Please sign in to post.

Customs/Layovers in Europe

Hi Everyone! I am brand now to having layovers in Europe and am hoping to ease my worries about missing any flights due to customs/immigration. I have a valid US Passport and am traveling from Chicago to Italy, with a layover in Paris. The Paris layover is 3 hrs and 40 min, so not too concerned about catching flights there. However, I am a little worried about my way home and would appreciate some clarity about how the process will work, since I have two layovers. Here's the schedule--

Rome to Paris
1 hr 15 min layover
Paris to Amsterdam
1 hr 40 min layover
Amsterdam to Chicago (home)

Does this schedule sound reasonable and feasible? At which point will I have to go through immigration/customs? This is via Air France and not all on the same aircraft. (If it's anything like domestic travel, I assume I won't have to keep checking and rechecking my bag?)

Thank you SO much for your help with this! I am looking forward to the trip very much and wish happy travels to all of you. :)

Posted by
5122 posts

On the way back you will go through passport control also referred to as immigration/customs in Amsterdam. You say it is a through ticket (meaning to me that is one ticket) so this means you will not see the bag you checked in Rome until you get to Chicago.

The schedule is feasible; the airline would not be able to sell you one ticket like that otherwise. But some would be stressed about those connection times; everyone is different.

For example 3 days ago I flew on one ticket from Brussels to Reykiavek (Iceland) to Chicago on Wow Air.
My connection had a 1 hour layover. In Reykiavek I went through passport control got stamped and straight to the boarding gate and my flight was in the process of boarding. I am finding I like getting off a plane and walking to the next one that is in the process of boarding better than sitting around waiting.

Also I checked a bag on the same route before and it went all the way to Chicago

Posted by
177 posts

The 75 minute layover in Paris on your return trip will be tight. If your flight is on time and you move quickly off the plane and through the terminal, you should make it. But you will need to walk very quickly. Don’t stop to use the bathroom. The Amsterdam layover should be easier. You will most likely go through a secondary TSA security screening at the gate.

Posted by
6272 posts

Since you have apparently already bought your tickets you'll just have to see if it works. There should be plenty of flights from Paris to AMS on Air France/KLM/Delta. I'd check on the flight schedule from AMS to Chicago just so you know what your options are if you miss your connection in AMS because of delays in or to Paris. IF you happen to miss that flight there are KLM customer service agents at various kiosks in the airport and they will help re-ticket you. They all speak excellent English and are very helpful.

If you can possibly change your flight departure time from Rome and leave earlier, I would. If you've purchased within 24 hours you may be able to do this.

Have all your chargers/electronics in your carry on plus any medication you might need if you get stuck overnight in AMS.

I'm pretty risk averse and when I book I try to go with a 2 hour transit time as a minimum for a domestic or intra-Europe flight and 3 hours for catching an international flight. Just putting this out there for the next time you book a flight!