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Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

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Omaha, NE
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Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

I hope you folks can help put my mind at ease.

I have a layover in Brussels on my way from Rome, Italy, to Chicago, Illinois. We are flying American Airlines.

The layover is 1 hour and 20 minutes long. I am very nervous that this might be too short of a layover. (I usually like international flight connections to be 2 hours or more.)

I have no idea how big the Brussels airport is, because I have never been there. Do you folks think that this will be long enough? I'm terrified of missing my connection.

Thanks so much for your help!

Katie

Sacramento...
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1. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

Hi,

Brussels airport is not terribly big. You might have to transfer between the two terminals but that is just walking. You should not go out through baggage collection or you are going the wrong way.

As long as your plane lands on time, I wouldn't be too worried.

Lori

Brussels, Belgium
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2. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

Yes it is long enough unless your arrival is delayed or if for some reason you were to decide not to check your baggage all the way through to the States (when you would need to check in again at least 2 hours before the flight from Brussels). Brussels Airport has only one terminal although there are 2 different "piers", Schengen (B) and non-Schengen (A), and arriving from Rome then departing for the USA you have to change from one to the other. You will probably hardly notice the change, which takes place via a "transit" corridor which I seem to remember is on your right, just before the shops as you arrive at the terminal-end of pier B (I live here so have only taken this link when on a tour of the airport, otherwise I would never normally have to change from one pier to the other!). You will then have to walk all the way to the end of the extremely long pier A, as flights to the US leave from the very furthest gates, which allows the possibility of roping off that end of the pier for additional hand baggage controls prior to boarding. So do not dawdle in the shopping area, it takes at least 20 minutes to do this walk (and there are additional small duty-free shops dotted all the way down pier A). With any luck, they will issue you with your boarding card for your flight from Brussels to Chicago already in Rome, if not you will of course have to follow the signs to the transit desks when you arrive in Brussels to get a boarding card.

You can look at the "general plan" on here if it helps: http://www.brusselsairport.be/maps/

The right-hand side map is pier A where you will arrive, as I said I think you won't quite reach the orange blobs where the main shops are, but get siphoned off to the right on the same level, although it is difficult to see where exactly. The left-hand map represents pier B but it is actually longer than shown and after arriving (again, somewhere near the main shops) you have to go right to the end of it for your flight.

Good luck and bon voyage!

Omaha, NE
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3. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

Oh my, thank you both! What fabulous advice. I really appreciate it!

Katie

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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4. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

To some extent it's out of your control. It's likelyl to be fine, no problem. But ask yourself what you will do if it's not. Is this a major problem? If you absolutely positively MUST be in Chicago that afternoon it might be worth looking into another flight to increase your layover.

Otherwise, relax and you'll more than likely make your connection. If not, assuming that AA only has one daily flight to Chicago, you'll enjoy a night in Brussels and get back the next day.. You could do worse than having an unexpected day and night in Brussels. :)

Cheshire...
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5. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

I was just in Brussels airport yesterday on my way home to NYC from Vienna via American Airlines.

My layover was scheduled at 1.5 hours and my flight from Vienna got in 10 minutes early. I BARELY had enough time to get on my flight.

The security for flights to the US through Brussels is brutal. Expect to be asked a zillion questions by several different people and have your bags inspected any number of times. And expect to be patted down by security people.

They have a special section in terminal B for flights to the US and you can't get to your gate until you've jumped through all these additional hoops.

I arrived in terminal A and it was quite a hike to the far reaches of terminal B

Assuming your flight isn't late you'll probably make it but don't take your time either.

I expected to easily have enough time to spend my leftover Euros at the duty-free shop but no chance.

And you're only allowed one carry-on, and that includes a woman's purse.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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6. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

"And you're only allowed one carry-on, and that includes a woman's purse"

Oh boy, that's going to cause a problem for me on my trip in November...I 'm a guy and I don't generally travel with a woman's purse! :)

7. Re: Transfer in Brussels airport--do I have enough time?!

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