SQ SIN-MXP-BCN: MXP procedures?

twiningb

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I had an upcoming booking on SQ388 SIN-BCN, changed to SQ378 SIN-MXP-BCN on the same day. I'm not terribly concerned by the tech stop and am happy to accept the new routing.

What's the deal in MXP? Does one clear immigration there and it's then intraSchengen for the MXP-BCN sector? Or does one stay in international transit and clear immigration in BCN? If immigration in MXP, is customs also there or is that handled in BCN? What lounge options exist (we'll be in J class all the way)?

(Having seen the news since originally asking this at FlyerTalk that they're making this flight fifth-freedom for the first time, that seems to me to make it more likely an intraSchengen scenario.)

If anyone has recently done the SIN-CPH-FCO journey your experience would be useful, because it probably behaves like that.

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henrus

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Yes, the recent change now means that the MXP-BCN flight operates as a Schengen flight.

In MXP everyone will have to get off and pass through both passport control (to enter Schengen) followed by security.

Regarding the lounge, you may not have access, I think the current lounge SQ uses is in a non Schengen area.

In the EU customs is always done at the final port not that they actually care and 99% of people just walk out the green exit.
 

henrus

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If it's within Schengen, it looks like there's a Lufthansa lounge at MXP. Presumably Star rules would permit use of that, time permitting?
100% the Lufthansa lounge is open and you should be able to access it. Lufthansa could always claim the lounge is at capacity and not accepting SQ passengers but this is unlikely.

Something I can't answer is how the flight works with the gates. At Milan the B gates are non schengen and the A gates are schengen. It's likely the flight will dock at the B gates and then board from an A bus gate. This is how the current arrangements in CPH are working. If this is the case then it'd be easy to access the Lufthansa lounge.
 

lovetravellingoz

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I had an upcoming booking on SQ388 SIN-BCN, changed to SQ378 SIN-MXP-BCN on the same day. I'm not terribly concerned by the tech stop and am happy to accept the new routing.

What's the deal in MXP? Does one clear immigration there and it's then intraSchengen for the MXP-BCN sector? Or does one stay in international transit and clear immigration in BCN? If immigration in MXP, is customs also there or is that handled in BCN? What lounge options exist (we'll be in J class all the way)?

(Having seen the news since originally asking this at FlyerTalk that they're making this flight fifth-freedom for the first time, that seems to me to make it more likely an intraSchengen scenario.)

If anyone has recently done the SIN-CPH-FCO journey your experience would be useful, because it probably behaves like that.

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I have not had that routing, but when I flew SIN-MUN-MAN with SQ we had to disembark with all hand luggage (you were not allowed to leave anything) and clear immigration before re-boarding our flight (it was exactly the same plane).

Also all those who had bought duty-free alcohol in SIN had to bin it! Fortunately we already knew about that drawback in advance.


We have also flow SIN-FRA-(SQ) -SPU (Croatian Airlines and so a different aircraft), and had to also clear immigration at FRA.
 

dajop

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I have not had that routing, but when I flew SIN-MUN-MAN with SQ we had to disembark with all hand luggage (you were not allowed to leave anything) and clear immigration before re-boarding our flight (it was exactly the same plane).

Was that clearing immigration or just clearing security? I thought Germany allowed transits airside when transiting between non-Schengen locations. I know when we transferee SIN-FRA-OTP (Bucharest) we did not clear immigration but had to go through security.

In any event SIN-MXP-BCN is different to SIN-MUC-MAN as MXP and BCN are both within the Schengen zone, but MAN is not.
 

henrus

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The SIN-MXP-BCN flight has operated using that route for a while, I've taken it in the past and previously the MXP-BCN segment operated as a non-schengen flight. You'd get off the plane and go through security but nothing else.

In the last couple of months SQ has acquired 5th freedom traffic rights to the MXP-BCN route which allows them to sell it as a standalone flight. This has resulted in a change with the MXP-BCN route now operated as a schengen flight. At a very minimum you can expect to go through passport control and probably security (although some EU destinations allow non-schengen flights to land into the secure area of the airport), just not sure what the story is in MXP.
 

AIRwin

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The SIN-MXP-BCN flight has operated using that route for a while, I've taken it in the past and previously the MXP-BCN segment operated as a non-schengen flight. You'd get off the plane and go through security but nothing else.
When was that? Back in 2019, I asked my friend who is an A350 Captain with SQ and he had confirmed all BCN bound passengers had to remain on board:
 

henrus

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When was that? Back in 2019, I asked my friend who is an A350 Captain with SQ and he had confirmed all BCN bound passengers had to remain on board:
Back in about 2013? I flew BNE-SIN-MXP-BCN and then back BCN-MXP-SIN-BNE. 100% got off and was able to go to the shops as I bought a shirt in Milan airport that I still have.
 

