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Today’s experience at Rome’s Fiumicino airport

I am at my gate at FCO waiting for my flight back to the US after a great three week vacation in Italy. I’ll do a trip report later. For now, I just want to write about our experience today at the airport. It went very smoothly for us!

We had rapid antigen Covid tests done at a pharmacy in Montepulciano 3 days ago. The appointment had been made several days earlier by the concierge at our agriturismo . Results took 15 minutes. There was a delightful cafe right next door. We were provided with paper documents showing our negative results. Those had QR codes.
I was a little concerned that the test result documents had language on them saying they would be valid for 48 hours but someone on this forum eased my mind by explaining that unvaccinated Italians have to be tested every 48 hours to get their green pass to work and enter public places. This document constituted an Italian green pass but given that it showed a sample collection date within 3 days of our flight home, we could use it to travel to the US.

Yesterday there was an email from Delta telling us we could check in to our flights. There was a suggestion that we download the Delta Fly Ready app so I did that. I was able to fill out the passenger locator form, which is new. I didn’t immediately see a way to upload our vaccination cards and Covid test results, but later when I went into My Trips to verify that we were checked in, there was the opportunity to be redirected to a Delta partner site (Trust Assure I think?) and I could easily upload those by taking photos of them. Twenty minutes later, I got an email saying that all our health documents had been verified and we were health certified to travel.

Our last couple of nights in Italy were spent at the Hotel Santa Maria in Trastevere. (Great place to stay!) Our flight to Atlanta today is at 12:15. The hotel arranged for a ride for us to the airport. The driver arrived at 8:25 am. We arrived at terminal 3 at 8:55.

Just inside the door, tv cameras were set up. Today is the first day that Italians are able to fly to the US and this is a big news day!! We had to tell someone our flight destination, and when we said Atlanta, we were directed to the health verification line. This line looked long but we got through in 30 minutes. Halfway through the line, an agent was helping people upload their vax cards and Covid test results and fill out the new locator form. I told him we’d done all this in advance and he thanked me and waved us on. At the end of this line, we had to show passports and paper copies of vaccination cards and Covid test results even though these should have been visible when scanning our QR codes. The agent had a physical list of all passengers traveling to the US and checked off our names.

We were then directed to the check in counter for our flight. A woman there wanted to again see our passports and Covid test results before we got to the desk. At the desk, we showed passports and checked our bags. 5 minutes here.

Then we had to go through security. We were directed to the line for flights directly to the US. An agent was checking vax cards here. She looked at ours and waived us through to the security line, which had only a couple people in it. Security took ten minutes, only because of the time needed to remove all electronics and then re-combobulate.

Now we could go to our gate. Fairly long walk, then a tram, and when we got off the tram we had to go through passport control. This was the 4th and final time we had to show passports today. No people in line, took less than a minute.

Then more walking to the gate, got there at 10:02 am

So a total of 1.5 hours from hotel to gate. There are speeches going in in the gate right now, in Italian and English, with many tv cameramen. Today is a big day for the Italian people. They are celebrating the ability to fly to the US, and how well people collaborated to make it possible to fly safely.

Posted by
921 posts

Thank you Vickie for posting all these details with such a positive vibe. I admit I got a bit teary-eyed at your description of how happy Italians are to be able to fly to the U.S. My parents, who are in their late 80s, recently visited me here in Italy, but I have been worried about how I would get into the U.S. if I needed to visit them in a rush. I will celebrate the reopening too!

I am glad you had a great trip and can’t wait to read your trip report. Well done on meeting all the confusing requirements in advance!

Posted by
163 posts

Thank you, Vickie for this report. We fly back to the US from Rome through Atlanta in December, so this gives me a great idea on when we should depart our hotel & what to expect.

Safe travels home

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you! This was very helpful. I had no idea that we could load the Pasenger locator form and our vaccine and our test results to our Delta Fly Ready app.

Posted by
161 posts

I flew back yesterday from FCO as well - we were probably on the same Delta flight, since we also saw the cameras and speeches at our gate. It was a pretty simple process - just took some patience and waiting in lines. We got our covid test in Rome at a walk-in testing spot at the pharmacy just down the street from our hotel (Smeraldo Hotel), with the results in 20 minutes. Super easy and we printed out a copy which was readily accepted at the airport the next day. All in all a pretty seamless, painless process. In fact, the worst part was having to wait in a very long line at the Atlanta airport to go back through screening after passing through passport control before going to our connecting flight - only 2 lines open with 1 scanner operating. Crazy that it took us 40 minutes to get through that hurtle. Glad we had 2 1/2 hours before our connecting flight.

Posted by
6 posts


I can tell you've been through General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) a few times. Looking forward to your trip report.