Frankfurt – the most confusing airport

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  • RoyJones
    Participant

    Okay I normally try to avoid Frankfurt but yesterday I didn’t. Despite normal German efficiency I give it 1/10 for signage. Getting to gates is well marked, the exits are not and are confusing. After passport control there is a customs barrier, but that is before you get to the baggage claim. And that is a hike. Only advantage was it took me 35 minutes to get to baggage claim only to see that bags were expected in another 15 minutes. Then there is the railway station, sorry two stations, one for local trains and another well separated one for Inter City.
    Transfers are another issue.
    Am I the only person confused at Frankfurt Flughafen ?


    MartinJ
    Participant

    I find that as long as one does not stick to the idea that baggage claim is necessarily before you enter the public areas then FRA is a fairly efficient and straightforward place to arrive with everything signposted, even if it seems counterintuitive. It is my understanding that the anomaly that still exists with certain arrival gates of baggage collection requiring a short transit through a public area is the process of being removed.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I agree it’s confusing but having been through so many times (even though it’s my least preferred airport, LH is my preferred airline) I’ve learnt by looking at the app and terminal maps of several shortcuts which makes transiting and exiting so much easier.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    Avoiding FRA like the plague! And I really can’t, I plan extra time.

    What I hate the most there is to arrive at the end of the very long terminal, to have to walk down to the hub where security and immigration are, and then walking back to the same place, at a different level though!

    The other really annoying thing is that smell of sausages in all lounges (excepted first). Awful!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    FDOS
    Participant

    I was thinking about this thread last week, when using AMS, an airport I have travelled through an awful lot.

    But I haven’t been there for a few years and had to use signage to orient myself, a couple of times.

    It’s funny how knowledge decays – use it or lose it, as they say.

    I might have to transit via FRA next month and am sure it will be exactly the same experience for me – in fact, I’ve asked for a flight via the easier to use MUC, even though it means a 0200 departure, rather than 0400!


    Maaki
    Participant

    I try to avoid FRA as much as possible!
    When I have to go via FRA (luckily only 1-2 times a year, since my home airport is MUC), it is always a desaster.

    Local flights (and about 90% of the people in these flights have connecting flights) are sometimes parked at the “end of the world”, i.e. a position outside of any terminal, which will take you 35-40 Min (no joke) for arriving at the terminal only.

    Every time I (have to) go there, there is another point of security, another (hardly signed) way to your gate in the middle of nowhere etc.

    Most employees in FRA are clueless, where one should go (or not) and they are not interested as well.
    One of the best jokes are these people in a nice uniform, who are there to help people find their way (in theory). They really send you “arond the block” instead of straight to the terminal. The only constant are the LH lounges, but even the SEN lounges are crowded (in COVID times) or simply overcrowded (normal times).

    So, try to avoid FRA and use MUC 😉


    superchris
    Participant

    Had a similar nightmare at Frankfurt, a couple of years back just pre covid.

    Used some avios to get to Doha, Heathrow via Frankfurt. BA business connecting onto Qatar First. My mistake I didnt give much attention to terminals and in particular lounges I could use on the almost 3 hours connecting time at FRA.

    Landed and after questioning at the deck (plus a tweet to Qatar airways) was sent to the Air Canada lounge. Took almost an hour to get through various security checks. Arrived into the lounge to be met with utter bemusement by the AC staff who said that technically I could use it but why would I as the flight goes from a completely different terminal. I stayed for a quick coffee (AC lounge always has great coffee) before heading off (another hour or so) to get to where the gate was only to find a lounge right above the gate which allowed me in. Managed about 10 mins before boarding time. No time for work or shower which was the plan.

    A problem of my own making but it really would have been nice of BA / Qatar giving me some practical help as to where to go.

    Great service on QR First on the A380 and if I recall correctly, FRA DOH was less miles in F class than Direct from London in business.


    Shand
    Participant

    Flew LH Glasgow to Frankfurt yesterday to connect with SQ to Singapore – with a 5 hour layover which was just as well. LH purser advised me that because of Brexit I had to go out through Immigration but then not to exit but just then find my gate – and that there would be no further security check. All this turned out to be totally wrong.

    Parked on a stand not a gate and bussed to Terminal ! which was also the SQ departure terminal. Given the 5 hour over it was too early for the SQ gate to be posted but ground staff helpfully advised Gate B22. After 15 minutes of walking and train following the B Gate signs I found Immigration – but with long-lines. I decided to re-check with a very helpful ground staff person at Immigration who said LH had given me wrong information about Brexit requiring me to go out through Immigration and kindly pointed me further in the direction of Gate B22. Unfortunately to proceed further there was a security screening point but with only scanning machine and many people in front of me. I finally arrived at Gate 22 and collapsed into the nearby LH lounge over one and a half hours after landing and having walked over 2 km.

    So a combination of parking on a stand rather than a gate (very common at Frankfurt), wrong information from LH crew, interminable distances (the signposting to B Gates was very clear but went on seemingly forever) and long security lines means Frankfurt, never again !

    Sorry for this long and possibly boring post.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The first 5 minutes will interest those thinking of transiting FRA on a separate ticket with a 4 (FOUR) connection time

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FDOS
    Participant

    Good video, Martyn. I’m not sure I would have had as much good grace as the presenter in waiting for 45 mins for checkin!

    I have to use Lufthansa for a trip to Cairo at the end of the month (it was a choice of BA or LH, so the lesser of two evils) and have booked via Munich to avoid Frankfurt.

    As I’ll be in non-Schengen to non-Shengen transit, hopefully it will be straightforward, as there is only a 45 min gap between flights. This isn’t a risk to the trip, as I don’t need to be in Cairo until late the next day, if I misconnect and EC261 will take care of any hotac needed.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Transited through Frankfurt on Friday, TLL-FRA-GLA with LH. First time in quite a long time through there and, having read the above, was expecting a few challenges. In reality, a very smooth transfer – a longish underground walk from A to B gates but that was all. No security checks at all (T3 at LHR, I hope you are reading this?). A rather long queue for non-EU passport holders at passport control to access non-Schengen gates and some rather uppity Brits trying to gain access to the e-gates (no joy, just a shrug). Whenever I see that, I thank my cotton socks for my dual nationality, acquired post 2016!!

    No lounge access for this trip but some rather good catering options (not just the global chains) in the B Gates area.

    LH, overall, will get my custom again now that they fly multiple times GLA-FRA. I was in Economy so just a bottle of water and chocolates but overall a very pleasent couple of flights (no remote stands, either!!).


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    and some rather uppity Brits trying to gain access to the e-gates

    I will never understand why EU visitors are still allowed to use UK eGates without reciprocal arrangements in place for us Brits within EU. It really does make travelling into busy hub European airports a very unpleasant experience for us.

    OOPPS the BT forum appears to think it was a quote from FDOS, when the quote came from TominScotland

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