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Dumb question regarding international stopovers
This is probably a dumb question but I’ll be honest, I’ve never done a stopover anywhere before, let alone abroad.
My wife and I are planning our summer Europe trip and it seems our best airfare options are a connection through Helsinki. Essentially, we could have a 2 hour layover in Helsinki on Sunday, or fly to Helsinki on Saturday night, have an 18 hour layover, and still take the same flight home from Helsinki on Sunday afternoon.
If you book a flight abroad (in this case through Finnair) and don’t specifically book it as a “stopover” flight, can you leave the airport during your layover and then re-enter? I’m sure they would require you to go through security again but is this even allowed, particularly on an international flight back to the United States? What happens to your bag if you check it?
It would be great to get 18 hours to quickly explore Helsinki, but I don’t know if that’s possible. And when you try to price it out as a listed “stopover” on Finnair’s website, it’s much more expensive.
Yep, of course you can! As long as you have the proper documentation to enter a country it’s typically never an issue to leave the airport and come back in.
I entered Germany for 6 hours last week in order to use a better lounge than the one available in my departure terminal. It’s not a problem.
I’m sure you’d be able to “short-check” your bag if you wanted to have it with you on that long connection. Many airports won’t even keep your bag overnight, so they’d automatically ask you to claim it at the stopover point, but I’m not sure about Helsinki.
@bbrech There’s never a dumb question 🙂
My family and I had a stopover in Helsinki this past summer, so while my expertise in policy pales in comparison to [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] and [USER=29]@David W[/USER] I can provide a little on-the-ground experience.
In our case, we had a two day unofficial stopover. We were asked to collect our checked bags and to recheck them when we continued on our journey (this is a policy for all international tickets connecting in Helsinki). So you will end up handling your luggage no matter what happens.
If you are looking for luggage storage in Helsinki airport, I would suggest doing some research and possibly even reserving a spot early (when my family went to go look, there was nothing available). There’s also storage available at the dock (though I don’t think that’s very viable here as the dock is ~30 minutes away and located closer to downtown Helsinki).
Hope this helps!