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Layover at Brussels Airport

I am looking at a flight for next August from Newark to Florence, Italy which connects in Brussels. The layover in Brussels is 1h 25m.

There will be 4 of us traveling, 2 adults and 2 children ages 7 and 12. We will check bags at Newark, which I assume get routed through direct to our destination.

Is this at all feasible? I haven't had to connect on a flight to Europe in 20 years and I have never gone through Brussels.

Thanks,

Posted by
1382 posts

Will you be booking this on 1 ticket? If so, you should be fine. 1 h 25 m is longer than the minimum connection time for Brussels Airport, so your transfer time should be enough.

Posted by
14150 posts

I’d look to see how many flights a day there are from Brussels to Florence? Asking because it’s not as big a hub as Amsterdam or Paris which have multiple flights in case there is a delay and you miss your connection.

Posted by
49 posts

Yes, this would be on one ticket. IE - we would not be booking one flight to Brussels, and then buying a separate ticket to get from there to Florence.

Thank you.

Posted by
7481 posts

I think you'll be OK. But BRU does have a lot of slower "bus gates", and United (my example) has a very, very long walk from the far end of a terminal finger. I have had some long "All Other Passports" lines in Brussels, but not in 8 years. We need a report on (possible?) automated immigration gates at BRU.

Posted by
49 posts

Thank you Tom.

This actually leads me to another question I didn't think of earlier. When we disembark from our plan from Newark, do we need to clear immigration or customs in order to proceed to the connecting flight? Or would that only happen if we were going to exit the airport?

Posted by
1382 posts

Brussels Airport, like most (if not all) airports in the Schengen zone is divided into 2 sections seperated by immigration/passport control. Flights arriving from and departing to destinations outside the Schengen zone will arrive and depart in the non-Schengen zone section of the airport. In a similar way, flights arriving from or departing to destinations inside the Schengen zone, arrive and depart from the Schengen zone side of the airport. Your flight from the USA will arrive in the non-Schengen zone and your flight to Italy will depart from the Schengen zone side of the airport. In order to reach the gate your flight to Florence departs from, you will need to go thru passport control in order to formally enter the Schengen zone. Customs, which relates to the goods you bring, will be done in Italy. However this is only a matter of walking thru the “nothing to the declare” channel on your way out the airport.

Posted by
49 posts

Dutch_Traveler - thank you for the information, this is most helpful.

I assume there have to be some long lines for the passport control, especially in August. If this is going to be the case, I am not sure I would be comfortable with a connection time of only 1 hour 25 minutes...

Posted by
1382 posts

I'm not sure your assumption is correct. The airline wouldn’t sell you the ticket unless they think you can make the connection. The minimum transit time for Brussels Airport is 55 minutes. Brussels Airport is a small but efficient airport. I haven’t heard any reports of transfer passengers missing their flights this summer because of long lines at passport control.
Of course If you’re that uncomfortable you can always book a flight with a longer layover, but there’s a good chance this will result in long boring hours of hanging around the airport while waiting for your next flight.