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Traveling from US to Rome to London

Hello,

My 21 yr old daughter will be traveling to Europe for the first time and I want to simplify tjings for her as much as possible. She will fly from the US to Rome with only carryon luggage. She will then take a BA flight to London. WHat will she need to do when she gets to Rome as far as customs and security is concerned and how much time should she allow between flights. When I called BA they said she will just need to go through a security check. Is that correct? Thank you!

Posted by
1175 posts

When our teen aged kids traveled internationally and once missed a flight, we thereafter involved them in the process and let them do the arrangements with our oversight. That way they knew what to expect when they arrived late, missed a flight, had a reservation disappear, or what they needed to have to enter and leave various countries. Tripadvisor.com, Fodors, or this website has many experts that can make international travel a breeze. Local residents in every city can answer any question and give local tips on how to make each visit to any city a delightful experience as well as what to avoid. Your daughter will be better prepared when those travel gremlins suddenly appear, as they are likely to do somewhere along the line. We found we also worry a lot less when they are traipsing across the planet.

Posted by
2768 posts

Is this all on one ticket? If so she can print her boarding passes for all flights at home or at the home airport. She lands in Rome, may go through a passport check, then finds the location of her flight to London (screens just like in a US airport). Heads over to the gate, going through security checkpoint on the way.
For the passport check - she will just show her passport, 99% of times it's a routine stamp. She may (unlikely) be asked her plans for being in Italy, in her case just show the British air ticket and say she's just transferring planes to go to London today.
In this situation you'd only need a couple hours max - as it's all in one ticket if your flight is delayed and you miss the connection , the airline has to get you to your destination on a later flight.

If it's a separate ticket to London she may not be able to print boarding pass at home. She would then have to go to the check in desk for British Air. If this is the case you need a lot more time - if the BWI -Rome flight is delayed and causes her to miss the flight to London she's out of luck. She'd have to buy a new flight herself. Rome - London is a common route but it would still be expensive and some flights will be sold out.

Posted by
3210 posts

I am curious --- why doen't she just take a direct flight to London?

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for all the information! It is not on the same ticket. I won the airfare to Rome so she has to fly there. My husband and I will already be in London so she wanted to come there. I believe she will be able to check in to BA before she leaves to go to the airport for her AA flight to Rome. We are taking her major luggage with us so she will only have carryon luggage. She will have 2 1/2 hours in between flight at the same terminal. SHould I attemp to make it a later flight instead?

Posted by
3210 posts

It is always a gamble when flying on separate tickets. 2.5 hours should be plenty, IF her inbound flight is on time. That is likely to be so, but you can't count on it. OTOH, if you allow more time, she could end up spending hours sitting in the Rome airport.

Tough call!

Posted by
262 posts

She will go through passport control and will then follow the signs for transfers/connecting flights. 2.5 hours is plenty of time to connect, and waiting longer especially after a long flight is unpleasant. It's not likely the flight will be so late she would not make her connection, but I would encourage your daughter to program the airline telephone numbers for her airlines into her phone. If she learns that she will depart the US late, she should telephone the airline she is taking to London before departing the US and ask to be put on the next flight. She may have to pay a change fee, but if she explains her flight is delayed, they may waive it.

Posted by
4175 posts

Major luggage? How long is she, are you going to be in London? Many on these forums including me pack for a week, regardless of how long they travel. Sink washing, drop off laundries and self-service ones are our friends.

When someone says carry-on, I'm immediately thinking they're packing light as in carrying on everything they need for the trip, Rick Steves style. The link says almost all, but there are many forum entries on packing and many in the country forums that deal with packing for a particular time in that country.

If you aren't traveling light, she needs to be sure to carry on a change of clothes and anything else she might need if she's stuck in Rome for some reason.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you all so much for the replies! This has been so helpful!. She is actually in London for only 2 days. My husband and I will be there for a week and her and I will share 1 large bag that I will take with me. We will then each pack a carryon bag with additional clothes. We will then fly to Barcelona where we will go on a 7 day cruise, back to Barcelona for 2 days, then to Rome for 8 days, Positano for 3. but leaving our larger luggage at Rome hotel. We plan to wash in the sink and hang to dry in Rome.

Posted by
2768 posts

Many people will say 2.5 hours is enough. It probably is but flights do get delayed. It's a matter of your/her preference. Would you rather deal with the stress of trying to arrange a new flight if it comes to that, or deal with sitting in the airport for a longer time if everything is on schedule? I personally would pick a later flight, waiting in the airport another hour or two, maybe even 3. I don't mind sitting in an airport that much compared to the stress of rushing for a connection, but I get stressed by schedule stuff easily. Others feel differently.