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Chicago to Krakow via Franfurt and Munich - Meet up Questions

Chicago to Krakow via Franfurt and Munich - Meet up Questions

Aug 1st, 2012, 01:39 PM
  #1  
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Chicago to Krakow via Franfurt and Munich - Meet up Questions

A group of us are flying from Chicago to Krakow, a few via Frankfurt and a few via Munich. As this is all on the same ticket we expect to check luggage through to our final destination, and since both Germany & Poland are Schengen countries I blelieve both parties will have to go through customs at the point of entry (i.e. Frankfurt or Munich), am I correct on this?

I'm trying to make this as painless and unintimidating as I can for the both sides, and map out for them what to expect. I think I'm correct with "land in Frankfurt/Munich, proceed through Immigration, get back into the security line to check in for connecting flight to Krakow. In Krakow wait by later arriving flights gate in the Lufthansa terminal"; is this what the two separate parties should agree to?

Only 1 person in the party (that would be me), travels internationaly on a regular basis (usually direct). When both parties arrive in Krakow, from two different cities but on the same airline (Lufthansa), will we be able to remain in the gate area and regroup before we proceed to baggage then customs?

Thanks for your help - never did a rendevous before and I want to ensure there are not frightening surprises for either party.
delvino is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 02:55 PM
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You should go through customs in Krakow since your bags are checked through to there.

You will go through immigration in either Frankfurt or Munich. As you won't be carrying your luggage, there is nothing for customs to check.
mjdh1957 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:13 PM
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YOu should check the layout of Krakow airport.
You don't always necessary exit into the gate area (where you would also wait for departure). Sometimes you proceed from the aircraft thru other corridors straight to baggage claim.

Usually airports got maps online.
As there will be no "Lufthansa terminal", the best bet IMO is to agree on one easy to find location, i.e. the only Starbucks or else.

Or just get a mobile phone that works here.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Thanks for confirming.

Has anyone experienced routing through Frankfurt or Munich on route to another Schengen country? Does the process through Immigration and back to the gates area require one to know where they are going? I've a family member who is pretty freaked out about finding her way through Munich immigration and back thru security to catch the next flight to Krakow. (sure which she hadn't dwadled when I made the initial arrangements and offered her a free 1st class ticket
delvino is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:30 PM
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I think that we did go through customs in Krakow but like with other European ports of entry, there is nothing to make it remarkable; one just walks through the door to the public area of the airport.

Immigration is something else, and that was in Germany. The passport is stamped upon entering the first Schengen country, even if it is only in transit.
Michael is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:33 PM
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I went through Frankfurt to Prague a few months ago, it's really quite easy. Upon arrival in Frankfurt I went through passport control, then on to the gate for my flight to Prague. Tell her just to follow the signs and if she gets confused she can ask for help.
P_M is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Transferring planes is no different than getting to the gate at your origin point. As stated above, follow the signs to passport control and then through security to the gate. She'll probably get both boarding passes when she checks in at her home airport.

I never know where I'm going at airports and always follow the signs and find my way. It's so easy.

You'll look suspicious if you linger at the gate area in any airport. Everyone is hurrying to get their bags and get out of there and you're loitering? I would not do it. I also would not leave my bags on the carousel, especially in these times when airports blow up unattended luggage.

The Krakow airport is very small. I departed from there once. Just find a map of the airport and arrange a meeting point.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 06:03 PM
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Changing planes from non-Schengen (arrival from Chicago) to Schengen (departure for Krakow) is pretty simple.
With a First Class ticket, it should be even obscenely simple.

After leaving the plane on the level of the non-Schengen H gates, wave good-bye to the hordes of mortals and direct yourself to the First Class lounge.
Within the lounge you will have your own passport control and security checkpoint.
Which will take you to the lower "Schengen" level of the same lounge where you decide whether you are up for a free meal in the restaurant or some relaxing time in the jacuzzi.
Once your flight to Krakow is due, a private limo will take you to the plane. Where you will see again the unfortunate many which had to find their way thru the airport on their own. If you are in a festive mood, you can throw some of the amneties that you nicked from the lounge into the cattle section.

