Frankfurt Airport: Worse hub in Europe

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  BPP 20 Jun 2019
at 17:08

Viewing 8 posts - 16 through 23 (of 23 total)

  • AMcWhirter

    I often wonder why Lufthansa actually sells connecting flights for say Schengen to non-Schengen cities with 55 minutes to connect.

    As we have reported before quite a number of MCTs at European hubs are unrealistic.

    Airports use them as a marketing tool and when I have asked the likes of MUC and AMS about this their spokespeople simply repeat the MCTs to me parrot-fashion and then refuse to discuss the matter further.

    If FRA is 55 mins than how about AMS with 40 mins ? Or VIE with 25 mins (for Star Alliance flights) ?


    This question of MCTs is very vexed. It was one of my projects for a while in airline/GDS coordination, and I was banging my head against a brick wall in trying to make either side see reason.

    As Alex says, airlines and airports use it as a marketing tool, money talks, and there was no willingness to conciliate and show reasonable connection times.


    And not just passport control, you often have to go through security again and the queue for that can easily mean a 20 -30 minute wait.
    Personally at FRA I make sure there is at least 90 minutes between flights and am happy if the connecting time is 2 hours. I know many people who’ve missed their connection thanks to MCT’s at FRA (and elsewhere) and the plane is only held for them if it’s a group of about 20 who are missing from a connecting flight.

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    As we have reported before quite a number of MCTs at European hubs are unrealistic.

    A quick tale to tell from a recent trip via FRA , and a possible lightbulb moment regarding MCT’s in Europe.

    Me and my 2 pals headed out to the 7’s in HK.
    2 of us left from EDI just about on time with a 55 min connection time. Bussed to the terminal , through security and had time to get a glass of wine , and a call home whilst watching our flight board.

    Chuckling that our pal from DUB wouldn’t make it because his flight was over 30 minutes delayed , we were surprised to see him in the boarding queue . He had to rush but made it in plenty time .

    My lightbulb moment is, I wonder how much time airlines are padding into their timetables to reduce the chances of paying out delay compensation claims.
    Add this extra time to MCT’s and then suddenly they become a bit more realistic?


    canucklad – You make a valid point about MCTs.

    In previous years I have covered schedule padding on more than one occasion.

    On a shortish flight it can be 30-40 mins.

    But even if one were to arrive punctually it may still be difficult to make the transfer in the official MCT.

    At Heathrow there is a one hour international transit at T5.

    One reader travelling on a BA business class ticket missed the 60 mins transit (he was arriving from Chicago and was departing to Lyon) because he was unable to obtain the through boarding passes on departure (from Chicago) owing to a technical glitch. (His flight had arrived at T5 a few mins early).

    In such cases BA would send a rep to the airbridge (from the Chicago flight) to hand over the onward boarding pass.

    But on this occasion, for one reason or another, it didn’t happen and the reader missed the connection (because of the time wasted queuing at the transit desk).

    I reported this saga in Ask Alex some years ago.


    I know this thread is about FRA but, Alex, you mentioned AMS and that is pertinent, especially this summer when there is a severe shortage of border officials there. As a result, queues between Schengen/ non-Schengen flights are horrendous. I was meeting family there a couple of weeks ago and they are joining me in the non-Schengen area for our connecting flight. Even with machine-readable passports, it took them close to 45 minutes to get through.

    Even worse is luggage. Unless your connecting time is in the order to 90-120 minutes and your in-bound is on time, multiple bad experiences mean that I would not risk it. If your in-bound is remote parked, even less chance!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    FRA really is the worst airport (well, maybe CDG is a little bit worse…) I have ever seen (.. and I have seen “some” airports).
    Not only that it is a dirty and disgusting place, the employees there are a joke. Unfriendly, not interested in anything and quite rude.

    But similar things apply to the entire LH group. Being a SEN for nearly 20 years, I could see the ever degenerating “service” and behavior of LH.
    Not only that the long distance BC is not worth a thought for people larger than 1,60m, it is old and very often worn out.
    The “hotlines” are clueless and simply lie to you, when you ask them about more complex flight routes (which you can´t book on their children-like website).

    Unfortunately I have to use LH (or any of its sometimes funny code share airlines) for most flights within Europe from my home base in MUC; at least there (MUC) the airport, the lounges and the staff are really nice.
    But flying intercontinental, I use SWISS (just a little “hop” from MUC to ZRH) and every second year (when I don´t need to re-qualify for the SEN) I fly with BA (not really bad, even from MUC to BOM via LHR) to qualify for the Avios silver or (in the near future) gold status to get a more relaxed travel experience.
    Generally – LH a “Five Star Airline”? Ha, ha, maybe a “Five Skull Airline” …..


    Sounds as though I have been lucky or things have deteriorated since.
    I did FRA-BHX with Lufthansa (Y) back in September last year with very little fault found.Bag drop was easy. Security busy and quick but ruthlessly, almost rudeley strict.
    Great sit down resaurant on the first floor overlooking the apron with good at-table service and well priced.
    Boarding was terminally slow but aircraft on time with a simple snack (wine or tea).
    Can’t complain really at the price except for having to really resist the temptation to jump to attention with a click of the heels a time or two!

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