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toontown Dec 16th, 2005 01:54 PM

Frankfurt Layover - Do We Have Enough Time?
A friend and I are in the booking stages of a trip to Spain where we catch a Mediterranean cruise. We are arriving several days early to tour around Barcelona and ensure we have plenty of time to make it onto our cruise ship. One of the itineraries (the cheapest!) has our plane flying into Frankfurt from Canada then flying from there to Barcelona. The layover time in Frankfurt is 1 1/2 hours. Is this enough time? The next option is about a 7 hour layover through the night (arriving approximately 11:00pm and leaving at 6:30am). Please help us decide.

smueller Dec 16th, 2005 02:32 PM

It's a probability problem. There is certainly a chance you could make the connection and you could also easily miss it. With 90 minutes in an unfamiliar foreign airport, you have little room for error (wrong turns, unusually long lines, etc.). I'd say the odds are about 50-50. At least do some advance research on what to do if you miss your connection. Have a plan if the worst happens.

RufusTFirefly Dec 17th, 2005 08:32 AM

We've never had difficulty navigating FRA. Unless something has changed drastically in the last 18 months or so, 90 minutes should normally be plenty of time IF your plane arrives on time in Frankfurt.

You can get the layout of the airport on-line so you can figure out which way you have to go in advance.

J62 Dec 17th, 2005 08:43 AM

90min is plenty of time in FRA, even if you arrive at one end of the airport (Term A) on one airline and depart from the other end (Term C). If both flights are on Lufthansa (or Star Alliance partner), it'll be even easier.

You will pass through passport control (average <5min wait, 3-4x/yr over last 5 yrs) then head straight to the departure gate.

The only complication might be if you are flying on two airlines that aren't on the same alliance, which used to (and might still) require you to get a boarding pass for the 2nd leg in Frankfurt.

You can now do that at the departure gate, whereas before you needed to go to the LH counter in the checkin area. If you are flying LH or star alliance the whole way, you can get your boarding pass at your origin in Canada.

Either way, your bags should be checked straight through to Barcelona and you won't need to retrieve them in FRA.

Leaving a couple of days before your cruise is a great idea, especially if there is a baggage delay! In all my trips through FRA I've only had one baggage delay, and they sent my bag to my final destination on the next flight, and brought it directly to my hotel.

WallyKringen Dec 17th, 2005 07:46 PM

If you're getting in on time, it'll be tight but you should be fine.

Question: Is your onward flight with the same company that brings you from Canada? If so, they will have to accommodate you if they come in late and make you miss your connection.

But if you booked the FRA - BCN on a different airline, then all bets are off since that company is not obliged to bend over and re-book you.

It just occurs to me - you didn't by chance book a budget flight from Frankfurt-Hahn to BCN? That's a good hour down the road from FRA the main airport - just in case, you'd need a rethink.

¡Buena suerte!


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