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Best European Hub For Connecting Passengers?  
User currently offlineVinnieWinnie From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 846 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 6704 times:

Hi everyone,

I was wondering which airport(s) in your opinion is the best hub for connecting passengers? Which airport(s) do you think deserves a gold medal and which one(s) do you think deserve the thump down?

The reason I am asking this question is because I just experienced Zurich as a Hub and I was pretty amazed! I was flying from Athens to London via Zurich and thought that the facilities were impressive, the duty free zone was varied and interesting and that going through security was a breeze! This was only my 2nd experience after Madrid from which I don't remember much!

Thinking back about my home airport (Brussels) I really don't understand how BRU could become a nice quick efficient HUB when Sabena was still around! Separating Schengen and non Schengen flight is pretty ridiculous since connecting from one flight to the other would take at least 30 to 40 mins with plenty of stress since BRU has only 2 long piers (A-B) connected with each other with only one tunnel at the beginning of the pier!

Sorry if this question has been asked before...

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3672 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6626 times:

ZRH and VIE are probably the best.

AMS is good except for the extra security checks required in intercontinental flights, and stupid revolving doors at the gates leading to the busses for the remote "cityhopper" flights.

LHR, and LGW absolutely suck, as they will force the checking of your second carry-on bag. I didn't think it was possible for a country to have a more obnoxious security system than the USA.

CDG is mentioned somewhere in Dante's "Inferno", and I think it was around the 6th level of hell. CDG is probably the worst in the world.

User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2880 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 6596 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
CDG is mentioned somewhere in Dante's "Inferno", and I think it was around the 6th level of hell. CDG is probably the worst in the world.

Do a search on "The Worlds 10 Travel Gates of Hell" from a couple of years back and you'll find the reference. How about we form a people's army and hold military style tribunals for ADP, the useless 'fonctionaires' who run CDG? Mind you, try being an international transit passenger at any US airport. That is in a league of its own.....

Here it is..: http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ation_polls/read.main/29503#menu26

[Edited 2007-03-30 22:34:20]

When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 29473 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 6573 times:

From my personal connecting experience, and all within the past year except for FRA and CPH:

1. ZRH
2. AMS
3. MUC
4. FRA
5. CPH
6. CDG
7. LGW
8. LHR

User currently offlineMatt1167 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 6546 times:

The only two airports in Europe which I've used for connecting flights are KEF and AMS.

I thought AMS wasn't too bad, especially for an airport of its size. It certainly was better than, say, ORD, for example.

I used KEF when I travelled JFK-CDG via KEF (Icelandair), and I must say, KEF was definately one of the better, if not the best, airports I've ever connected through. The terminal, although a bit small, had enough to keep me content for the 1:30 layover, and the connections from US cities to European cities are excellently timed, since the US flights arrive in the morning and the European flights depart in the morning.

From my experiences, I would definately rate KEF the best in Europe for connecting.

User currently offlineMainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2117 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 6479 times:

Ultimately it depends which hub you're used to. I've only ever connected through AMS and FRA, and AMS is pretty easy, although I always seem to be late arriving there and have to run through it.

User currently offlineBA777 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 2192 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 6461 times:

AMS...without a doubt.


User currently offlineKrje1980 From Norway, joined Feb 2006, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 6403 times:

In my opinion, AMS and CPH are by far the best. AMS because of the variety of options to keep yourself occupied with, as well as the ease in navigating the airport despite its size. CPH because of its beautfiul interior design as well as its cozy and laid-back atmosphere compared to behemots such as FRA or CDG (by far the worst airport I have ever encountered).

User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 6147 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 23 hours ago) and read 6388 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 1):
ZRH and VIE are probably the best.

When I used VIE it seemed that each gate had its own security check point and equipment and teams moved from gate to gate as planes began boarding. Does VIE have sterile transit facilities or do transit pax get a second security check?

LHR is one to avoid.

The best time to plant a tree is today. The second best time is tomorrow.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 16 hours ago) and read 6327 times:

ACI, Airports Council International, ranked the European airports 2006 like this:
Worlds Best Airports 2007 (by WINGS Mar 14 2007 in Civil Aviation)

1. Brussels
2. Zurich
3. Helsinki

Helsinki has been ranked high especially for the quick and easy transit services (especially Europe-Asia).

User currently offlineCPH757 From Denmark, joined Sep 2005, 684 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (9 years 2 months 9 hours ago) and read 6303 times:

Well, AMS is great, although it's very big.

I'd imagine CPH is great as well, it's layout seem very efficient for connections, although I have only used it as starting/ending point, and for that, it's just excellent.

KEF is a eralier said a great airport to connect in. Everything is running smoothly, and you have enough to do for the 1-2 hours of waiting, but there is not much to spot besides FI 757's and an occasional american jet fighter.

CDG...Well, It has gone up on my list since I've visited LGW. CDG is messy, dirty, hard to navigate, rude people all over, but when you know it, you can get through it pretty fast, and have never lost my luggage, even with 2 times 45 minute connections including terminal switch. I'd prefer other airports, but the service of AF usually makes me go through CDG anyway.

LGW. What a hellhole. Crowded, stupid ridiculous BAA security stuff. Old and ugly as well. Designed for cramping people. Then comes all the arguments making it a sucker airport when O&D'ing. I have never been to LHR, it's probably worse!!

Last flight: SAW-CPH on H9 on 02/11/09 - Next Flights: 23/12/09 CPH-AAL on QI, 30/12/09 CPH-LHR on SK, 19/01/10 CPH-CDG-
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3799 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6218 times:

I agree with, well, everyone that CDG is probably the worst. Talk about security checkpoints turning into passenger bottle-necks, and in the two times I've been there, it has always taken more than 40 mins to get through security. Luckily, some airlines have understood this and send staff members to prowl the security lines to fetch people... So, instead of solving the problem, they just let people who are running a little late cut in line, even though it's often the line that's the reason for the delay... It's absurd, really.

AMS is alright, I've never had any major problems there.

MUC and FRA are good. Easy to navigate, plenty of gate-adjacent amenities.


Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6208 times:

I find MUC to be excellent, CPH too.

Conversely i find FRA to be a bit of a pain.

I cant speak for LHR as i only use that to start or finish my flights, but i suspect it is god awful. Hopefully T5 will improve matters - at least from a BA perspective.

Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 804 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6185 times:

I really like CPH. Even with the new addition, they have designed it to be on one floor with plenty of shops and food courts to spend your time for the connection.

My second choice would be Helsinki. Not as big as CPH, but also on one floor with a decent array of shops to waste your time.

CDG is very hard to navigate from terminal to terminal. I had a 45 minute connection to PRG and the incoming aircraft parked on the ramp and we had to be bussed to some obscure door without any markings. Once inside, I followed the signs to the departure ramp which included going OUTSIDE again with no security in sight and then back through another door for the new security check-in. I made it, though.

I don't like Brussels because of the up and down escallator bit and walking for miles. I also don't like LHR Terminal 1 where the ceilings are just above your head, giving it that claustrophobic feeling. LGW is all right, because I'm usually going on vacation from there and all that matters is whether the connecting flight is on time.

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