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Departure at Rome FCO for U.S. how much time to allow?

Departing for U.S. at 10 a.m. on the Saturday before Easter... how much time should we allow ourselves once we arrive at FCO? I also understand the terminal we want is T5? - Thanks

Posted by
6898 posts

For international flights out of FCO T5 on coach, you might consider up to 3.0hrs from the time you arrive at the terminal. That's a stunning amount of time but occasionally, the security and check in lines are long and they take a long time to go through. Plus, you have the Easter holiday. Some airlines offer their business class and first class passengers shorter lines and faster check-ins. Then again, some can do this in 90 minutes. Your choice.

Posted by
23464 posts

Is it a direct flight from Rome to the US or are you connecting to another European city for the direct flight to the US?

Posted by
1890 posts

Our taxi driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal, even when we explained and he knew we were heading to the US. We didn't know which was the correct one, and walked around lost for at least 15 min. We had to hoof it to the correct terminal and then get in line.

With this experience at FCO, I'd recommend a minimum of 2 - 2.5 hours. FCO is very busy, and a bit confusing when you are used to US airports - and I've flown out of a bunch of them. It's hard to find the correct check in line and the Italians are not in a hurry to get passengers checked in. Security is also "fun".

For your own peace of mind, give yourself plenty of time. It's nice to be able to just sit and relax before boarding, and you can spend your last hour or so shopping at the stores for last minute gifts to take home, or just to soak up more of Italy!

Posted by
74 posts

We were flying US Airways, but went to the wrong terminal also -- got dropped off at C (where US used to be). The monitors said to go to #511, which does not exist in C.

A shuttle bus took us to Terminal 5 -- it looked like only shuttle buses were allowed back there, but i assume taxis can get there, too.

We checked in, went through security, and then took another shuttle bus BACK to Terminal C.

Seemed a little silly, but i think we benefited by going to T5, because there's only a few airlines that operate out of T5, so we zoomed through security very quickly.

With all that said, every experience is different. I've been to FCO where 3 hours was JUST ENOUGH -- and I've been to FCO where you're in and through in 15 minutes... i think you'll be good with 3 hours... maybe 3 1/2 if you want to factor in some traffic... Good luck!

Posted by
255 posts

We returned to the US through FCO on a Saturday back in October. What a zoo! Make sure you tell your driver that you need to go to T5. Our driver dropped us off at the wrong terminal. Once we figured that out and got to the correct terminal, we made it into the US Airways check in line well over 2 hours before our scheduled departure. By the time we made it through the airlines check in, security, shuttle to the departure gate, and to the gate itself, we only had 15 minutes before they started boarding the plane. I don't think my husband will ever again second guess my paranoia about arriving at an overseas airport a minimum of 2.5 hours before our scheduled flight.

Posted by
2207 posts

As of May 08, 2008 all US carriers (and El AL) fly from Terminal 5.

The Security there is very tight. In an agreement with the US and Israel, only American & Israeli airlines leave from this terminal and thus go through "extra" security - a 911 response. For this Terminal you will need to be here at least 3 hours in advance. Once you complete your "check-in" you then get bused over to a satellite terminal behind security, but isolated from the main terminal building.... Terminal 5 is a free-standing terminal NOT connected to the Airport or other terminals. It's about 900 yards from Terminal C. The T5 terminal is very modern but still has tremendous bottlececks.

Make sure to tell your shuttle or taxi driver to take you to Terminal 5 (or T5). Otherwise you can walk (it's 1/2 mile downhill but with luggage) or catch the airport shuttle.

If you are leaving to a connection, say FRA, CDG, or AMS on an NON-US Flagged airline, then you can be here about 2+ hours early as you'll be leaving from C, B, A, or AA terminal probably! Many lines for EU flights do not open until 2 hours before flight time - depends on the size of the airline. Know that in FCO many flights only have 2-3 check-in "desks" so lines can sometimes get pretty long!

Posted by
267 posts

give yourself at least 3 hours, we found fco to be very unorganized. good luck :):)

Posted by
3112 posts

Sounds like check-in times at T5 can be all over the place. I flew coach on US Airways last October. Arrived about 9:00 for an 11:15 flight and was through check-in and security at T5 in about 45 minutes. There were El Al and other US flights checking in at the same time. It was busy but not swamped, so maybe I just hit it at the perfect time.

Posted by
1449 posts

I had a flight back to the US from Rome early in the morning (8am or so, if I remember correctly) and with 2.5 hours barely made the flight. I'd advise 3 hours to be safe.

Posted by
8 posts

I'm glad I read this post. I'm leaving for Rome(flying in/out of FCO) in a couple of days and was wholly unaware of this shuttling from T5 to Terminal C shananigans for departures. Also, I'll press my shuttle driver to drop me off at the correct terminal (T5).

Posted by
11 posts

I am leaving in a week! I had a friend return yesterday and she said that yes, plan for at least 2.5 hours at the terminal in Rome.