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Flying from Frankfurt Airport: How early should we arrive?

Flying from Frankfurt Airport: How early should we arrive?

Nov 5th, 2013, 10:33 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 938
Did the two security checks maybe happen a few years ago?

I heard that it was a nightmare around 2005 (probably also later) but in half a dozen flights since 2011 from FRA to the USA I was very pleasantly surprised about the speed of the security checks. I think the worst was half an hour and the majority was between 5-10 minutes.
Hans is offline  
Nov 5th, 2013, 11:29 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,037
I remember the second security check at the gate for flights from Frankfurt/Munich to the US (and not in a good way)...but I haven't encountered it in at least three years. My last half dozen or so flights from Frankfurt to the US have all been connections from other places in Europe, and for most of those I didn't have to go through a security checkpoint in Frankfurt at all--most recently just a few months ago when returning from Prague. I did have to answer a few security questions at the gate ("who packed your bag?") but there was no metal detector/bag screening.
ms_go is offline  
Nov 5th, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 938
I think in the past the first check in Frankfurt covered the security requirements for most destinations while the second check was about additional security requirements for flights to the US (and I think the UK).

Maybe a difference is that there are no additional questions asked by security but the security requirements are by now covered by the visa or ESTA procedures.

And/Or they physically separated the gates for flights to the USA from the gates to other destinations so that passengers to other destinations can't anymore mingle with passengers going to the USA.

I think the airports adapted a lot to the changed security concerns and are much better at dealing with them than in the years directly after 9/11. At least I've never experienced any real problems on either the German or the US side of my flights.
Hans is offline  
Nov 8th, 2013, 06:05 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 304
You were very lucky, I flew AC from FRA to YUL on a Monday in June and it took about 2 hours to get to our departure gate. And I was flying in business. The lines were crazy.
johnnyomalley is offline  
Nov 8th, 2013, 08:10 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 7,763
And that's why you should always allow at least two hours.
sparkchaser is offline  
Nov 8th, 2013, 02:28 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,756
I always find at Frankfurt that even if I get there 2 hrs early I have to head promptly to the gate - security and passport control are busy but working smoothly, but because the airport is so big you have to dedicate your time getting to the gate. Not much time for shopping!

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 01:00 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 10,509
<<>>

Many people don't travel with a computer and don't have easy access to one at their lodging. Also, if you need to get a boarding pass and don't have a smartphone or want/need a paper one you have to stop by a kiosk or desk anyway so why bother?
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 05:47 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Iowa - Did you read what I wrote? Most airports and airlines have separate bag drop desk that has much shorter lines than regular economy check-in. One doesn't have to print out the BP to use those desks.

And about smartphone - you can go to my home airpot of HKG and see the exact scenario, with local Hong Kongers standing in those long economy lines. And this is a place where EVERYBODY uses a smartphone and has unlimited data (or at least many GBs of data).
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 06:35 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,756
If you travel with children, airlines don't allow you to do online check-in (at least, the airlines I know a bit, don't). That would account for more than a few travellers too.

Lavandula
lavandula is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 08:10 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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<<< Most airports and airlines have separate bag drop desk that has much shorter lines than regular economy check-in. One doesn't have to print out the BP to use those desks.>>>

It's actually been my experience that many airports do not have separate bag drop lines. Also while you may not need a boarding pass to use those lines, you may need/want it elsewhere on the trip. Having the boarding pass on the phone it's great until the dang battery dies.

It's not always possible to check in online. I've tried to check in online for some trips and am not allowed to since they have to check documents (passport and/or visa). I just know that if I'm going international, there's a pretty good chance that I can't check in online.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 11:36 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I have been checking online for international trips for years on AC, UA, AF, QR, HX, NH, KL and so on. Many times without a printer, and using fast bag drop lines most of the time. While there was a long line at the regular economy checkin.

Your mileage may vary, but I rest my case.
rkkwan is offline  
Nov 13th, 2013, 12:05 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Oh, and I forgot to mention. Many times, I could get a better seat while doing online checkin too.
rkkwan is offline  

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