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Layover/Customs times? First time traveling to Europe

7 posts
Layover/Customs times? First time traveling to Europe


So it's my first time traveling to Europe this coming September and I have a couple of questions regarding layovers and customs/immigration checkpoints. I'm a US citizen and I will be flying from LAX to Ibiza (IBZ). I'm assuming my port of entry to Europe will be my layover in London (LGW). Will this be the only time I will have to go through customs while traveling in Europe? I'll be in Ibiza for two nights then flying to Barcelona (BCN). My flight lands in BCN at 9:35 am and I am looking at purchasing a flight form BCN to Portugal (FAO) which departs at 10:20 am. Will I have to go through customs again when flying from BCN to FAO? And if so, is this enough time in between to go through that process?

Any tips or suggestions are greatly appreciated since this is all completely new to me!

Vilnius, Lithuania
Destination Expert
for Lithuania, Vilnius
Level Contributor
4 938 posts
324 reviews
268 helpful votes
1. Re: Layover/Customs times? First time traveling to Europe

I suggest you to post this on Air travel forum.

If you have no luggage to check when flying Bcn to Portugal you should be fine, no customs for internal European flights.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
111 206 posts
17 reviews
18 helpful votes
2. Re: Layover/Customs times? First time traveling to Europe

In mainland western Europe, Customs formalities usually consist of walking through an open doorway labelled "Nothing to declare". It is Immigration (Passport Control) that takes the time.

The UK is not a party to the Schengen Treaty, so you will not go through immigration there. Your entry to the Schengen area will be at Barcelona, and you go through Immigration there. Your luggage will be checked through to Barcelona, where you will collect it and walk through Customs.

Spain and Portugal are both members of the EU and the Schengen area, so there are no Customs or Immigration formalities when travelling between these countries. However, for a connection on separate tickets, you need much more than 45 minutes. The absolute minimum I would allow would be 3 hours, and even that could fail if the incoming flight is at all delayed.

3. Re: Layover/Customs times? First time traveling to Europe

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