Connection in International Airport Question

Feb 21st, 2012, 05:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 134
Connection in International Airport Question

We are flying from IAD (Dulles) to Prague and connecting in Frankfurt. Our flight from IAD gets into Frankfurt at 7:10am and our connecting to Prague leaves at 8:00am. Is this too close? I've only ever flown direct on any flight I've taken in Europe so I'm not sure how the connections work - when we arrive in Frankfurt, will we need to go through any sort of Customs or additonal security before getting to our connecting flight to Prague?

Typically the flights to Germany from IAD, at least in my experience get in early ... but i'm wondering if 50 minutes is enough time to get off the plain, go through whatever we may need to go through and board the next flight.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!
liesel is offline  
Feb 21st, 2012, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Since both Germany and the Czech Republic belong to the Schengen travel area, you need to go through immigration at FRA. It is a big airport with long walks between some gates. I'll say there is big chance you will miss your connection.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,995
In addition to immigration, you'll also go through security at FRA. I agree with rkkwan: there's a good chance (I'll guess 20-30%) that you'll miss the connection. A lot depends on highly variable factors: the actual arrival time of your incoming flight, the gates used for the flights, and how far back you sit on the incoming flight (it can take 15-20 minutes for a 777 to empty).

You're flying United to Frankfurt and Lufthansa to Prague. Fortunately, LH usually does a good job of handling missed connections. If you do find that you will miss the connection, look for the signs that direct you to the Lufthansa Service Center -- they will handle things for you. (LH has other flights to from Frankfurt to Prague at 10.20 and 12.00.)
DonTopaz is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 10:25 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Surprisingly minimum connection time for Frankfurt is 45 minutes for international to domestic.

If I was OP I'd emphasise when they check-in at IAD that they have a short connection and mention it to the cabin crew about an hour before landing.
alanRow is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 127
We had a short connection the last time we went through FRA on the way to Paris. Standing in line at security, it became apparent we weren't going to make the connection. From out of nowhere a couple of Lufthansa employees showed up and ordered us into a corridor where we bypassed the standard security check. They wanded and frisked everyone in the group, opened the electronic lock on a second door and told us to run as fast as we could. We made the flight. I would suggest you do as alanRow suggests and also let the LH employees at your arrival gate know about the tight timing too.
greytop13 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
I've made numerous 45min connections at FRA, and missed several 75min connections.

I agree with the others that LH does a good job accommodating travelers. Do you know when the flight to Prague is?
J62 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2012, 09:28 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,571
I'm w/ J62. I've made shorter connections at FRA (one was 30 mins and that one really freaked me out) . . . and I've missed a 90 minute connection.

So no telling.

They'll take care of you.
janisj is online now  
Feb 23rd, 2012, 06:09 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 134
Thank you so much for all the responses! We decided to take the flight that gets us into Frankfurt at 5:20am and the connecting flight departs at 8:00am. We didn't want to take any chances. Thank you again for your help!
liesel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2012, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 206
Smart move, liesel. Why spend a transatlantic flight worrying about missing a connection when you can arrange things differently?

Thanks to all for the posts here. Useful information for a trip I hope to take to Prague this year.
eliztravels is offline  
Feb 27th, 2012, 03:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 19,813
When we were in FRA, it was a mess of long lines. Unless somebody helps you (and they do!!) you can easily miss the next flights. So either reschedule or cry out to any uniformed employee
Dayenu is offline  

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