Need advice transferring planes in Frankfurt, please.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Nan, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    I'm a little confused about changing planes (Lufthansa) in Frankfurt and the Shengen/non-Shengen issue.

    I'm flying from Munich to Frankfurt, changing planes in Frankfurt and then on to Detroit. Will I be checked through to Detroit when I leave Munich or will I have to go through customs, pick-up my luggage and then re-enter customs and security in Frankfurt? :confused:

    I fell like I should be able to figure this out myself, but it's just not clear. :duh:
     
  2. Hedwig

    Hedwig Rarely here anymore but I try to be better!

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    You should be checked through to Detroit. And I don't think it has anything to do with Schengen - it is all in Germany after all.

    You can ask at the check-in counter again to be sure but as you are flying the same airline you should encounter no problems.

    Take enough time for changing flights in Frankfurt, though. The airport is huge.
     
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  3. Hedwig

    Hedwig Rarely here anymore but I try to be better!

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    Ah, I know what you know about Schengen. The situation you described only happens if you fly from a non-EU country into the EU and then go on to the States. Then you have to go through customs again in the EU. But this is not the case here so no you will not have to go through customs again and your luggage will be transferred automatically.
     
  4. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    I just flew from Krakow-Frankfurt-New York on Lufthansa two weeks ago. I went through passport control in Frankfurt and then walked on to my connecting flight. Nothing else.
     
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  5. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    Thanks, both of you. I thought I had it figured out, but the closer this trip gets, the more nervous I get.

    Since this is the flight home and I knew we'd be tired and not moving too fast, I made sure we have plenty of time to change planes...almost four hours! :lol:
     
  6. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Ditto to all of the comments above; don't remember FRA specifically, but from my experiences at European airports flying out of Europe, arrive at the gate with plenty of time to spare because there may be another security screening there.
     
  7. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Munchen to FRA - is treated as "domestic". Low security.
    You may be able to check luggage to USA (although I am not sure at all). But most likely not.

    FRA to USA - is the International Segment. You are leaving "EU" and flying "over-seas". This is were you file your Duty Refund. You will have to go through the official security procedures for International Flights.
     
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  8. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    And now I'm officially confused again. :lol:

    Half of what I read says one thing, half says the other...hence the confusion. ;)

    Well, I think I've allowed myself plenty of time no matter which it is so I'll just wait and dive in to whatever situation I face.
     
  9. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    I went through Frankfurt airport a few months ago, Africa-Paris-Frankfurt-Vancouver. I went through passport control in Paris and then just got on the connecting flight in Frankfurt.

    Frankfurt airport is huge but incredibly well organized, so if you have an almost four-hour stopover, I wouldn't worry too much about not having enough time. If you are bored at the airport and have the time to leave, downtown Frankfurt is only 15 mins. away on the subway.
     
  10. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    Thanks. Prior to Munich, we will have already spent a few days in Frankfurt so I think we will stay at the airport and give our feet a much needed rest. :lol:
     
  11. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Four hours between flights is a shit ton of time. I had 90 minutes between flights and it wasn't a problem. Frankfurt's a large airport but it's way more manageable than de Gaulle. You'll be fine.
     
  12. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    I've had to change flights at Frankfurt 3 times, it was chaos every time. Does anyone actually EXIT the airport at Frankfurt, or is it just for connecting flights?
    IMHO, every incoming flight to Frankfurt is delayed; I think is a deliberate ploy for the amusement of the airport staff, who know everyone has a connecting flight.
    When you try to find the gate for your connecting flight you will be confronted by frenzied travelers stampeding to make their planes. And you will hear nonstop bellowing over the PA system: Passengers for Rome, go to gate 3 IMMEDIATELY! Passengers for Warsaw, procede to gate 20! Last call for passengers for Paris! Passengers for Salzburg, your flight just left without you!

    I would not connect in Frankfurt again if I could avoid it.
     
  13. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Munchen-Frankfurt is a domestic flight. One does not have to go through IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES.

    Frankfurt-Detroit is an international flight. One has to go through IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES.

    You can not go through immigration procedures BEFORE your final departure point from a given country (or in case of EU, from the EU zone).

    You will have to go through light domestic security on the domestic flight Munchen-Frankfurt. And through more detailed security AND IMMIGRATION procedures on the international flight FRA - Detroit.

    Once your domestic (Munchen-Frankfurt) flight lands, you will need to go the INTERNATIONAL SECTION of the Terminal (1 or 2, because there are 2 terminals in FRA) depending on what airlines you take, AND then have to go through IMMIGRATION.

    Depending on the airline(s) you take from Munchen to FRA and from FRA to USA, you may or many not be able to check your luggage through to final destination/USA. Call the airline(s).

    Depending on the airline(s) you take from Munchen to FRA and from FRA to USA, you may or many not be arriving and departing from the same TERMINAL. Call the airline to find out Terminal of Arrival and Terminal of Departure. Hopefully it is the same terminal.

    1.5 hours (1 hr 30 min) is a MINIMUM TIME that you should allocate to connection in FRA. I recommend 2 hrs.
     
  14. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I've flown through Frankfurt several times, starting out in other EU countries. You should be checked through with luggage. You should not have to go through customs in Frankfurt. You will have to go through passport control and security. Frankfurt is a very big and confusing airport. And I have found that the people there were not terribly helpful. Munich, on the other hand, is great - bright, easy to navigate, and the people there are beyond helpful. I try to fly through Munich, if possible. but Frankfurt is the Lufthansa (Star Alliance) hub, so...
     
