Is 1h25' enough time to go through customs and immigration in CLT (coming from Rome Fiumicino) before a connecting domestic flight? I have an Italian passport and I am not an US citizen or resident.

If the answer is "probably no", I assume it will be the airline's responsibility to reschedule me on a later flight, if both my flights are operated by the same company and sold on the same e-ticket --- am I correct?

  • 1
    My experience with arriving in the US is that going through customs is generally a pretty speedy experience. It is the wait in line for immigration that can be long (and unpredictable). How much of a risk that is can depend on whether you're an US citizen or permanent resident, and whether you're eligible for kiosk lanes if not. [But yes, it'd be the airline's responsibility to rebook you]. May 18, 2017 at 11:12
  • @HenningMakholm Thanks - probably I was mixing up the two concepts. I have added some more information to my question. May 18, 2017 at 12:17
  • To the second part of your question--yes, it's the airline's responsibility if on the same ticket. Charlotte has relatively few international flights compared to the top airports for int'l arrivals, so I expect it probably won't be a big problem--but hopefully someone with experience of immigration there can give you a better answer.
    – user35890
    May 18, 2017 at 13:08
  • @FedericoPoloni As you're Italian, you can prbably use APC kiosks, making the process quicker (you still see an officer afterwards, but their questions are fewer than if doing it all manually)
    – Crazydre
    May 18, 2017 at 15:16
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    I've done it, Roma to Charlotte, a non-stop on American... and I didn't make the connection, and I'm a US citizen; the delay was the baggage, even though mine was checked through (to Atlanta); I still had to retrieve it for Customs, and recheck... more painfully, AA didn't put me on the next flight to ATL... but the last... and only after I winged and they bumped someone. It can be done, but check whether there's a later flight to your next destination.
    – Giorgio
    May 18, 2017 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


The published minimum connection time (MCT) in CLT for an international-to-domestic connection is one hour. Assuming you are flying on AA FCO-CLT-xxx, then since your connection is more than the MCT, AA is obligated to reaccommodate you in case you miss your connecting flight. MCT is an official estimate of how much time is safe under normal circumstances.

If your FCO-CLT flight is late, AA might proactively rebook your connecting flight, and/or might meet you as you get off the flight in CLT and hand you an orange "expedited connection" card (to let you cut long lines) and/or a new boarding pass for a different connecting flight. (In some cases, they might "protect" you by booking you on a later connecting flight in addition to your original flight, but more commonly your connecting flight is changed.)

If there are long lines to clear Immigration or Customs in CLT but you still have a chance to make your flight, assuming you have your connecting flight's boarding pass, proceed directly to the security checkpoint (don't stop at the AA check-in desk) and then to your departure gate. If you get to your departure gate too late, if there's still an agent there, he or she can reaccommodate you on a different flight. If there is no agent, then if you have an Admiral's Club membership, go to the Admiral's Club and ask an agent there to help you.

If it's obvious you won't make the flight, then go to the AA check-in counter before security. If there is a long line there, also call AA reservations while waiting in line. You will need to be reaccommodated on a different flight.

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