"Will we need to pick up our luggage when we arrive in Atlanta and go though screening again?" - As long as flights are on the same ticket you won't need to collect bags but might need to clear airport security depending on the arrival/departure terminals but it's unlikely.
Yes, you will need to pick it up and go through screening again, but if it is one ticket, then it should be an easy process. They have it all set up in a separate area that you automatically go through after you deplane and collect your bags and where you just "transfer" it to the screening conveyor belt which is for your next connecting flight. They may have a separate line for international versus domestic transfers, but it should be a pretty smooth process overall.
No. If you are precleared with Customs and immigration in Toronto then this is considered a domestic flight and the airline will transfer your luggage. (Assuming it is all on one ticket)
If for some reason your flight does not have you clear customs and immigration in Toronto then you do pick up your luggage, walk through customs and hand the luggage back to the airline.
The above is correct, as long as you pre clear in YYZ, you will not need to pick up your luggage on the way down. You will need to collect it on the return though if you are going via a US city on the way to YYZ.
I disagree with the advice given in #2. If you preclear and are all on one ticket you do not have to pick your luggage up until your final destination. When you arrive at ATL it will be just like you arrived on a domestic flight. Just walk (and/or) take train from your arrival gate to your departure gate.
Thank you everyone for your replies. One quick question -- when you say 'on one ticket', what does that mean? When I log into Delta and see my flight it says YYZ - PVR (then when I click to look further the Toronto-Atlanta and Atlanta-Puerto Vallarta flights are shown separately, but under the same confirmation number). Does this mean it is on one ticket? Sorry for the silly questions, I haven't done connecting flights before.
"but under the same confirmation number). Does this mean it is on one ticket?" - As long as the flights are on the same confirmation number or the same PNR then they will be on a single ticket.
Last time we went through ATL to Roatan we didn't have to claim our luggage and go through customs and re-check but we did have to go through TSA again. Ask when you check in to be sure in case there has been a change in procedure.
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