  15. allezfred

    allezfred Old and Immature Admin Staff Member

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    Nan, you'll have your luggage checked through all the way from Munich. I've never heard of anyone having to pick up their bags and check them in again on flights that were booked on the same ticket and transferred in the EU.

    Now when I fly to the US or Japan and even if I have a connecting flight domestically, I do have to pick up my checked luggage and pass customs at my first point of entry.
     
  16. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I've had it happen when I've started out in remote airports. Within the same country!
     
  17. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    - in most cases true IF one is travelling on the same airline.
    But not always.

    - not true if a non-EU citizen wants to apply for a Duty Refund and has the purchased items in the checked luggage. One has to show the purchased goods at the last point of departure from EU. (and then put them back in the luggage and check it in).
     
  18. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I thought you just had to show receipts.
     
  19. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    de facto - the Duty Service officers may or may not check your luggage for items on the receipt/cheque/purchase proof. they use their judgement when and who to check.

    de jure - you have to show ALL your items which you purchased,because showing a receipt alone does not guarantee the items belong to you and/or are leaving the EU zone.
     
  20. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    Totally OT, but I took a Lufthansa flight from Brussels to Frankfurt and it was truly a unique experience at takeoff. The pilot backed out of the gate, taxied a bit and waited for clearance, made the announcement, then literally hung a left turn and took off down the runway! I don't like takeoffs/landings and I was in shock about the suddenness and speed!
     
  21. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

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    If it's one airline, you should be able to check your bags through. If not, you might have to pick them up, but I wouldn't worry. They'll let you know when you check in at Munich Airport, and 4 hours is LOADS of time :)
     
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  22. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    The flights I'm taking are with the same airline (Lufthansa) and I arrive and leave Frankfurt at the same terminal, so I think that will help.

    I get what Tinami is saying about the domestic versus international flights. Southpaw and others have arrived in Frankfurt already on international flights and so customs was not an issue, but since Frankfurt will be my point of departure from the country, that will be where I will have to go through customs, immigration, etc. I don't plan on doing a lot of shopping so I'm not too concerned with the Duty Refund.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my luggage will be checked through from Munich but if it isn't, I'm fairly confident I will have enough time to deal with whatever I have to go through.

    Thank you all for the discussion and helping me think this through. :)
     
  23. sk9tingfan

    sk9tingfan Well-Known Member

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    You're right. It is a madhouse! Also, before you get on any lines, make sure you know what it's purpose is. I mistakenly got on one that I shouldn't have and wasted 15 minutes. Also, make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes.
     
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  24. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Madhouse is the perfect description! Signs with arrows make no sense. They have arrows that look like they are saying go straight, but they really mean go down, and vice versa. They have you going downstairs, down long hallways, then back upstairs, then back down stairs. You get so turned around, you have no idea where you are. And the place is very dark. You almost have no sense of time there - as in - is it daytime or night time. There is also a very strong military presence at the security gates. The first time I saw that (before 9/11), it was startling.
     
  25. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Definitely will make things easier!

    Since we are sharing airline/airport stories ... recently returned from a trip to Thailand, passing through Hong Kong. On the way there, we were caught in Air Canada's day of wildcat strikes - literally watched our flight crew walk off the job when we were at the gate waiting to board. Long story short, as anyone who has every tried to deal with Air Canada "customer service" :rolleyes: knows, it was a total nightmare.

    However, imagine my surprise when the kind folks at Bangkok Airways (who answered my call on the first ring), easily switched my connecting flight to another day, with no fuss or muss. We took a bunch of flights on that airline, and believe it or not North Americans - they serve a full hot meal on flights of less than one hour!

    And then get this - we board a Thai Airways flight at a tiny airport in northern Thailand, with a plan to switch to Emirates in Bangkok to get to Hong Kong - and they checked our luggage through. Different airline, separately bought ticket, giant airport, leaving the country.

    Makes all the crap and indignities we have to go through with most American and Canadian airlines that much more annoying. :mad:
     
  26. BittyBug

    BittyBug Kiteless

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    :confused: Reading all the negative comments on FRA I wonder whether there's a parallel airport that I've been to instead because I not only have no complaints about FRA, it's one of my airports of choice for connecting through Europe. And certainly any airport that has lounge chairs in the corridors for resting between connections gets props in my book. But seriously, I think it's pretty decent as far as major international hubs go so don't be concerned, Nan.
     
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  27. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    ^ Thanks. :)
     
  28. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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    I've never had problems at Frankfurt, either, and I can't even count how many times I've flown in and out of it. I will say that security is heavy and sometimes you have to go through screenings TWICE, but, eh, whatever.

    :)
     
  29. Nan

    Nan Just me

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    Bumping this up just to follow through.

    When we checked in at Munich, the very nice man who helped us at the kiosk checked our luggage all the way through to Detroit and printed boarding passes for both Munich and Frankfurt. We did not have to leave the secure area when we got to the Frankfurt airport and found the signing to be very clear. It was a long walk between gates, but we had plenty of time and really enjoyed the "people watching."

    Slick as a whistle! ;)

    Again, thanks to all of you for your information and input. :)
     
  30. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    Oh goodie, do I get to say "I told you so" now? :rollin: