Madrid/Frankfurt Connecting Flights

Sep 21st, 2007, 11:09 PM
  #1  
meo
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Madrid/Frankfurt Connecting Flights

I'm not sure if I am obsessing too much about this or not. Thanks in advance for the input!

We finally got some great transatlantic flights using frequent flyer miles (United/Star Alliance) for a trip to Spain next summer. On the return, we need to get from Madrid to Frankfurt. Our flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco leaves at 5:25 p.m. It was suggested that we take a Lufthansa flight from Madrid that would get in to Frankfurt at 4:15 p.m. (seems tight to me, but we love Lufthansa). There's also a SpanAir flight that gets in at 3:45 p.m. (better timing). Is there any reason to not take the SpanAir flight (frequent late arrivals, long distance between terminals, etc.), and/or is the Lufthansa connection not a problem?

Thanks!
meo is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 11:36 PM
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Have you checked the Frankfurt Airport to see where the flight lands and where Lufthansa departs from? Spanair is fine as long as you can check in and collect your boarding pass in Madrid.


http://www.airportcity-frankfurt.com/
Robert2533 is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 11:45 PM
  #3  
meo
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Thanks for the suggestion and link. I didn't mention that the flight to SFO is on United. United, Lufthansa and Spanair are all in the same terminal, but United is in Concourse B and Lufthansa & Spanair are in Concourse A. I think I feel more comfortable having more time between flights if we go with Spanair.

Thanks again!
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Sep 22nd, 2007, 01:00 AM
  #4  
 
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Transferring from Councourse A (Schengen area) to Concourse B perhaps takes 10-15 min, using a Sky Line train. You go through passport control (as you are exiting Schengen) and security check. While the latter is usually quick, I have waited up to 10 min at busier times. There may be a secondary security check for US flights, at the gate. So if I were you, I'd take the earlier Spanair flight.
Alec is online now  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 02:36 AM
  #5  
 
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SpanAir and Lufthansa are 'code-share' partners. SpanAir flys many Lufthansa routes to/from Spain.

I flew SpanAir Bilbao-Frankfurt for my TransAtlantic connection on Lufthansa. I was fortunate that I had more than 2.5 hours to make that connection. Frankfurt Main is a very busy airport. If it's your first time there, plan for at least 2-hrs. I was required to retrieve my checked bag and go thru Security again.

You'll be cutting it tight even with your SpanAir connection
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 11:08 AM
  #6  
meo
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Thanks for confirming my thought that 1 hour and 10 minutes would be too tight. I went ahead and booked the Spanair flight, and we'll just have to hope the flight is on time, so we can get to the other concourse and through all the check points. The booking agent said we will be checking our baggage through to SFO, so won't need to claim it and recheck in Frankfurt. We have been to Frankfurt and didn't have any difficulties. By the way, the third option was to take a much earlier Lufthansa flight and have 5 hours in Frankfurt. That just sounded too tedious, so we're going to take our chances with the timing of the Spanair flight.

Now, on to the fun part of coming up with an itinerary for 13 days in Spain!!

Thanks again for the feedback!
meo is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 03:48 PM
  #7  
 
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I, personally would have opted for the 5-hour layover in Frankfurt; but I'm just an old fuddy duddy;
meo writes:
"Now, on to the fun part of coming up with an itinerary for 13 days in Spain!!"
Try to be somewhere where something special is happening, like Santiago de compostela for SANTIAGO (25 Jul) or Santander the week before (for their Santiago celebrations).

Avoid August, if possible: European tourists from France and Germany, the UK and several other countries swarm to Spain for the month of August. All of Spain's resort areas will be fully booked and Peak season prices will be in effect. The latter is true anytime after la Virgen de Carmen (16 Jul).

NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2007, 07:06 PM
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Sorry to be negative, regarding the connecting time in FRA, if possible, I would prefer much longer than 1 1/2 hours, I have connected at FRA more than half dozen times this year, it is worse than a zoo, some gates require going through security twice, and most of my flights were late.
JudyC is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 01:48 PM
  #9  
meo
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Okay, I'm a little worried to just have a 2-hour layover. I'll call them back and see what I can do.

The trip is June 20 - July 3, and I will make a point of finding some very special things to do. We are going from Barcelona to Madrid by train, then a loop south (rental car) that will include Sevilla and Granada. We're just starting to do the research. I am intrigued by the paradores! I'm imagining they are all quite different, but are they something worth investigating?
meo is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:14 PM
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I have enjoyed staying at several Paradors, each is quite different. You might like to check: www.parador.es, and join their Amigos membership, it comes with some benefits.
JudyC is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:59 PM
  #11  
meo
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Thanks JudyC - I'll check out the website.
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Sep 25th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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Hi Meo:

For what it's worth at this late post, we also traveled Frankfurt to Mad and vice versa with a 2-3 hr layover.

I agree, it was a crapshoot. The initial flight inbound flight was delayed and so consequently we would have miised our connecting flight, if not for a delay there as well.

Give yourselves a bit more time of you can between flights. Unless you are prepared to try your luck on the next available flight and won't be too bummed out if you end up with a longer delay.


amsdon is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:00 PM
  #13  
meo
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Thank you for the reply. I should probably talk to United to see how they would handle a missed flight, since we are using frequent flyer miles. I wonder, too, if they would be willing to change it for no charge now, since it's a tight connection (although they originally offered the 1 hr. 10 minute layover).
meo is offline  
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