Mattg

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SQ is a not a Schengen domiciled carrier so they cannot operate flights as Schengen. The MXP-BCN and back (along with CPH-FCO-CPH) operates as non-Schengen.

You disembark at MXP for SIN-MXP-BCN but you do not clear EU immigration at MXP. You can stay onboard for BCN-MXP-SIN.

This is exactly how the LATAM FRA-MAD-SCL flights used to work. You could buy a ticket just on the FRA-MAD sector, but you would need to clear immigration. Similar to booking QF9 from MEL to DRW.
 

henrus

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SQ is a not a Schengen domiciled carrier so they cannot operate flights as Schengen. The MXP-BCN and back (along with CPH-FCO-CPH) operates as non-Schengen.
Not sure this is correct, I've seen numerous flight vlogs about the CPH-FCO route and those taking it didn't clear passport control.

In this video Paul Explains that there is no passport control.

In this FCO-CPH video they depart from the E gates which are schengen gates at Rome FCO T3.

Also explained here in a review under "boarding"

Again here search for schengen

and again
 
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madrooster

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Not sure this is correct, I've seen numerous flight vlogs about the CPH-FCO route and those taking it didn't clear passport control.

I was previously told it'd run as non schengen however I just asked SQ again and yes CPH-FCO-CPH operates as Schengen. They use a non schengen stand at CPH in both directions and bus the passengers to/from the schengen zone.

MXP-BCN-MXP runs as non schengen.
 

PDog

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Sorry, jumping in with a side bar question....
We had FCO-SIN which has now been re-routed to FCO-CPH-SIN. Will we need to clear passport control CPH? (And yes, the flight time is hideous!)
 

henrus

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We had FCO-SIN which has now been re-routed to FCO-CPH-SIN. Will we need to clear passport control CPH? (And yes, the flight time is hideous!)
Yes you will clear passport control in CPH. Obviously any bags will be checked through but you will need to get off the plane (no new security screening) but exit passport control to leave the schengen area.
 

madrooster

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Sorry, jumping in with a side bar question....
We had FCO-SIN which has now been re-routed to FCO-CPH-SIN. Will we need to clear passport control CPH? (And yes, the flight time is hideous!)

At FCO you will board as a Schengen pax, at CPH you will deplane via the rear to a bus that will drive you back to a bus gate. Then you need to clear immigration to get to the non-schengen area to re-board for CPH-SIN.
 

PDog

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Yes you will clear passport control in CPH. Obviously any bags will be checked through but you will need to get off the plane (no new security screening) but exit passport control to leave the schengen area.

At FCO you will board as a Schengen pax, at CPH you will deplane via the rear to a bus that will drive you back to a bus gate. Then you need to clear immigration to get to the non-schengen area to re-board for CPH-SIN.

Thank you both!
 

MathNerd

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Sorry for going OT but...
All this talk of Schengen and clearing passport control etc brought back memories of Spielberg's movie "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks and how international bureaucratic nightmares like this can leave people stranded. Especially these days when you add COVID into the mix and the absolute complexity of regulations that is abound.
How people at IATA/TIMATIC keep abreast of everything without losing their sanity is astounding.

Having witnessed a related predicament a couple of years back (catching a LX flight LHR-ZRH then transferring to a SQ ZRH-SIN flight, with bags checked all the way through to SIN), where TIMATIC showed that TWOV was allowed at ZRH for short (<24h) layovers however the check-in agent didn't accept this and almost denied boarding at LHR. Took about 2 hours for a supervisor to fix everything, and then at the gate, boarding was almost denied again as they looked for a Schengen visa in the passport (IN).

Anyway back to the what happens at MXP - as @madrooster has explained, SQ is not a Schengen domiciled carrier so there's special arrangements for their pax (not clearing EU immigration) at MXP.
 

twiningb

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The reported start date for fifth-freedom MXP-BCN vv standalone flights was Monday, and indeed the last couple of flights have arrived MXP from SIN at the B gates (extraSchengen) and then MXP-BCN boarded from A gates (Schengen). Last week MXP-BCN was boarding from B as well.

Today's MXP-BCN departure gate was A52, which (although the map is not clear) looks like it is likely a bus gate. If they're having to bus people from the Schengen zone to an airframe parked at an extraSchengen stand, I guess that would make sense.
 

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