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Frankfurt Airport Is A Maze!  
User currently offlineGlbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 699 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9417 times:

Made one of my recurring transits through Frankfurt recently and was struck by how complicated things are there these days. You used to be able to roam most of the airside airport except for a few domestic gates, including the main terminal area with some shops and a reasonable food selection.

Nowadays, what with the Schengen zone flights, and extra security screening areas (including the extra US bound screening), you are pretty much encouraged to stay in either your arriving gate area, or your departing gate area.

I was looking for a public shower and ended up passing through two security screens and three passport control checkpoints. Turns out I didn't _have_ to do that to find a shower, but it ended up being the result of some incorrect guidance from a gate agent and I ended up outside in the ticketing area. Got a funny look from the immigration guy when he checked the computer to see all the activity on my passport and a bunch of extra stamps.

Strangely enough, for reasons I'm not clear on, I did not have to pass through that annoying extra US security screen enroute back to the US from the Czech Republic. Just one slightly bored immigration guy at a small checkpoint.

The airport web site has a small map showing the major security/immigration checkpoints, but doesn't really identify which zones are which. Does anyone have a pointer to a detailed map?

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHypercott From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9303 times:

I agree that FRA has gotten rather confusing. For a while they had two security check points for US bound flights (so one to pass even if you were connecting from a Schengen-zone flight). I believe they recently changed this and if you are coming in on a Schengen-zone flight, you don't have to go through an additional screening any more. At least this is what happened when I traveled TXL->FRA->DEN.

User currently offlineGlobeEx From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 742 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9143 times:

Are we talking T1 or T2 here?

GlobeEx



As you may presently yourself be fully made aware of, my grammar sucks.
User currently offlineGlbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 699 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9096 times:

Quoting GlobeEx (Reply 2):
Are we talking T1 or T2 here?

Well, take your pick. T1 is obviously smaller than T2, but a few months ago I arrived from the US at one of the new A380 sized gates in T1 for a connection in T2. We had to exit the terminal into Germany, then re-enter in T2 for the connection. This trip was just T1, but passing from B or C gates over to T2A or airside of the main building can be an interesting experience.

The red dots on the terminal map show all the checkpoints.

[Edited 2008-08-31 14:28:48]

User currently offlineGlobeEx From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 742 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9067 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 3):

Well, take your pick. T1 is obviously smaller than T2

Nope.

Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 3):
This trip was just T1, but passing from B or C gates over to T2A or airside of the main building can be an interesting experience.

I agree, it is a hassle conneting between the two terminals, specially when going to the US, which increases the number of security checks in adition.
You are lucky, that you didn't have to go from the end of pier A in T1 to T2, that would have been quite a walk as well. Just a hint. If you connect with LH in the future just try to get a flight via MUC (don't know if you've been there).... its the best airport for transiting. Simply excellent.

GlobeEx



As you may presently yourself be fully made aware of, my grammar sucks.
User currently offlineMileHighFlyer From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 9015 times:

I was just in Frankfurt a few days ago on my way back to YOW and I can relate to what your saying. Unfortunately there is nothing I can help you with seeing as though I can barely help myself. Good luck.

User currently offlineGlbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 699 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 8942 times:



Quoting GlobeEx (Reply 4):
I agree, it is a hassle conneting between the two terminals, specially when going to the US, which increases the number of security checks in adition.
You are lucky, that you didn't have to go from the end of pier A in T1 to T2, that would have been quite a walk as well. Just a hint. If you connect with LH in the future just try to get a flight via MUC (don't know if you've been there).... its the best airport for transiting. Simply excellent.

Sorry - meant to say that T2 is smaller than T1. I haven't been to MUC yet. It would be nice to check it out,but the LH flight I usually take is the FRA-DEN, and reverse.

It appears that they powers that be have finally realized that the extra screening for US bound passengers who started at another Schengen country was a huge waste of time, as that seems to no longer be required.


User currently offlinePA101 From Germany, joined Jan 2005, 491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 8860 times:



Quoting Hypercott (Reply 1):
At least this is what happened when I traveled TXL->FRA->DEN.

Yeah, seems like they got rid of that (as least for LH flights - don't know about UA and other US carriers). I just travelled TXL-FRA-PDX and was surely surprised about not having to go through security again.

