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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:28 PM
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Default international travel

Hello all:

We're traveling next year to Europe for a cruise from Rome, looking at airfare now seems like our best bet is to change planes in either Paris or Barcelona. We've never changed planes internationally before...does anyone know if we have to go through customs in France and again in Italy? It's with the same airline, just a plane transfer. Is it a hastle, should we suck it up and pay the extra $ for a direct flight? It's about $300 more per person, substantial to us.

Thanks
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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If you check you bags through to Rome, there is really no "formal" customs. They made us go through a short security/passport control line where the passports were stamped and we were off to the gate.

We did have to fill out the Customs form on the the airplane and that's what they took in the security line.

Make sure that you have plenty of time between flights in CDG. At least two hours.

If you have the choice, go through Barcelona.

Once you arrive in Rome, that is where you go through customs.
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Old October 17th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Most ewestern uropean countries are in the "Schengen" pact.
That means you will go through pasportcontrol in the 1st country you enter (France for paris, Spain for barcelona etc.).
Your next flight is a kind of "domestic" flight because of that.
Your luggage will be tagged to your final destination and might be checked there.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 10:53 AM
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thanks for the info, sounds like no big deal, looks like we'll have a stop now instead of a direct flight.
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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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We have changed planes in Paris several times and also in Madrid as well as Frankfurt. We never had any problems, but give yourself plenty of time because there is allways the possibility of flight delays.
Enjoy your trip.

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Old October 19th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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We just returned from a European crossing. First leg was SFO to London and then London to Barcelona. We did not show our passport in London and we changed from American Airlines to British Airways. Flew BA to Barcelona.

We did not show our passports or go through Customs until our final stop, in Barcelona.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Default Changing Planes

WEREN'T YOU FORTUNATE......We have had to show our passports going from Zurich to Barcelona and from Dublin to Barcelona...no problem..
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Changing Planes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
WEREN'T YOU FORTUNATE......We have had to show our passports going from Zurich to Barcelona and from Dublin to Barcelona...no problem..
Hi Parrot Mom:

Actually, not THAT fortunate. BA lost all four pieces of our luggage, so we were in Barcelona for 2-days before they showed up. That will be the last time we fly through London and the last time we fly BA. I've heard of this before, many times...but this was the first time for us.

Those who flew through Zurich or Frankfurt didn't have problems with luggage, so I'm told. I would rather have to show my passport at every leg than lose the luggage.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:10 PM
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Old October 25th, 2008, 04:50 AM
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Default Re: Changing Planes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
WEREN'T YOU FORTUNATE......We have had to show our passports going from Zurich to Barcelona and from Dublin to Barcelona...no problem..
Switzerland is not part of the European Union, so the rules are different. If you fly between EU cuntries you don't show your passport in each of those countries.
We flew from Franfort to Lisbon and Lisbon to Franfort a few days later, and passports were not required at all.

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Old October 26th, 2008, 04:52 AM
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When flying between countries within the european union, you have to show photo id. As Americans you have to show your passport on the last airport. If you for example fly New York-London-Barcelona, you show your passport in Barcelona. You go through security in London too but normally you don't have to show your passport there.

In my opinion, British Airways is the best airline and I never fly with anyone else.

One reason for you to change plane in England is that it's an englishspeaking country. Most people working at airports in other countries, for example France, Italy or Spain, speak english but sometimes it can be a little hard to understand!

English people are also very nice! If something happens, a small thing like a missed flight or something big like an accident, the best place to be is in England!
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 09:51 AM
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Obviously, European airports are like those in the US - inconsistent. On our flight to Barcelona in September, we changed in Amsterdam. We had to go through a security checkpoint and they wanted photo id. I don't know if our driver's licenses would have worked, but we had our passports out and they barely looked at them.

I've heard a lot of horror stories about Heathrow and lost luggage. Our only flights there were ending/starting so there was less handling and we had no problems. Maybe that was because we were on Virgin Atlantic.

I agree with the comment about allowing a lot of time at CDG in Paris. It is not a passenger-friendly airport and when we were there4 years ago, the signs were not plentiful or clear.

Overall, I don't think connections in Europe are any more difficult than in the US. We were concerned about our last connection in Amsterdam with only an hour-and-a-half, but we were at our departure gate about 35-40 minutes before they started boarding (and our flight didn't have a gate, we "tendered in"). And other than KLM posting the wrong baggage carousel in Barcelona, we had no problems there, either.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Yes, the word is INCONSISTENT!

When we left JFK in September, they didn't cared about liquids in the handluggage at all! When we changed plane at Heathrow, they did!

Very surprising that they didn't cared about it on JFK!
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