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mikewalsh Nov 11th, 2010 04:15 AM

How much time should I allot if I have to switch planes in Rome?
Hi Everyone,

We're trying to score an award ticket from Boston to Rome (we will likely have to connect to Rome to get it) and then take a totally separate flight to get to Cagliari, Sardinia. Given going through customs (in Rome?), picking up our baggage, going to a new gate and re-checking our baggage for our flight to Sardinia, how much time should I allot between landing in Rome and taking off from Rome? The flights from Rome leave at 8:45am and a later more expensive one at 9:45am.



alanRow Nov 11th, 2010 04:44 AM

Without knowing your arrival time in Rome it's impossible to be certain but it's unlikely you'd arrive early enough to have enough time to change flights on the earlier departure. And unless your arrival time is before 6:30am I wouldn't want to risk the later flight either

And you will go through immigration at Rome for a number of reasons - not the least being that Sardinia is part of Italy & you can't collect your luggage any other way.

mikewalsh Nov 11th, 2010 07:51 AM

thanks Alan. On my flight going home from Sardinia to Rome, which gets into Rome at 8am, what's the earliest I could catch a plane out of Rome to Boston? The Alitalia website says the check-in time limit for intercontinental flighjts is 60 minutes. Seems I need to pick up baggage, and re-check in for my flight to Boston, but do I have to account for any customs or immigration issues?

ggreen Nov 11th, 2010 09:07 AM

Also keep in mind that your flights could be in different terminals: when we flew NYC-Rome and then Rome-Catania (Sicily) earlier this year, we opted for the later (and more expensive) of the EasyJet flights. We arrived on Continental, easily switched terminals, then waited in line for about 20 min to check in for EasyJet. We ended up with time to spare, which we used to go to the ATM and grab a snack...

On the return, you will as you said need to leave time to collect your luggage from the Sardinia flight, possibly switch terminals, check in at the check-in counter, and clear security. Customs/immigration are at the other end of the trip (re-entering the US).

Of course, time can be compressed significantly if you carry-on and don't have to wait at all those various baggage carousels! :)

Ackislander Nov 11th, 2010 10:19 AM

For the return, there is an Alitalia flight at 10 (614 I believe) that you would stand a good chance of making, but arriving is another thing.

It was my experience last week that it took a very long time for luggage to arrive in the customs area from the terminal where our flight from Boston arrived. As at DFW, you have to take a train yourself, then collect luggage in the main terminal. I would say you have next to 0 chance of making the earlier flight to Sardinia.

mikewalsh Nov 11th, 2010 10:48 AM

Hi Ackislander. If you mean there is a 10am flight leaving Rome for Boston, I believe you are correct (the person trying to score my award ticket mentioned that it would be tight getting out if I don't arrive to the Rome airport until 8am...)

Regarding landing in Rome from Boston, sounds like you also had another flight to catch and had to take a train to another terminal? I'm resigned to accepting a much later flight (1:35) getting me into Cagliari at 2:30, which takes a big chunk out of our first day in Sardinia. My problem now is, finding an award flight home that I can catch if I arrive at the Rome airport from Sardinia at 8am (given security, getting baggage, checking baggage, etc). Fun!

TDudette Nov 11th, 2010 12:32 PM

We made a flight connection from Rome to Palermo in a 20-minute window with minutes to spare. I wouldn't recommend power walking from one end of the airport to the other though. 60 minutes is a nice time frame if everything is on time. Good luck.

mikewalsh Nov 13th, 2010 03:17 AM

I will end up taking a later flight from Rome to Alghero to ensure I have enough time. This forces me to finish my itinerary in Cagliari, which allows me to get into Rome at 7:35am for my 10am flight home. As Lufthansa tells me I need to check in 60 minutes prior to departure (if I'm one minute late I will not be allowed to fly), this gives me 85 minutes to retrieve my baggage, take a shuttle from Terminal A to C, go through security, re-check my bags. Alitalia says to assume this will take at least 60 minutes. I've emailed Rome Airport asking if they think I will have enough time, and how long they expect it will take.

So, it might be tight, but I'm going for it, unless someone tells me I'm crazy.

SPQR Nov 13th, 2010 04:58 AM

If it were me, I would fly to Rome the night before. If your morning flight is delayed and you miss the Lufthansa flight they are not required to accommodate you on a later flight (if both flights were on the same ticket the airline would need book you on a later flight - but you said that this would be a separate ticket). Lufthansa might let you on a later flight, or they might force you to buy a new ticket. Since you are on a reward ticket they might be less willing to help - you certainly will not be at the top of the standby list. I won't say you are crazy - but it is not a chance that I would take.

mikewalsh Nov 13th, 2010 04:58 AM

The guy who is getting my award ticket basically told me I was crazy, that "if it were me – regardless of what an airport says – I wouldn’t do an 85 minute connection on separate tickets".

I will likely end up arriving in Rome a day early to make sure we make our flights. Thanks all for your feedback!

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