I agree that FRA is getting more and more confusing - especially with construction going on all the time and almost everywhere (now they are redoing the gates in Terminal 1 B, right?), however, IMO it's still much better than LHR or CDG. The lower level gates in Terminal 1 A are designated Schengen Gates - on the upper level they serve international flights - so connections on LH withing Terminal 1 A are simple and easy. Terminal 1 B seems to serve flights to non US destinations by LH right now and all the other airlines (non-US) that serve T 1. Terminal 1 C (I haven't been there recently) is used by US carriers and has been expanded for the A380. I assume that as soon they are completely finished with their construction, you should be able to connect between Terminals 1 and 2 without having to go outside or using the Skytrain.


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User currently offlineGlobeEx From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 742 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8724 times:



Quoting PA101 (Reply 7):
IMO it's still much better than LHR or CDG.

definately better than LHR (haven't been to T5 though). CDG is perhaps on par. But as usual, it depends.

Quoting PA101 (Reply 7):
I agree that FRA is getting more and more confusing - especially with construction going on all the time and almost everywhere (now they are redoing the gates in Terminal 1 B, right?)

Yes, that seems like ages. However specially where the UA and SQ morning flights usually leave T1 C around C6 etc. (I think it is) just looks terrible. All the rubberfloor....

Quoting PA101 (Reply 7):
so connections on LH withing Terminal 1 A are simple and easy.

Yeah, but as soon as you have to connect from a gate in the far western part of pier A to anywere outside pier A its getting nasty. Its like a marathon with handluggage.

GlobeEx



As you may presently yourself be fully made aware of, my grammar sucks.
User currently offlineGlobeEx From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 742 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8717 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 6):
. It would be nice to check it out,but the LH flight I usually take is the FRA-DEN, and reverse.

Well give DEN-MUC-TXl a shot. Its one of the best airports in the world. The only airport I've been to that was better so far was Singapore. MUC is really nice, talking about T2 of course (where LH is located). I mean obviously its not disney land, where talking about an airport here, but it really is a nice airport (and terminal).

GlobeEx



As you may presently yourself be fully made aware of, my grammar sucks.
User currently offlineHSVflier From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 118 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7691 times:

i agree that Frankfurt is a mess, especially when flying to and from the U.S. it is probably the easiest airport to get lost in out of the many airports ive been.


Flown DL, UA, CO, WN, LH, TZ, WO, AA, US, LO, HA, PX, NW, KE, AB, QR, LX, EE, 5Y
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9181 posts, RR: 29
Reply 11, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7486 times:

I cannot say that FRA is "a mess". When you know your way around, you can easily navigte thjis place. Show me an airport that size where you can sit in your car 15 minutes after touch down including passing through immigration. Just did that in this time again last Friday, and was home another 20 mintes later. Hand carry only of course. But even with checked baggage, sometimes the bags circle on the belt already when you reach the baggage hall.

There are a few things which don't add up and may be confusing, like having to pass through security screening twice when ravelling to the UK from T1 on LH, whereas it is only once when going BA from t2 . Transfering passengers just have to follow the clear marks, all they have to know are the complete numbers of the departure gate. If you arrive at A and your connecting gate is E... follow the E. Most likely you can easily take the sky train and DON'T have to clear German immigration, since one section of the sky train is airside,, whereas the other section is land side. Clearly divided and accessible.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineCaspritz78 From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 518 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7169 times:



Quoting PA101 (Reply 7):
Terminal 1 C (I haven't been there recently) is used by US carriers and has been expanded for the A380. I assume that as soon they are completely finished with their construction, you should be able to connect between Terminals 1 and 2 without having to go outside or using the Skytrain

The new C/D gates are done and fully operational and used by LH for certain US and Asia flights. The noon flight to Boston leaves from C13, also one of the Newark flights and Hong Kong.

The Skytrain is still the best way to get from T1 to T2 or vice-versa. Don't even try to walk this distance. Eve to get from 1A to 1C takes about 15 to 20 minutes of walking. If you arrive at the far end 1A gates use the Skytrain to get from A stop to the B/C stop.

About the Skytrain. There are airside and landside trains. The airside trains can only be boarded by people who already went through security and you will always stay airside no matter which stop you get off. It gets problematic when you arrive from an international flight and connect to a Schengen flight. This way you will go through immigration at FRA what normally means you leave the secure area. I think so far only the A gates have a transit immigration desk where you will stay inside the secure area even after the immigration.


User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8971 posts, RR: 76
Reply 13, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7104 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I fly in and out of FRA pretty often so I am familiar with this place. But when I am walking through the terminal in Uniform, I am asked every few minutes where is this and where is that. I always try to help them out. FRA is not the easiest airport if you want to connect.
The airport (T1) is old and just got bigger and bigger and made it harder to find where you want to go.

