D.C. and Frankfurt layover questions

Jul 1st, 2008, 12:09 PM
  #1  
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D.C. and Frankfurt layover questions

Hi all,

Deciding on flights to Paris for November. I have found some prices that make me relatively happy but want to get ones that are timed correctly. The ones I am looking at are on Lufthansa, both legs of going and returning. I would take that to mean there would be no major terminal changes especially in Washington DC.

What is the minimum amount of layover you would accept in D.C. and in Frankfurt. Would 1.5 hours connecting in D.C. to Paris be acceptable if staying on the same international airline? And in Frankfurt I would allow longer. 3 hours ok? I appreciate any input.

Dana
stellamarina is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Where does your trip originate? I'm guessing that's someplace in the US--hometown to Dulles, Dulles to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Paris? You wouldn't be on Lufthansa within the US, but 90 minutes should be plenty of time to get from a domestic flight to a transatlantic flight at Dulles. On the return, you'd need more like three hours there to allow for immigration/customs then security and transit to the domestic gate.

But why go through Germany at all when several airlines fly nonstop between the US and Paris (Air France and Delta primarily, but also USAir and others)?
kayd is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 07:00 AM
  #3  
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We're flying from San Francisco. A direct flight would obviously be preferable but price is the factor. I told DH that we could do this for a fairly reasonable price.
stellamarina is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 07:20 AM
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If you are connecting at Dulles to a Lufthansa flight then I would assume you are arriving on a United flight.

Dulles is an easy place to connect since both the arriving and the departing flights will almost undoubtedly use one of the two infield terminals..probably the same one so changing planes shouldn;t be much trouble at all.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Sorry, I should have said one of the two MID-field terminals.
Dukey is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Thanks Dukey!
stellamarina is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 06:27 AM
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Dulles takes longer than others and may have terminal changes. 1 1/2 hours is about the minimum I would risk there. That's assuming your flight into Dulles is on time.

For domestic flights, I like to fly early. Those are the flights that are most likely to be on time.

For International flights, I like to fly late because I want to sleep overnight on the plane and arrive early.

Not sure how to marry the two so I live near Dulles.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 08:19 AM
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On your return (assume it's CDG - FRA - IAD all on LH), you won't need 3 hours. While it can be a hike between gates depending on your terminals, we've never had a problem with 1.5 - 2.0 hr connections, and even as little as 20 min (although I wouldn't want to do that again)
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 09:09 AM
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I second the other poster's view.

In Frankfurt, 1.5 hours are more than enough; however for your return flight , you may need 3 hours in D.C. - because of U.S. immigration which can take really long.
traveller1959 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 09:23 AM
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You may not need 3 hours, but it isn't crazy to allow that much time for international arrival at Dulles. After immigration/customs (my friends were at least an hour in that process last month -- at the midafternoon crush when so many flights from Eurpoe land), passengers must go through screening to get to their next flight. That can take 30 minutes, before you even get to the shuttle for the midfield terminals.
kayd is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 09:53 AM
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Should have clarified - yes, I was talking about transfer in FRA, not IAD.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2008, 10:53 AM
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We've done the SFO-FRA-CDG flight. Although FRA is big, old, and slightly confusing, 1-2 hours is plenty for connections. There will be a terminal change between the international arrival from US to the Schengen departure within EU and you will have to go through passport control and a minimal EU security screening (think pre 9/11 in US). We had three hours and spent at least 1.5-2 hours in the Lufthansa lounge. On the return, you will have to go through a typical US security screening, usually at the gate itself, but it didn't take all that long for us.
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