I hope this will work, as there is no first class on European flights of Lufthansa. Maybe inquire in advance if your family member can use the way thru the 1st class lounge upon arrival.
http://www.loungeguide.net/wiki/u/Mu...t_Class_Lounge
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:41 AM
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Cowboy - I don't think the person has a 1st class ticket. The OP said he wished she hadn't dawdled when he offered the ticket. That says to me that she missed the opportunity.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:36 AM
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oops.. that got lost in translation.. thanks for clearing that up

If OP can pls clarify, then I will be more than happy to explain how regular people have to change gates in Munich
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Cowboy you are a funny one

I travelled enough to know there is no special treatment for 1st class passengers as it relates to immigration, customs, or security. But ya had me going. BTW, I too am a "mere mortal", just travel alot on business and at least I am blessed with the mileage points. This is what has allowed me to fly roundtrip 1st class to Poland from Chicago; unfortunately becuase I booked 3 tickets initially then my cousing agreed to come (???? what torture right?) I could not get her on our flight but put her on a different flight. She's never been to Europe and is rather anxious. I say this will be a good experience for her. I'd switch to her flight but that would leave my elderly mom and hubby to fend for themselves and that certainly wouldn't do.

Thanks all - I like the idea about picking a place in Krakow to meet - I'm sure she'll need a something more potent then a coffee anyway
delvino is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:59 AM
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I'd switch to her flight but that would leave my elderly mom and hubby to fend for themselves

Is he that helpless?

My inexpensive "B&B" in Krakow had free airport pick-up. If you have hotel reservations, you might have the same; two different flights, two different pick-ups. Meet at the hotel.
Michael is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 10:24 AM
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About the Frankfurt airport:

We had a 45 minute transfer between our flight arriving from Nice and our flight to Calgary. We made it with five minutes to spare because my wife was in a wheelchair and the attendant just pushed everyone to the side for the two elevators we had to take and went to the front of the line to get through passport control. The attendant congratulated me on my fitness at the end of the very fast walk to make the connection.

I suggest that a minimum of two hours is necessary to transfer in the airport (there are lines for both elevators and for passport control) because there is no knowing how far one has to go to get from one gate to the other.

Of course, if one passenger is in a wheelchair, transfer time will be shorter.
Michael is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 10:27 AM
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delvino,

I was not joking when I described the procedure for 1st class passengers!! I tried to be a little funny, but the procedure is as I described it:
In Munich Terminal2 you have special passport control and a dedicated security checkpoint within the 1st class lounge. You do NOT use the general checkpoints as business or eco pax do.
I assume that she will be guided from the cabin to the lounge anyway.
Just make sure that arriving 1st but departing biz (as there will be no 1st on the munich Krakow flight) makes her eligible. I would send Lufthansa an e-mail and ask.

If and only IF NOT:
terminal 2 is a very easy to navigate brick-shaped building. No extra concourses or such.
She would arrive at the non-Schengen H gates, and follow signs for the Schengen G gates. Which are in the same building, just one level lower. Always follow signs for G gates , not Exit/Baggage, though they will point in the same direction until after passport control. Then there will be security, and she would exit from security right back into the gates/ shopping area. As the building is quite long, it can be quite a walk but there are moving walkways.
Double check gates printed on boarding pass with displays. Gates change frequently in MUC.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Hey Cowboy, I will say I've never transferred at/been to the Munich airport and that type of treatment incredible. So shame on me, she'll not be coming in through Munich (apparently that was one of her choices), but via Brussels. Does this make it worse?

Thanks Michael about the wheelchair option - Mom can't walk fast, pretty slow actually. I thought about a wheelchair escort but wasn't sure she'd accept it. I look into it.
delvino is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Brussels makes everything worse.
Inquire with your airline how they handle the transfer from non Schengen arrival terminal to the Schengen terminal. They got electric carts to bus people around and as both terminals are connected by a long underground corridor you should get this service for her. Unless the airline takes care of it or offers an even better option due to her status.
The only upside is that she can buy some Belgium chocolate there. They do have good prices and a huge selection.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 11:44 AM
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The wheelchair option must be arranged at the point of departure.
Michael is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2012, 01:53 PM
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delvino, Cowboy is correct about different procedures for 1st Class. It is a rare privelege for me to fly 1st but in some airports they have a separate line for security and customs, and of course it's much faster.
P_M is offline  
Aug 6th, 2012, 08:54 AM
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Hi all,

I've a hunch we'll not have that great treatment on this trip as our connecting flights into Krakow are only one class of service. Oh well, maybe it'll be better on the return since the connecting flight is first class....one can only hope to experience it - it's be great for mom, she'll be turning 79 on this trip.
delvino is offline  

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