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cobbie2 Jun 12th, 2013 04:35 PM

One hour 15 minutes to change planes in Frankfurt
We are flying Air Canada from Denver to Toronto to Frankfurt to Prague, departing on 6/22. We have USA passports. We transfer in a Frankfurt to a code share flight which is on Lufthansa. I know we have to pass immigration before boarding the flight to Prague. Do we have to go thru security again? I questioned Air Canada about the short transfer time and she assured me it was legal.

There is a flight on LH to Prague and hour later so hopefully if we don't make the first flight we can take the later

Please advise

Thanks in advance

Jean Jun 12th, 2013 05:07 PM

FYI, the minimum "legal" connection time in Frankfurt is 45 minutes. But a "legal" connection and a "safe" connection are not always the same thing. Two flights to get to Frankfurt means two possibilities for delays.

I believe you will have to go through security again, but I think your arriving and departing flights are both in Terminal 1. If you miss your flight to Prague, you can only take the later flight if there are seats available.

But you're only 10 days out. What would you want to do about it now?

adrienne Jun 12th, 2013 05:18 PM

I've always gone through security in Frankfurt except for the last trip. It was amazing. Immigration and arrival at the next gate in 10 minutes. It was wonderful. Returning was just as easy except the gate was a bit farther away.

Many people hate Frankfurt airport but I love it. Never had a problem, even when changing terminals.

If you move fast then you should have enough time. If you think there's a problem getting to your connection just find a Lufthansa or an airport person and explain you have a short time to get to your gate and ask for help.

lavandula Jun 12th, 2013 07:26 PM

Start by telling the flight attendants on your plane that there is a short connection time, and s/he will probably tell you who to look out for when you leave the plane. Personally I think an hour 15 is a bit tight as Frankfurt is a massive airport, but there is also a rabbit warren of behind the scenes pathways that you can be whisked along by Lufthansa staff to get you there faster (I've done it before). Your situation is helped by the fact that you are on Lufthansa, as 2/3 of their airport is just that one airline. You might also take a look at the airport map just to familiarise yourself with what you will be facing - there are 3 terminals and if you have to change terminals (usually by sky train) the deadline will be all the tighter. Frankfurt is however a very efficient airport. Perhaps you can ask Lufthansa their opinion, since you are flying with them as well?


cobbie2 Jun 12th, 2013 07:51 PM

Thanks for the responses. I know I'm leaving in 10 days and can't do much but plan how to make that last flight. Good idea about asking Lufthansa. I'll call them tomorrow and also study the FRA map

greg Jun 12th, 2013 08:32 PM

I used FRA this March for the first time after they integrated (most?) Star Alliance flights to 1A/Z. What a difference! The changes were between 1A and 1Z (different levels), no additional security; just a passport control that seemed to move faster than before.

Mainhattengirl Jun 12th, 2013 10:06 PM

Air Canada and Lufthansa both use terminal 1. Have a look at the airport map to get an idea of the different gates. They are all lined up, so it should be easy.

adrienne Jun 13th, 2013 12:37 AM

It won't do any good to call Lufthansa. You have to speak with them when you're in Frankfurt if you run into a timing problem.

yodababe Jun 13th, 2013 12:56 AM

You will have to go through security after going through immigration, but your bags will be checked through to your final destination. You do not have to take off your shoes for Frankfurt security, but all electronics have to come out of your carry on. I would suggest keeping that in mind is you want to expedite your security experience. Lufthansa has customer service kiosks in Term 1 and there are agents in place if you are running late, don't hesitate to ask them for help.

Frankfurt is our hub and we routinely make connections within a 90 minute time frame, including when we return from the US/Canada. Air Canada is also our carrier of choice and we have never missed a connecting flight when returning from the US. Hope you have the same good luck.

Cowboy1968 Jun 13th, 2013 01:11 AM

70-90 minutes is the norm for changing planes in Frankfurt, nothing particular tight.
There is no need or nothing to do right now.
When your connecting time becomes too late, you will get flagged by the system and be taken care of by agents once you step out of the plane from Canada.
Or you are told that you won't make your planned connection but have been booked on the next flight.
But this nothing you do pro-actively because you "feel" the connecting time is getting too tight.

jane1144 Jun 13th, 2013 08:36 AM

We flew AC to Frankfurt and on to Venice on Lufthansa (Star Alliance). Our connection was a little more than an hour. I printed off the maps of the Frankfurt airport as we had to change terminals, but found that the signage was very good. I changed our AC seats to sit towards the front of the plane (helped a lot). Immigration was quick and so was security. If you had less than 30 minutes left until your ongoing flight, you could use an accelerated security line (but we didn't qualify) We walked FAST and made our flight with a few minuted to spare before boarding started. The whole thing hinges on your A C flight being on time. If you miss the connection they will get you on the next flight which for us would have been about 4 hours later. (I had looked up the details of other flights so I would know what I was talking about.) We had carry on luggage only. The only thing was that it was a worry. I just decided to have a drink and see what happened!!

nytraveler Jun 13th, 2013 09:10 AM

After missing 2 flights due to legal connections (booked by business staff) I now don't let them book until I'm comfortable withthe time allowed. I would not be comfortable with this - but I am risk averse,.

If you were buying a ticket now I would take a later plane bus since you already have tickets - you will just need to try to make it. Gets seats in the front of the plane if at all possible - this can save 10 minutes or more.

cobbie2 Jun 13th, 2013 09:46 AM

Thanks everyone. I won't bother to call LH but printing the FRA map is a good idea

LucieV Jun 13th, 2013 10:48 AM

<<<If you move fast then you should have enough time.>>>

<b>Take those words seriously</b>. We had an hour+45 minute layover, and we barely made it. And we hauled a$$. At least one younger couple who had a shorter layover missed their connection.

Last month was my second or third time transferring at Frankfurt (SFO-Frankfurt-Roma), and my experience did nothing to dispel my dislike for that airport. Quelle horreur.

cobbie2 Jun 13th, 2013 12:52 PM

Lucie: what airline(s) were you on??

LucieV Jun 13th, 2013 12:58 PM

United: the armpit of airlines, cobbie2.

Cowboy1968 Jun 13th, 2013 01:15 PM

Changing at any big airport is usually not much fun.
But since Star Alliance uses just concourse A and Z of Terminal 1, I don't see any major extra hassles compared with the other major hubs like Heathrow or CDG where you have to change between terminal buildings by bus or train.

And, to put it a little into perspective, when OP leaves the aircraft from Canada in Frankfurt (assuming an on-time arrival), hardly anybody of those passengers who will start their journey to Prague in Frankfurt will have arrived landside at the airport.
If I was flying just FRA-PRG at 10am, I would not be at the airport any sooner than 9am. Just because there is no need.
Boarding time is more or less ficticious. You can be happy if the plane arrives at boarding time from its previous destination. By average, you usually don't have boarding until 15-10mins prior to departure time.

ramanakumar569 Jun 20th, 2013 03:57 AM

Nice post!Great discussion on this.Thanks for sharing.

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