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Connecting Flight in FAO - help!

Hello all,

It is my first time flying internationally, and I am a bit unaware of the protocol of when you get off the plane. I will be flying from Dublin to Faro, landing at 7PM. Because it is international, I know I will have to do customs when I land-- how long does that take? Because I booked a flight from Faro to Porto (OPO) for 8:30PM, risky, I know. I can't control if there's delays and stuff, so I'm trying to focus on one thing that I can control to save time, and that's just airport navigation and customs. If you guys could leave some details of the process or talk about your experience and if you think I'll be okay, please go ahead!

Thank you.

Posted by
2401 posts

First, are your flights booked as connecting flights on one ticket, or on 2 separate flights on 2 separate tickets (different reservation numbers)? And will you have checked luggage or just carry on?

Posted by
20569 posts

Second, you need to know that there are two different processes -- immigration or passport control AND customs. If you have a single ticket, when you land in Faro you will go through immigration and should be kept behind security and directed to your next flight. You will going through customs in Porto.

IF you have two separate tickets then it is more complicated and time consuming. Again you will go through immigration, claim your checked luggage, and on to customs at Faro. But now you will be outside of security so you will need to check-in for your next flight, check luggage if doing so, go through typical airport security, and to your gate for the flight to Porto.

How much time needed??? Who knows. If you have two separate tickets you are dealing with a lot of lines. Having no checked luggage will help but an hour and a half could be tight. If you miss the second flight, is there a fall back plan.

Posted by
3946 posts

There are direct flights from Dublin to Porto.

Baggage reclaim at Faro is usually quick and hardly adds much time to your journey. Immigration can take time depending on if another flight has arrived just ahead of you.

The thing I would be most concerned about is your chance of being delayed and therefore missing your onward flight. There is less chance of being delayed earlier in the day. Most airlines don’t allow much time to turn the plane around and therefore if they miss their slot, it can snowball later in the day.

Posted by
7 posts

CJean, they are separately booked tickets. Also, I have one checked bag-- I know that adds on time. Pretty much the only thing I have control over is bringing my own pen to fill out customs quickly, and marking my checked bag with some colorful duct tape around the handle so I can recognize it quickly-- are there any other tips?

Posted by
337 posts

Unfortunately the pen, though normally a good idea, doesn't even help, because landing in the Schengen Area (the countries in Europe that have open borders between them, of which Portugal is one) doesn't require you to fill out any landing cards or entry paperwork. You simply get off the plane and proceed straight to passport control.

My other advice is to walk very briskly from the plane to passport control if you are physically up to it -- you might feel a little silly rushing like that, but it can make a big difference in your waiting time in passport control lines if you manage to get ahead of lots of people. In a similar vein, I'd also consider getting/paying for a seat closer to the front of the plane so you can deplane faster.

Your process will look like this:

  1. Arrive and deplane
  2. Proceed through passport control -- this is where you get your passport stamped and where the longest lines can be
  3. Pick up your checked bag from the carousel
  4. Proceed through customs -- in Europe, this is normally a "walk through" where you just walk through an unmanned door/hallway, so it basically takes no time at all
  5. Find the check-in counter for your next flight, check in, and drop off your bag
  6. Clear airport security
  7. Find gate and depart