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Clearing Customs in FCO In Time For Another Domestic Flight

Ciao! I am traveling with checked luggage from the US direct flight to FCO. That flight arrives at 10:40am.

Directly after I arrive, retrieve bags, and clear customs, I would like to fly one-way to Venice. This is considerably cheaper than other alternatives I've investigated.

My preferred option to fly from FCO to Venice is the 1:25pm flight. The next flight would be 5:35pm.

My question is, do I have enough time to retrieve bags, clear customs and get from terminal 3 to terminal 1 in time to board the 1:25pm flight at FCO? Also, if we miss that flight, would the airline allow us to take the next flight if there is room? Or can you book the fast train within a few hours as reservations are required? Trying to decide if likelihood of catching 1:25pm flight is reasonable or if I should just book the 5:35pm and play it safer. I don't want to be in a situation where we cannot get to Venice that day.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Posted by
5706 posts

Sure you can make that 1:25 p.m. flight if your incoming flight is reasonably on time.

Posted by
797 posts

If your two plane tickets are not on the same reservation, then the second airline does not have to care if your first flight is late or you're stuck between point A and B in reaching the departure terminal. If you have not yet booked your flights, it would be safer to book that all as one ticket or look at a flight (or series of connected, all on one reservation flights) whose final destination is Venice. Otherwise, you do run the risk of losing the money paid for the second flight if you can't make it in time.

That's all of the question I can really address, because I haven't tried that routing to date.

Posted by
2409 posts

If your flight from the US arrives on time, you should have plenty of time to catch a 1:25pm flight. To get a "considerably cheaper" separate fare to Venice, there would be restrictions. It's unlikely you'd be allowed to simply take the later flight, but the only way to know for sure is to read the Terms and Conditions of the fare class you're considering. If your Venice flight is part of a US to Venice ticket, then the airline would put you on the later flight subject to availability.

Have you investigated the train? The highest (Base) fare from FCO to Venice is 101 euro, or about $115. With checked luggage, you would either need to purchase the Classic airfare or pay extra for checked luggage with the Light airfare. You also need to include the cost to get from Venice airport into the city. With all that taken into account, I doubt a separate airfare would be "considerably cheaper" than the train, and the train guarantees that you'll get to Venice on your day of arrival. You can buy tickets at the FCO train station for the next train departing for Venice and would pay Base fare. Pre-purchasing discount train tickets for your day of arrival comes with risks, as changes to discounted tickets are restricted (Economy) or prohibited (Super Economy).

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks to all of you.

Question about taking the train... Is the train stop in/near the airport? If I choose this option, I would book in advance.

THe plane ticket before bag fees is $64US, so costs may be comparable with all the fees you noted. The train takes approx 3 hours, which may make it before the 5:35 flight does.

Thanks again!

Posted by
1900 posts

Actually, the train would take 4 1/2 hrs - FCO to Termini station, then Termini to Venice S. L. Depending on how far in advance you book your ticket, the cost could be between $50-70. Your originating station is Fiumicino Aeroporto and the destination is Venezia S. Lucia.

And remember, if you fly, that you’ll also have to get from the airport in Venice to the city itself - so add in another $8 to your plane ticket for the shuttle bus.

Posted by
2409 posts

The FCO train station is at the airport and is connected to the Terminal 3 arrivals hall. Once you exit the secured area, it's about a 5 minute walk.

Any train you take will arrive far earlier than the 5:35 flight, and it will arrive in Venice proper. If you pre-purchase tickets at a discounted fare, keep in mind that Economy tickets do allow one change but with restrictions and possible penalties and that Super Economy tickets are non-changeable. If your flight from US is late and you miss your train, you'll have to get new tickets that will cost you more than Base fare in either case. If you pre-purchase Economy tickets and decide you want to take an earlier train, the new tickets will cost you at least Base fare. If you bite the bullet and buy Base fare tickets at the FCO train station for the next train departing for Venice, you might even arrive at about the same time as the 1:25 flight plus transit into Venice.

I'll add that the conventional wisdom on this forum is to not pre-purchase train tickets for you arrival day but, if you're willing to gamble and win, you could save as much as half the train fare. I'll also add that the airport is a somewhat boring place to wait a couple of hours for a train, but at least you could grab a mediocre light lunch while you wait. Imo the food at nearby Terminal 1 arrivals level is better than at either Terminal 3 arrivals level or at the places adjacent to the train station.

Posted by
1020 posts

Also consider that when flying into Venice, you need transportation to get to Venice proper. Depending on what you choose, and where you are staying, could take at least an hour. The train arrives right into Venice, with easy connections (or walking) to your hotel.

Posted by
3393 posts

Since you have a different ticket you will have to through the regular immigration passport control which takes time. We had one ticket, transferring to a domestic flight at FCO, and we went through a small immigration check area, only two in front of us.