Making connection in Fiumicino to Malta

Old May 21st, 2021, 03:30 PM
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Making connection in Fiumicino to Malta

We will be flying via Fiumicino to Malta--changing planes and airlines (from Delta to Air Malta) in Fiumicino. I can find arrival/departure windows of 4 to 5 hours enroute to Malta. Will that typically be enough given the need to pick up and recheck bags between flights? On the return my choices would be between 3 hrs 15 minutes, 4 hours and 6 hrs 5 min. How efficient is Fiumicino for such connections? Thanks for any personal knowledge any of you can share on this.
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Old May 21st, 2021, 04:23 PM
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In my experience FCO is among the worst airports I've ever flown into, with significant delays getting bags on more than one occasion. Last time, a flight from Malta to FCO we waited 2 hrs to get our bags. Your experience may vary.

If Delta and Air Malta have an interline baggage agreement then you would not need to claim and recheck your bags as you would not see them until you arrived in Malta. Air Malta has a US customer service # you can call to ask.
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Old May 21st, 2021, 05:26 PM
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When is the trip? If more than about 6 weeks out -- most flight schedules are merely 'suggestions'. Place holders really. The situation is very fluid and future flight times are being changed and/or cancelled every day . . . so no matter which flights you pick now its likely one or both will change between now and the date of your trip.

Not 100% sure but I don't 'think' Delta and Air Malta interline.

Neither Delta nor AirMalta would have any responsibility if the Delta flight is delayed and you miss the Malta flight.
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Old May 22nd, 2021, 02:27 AM
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Thanks to both of you for your sage advice, observations and knowledge. We are booking the flights in conjunction with a cruise and won't be traveling until September. Looks like wait and see is the best solution for now but I will keep the information you've furnished in mind while I continue to obsess about booking.
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Old May 22nd, 2021, 09:07 AM
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Since this is to meet a cruise (assuming you weren't doing this anyway) I'd build in a lot of time. Like enough to stay over night at Fiumicino (or in Malta). It is sort of a catch 22 - IF things really open open up for US travelers by late summer, getting the exact flights you want may be difficult later, but what you book now may end up being re-scheduled.

Maybe go ahead now and book a flight into Italy a day ahead, and then the first Air Malta flight the next morning. That way if either flight is rescheduled they likely won't have any effect on your over all travel or connecting to the cruise ship.
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Old May 22nd, 2021, 03:26 PM
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If you have the choice of which airline to take consider Lufthansa via Munich or Frankfurt connecting on to Malta. That worked well for our group with travelers flying from Detroit, Philadelphia and Boston then meeting up in FRA for the connection to Malta. That way your bags would definitely be checked all the way through and connecting is easy.
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Old May 23rd, 2021, 02:20 AM
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Again thanks to both of you for such well thought out advice. We were already planning to spend a couple of nights in Malta ahead of our cruise, so I've had that covered. We fly Delta and have status with them so we'd prefer to work with them if possible, though those connections with Lufthansa sound good. Turns out that through their Sky Alliance Delta has partnership with Alitalia which flies to Malta (though Delta itself does not). So I can book a flight through Delta with first leg on Delta, 2nd on Alitalia and 3rd (to Malta from FCO) also on Alitalia which would mean the bag connection will be covered and we'll not need to go back and forth through customs, etc. in FCO. Now all I have left to worry about is whether to book now or hold on until later. Since I've found something that while not ideal, seems workable, I think I'll go for booking now. Our status with Delta will mean we can probably get some help working things out if they change on us.

Even if all this is a mess to work with, it's still nice to be back in the game. And nice to be back on Fodors seeking and getting good advice from experienced folks. Thanks so much.
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