Changing Planes in Frankfurt to CDG

Aug 9th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Changing Planes in Frankfurt to CDG

We're taking United from SFO to CDG, changing planes in Frankfurt. We are scheduled to arrive in Franfurt at 10:15AM and depart for CDG at 12:05PM We will have one hour and 50 minutes - if the initial flight arrives on time.

We used to fly directly from SF to Paris, but since United has discontinued those direct flights, we have changed planes at Dulles.

For this trip, all we could get was the Frankfurt connection.

Question (finally), we will arrive in Frankfurt on Dec. 24th which will be a heavily traveled day.

We will check our luggage straight thru from SFO to CDG, but will we still have to go through customs/immigration in Frankfurt, or do we just go directly to the Lufthansa gate for the Paris flight?

I'm assuming that we will still have to go through customs/passport in CDG as we will be arriving from a another country - Germany?

Since our FF upgrades with United are already booked and are set in stone - and I need to aggravate myself ... what is the procedure and do you think that we can do it in less than one hour and 50 minutes counting disembarking from the US plane?

We have an hour and 45 minutes between planes when we return home and change planes in Dulles. My friend, a business traveler, says that people regularly, including herself, missed the Dulles - SFO connection and either fly out later and get retrieve their luggage the next day in SF.


Nina66 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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I should have mentioned that I've gotten very different answers, several times in fact, from both United and Lufthansa.

The 'official' answers range from:

-No we won't have to check-in in Frankfurt, just get off the plane and go directly to the Lufthansa gate to board. That's when they will give us our seat assignments. Isn't that the same thing as standing in line to check in at the boarding gate????? Sounds like that to me, but what do I know.

- As we board the plane, sans checking in at any counter, the FA will give us our seat assignments.

- We will have to check-in at the Lufthansa counter in order to get our seat assignments as they do not give them in advance for inter-European flights. -United will give us our seat assignments when we check in in San Francisco.

- No, United cannot give us the Lufthansa seat assignments in San Francisco when we initially check in because they may or may not have access to Lufthansa's screens.

Don't even get me started on the carry on weight. United goes by size, no weight requirement - Lufthansa allows you 18 pounds.

Lufthansa told me that they will enforce the weight My wheelie carry on is the right size, but weighs 8.5 lbs. empty.

United said that they have to honor the carry on requirements of the trans-Atlantic carrier.

Then another Lufthansa agent, just now, told me that yes they do honor United's policy. No weight restriction.

Please, any United passengers who have changed planes in Frankfurt - what is the _real_ story here???????

Going nuts - AGAIN.

Nina66 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 01:35 PM
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I've had several trips in the last year that involved United connecting to Lufthansa. In all cases, United gave me boarding passes for the LH flight when I checked in at my point of origin (Chicago). You don't have seat assignments now because LH does not pre-assign seats for intra-European flights, but you should get them from United at check-in in SFO.

You will go through immigration/passport control at FRA because that is your point of entry into the Schengen zone (which includes both Germany and France). Therefore, you will not have to go through passport control at CDG, but you will go through customs as you exit the airport.
ms_go is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 12:03 AM
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ms go - thank you so much. You contradicted everything that I was told by United and Luftansa, and you what .... I believe _you_.

If I had absolutely nothing else to do, I could continue to call both airlines and get twenty more answers to the same questions.

Is one hour and 50 minutes, not counting time to disembark our trans-Atlantic flight, enough time for all of the necessary procedures in Frankfurt? It will be on Saturday, Dec. 23rd and I'm sure all flights will be filled to capacity.

Nina66 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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Nina - I suppose it is always possible that some issue on the day of travel prevents United from issuing the LH boarding pass. I have encountered one situation in the past few years where United couldn't check me in or provide a boarding pass for a connecting flight on a Star Alliance partner (Air Canada). But I've never encountered that situation with Lufthansa.

If for some reason you can't get boarding passes in SF, Lufthansa does have transit desks throughout the terminal in FRA, so just look for one of those.

In my experience, 1:50 should be sufficient if your incoming flight arrives on time. As mentioned, you'll have to go through immigration and probably a security checkpoint. FRA is big and busy but fairly well signed. We connected there coming home from France during the peak of the World Cup this summer (which also involved going through immigration and security) and I'd say it took about 40 minutes to clear the above and get to the gate area.
ms_go is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 06:38 AM
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Hi Nina,

Msgo is correct, "You will go through immigration/passport control at FRA because that is your point of entry into the Schengen zone ..."

Also 1:50 hr is a good connection.

Make sure your luggage is checked through to CDG.

Ask for your boarding pass for FRA at both SFO and Dulles. You might get lucky.

Have a nice visit.

ira is offline  
Aug 10th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Thanks again. Ira, we will be going from SFO-FRA-CDG, so I had intended to ask for our LH boarding passes at SFO, but then United gave told me that that is not always possible.

Dulles is on the return trip, CDG - Dulles- SFO, that part I'm not worried about. If we miss the connection in Dulles on the way home, who cares - just adding a little extra time to our trip. I never never want to come home once I've packed and 'hit the road'.

We've navigated FRA before, returning home from Germany. DH reads and speaks fluent German and with the English signage we'll be fine. I was more worried about the time element, but you have assurred me that it can be done.

I feel much better now - until the next semi-major crisis!

I still can't figure out why United cancelled the direct frlights from SFO to CDG. For many years that was sooooo convenient. That's probably why they cancelled them

Nina66 is offline  
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