I have a 6:00 AM flight from FCO (Rome) to the US on Saturday. I only have a carry-on and my small backpack with nothing to declare and no car to return. What time ever should I arrive at FCO to comfortably make my flight? Some fellow travelers suggest 3 hours to clear security and arrive at my departure point. Do I really have to be at FCO at 3:00 AM for a 6:00 AM flight? This is my first time traveling through FCO. Any help is appreciated.
I've only flown out of FCO to US once, and it was more than 10 years ago, but it was the same early morning flight like you have. I don't remember it being a difficult process, no different than any other airport. However, it depends on where you are in relation to the airport As with any big city, best to give yourself plenty of time to get from your hotel to the airport. With an early flight like that, you may want to book your last night at an airport close to the hotel to avoid traffic. Years ago when I did it, my friend and I actually just slept in the airport to save a buck on the last night of hotel, especially if we were going to check out at 3AM.
My husband and I recently flew from FCO on Sept. 18. Our flight was at 8:15, we were there three hours early. I can only say I wish we had waited. There was absolutely no one there. On the positive side we flew through security. About 1-1 1/2 hours before more people began to arrive. We had never flown out of this airport before, but found it relatively easy to navigate.
I did the early 6ish am flight from FCO a couple years ago and I had wanted to try to get my taxes back on a expensive watch I had purchased and the place at the airport to make the claim wasn't open yet and on the other side of the airport. So I'd beware if you intend to make any expensive purchases and want the taxes back to book a flight a little later so you have plenty of time.
FCO is famous for those 6:00 a.m. flights. You will be flying to another European gateway airport where you'll be sitting around until mid day. It's hard enough to fly 10 or more hours back from Europe, but having to get up at 3:00 a.m. and take a taxi to the airport makes it a VERY long trip.
The airport security is not very busy for their first flights of the day, so you won't have to be at the airport that early.
My suggestion is to pick a departure around mid-day and you won't have to get up so early--and you'll be somewhat better rested when you arrive home.
A suggestion for next time: spend a night at an airport hotel the night before your flight and schedule that flight for mid-day if at all possible. In 13 years we did that early morning flight one time and have never done it again.
We have been staying at Ibis Hotels which are often right at the airport.
We listened to everyone, arrived 1/2 hr before the workers arrived. We were 1st in line. I would check to see what time they start checking people in.
Since it is a regular flight and not an international flight, you only need an hour to hour an half at that time of day but that still means being there by 5 am or a touch earlier.
Thanks everyone! I do have a hotel reservation 2 miles from FCO and had planned to spend my last day in Italy at the beach. However, it is raining here. I will take all your great advice, get to FCO around 4:00 AM, get to my gate and enjoy some more great Italian coffee!
I had another very early morning flight like this more recently, out of Istanbul back to San Francisco. I wasn't staying in a hotel near the airport but at the same time I treated that last day as a sort of "half day" and went to sleep by 5PM or 6PM so that I'd get a full night's rest before needing to wake up and get ready for that super early flight the next day. Yeah, it means cutting your last day a bit short, but it made things much easier.
The best part of early flights out of FCO is the taxi ride. I'll never forget my Rome taxi rides.