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  1. #1
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    Need advice transferring planes in Frankfurt, please.

    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?

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

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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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    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!
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  6. #6
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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. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    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?

    I fell like I should be able to figure this out myself, but it's just not clear.
    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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    And now I'm officially confused again.

    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.
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  9. #9
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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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    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.
    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.
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  11. #11
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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.
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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. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    And now I'm officially confused again. .
    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.

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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...

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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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    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.
    I've had it happen when I've started out in remote airports. Within the same country!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by allezfred View Post
    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..
    - 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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    - 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).
    I thought you just had to show receipts.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cruisin View Post
    I thought you just had to show receipts.
    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.

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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!

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