Time through customs at Fiumicino

Jan 17th, 2012, 04:47 AM
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Time through customs at Fiumicino

My wife and I will be scheduled to arriving at Fiumicino at 7:15 am in mid March. We need to then get to the Alitalia terminal to fly to another city in Italy. There is a direct flight at 9:30am.

Can anyone give us some idea, from their experience, whether booking seats on that 9:30 flight is reasonable? The next flight is not until 1p (after the overnight from the US) and has a stop on the way, arriving at our desination at 5p.

Thank you!
gruben is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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Immigration is trivial in my experience. Ten minutes?

Customs is a non-issue if you are debarking in Rome. I do not know what happens if you are in transit. Is your final destination on the same ticket? If so, I expect your luggage might just be transferred to your ongoing flight, but you will need to enquire.

What could be an issue is how long it takes to get your luggage. I have waited more than an hour on one occasion in the last year. Last time, in September, the luggage made it almost as fast as we did. Baggage claim is in the main terminal, overseas flights arrive at a satellite terminal where you take a tram to the main terminal. I think they are understaffed by quite a bit on weekends and certainly on [Italian] holidays. That doesn't help much, but it is the reality.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 05:05 AM
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I agree, passport control there may be a line (likely fairly quick depending on how many other flights come in - early morning is the busiest time of day at London airports as overnight flights come in), customs is a non-issue as you just walk through the door that says nothing to declare. Picking up your luggage is likely to be the hold up - have been through that airport twice and both times luggage took over an hour to be delivered.

It should be a problem if you are booked on one continuous ticket as your luggage will be checked through etc, but if they are on two separate airlines you will not have much time for error and if you miss your flight what will you do?
jamikins is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 05:06 AM
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I meant shouldnt be a problem if you are on one continuous ticket!
jamikins is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 05:35 AM
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Customs should not be lengthy as mentioned in above posts, but what may hold you up is passport control. I've breezed through that line in 10 minutes (granted it was on Christmas morning) but I've also waited as long as an hour.

As Jamikins mentioned it depends alot on how many other flights are landing at that time and also what day of the week. The time I had to wait an hour at passport control was a Saturday in October when the majority of the people around me in line were cruise passengers embarking on a cruise ship later in the day. In March I'm not sure how busy the cruise business is out of Rome, but it's something to be mindful of. I was surprised when I had to wait that long to get my passport stamped before getting my luggage.
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Thank you all for your responses!
It will be a Wednesday morning. In order to get a good price on the transatlantic ticket I had to book it separate (US Airways) from the Alitalia domestic flight. We have been in and out of Fiumicino only once before ten years ago.

It is very helpful to know the bags are delivered to the main terminal. That should make it easier to then get them over to the check in counter which I presume is in the main terminal as well?

Thanks again for your most helpful replies.
gruben is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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Can you travel carry-on only? That eliminates one possible hold-up. I too have waited in a long line at immigration at Fiumicino. So what happens if you buy tickets for the 9:30 flight and miss it?
Mimar is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 07:15 AM
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Exactly. It sounds like the best bet is suck it up and book the later connecting flight and just face the fact we are ging to be very tired that evening.
gruben is offline  
Jan 17th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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You don't go through "customs" unless you have something to declare. If you don't, you just get waved on through. Immigration/passport control can be busy, but it's never taken me more than a half-hour. If you don't check luggage, you can almost certainly make that 9:30 flight.
StCirq is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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I suspect there will be several planes arriving in the morning at Fiumicino, all chockful of non-EU passport holders. Which would make for long lines at immigration. (The EU passport holders breeze through.)
Mimar is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 04:56 AM
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Thanks, again! Since we are non EU, and will have luggage for over a week, it ssounds like we will need to plan on a connecting flight later than 9:30 am.
gruben is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 05:24 AM
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This sounds like a REALLY good reason to spend a night in Rome!
Frances is offline  
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