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Connecting flight from Rome to Palermo - how much time do we need?

We've booked the Best of Sicily tour and I'm now looking at flights. We will fly Alitalia into FCO and will book a connecting flight into PMO. We will be traveling with carry on luggage only. I'm trying to figure out how long a layover we are going to need. Will 1 hour be long enough to get off the flight and onto the next flight? Do we have to change terminals? Will we have to go through security? Would appreciate any feedback / advise.

Posted by
1032 posts

Doubt that 1 hour would be enough because you arrive at T3 and your connection will likely be in T1 and you have to go through PP control before going into T1. Also, you can't depend on your arrival flight being on time. If you are planning to take the bus from PMO to downtown, just be aware that it fills up pretty fast and you may have to wait awhile for the next one to get to where you join the tour. I only bring this up as a couple of years ago, while waiting for the next bus, I met a couple who were pretty stressed because their tight plans fell through so they were over a half day late for the RS tour and were frantically trying to hook up to the on-going walking tour of Palermo with their group. Always remember that "Italian time" isn't necessarily strictly by what the clock says.

Posted by
1900 posts

Why are you booking a separate connecting flight? Book Alitalia from your departure airport to Palermo. Flights from the US arrive in terminal 3 and the connecting flight to Sicily from terminal 1. By booking on 1 ticket if you don’t make your connecting flight, it’s Alitalia’s responsibility to get you to your destination without additional charges. I took this tour in 2017 and flew Alitalia and my connecting flight was scheduled with a 2 hour 25 minute stopover.

Posted by
5 posts

Sorry about the confusion. I'm booking the connecting flight on a single ticket. There was no advantage booking the flights separately Also, I know that Alitalia is then responsible for getting us to Palermo. What I don't know is that if our flight is late arriving into FCO, how likely will we be able to get on the next flight to Palermo and will this be a hassle?

We're flying in a day head of the start of the tour.

Posted by
792 posts

It’s difficult to predict. If you miss your connection Alitalia will get you on the next flight with available seats. Could be the next flight or it could be the second or third or later flight..

Enjoy the tour. It’s great fun.

Posted by
2409 posts

I had to make a similar choice a few year ago (although connecting to a different city in Italy) and booked the connection with the longer layover. When my US flight landed, I immediately went to the transfer desk to verify my next flight. I was told there were seats available on the earlier flight and was offered a free change to the earlier flight, which I accepted. While I can't guarantee that will happen for you, it's something to consider.

Posted by
783 posts

I don't think that one hour is enough time. It is difficult to say what will happen if you miss that flight. Open seats on later flights may depend on the day of the week you are flying.

We were on this tour in April 2016 - it was great!

Posted by
5 posts

Thank you for your advise on the time needed for the connecting flight to Palermo. I'm going to book the flight that will give us a 2.5 layover.

Final question - what can we expect with terminals and security knowing that our flight into FCO and then from FCO to PMO are on the same booking. Terminal 3 to terminal 1? Will we need to go through security again?

Posted by
1032 posts

PP control in FCO, "customs" in PMO. if I remember correctly, your bagage will come to a seperate belt in PMO, but not sure.