Frankfurt – again

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    I acknowledge that Frankfurt has been well and truly “dealt with” previously on this Forum but I thought my experience this morning might be worth a mention.

    Normally when I pass through FRA, it is with LH in and out. However, for reasons that I will not bore you with, I came into FRA this morning on an overnight LH flight and then out on BA to LHR. This is the first (and will be the last) time that I have done this. After the usual traipse around the airport, I finally ended up in the D Gates area from where BA operates and, in the first instance, set out to look for the BA Lounge. Those of you who use BA out of FRA will, of course, know that there isn’t one, and there hasn’t been apparently for many years. I discovered this when I came across the JAL Lounge near the BA Gate and my initial thought was that this would be a better option than any BA Lounge, so I popped in there. It was only when I asked the lady behind the desk where the BA Lounge was when I was told there isn’t one and that the JAL Lounge provides that facility. She went on to tell me that this was down to the “famous BA cost-cutting” and that BA only had one employee (a Manager- of what) in the entire airport with everything being outsourced. As an aside, the JAL Lounge was disappointing in that it had the absolute minimum in terms of food. Strange though that FRA doesn’t have a BA Lounge when AMS does.

    However, the main purpose of this note concerns the BA boarding process out of the D Gates. Having been through security already once, I hadn’t bargained for having to do it again, so that when I left the Lounge, fortunately a good one hour before departure, I went to the Gate (D08) to find that this was in fact located with three other Gates behind a further security area. All 5 security lanes were in operation but there was a queue that made Stansted look like a walk in the park. There was a Priority lane to which I was entitled and despite being pulled out of that lane along with others as the BA deparooure time approached, it still took me 40 minutes to clear. Once on the plane, the Captain made mention of the security issue and indicated that it was perhaps fortunate that our slot was delayed by 30 minutes which gave some extra time to people still stuck in the queue. However, when it was time to go, the Captain acknowledged that whilst there were still a significant number of people not yet boarded, he needed to be mindful of those passengers on board who had connections to meet at LHR.

    I know that the flight was fully booked and yet there were a significant number of empty seats when we left. In speaking to others, I was told that this situation is by no means unusual. What happens to those people who missed the flight, not because they were not at the Gate on time but because they got caught up for, I would imagine, well over an hour in security. Whilst this should perhaps not be unexpected in an airport such as Stansted (I live 10 minutes away and on the few occasions I have to use it, I have spent a good part of my life in their queues), it should not, in my view, be expected at a major international hub airport such as FRA. Would BA put them on the next flight without financial penalty or would BA adopt the view that this is not of their making with those passengers having to sort themselves out?

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    This is not new. I used BA from Frankfurt heavily during 2006-2008 and situation was same back then.

    I dare to ask once, why the second security is needed, I only received a stern look and n answer.

    Queue is one thing, but additional security check at many airports seems does not make sense.

    I use Manchester airport for Singapore-Houston trip. After disembarking one walks for about 200m and then must go through security check (most times it is quite dramatic).
    So it seems that a secure 200m walk where there is hardly any people is not secured? On the other hand after the security, one goes to an area resembling a bazar with narrow walkways sided by eating places and a lot of people.

    There are other similar examples as well. Security folks probably knows something that general public cannot realize.


    In general FRA is a nightmare if you don’t know your way around. From the sounds of it, you came overnight from a non-Schengen destination, entered Schengen, passing security, then went out of Schengen to travel to UK. Hence the second check. There is a way however to stay out of Schengen and go direct to the D gates, but that does not excuse the long queue you had. Coming recently from the US, via FRA to MXP, I did not have to pass security again at FRA. I arrived, immigration and straight to the lounge.

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