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Rome airport a disaster?

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Oct 21st, 2013, 01:41 PM
  #1
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Rome airport a disaster?

I have read FCO is a disaster to get through. The trip report I read said it took the couple over 3 hours to get checked in, through security and passport control, They stated that passport control is a crazy. It took over 2 hrs to get through that line. I am wondering if the this is the norm or was it a one off case.

I was planning on getting to the airport 3 hours before my flight to Philadelphia but now I am second guessing myself and maybe I should get there 4 hours before.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 01:45 PM
  #2
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I forgot to mention I will be in Rome in a couple of weeks and our flight leaves FCO at 11:45 am on a Friday. I wonder if it is still crazy busy at the airport around 8am.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 02:09 PM
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In my experience, passport control takes a long time (when it does) upon entering the country. Potential delays may have little to do with the airport itself, but rather with the staffing reductions by the government's immigration agency. It took us an hour and a half to go through passport control upon arrival at Stansted.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 02:12 PM
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I wouldn't call the airport a disaster, but it is one of the most complicated in Europe. 3 hours should still be enough to do anything that you need to do.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 03:48 PM
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I flew in and out of FCO two years ago in August. I remember a line for passport control, but it seemed to go quickly.
What I do remember is that FCO itself is chaotic and uncomfortable if you have to be there a while. Flying in, and connecting to a flight to Florence, we had to take a maze-like path to a bus that then took us to the plane for Florence.
On the way home, our flight to Chicago was delayed. The part of the airport we were in had about 25 seats total, it seemed, for hundreds of people waiting around for flights. Wall-to-wall people, standing, sitting on the floor, sleeping on the floor. I was stepping over people constantly. Italians were crowding around the gate attendants and yelling at them. I've never been so happy to board a plane to go back to O'Hare.
O'Hare's a nightmare, but it's an organized nightmare. And there are chairs, lots of them.

Just bring something to read, and maybe, something soft to sit on, in case you need to. And keep a sense of humor at the ready...
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Oct 21st, 2013, 05:12 PM
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We just flew home to the US from FCO 4 days ago... and unless we were very lucky upon arrival and when we departed we had no problems with anything, but I did notice that there were several check-in booths that had long lines. I think 3 hours should be sufficient.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 05:27 PM
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If you are talking about departing FCO for the US, then yes, I would allow three hours. International flights usually start boarding one hour before departure because the planes are so much bigger.

Arriving FCO for a departure flight, you will need to catch a shuttle bus at the airport to the check-in area as that is the only way to access it. These buses are swamped and may require you wait until the next bus comes along. You will then go through check-in, luggage, passport check, security, etc. (all can take time depending on lines). Next you must catch a second shuttle bus to the actual departure terminal.
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Oct 21st, 2013, 09:01 PM
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We just flew out of Rome in September to USA arriving at airport 3 hours prior to departure. We had a driver from the hotel to the airport and he dropped us at a separate smaller part of the airport for passengers departing for the USA. We went through baggage check, had tix checked etc and I do not remember if we did security check in that building. Then we had to leave the building and there were shuttle buses to take us to the departure part of the airport. We had security check here I believe. The main point I wanted to share was that we felt we had a fairly easy check-in considering the size of the airport. We had plenty of time to shop and relax. We did have business class tix and that did put us in a couple of shorter lines. However, where we had the shorter lines I did not notice any extremely long lines anywhere. Hope all goes well.
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