of those striped straps on our cases.

New York City, New...
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for Skopelos
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5. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

Hey jim d:) For the most part, it's passport control first..then you retrieve luggage (luggage claim)..then customs! Wouldn't worry much about someone grabbing your luggage..as mentioned, by the time you go through passport control, chances are you'll still be waiting for your luggage once you get to baggage claim! Have a great trip..and EnjoY!

Italy
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6. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

Don't worry about anyone stealing your baggage, you'll probably be there before it arrives on the carousel.

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

"Don't worry about anyone stealing your baggage, you'll probably be there before it arrives on the carousel."

I wouldn't bet on that. OP is flying international from the US and so I assume is a US citizen. Unless that's Canada, immigration lines for foreigners can be long. Yes, us Americans can have as long a queue at overseas immigration as others have at ours!

Detroit, MI
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for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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8. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

Make sure your bag stands out to minimize the risk of someone grabbing it by mistake. Get the ugliest color you can find, put colored stickers on it, paint graffiti on it - whatever works for you.

If it does go missing, report it to the airline. The first thing they will check is to make sure it actually made the flight. If it does turn out as stolen, I guess you would file a police report at that point.

NYC/Israel
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for Israel
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9. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

When you fly an international flight baggage is received prior to customs. That means you are in a secure area. So, for someone to deliberately steal your bag that means they took an international flight for the sole purpose of stealing someone's bag at the other end!!! I wouldn't loose sleep over it.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Baggage after immigration ?

rdglady,

I agree theft is highly unlikely, but it would be good if the OP came back and told us where they're going.

Have you been to Bangkok? Huge arrivals area, flights from everywhere, including LCCs. In that place (and others in Asia I'm sure) someone could get a flight in from say Malaysia or Cambodia for dirt cheap, travel with hand luggage only and then trawl the carousels carrying bags from North America and Europe for expensive looking luggage.

Far fetched, maybe. Risk to the OP, very slim. But doable, yes.