Sorry for the off-topic question, but y’all are the experts and I figured I would be able to get a solid answer here.
My family and I are traveling to England next month. International flights are waaay more expensive from our hometown airport than from Seattle (the nearest “big” city). So we ended up booking round trip flights (Icelandair) from Seattle to London (via Reykjavik) and then booking separate round trip tickets from our home airport to and from Seattle through Delta.
(This is a done deal, btw, so it’s no use telling me now that this was a terrible idea! We made sure to leave ~5 hour buffers between our Delta --> Icelandair and Icelandair --> Delta transfers in case there are some delays. We are doing carry-on only, so no baggage transfers to muddy things up . . . this is saving our family of 6 almost $3,500 so it seemed like a wonderful idea at the time! Now that we’re only a few weeks out, I’m starting to panic a bit about how exactly it’s all going to play out . . .)
Anyway, here’s my very specific question:
I am working under the assumption that we will not be able to stay within the secure area, head directly to our Icelandair gate when we land in Seattle, and check in there. In other words, after landing in Seattle, we will need to make our way out of security and to the Icelandair check-in counters, check in for our Seattle-Reykjavik-London journey, and then go through TSA all over again before boarding our first Icelandair flight. But for our journey home, we should be able to check in for our Delta flights online (since it’s a domestic-only ticket), which means we will be able to head directly to our Delta gate, with no need to exit and go through security again.
Is this correct? I have googled all over trying to find an answer, and all I get are forums where people tell you all the reasons that you should not book international travel in separate legs like this. I’m honestly not too stressed about the potential disasters . . . the risks seem minimal to me. There are so many daily flights from our home airport to Seattle and it’s only a 45 minute flight, so with a 5 hour buffer I think there is basically zero chance we will miss our flight to Iceland. The odds of a significant delay do go up on the return flight, but the worst that could happen there is we miss our final 45 minute flight back home and have to either buy new tickets (which are very cheap) or crash at a hotel for the night and then rent a car and drive home the next day.
So basically I’m really not panicking about the plan (at least, not too much) but I want to know exactly what to expect on departure day. Check in for short flight, go through TSA, land in Seattle, then start the process all over again since we’re flying on a separate ticket? Does that sound accurate? Has anyone else done an international journey this way?