WILCO737 (MD11F)
 airplane 



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineBOAC911 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6649 times:

Increasingly your plane gets parked somewhere at a tarmac position, and you are taken to or driven from your plane the old-fashion way, in a bus. Try not to arrive at peak times, such as around noon, or 9-10 am.

Terminal 1 actually needs to be torn down, and rebuilt from scratch, however the way things work nowadays in Germany such a feat would take at least 20 years. Just take a look at how many constructon sites the german freeway system has.

Terminal 1 has tro cul-de-sacs, that more often than not, force arriving flights to hold before proceeding to their gate.

Fortunately LH was clever enough to develop MUC as a second hub, without MUC, FRA would be complete mess by now.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9181 posts, RR: 29
Reply 15, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5748 times:



Quoting BOAC911 (Reply 14):
Increasingly your plane gets parked somewhere at a tarmac position, and you are taken to or driven from your plane the old-fashion way, in a bus. Try not to arrive at peak times, such as around noon, or 9-10 am.

agreed, it's a gamble, but they build a new "O" finger now. OTH arriving at a remote position has the advantage that your bags are already on the carousel when you get there. Also, it saves a lot of walking, The real bad card is dealt when you arrive at a Schengen gate in the A40s and have to walk a kilometer n the A finger till you get to your car.

They have and still are re-building T1 and it's not that bad . Beats t1 at MAN or T2 at LHR all the time, although once you are familiar with those they are OK as well, I will rather miss T2 LHR once its torn down.



Quoting BOAC911 (Reply 14):
Fortunately LH was clever enough to develop MUC as a second hub, without MUC, FRA would be complete mess by now.

LH would not be the same company without the great opportunity they had with MUC. Some times, there are politicians who are worth to be remembered, they are very scarce but MUC bears the name of one and he does deserve that honour by all means.

.,



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineNA From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10657 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5666 times:

I must agree that FRA has become more complicated in recent years. Terminal 2 is fine, among the best in the world, but the older Terminal 1 with its divisions A,B and C are less than perfect. Confusing shopping areas are distrating, and the up and down to reach some gates are a pain in the ass and not as it should be. Recent additions made it even worse. I hate concourse A (Lufthansas domestic and regional gates), its so long that you have to walk a kilometer if you´re appointed to a higher numbered gate. Absolutely no fun if you carry anything more than just an office briefcase.
I hope they build Terminal 3 soon (on the grounds of the former US AFB), and bring down parts of Terminal 1. They´ve just packed too much into this late 60s building.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9181 posts, RR: 29
Reply 17, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5549 times:

The "ups and downs" and recent additions are a real pain sometimes indeed, but you cannot blame that on Fraport, The EU has ruled that incoming and departing passengers have to be separated and Fraport is just doeing that.

T1 will not be torn down once T3 is operational T1 + 2 wqill be completely LH and Star and T3 will take the rest.

T1 is functional, it works fine for local passengers and as a FF and regular user I zip througfh the place without any problems, occasional flyers will have problems in the best state of the art termnals.. As mentioned before, the sky train makes connections easy and the naming of the gates from A to E plus the numbers should be easy to comprehend..... Much easier than in some other and newer terminals.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineGlobeEx From Germany, joined Aug 2007, 742 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5394 times:



Quoting NA (Reply 16):
I hope they build Terminal 3 soon (on the grounds of the former US AFB), and bring down parts of Terminal 1. They´ve just packed too much into this late 60s building.

That won't help. LH is to stay in T1 due to its connection the railwaysystem. Only chance is, when all other non *A Airlines will move to T3 and LH will also get T2. In that case they might not need all of the capacity at T1 and would be able to rebuild some parts at least. Don't see that happening in the nearer future though (hereby I mean 10-15 years.)
I can't see anything happening to T1 in that time. LH and Fraport actually kept investing quite some money in T1.

GlobeEx



As you may presently yourself be fully made aware of, my grammar sucks.
User currently offlineGQ From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 83 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5029 times:

I'll agree, I transferred through FRA last summer and it is not a user-friendly airport like its other European counterparts including the lack of restrooms and their weird layout


Traveling somewhere, could be anywhere...there's a strangeness in the air but I don't care
User currently offlineBOAC911 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

The concourses of T1 are too narrow, and are too close to each other. The Y-shape form may have been sufficient or functional 30 or 35 years ago, but not for today's demand. As far as aircraft movements are concerned, T1 actually has 3 cul-de-sacs or bottlenecks, one between C & B, one between B & A, and the west side of concourse A, which is bordered by a bunch of parking lots and an in-flight catering facility. Parallel movement of aircraft is hindered by the relatively small separation of the concourses, often causing needless delays.

