I’m hoping someone can help me with this….

Here’s the situation:

  • On Saturday I’m flying TPA-DFW-YYZ on American, getting in shortly before 3PM
  • I’m on the Cathay Pacific redeye to Hong Kong, leaving at 12:15AM
  • I’ll be checking a bag
  • I want to go into the city during my 10 hour layover in Toronto

What’s the best way to do this? Will American allow me to “short check” my bag to Toronto? Otherwise, is there any way I can check my bag through and leave it in “international transit,” or do I have to take it with me into the country?

If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them. 🙂

Filed Under: American, Cathay Pacific
  1. Hi

    Because you are coming from the USA, you will be clearing customs and immigration in Toronto. Because of that, you will be touching your bags (to pass through customs) . You can either then leave them on the connecting flight belt, check in with the Airline and leave them with them, or put them in baggage storage for the day.


  2. Actually, what the other Brian said is probably not true. Although I don’t know the specifics in YYZ, in most international airports they won’t require you to clear immigration at all to connect from one international flight to another. Typically you would go from international arrivals directly to international departures to await your next flight, never touching Canadian ground. And you bag would just transfer from one flight to another.

    But since you have up to 10 hours to pass, you probably don’t want to sit in international departures all day, so you can clear immigration/customs if you want. But as long as you won’t need anything in your bag, it would be easiest just to let AA check it through. That way you don’t have to worry about it. I expect that AA could short-check it to YYZ if you want them to, but then you’d have to collect it, tote it all day, and check it again.

    Then again, there’s a chance the other Brian could be right and that YYZ forces all international transit pax to clear immigration. Or possibly Cathay is in a different terminal than AA and you may have to clear immigration to change terminals.

  3. You will arrive on AA and depart on CX from Terminal 3. If CX check in isn’t open, leave your bag with the bellman at the Sheraton Hotel which is attached to that terminal.
    Take the airport bus (approx. $15 o/w) to the Royal York Hotel downtown. From there, you can explore the city center. Do not take the regular city bus – it will take FOREVER.

  4. PS: I should add that it is NOT possible to check your bag thru to HKG. You must clear Cdn immigration and customs, physically retrieve the bag and then check it in at CX. That’s why you should leave it at the Sheraton if CX isn’t open.

  5. Actually Brian H, I am right 🙂 I both live in and transit through Toronto. The only question I could not answer is the specifics on baggage, as I fly *A, which uses a different terminal.


  6. I just wanted to provide a quick baggage update from Hong Kong. In Tampa we were told that the bags would be checked through and that we didn’t have to claim them in Toronto. I didn’t totally believe the agent, so I asked upon arrival in Toronto, and they informed me I would have to collect my bags. We collected our bags but I didn’t see anywhere to re-check them, so we took them with us. Fortunately it wasn’t a problem since the trunk was big enough to accomodate our bags, but I’m happy I didn’t have to find out about claiming our bags the hard way.

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