1

Suppose I have the following two-leg flight:

  • From: Outside the EU and Schengen.
  • To: Outside the EU and Schengen.
  • Same airline for both legs.
  • Connection airport: In continental Europe, inside the EU and Schengen.

Suppose also that I can enter the state where the airport is located (either I have a visa for it or I don't need a visa with my passport).

During my connection, will I be allowed to leave the transit area? The terminal overall?

If the answer is "only in some EU states", please explain why some allow it and some don't. Same if the answer is "only in some airports, but it's not uniform even within the same state".

The question generalizes this one about Helsinki. It's also inspired by and related to this question of mine.

5

Yes, you are in any case allowed to leave. The only thing between you and the outside world is the state's border and customs check and they are not in the business of enforcing airlines commercial policies. You have to fulfil all the usual Schengen rules and spending the night in a hotel (or visiting during the day) during a layover is a perfectly legitimate purpose to enter the Schengen area.

Airlines have no means of preventing you from leaving the airport and do not really care. Airport operators cannot and may not do it either. You might or might not have access to your checked luggage and you will need to have a boarding pass to re-enter.

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