Will taking a domestic connecting flight before an international flight change anything...?

Will taking a domestic connecting flight before an international flight change anything…?


I have a domestic connecting flight from Memphis to Dallas before my international flight. All the flights were purchased on one ticket. Once arriving in Dallas, will any of the steps or processes be different than if I were to just fly internationally straight from Dallas without the connecting flight? Will I need to check in again? Will I need to collect my luggage and check it again? When will they check my passport? Just wondering if anything will be different since I have a connecting flight first. I’m someone who needs clear instructions and likes to be prepared in every way possible. Even the tiny details and things like that. It makes me more comfortable, so I’m just checking. I’m not a very experienced flyer.

4 thoughts on “Will taking a domestic connecting flight before an international flight change anything…?

  1. I just flew from Houston to Munich with a connection in DC first. You do not need to recheck baggage before the international flight.

    Passport is checked at your final destination.

    All you do once you get to Dallas is head to your next gate and wait.

    On your return flight back home, if you have a connection in the US again (we landed at EWR before heading to Houston), then you will have to recheck and go through US customs.

  2. I am planning a possible trip to Montenegro next year that involves flying into and out of Podgorica. I’ve analyzed all of the possible return flights, and only two options prevent an 18-23 hours layover in Vienna or Frankfurt: One of them requires a connection in Belgrade, Serbia (only 1 hour 20 minutes to connect), and the other requires a connection in Vienna, Austria (1 hour 30 minutes to connect).

    This would be my first trip to Europe, and on top of that, I’ve never even caught connecting flights outside the US before. If I arrive on an international flight, and never leave the airport (or even the international wing of the airport), will I have to go through immigration or customs to board the next flight?

    1. Actually, with a stop in Vienna, Germany, or Serbia – basically any country that is not Montenegro – you will go through customs and immigration even if you are continuing international travels. For example, if you are traveling to Italy or Spain from the US via England (say, London’s Heathrow airport) you proceed through immigration, then collect your luggage, pass customs, and then drop off your luggage before proceeding to your next flight. With that in mind, I’d suggest 2-3 hours minimum for a layover. Sometimes the process is quick and easy but, in my experiences, mostly it takes time and patience. It’s always more pleasant when I know I won’t miss my flight. I hope this helps. If you want more information, send me a private email. I work in the US and Italy 50/50 for an American university study abroad program.

      1. This has been my experience also. You will likely have to go through security again which can add another 10-20 minutes or more depending on the number of flights arriving at the same time. On the plus side if it’s the same airline they may have someone there to help speed you through security and customs and they will often hold the plane. This has happened to me a few times. On the downside, if your first flight is delayed very long you can forget about making the connecting flight altogether. The airline will re-book you in-flight but there’s no telling what route you’ll end up getting or how long the layover(s) will be. I got rerouted through Bahrain once and Ecuador once on a S. American trip. It’s always an adventure and quite enjoyable with the right attitude.

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