I understand that that area is going through a transformation at the moment, and eventually an additional concourse (called Pier A0) with mostly gates that can accommodate A380s will be built on that side. Hopefully there will still be enough space to also accommodate the A380 passengers.

I can think of only few European airports that have the kind of bottlenecks FRA has; Heathrow 's terminal 1, 2, and part of 3 come to mind.
Other major European airports have been moving towards the elongated-shaped and more open terminal layout, such as MAD (T4 and T4S), CDG (parts Terminal 2), ATH, WAW, new SVO3, LHR T5, MUC (both temrinals), ZRH Terminal E, and many others.

What particularly bothers me at FRA is all the step climbing I have to do after arriving on a long intercontinental flight at T1 concourse A, and even T2 (non-schengen). There usually is one elavator available (not too efficient for 400+ passengers) Whatever happened to the good old dependable escalator?


User currently offlineJariarkko From Finland, joined Jun 2007, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4911 times:



Quoting HSVflier (Reply 10):
I cannot say that FRA is "a mess". When you know your way around, you can easily navigte thjis place.

I'm sorry, but it is a mess. Too big, too much under construction, and not designed for this month's security screening organization.

I once followed a local through the airport, intending to go to our carrier's lounge. Five (!) security screenings later I pointed out that we had reached the same spot that we had started from.

Enough said. Its best avoided. (Not quite as bad as Heathrow, of course, it is very rare to miss flights or luggage.) Use Munich instead.


User currently offlineFerroviarius From Norway, joined Mar 2007, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4848 times:

Erbamme, die Hässe kumme!!!!!! Volle Lodde!!!!!


I completely agree that FRA is regrettably complicated.
MUC and HAM are MUCH more comfortable to use, according to my experience.

Best,

Ferroviarius


User currently offlineGlbltrvlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 699 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4744 times:



Quoting PanHAM (Reply 17):
The EU has ruled that incoming and departing passengers have to be separated and Fraport is just doing that.

Do you have any references for this? I'm surprised to hear it. If I'm not mistaken, the new Heathrow T5 was intentionally designed to mix outbound and inbound passengers.


User currently offlineBOAC911 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4561 times:



Quoting Glbltrvlr (Reply 23):
Do you have any references for this? I'm surprised to hear it

I think he means separation of schengen and non-schengen passengers.


25 Glbltrvlr : Sure, that makes sense. Basically the same as keeping domestic and international passengers separated.
26 PA101 : Sorry to be off-topic, but I REALLY have to disagree on that one! FJS was one of the WORST politicians in German history: lying to the German parliam
27 Leskova : No need to exit - just follow the signage and you'll be on the SkyTrain in no time... and in T2 without walking very far. I got from arrival at the g
28 OzTech : I loved the airport especially the "schwartz vald stube" pub.. Excuse my spelling as I do not speak German but I used to get drunk in there every Frid
29 Viscount724 : Schengen and non-Schengen passengers have to be separated. The U.K. is not part of the Schengen agreement as all passengers arriving in the U.K have
30 Egcarter : I thought that FRA was quite dreadful as an arriving passenger being met by friends and schlepping out to the enormous car park! Not very friendly (or
31 DTWAGENT : I have never been in an airport that is so screwed up. When you get off a plane from VCE in Terminal 1 A gate 15 and your flight to the DTW is going o
32 PanHAM : that is your opinion, i have mine and we are both entiltled to have our own opinion, OK? But you should read what I have written and that is, FJS has
33 PSA727 : You have to go through an immigration check because your flight to DTW is outside the E.U.. As for the security check...that's a requirement that the
34 C010T3 : I concur! I love FRA. Does somebody know if Flugsteig A0 is really being built?
35 LAXintl : It seems there have two schools of thought regarding FRA and they are shared by different people. Local boardings or arrivals might view FRA one way,
36 PA101 : Never said you were not allowed to voice your opinion. But since you started with it, you couldn't expect it to be left standing as an undisputed fac
37 Caspritz78 : Yes it will. Lufthansa wants more space.
38 Worldrider : do you mean that a non-US official can access your "private" US passport data, like the countries you have ever visited? i never thought that. crimin
39 Airbazar : You know, FRA is a maze indeed but for me at least it's a well signed and well run maze. Of all the times I transfered thru FRA, I have never had trou
40 Glbltrvlr : No... I mean that every time I passed through an immigration check at Frankfurt, my name and passport number was scanned by the German authorities an
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