US to London, London to Rome

Old Nov 16th, 2015, 08:39 AM
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US to London, London to Rome

We bought a round trip ticket from the US to London for January 2016. We've decided to add on a side trip to Rome. Will we have a problem with buying separate tickets from London to Rome? We are thinking about just getting off at Heathrow, getting our luggage, going through customs and then boarding a flight to Italy (on a separately purchased, round trip ticket) on the same day as UK arrival. Staying in Italy for 6 days and then flying back to London and staying another 6 days. I can't find anything on the State Department website. Thank you!
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 08:43 AM
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>>Will we have a problem with buying separate tickets from London to Rome?>I can't find anything on the State Department website. Thank you!
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 08:51 AM
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As janis points out, the State Department has nothing to do with your travel plans. You can buy whatever tickets you like.

If you have an unprotected connection, then what are your plans if your flight to London is delayed or cancelled or changed, and you miss that second flight? Will you have trip insurance to cover this? What is your personal risk tolerance? Do at least allow enough time in between flights so that you stand a chance of making a connection.

If you use a European budget airline to fly between London and Rome, you will want to pay attention to which airports they use and the baggage allowance.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 08:56 AM
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Just had a thought . . . By any chance are you not US citizens and need a visa? If so that is a whole different matter.

But assuming you are Americans and just want to fly from London to Rome -- no issues - EXCEPT allowing plenty of time.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 09:03 AM
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Be aware that LHR can be a bear, there are 5 terminals and you may well have to change terminals for your flight to Rome. Be sure you allow time for your connecting flight. I am assuming you will have to go through Immigration and pick up your luggage (based on the airlines not being partners and having separate tickets).

Also be aware that some of the budget airlines have VERY strict luggage policies for carry-on (much smaller than US airlines) and often have very strict time for check in. So you would probably want to leave at least 5 hours between flights - depending on the specifics.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 09:22 AM
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As mentioned, the low-fare airlines mostly fly from airports some distance from Heathrow (Luton & Stansted in particular) and would require considerable transport time to reach them. You'll be better off paying more for your ongoing flight and going from Heathrow, as you say, than trying to save money by changing airports. And it will reduce the stress factor, worth a lot to me.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 09:43 AM
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Very good point by MmePerdu.
Sometimes people do not realize that some airlines like Ryanair are not using the main airports. Great example is Frankfurt am Main and Frankfurt Hahn, both near Frankfurt, but not near each other.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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Have you contacted you first airline to see if they can do an add-on ticket to Rome in conjunction with your London arrival or why wait until London to buy that ticket? You'll pay top dollar for any ticket bought on the day of departure probably - book your own thru Easy Jet or some discount airline NOW.

Actually it seems getting off a flight in London and immediatly buying another international ticket once there could raise flags if I were an inspector as this is never or rarely done. If you have an onward flight and stay in the Transit part there is no need to clear Customs or Immigration I believe until Rome and your bags are forwarded - not sure this is how it works anymore but if so easier.

If you'd like to spend a day in Paris hop the Eurostar train to Paris in a few hours and leave there on the overnight train to Milan or Venice- www.thello.com for fares and details.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 11:15 AM
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Palen, if it a separate ticket, the bags will not be forwarded. If coming from the US, they will need to go through immigration in London as the first point of entry from the US.

Personally, I would contact the airlines about getting another flight that can be connected to your London flight.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 11:49 AM
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>>Actually it seems getting off a flight in London and immediatly buying another international ticket once there could raise flags
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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>Actually it seems getting off a flight in London and immediaetly buying another international ticket once there could raise flags

Really - folks just go up to an airline counter and say I want a ticket to Rome and pay top top top dollar? if many do I'd be surprised - now if they buy it in advance of course that happens a lot - I think you did not read what I wrote?

You really think folks just buy a ticket to London then in the airport go looking for a flight to Rome to buy? I'd have to see some documentation to support that tenuous take.

Planes are not like trains and even to do that today on trains is daft.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 01:06 PM
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I myself wouldn't want to risk trying to catch another flight onward to Rome the same day.

Not that it makes any difference, but you would have to go through immigration in London, and again in Rome, because the UK isn't in the Schengen zone.
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Old Nov 16th, 2015, 02:14 PM
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"You really think folks just buy a ticket to London then in the airport go looking for a flight to Rome to buy?"

