Question Of The Week: What Airline Do I Check In With On Partner Flight?

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Question Of The Week: What Airline Do I Check In With On Partner Flight?

Question Of The Week: What Airline Do I Check In With On Partner Flight?

What airline do I check in with? Our question of the week cuts through possible confusion with many airlines and moving parts involved. That can happen a lot in this hobby, where you book through airline A, but you’re flying on airlines B and C… Yet you’re flying via country C, and airline A isn’t located there… Here’s a simple look at which airline I check in with on a partner booking.

The Question

Our question of the week comes from Anthony in our Facebook group:

I booked a ticket to Cairo for a friend using Lifemiles, first flight is on United, 2nd on Turkish, 3rd is on Egypt Air. Would he check in with United? it was booked together so I am assuming he wouldn’t have to re-check in for each flight.


Anthony’s itinerary for his friend is pretty complex. He flies USA to Turkey to Egypt on 3 different carriers. The ticket was booked through a program based in Colombia (LifeMiles), and the airline (Avianca) isn’t involved in the trip or even present in the destination country.

Which Airline Do I Check In With?

Simple answer: you will always check in with the airline of your first flight.

Since Anthony’s friend starts his trip on United, he should check in with United. Because this is all 1 ticket with partners in the same alliance, he can check his luggage all the way to his destination. He won’t have to do a new check in or claim his bags at points in the middle of his trip.

Also, it’s a good idea to reconfirm flights with the partner airlines, since LifeMiles had some issues recently.

Final Thoughts

When lots of airlines are involved in an itinerary, things can become complex. The chance for lost bags can go up. Managing reservations online to choose seats or request special meals gets more complex. If you paid cash for the flights, deciding which program to credit the flights to can be tricky. However, the one part that’s super simple is answering “which airline do I check in with?” because the answer is always “whoever flies the first flight”.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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