layover time in Frankfurt

Old May 12th, 2015, 08:58 PM
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layover time in Frankfurt

I will be traveling from Amsterdam to Frankfurt via Lufthansa, then connecting to United to San Francisco. 1) Will I need to go through passport controls in Frankfurt? 2) How much layover time should I give myself to get through passport controls and then to the United terminal?
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Old May 12th, 2015, 09:37 PM
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1. You will encounter no "passport controls" at FRA but there may be a "passport check" done by the airline to make sure you can board.

2. None because there are none. As long as you do not need to switch terminals, 45 min is plenty of time. Is your flight from AMS on a Star Alliance carrier?
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Old May 13th, 2015, 07:02 AM
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I try to give myself at least 2 hours in Frankfurt.
If you need to switch terminals takes awhile and there are long walks between A , B , and Z concourses.
Randomly walking down a long corridor going to Z concourse a couple of years ago I was stopped by security and taken behind a false wall set up and my carry on was checked and I was scanned. Kind of weird but it did take time. Also before you get to some gates there is a xray security check which takes time.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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Amsterdam to Frankfurt is domestic while FR to US is international and you will need to show your passport to board the train and probably go through security for your ongoing gate.

While nowhere near as bad as CDG, Frankfurt is large - and there is no way I would allow only 45 minutes - which might work for another domestic flight. If your flight is late, you are at the back of a crowded plane, there is someone handicapped/slow in front of you deplaning or there is any sort of random delay you might get to the gate of your departing flight after the doors have closed (typically at least 20 minutes before flight time).

I would allow at least 2 hours - but I am risk averse.
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Old May 13th, 2015, 07:28 PM
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The plan is to fly Lufthansa from AMS to FRA then United from FRA to SFO. I have to choose between a 2 hour layover or a 5 hour layover. thoughts?
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Old May 14th, 2015, 12:37 AM
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Take the two hour layover. Five is too long.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 02:45 PM
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Sorry to be a voice of descent here, but if traveling AMS-FRA-SFO you will certainly clear passport control to exit the Schengen zone in FRA. Bags would be checked through to sfo and you shouldnt need to reclear security for this unless there is a random gate check additional screening for flights departing to the US.

Lufthansa flights from ams typically arrive at an A gate, but A schengen bus gate or B schengen bus gates are also possible. Your United flight will almost certainly depart from a Z gate which is the upper level concourse of A for nonschengen flights. This makes for a fairly easy transfer.

Fra airport gets a bad rap for connections, somewhat deserved, but really its just a crapshoot based on gate assignments and the fact that there is usually more than one way to get from one concourse to the other

In any case 2 hours is quite sufficient for that itinerary
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Old May 14th, 2015, 08:17 PM
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Thanks!
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Old May 14th, 2015, 08:23 PM
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I found it helpful to print out a map of FRA in order to have some sort of concept of where I would need to go from the gate where I landed to the gate where I needed to connect.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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I had a 55 minute connection where I needed to clear Immigration, switch terminals and clear back in through security in Frankfurt. Consider the following; pick seats as close to the front of the aircraft you can get (saves 15 minutes), be familiar with the layout of the airport and where you have to go (have a map), and note that there is an expedited security line if you have less than 30 minutes to your next flight. I found that things moved more quickly than in the US or Canada.
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