This isn't some provincial village like Detroit or Toronto. Or that uninhabitable dump a few hundred miles south with a bizarre belief in its importance

London's the word's soft power capital, where people make all kinds of travel decisions. Our border control officials understand that, and really don't get surprised at any kind of travel. "You've flown here from Fiji for a 90 min meeting? Good luck"

No doubt in the travel-adverse world our local paint addict lives in, anything other than a Rick Steeves-written itinerary of "must sees" is an infallible marker of terrorism. But of course Americans insist on fingerprinting and photographing everyone lucky enough not to be lumbered with one of their passports.

The civilised world doesn't work like that. It'll cost the poster a fortune to buy a walkup ticket from Heathrow to Rome.

But we're certainly not going to try to stop him. Only Yanks would be that mad.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 05:45 AM
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If he were of Arab extract and paying cash for that ticket he would breeze right thru?

No in today's civilized world everyone has everything buttoned down before leaving home - who knows if a certain plane may be filled?

I think flanner as often in his attempt to have fancy sounding rhetoric has literally missed the boat, er plane, here, as so often in the case. It'snot how eloquently someone says something it is indeed what they say and garbage in this case IMO.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 07:04 AM
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Why would buying the ticket at the last minute make a person a security risk? His passport would be checked against whatever databases there are for risky characters. His bags would be screened just as those of any other passenger. The security measures should be identical regardless of when the ticket was bought, or at least I would hope so.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 09:11 AM
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When international tensions are high all sorts of special security measures are put in place.

I returned to NYC from a week's business meeting in Portugal when there had just been a major incident in Israel and apparently there was a lot of "chatter" among terrorist groups.

So in addition to the regular security questions this is what happened:

Anyone who had purchased their tickets within the last TWO WEEKS was taken aside for additional questioning as to the reason for their travel and asked to provide documentation (I had to show materials, invitations, etc for the meeting)

We went through the regular screening process 3 separate times in different places

Once screened we were held in a separate lounge and not allowed access to the shops or restaurants in the departure area

Upon departure we were screened again and led out to buses on the tarmac

Buses were driven to the far side of the airport where the plane was sitting surrounded by armed soldiers and troop vehicles from the Portugese army

All of the luggage was lined up outside the plane and each passenger had to identify their bags before they were loaded on the plane

Before we were allowed to climb the stairs to the plane we had to go through yet another security screening process

So, IMHO anyone turning up at the airport and trying to buy a walk-up ticket is likely to be subject to all sorts of additional security measures and possible searches of self and belongings before being allowed to buy a ticket

Sorry - but since 911 a whole lot has changed and recent events not only in Paris but around the world will probably make security even more sringent
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 10:49 AM
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Oh come on (!)

PQ: The OP is thinking of buying their onward flight NOW . . . not at the counter, not at their departure airport, not the day before flying, NOW. Two months prior to boarding. Sometimes you get a stick in your craw and just can't accept it.

nyt: that extra screening would apply to just about everyone -- nothing special to do w/ the OP flying to Rome. The OP is planning ahead, not last minute . . . the trip isn't til January.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 11:51 AM
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Thank you for everyone's feedback.

We don't travel internationally often. Last time was to Australia and that was non-stop and we didn't go anywhere else. So, we just weren't sure if any red flags would be raised by not having a ticket all the way through to Rome. We are flying Virgin Atlantic to London and it's cheaper for us to buy a separate ticket to Rome out of London. We are purchasing the Rome ticket as soon as I'm comfortable (hopefully today) with the time in between flights. We arrive at 650 am (Terminal 3)and I'd like to leave on a 935 am British Airways flight (Terminal 5). We definitely won't be walking up to buy a ticket upon arrival. I'm too much of a planner for that.
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 11:52 AM
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Also, there are two airports in Italy. Is the main one FCO? Is that where we should fly into?
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Old Nov 17th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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There are several airports in Italy - FCO is the main Rome airport and Ciampiano (sp?) is a lesser one that though closer to Rome has popor public transportation in to town if not using cabs but take whichever one is cheapest I guess.

Pisa has a major International Airport as does Milan and Venice but there are many regional ones that low-budget or regional airlines may fly into all over the country.
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