Customs and Travel Time

Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Customs and Travel Time

Hello, I've read through many forums just trying to get an idea before asking but I still seem to be a little confused. I am taking my first trip to Europe in a couple of months.

I am flying from DC ==> Brussels ==> Italy
I would imagine I would go through customs in Italy, correct? I think I don't go through it until I have the luggage and that is being checked through to Italy? Do I have to go through any kind of immigration in Brussels?

On the way back I go from Italy ==> Frankfurt ==> DC. Would I have to go through anything in Frankfurt?

Lastly the way the flights were set up, I only have an hour and a half layover in Brussels. Is this enough time? I called the airline and they said if we set up flights like that, it's enough time. I've never been to Europe and never been through Brussels airport so I am a little unsure.

Thank you in advance!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:41 AM
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You will do Immigration in Brussels, and Customs in Italy.

On your return - Passport control will be when you check in at your Italian airport.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:46 AM
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I'm not sure that last bit is right Janis. OP is flying within Schengen to Frankfurt so there will be no passport control in Italy. On transferring from the Schengen area to the international area at Frankfurt they will go through passport control.
Customs is a non event. Just walk through the green channel, no need to stop unless asked to do so.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:51 AM
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Oh - yes - you're right. I was focusing on my last flight which connected outside of Schengen.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 11:55 AM
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When you buy your tickets as a single itinerary, they always give you a connection that they believe you'll have no trouble making. Otherwise, they'd be flying around with a lot of empty seats, which is something airlines hate. Of course, sometimes stuff happens. In that case, the airline is obliged to put you on another flight to get you to your destination. You don't say where in Italy you're going, but there should be frequent flights to major Italian airports.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 12:04 PM
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I'm headed into Naples. Any kind of guesstimate for how long I could spend in line at immigration in Brussels? I don't know much about it, is it a quick through or something that takes a little longer? My biggest concern was making my trip to Naples on time but unfortunately there weren't many options for me when choosing my flight.

I appreciate everyone's help
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 12:07 PM
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I'm landing around noon and leaving around 1:30 if that helps in answering any of my questions. Thank you!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 05:31 PM
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Is this all one ticket? If so it's a legal connection and the airline must get you to your next destination as soon as possible.

If they are separate tickets and you miss your ongoing flight you are a no show and have to buy a new ticket at the walk up price.

Brussels is not a huge airport and the one time I went through immigration there it took about 10 minutes - but that was a flight from NY that landed at about 7 am.

You should be OK if your plane lands on time, you are in the front of of the plane, deplane quickly ad move briskly to Immigration. Don;t get stuck at the back of the plan or lollygag - it could cost you up to half an hour.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2014, 06:08 PM
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"On transferring from the Schengen area to the international area at Frankfurt they will go through passport control."

The departure for flights to the US is seperated in Frannkfurt terminal 1 (at least for Star Alliance members). In the past the controls were pretty terrible but I flew several times in the last two years and thought it absolutely okay (sometimes it took less than 2 minutes).

If you're in a hurry, don't hesitate to jump the queues.
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 10:54 PM
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To give you an idea, hardly anyone on that flight to Italy who starts his journey in Brussels will make his way through security much more than 1 hour before departure.
You should just keep in mind that your flight to Italy will depart from the other terminal in Brussels.
So after you went through passport control in the main terminal, you have a pretty long walk through a tunnel, security control (15 minutes would already be considered a pretty long waiting time, though), and even more walking in the Schengen terminal - if your departure gate to Italy is at the very other end of the terminal building.
If you want to grab a coffee or else, I'd therefore wait until you made your way through the security control, from where it will be a max. 10 min walk to the gate (or just a 1-3 min walk if your gate number is in the 40s).
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Old Feb 27th, 2014, 11:49 PM
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1,5 hours in Brussels will be fine, but it is a long walk. You don't have to transfer to the other terminal though.
For a European flight I would get to Brussels one hour in advance (I live in Belgium), as Cowboy also says.

And as Hans says, jump the queues at security if you are late and in danger of missing the flight. Just say you have to run to catch your flight, people will let you go first.
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 01:23 AM
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I meant transfer by bus or other; terminals one and two in Brussels are connected by walkways.
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