Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Which Northern Germany international airport?

Which Northern Germany international airport?

Jun 11th, 2014, 04:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 30
Which Northern Germany international airport?

Hello. What would you all recommend as far as flying from San Francisco, CA to a major international airport in the Western region of Germany? We're needing to land as close as possible to Detmold, so we're attempting to determine which of the following locations has a major international airport that has direct flights coming in from SFO...either Hannover (Langenhagen), Dortmund, or Muenster? Thanks very much!
liebchen is offline  
Jun 11th, 2014, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,789
You can find this out easily on your own.

Method 1.
Use booking engines, e.g. www.kayak.com, matrix.itasoftware.com, etc and feed your destinations to see if direct flights are available.

Method 2.
Go to SFO web page, http://www.flysfo.com/flight-info/flight-status, and see which destinations are serviced directly from SFO today. You will see only FRA and MUC.

But the question is what is that you are trying to optimize?

Suppose you land in Hannover at 9:30pm. Is that more desirable than landing in FRA at 12:45 and take a train and be in Detmold by 6:00pm?
greg is offline  
Jun 11th, 2014, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,232
>>has a major international airport that has direct flights coming in from SFO…<<

When you say 'direct' you likely mean non-stop . . . they ain't the same thing.

There aren't any non-stops and you will have to connect somewhere - either to a different flight(s) or to a train(s) . . .
janisj is online now  
Jun 11th, 2014, 10:30 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,711
As you need to change in Frankfurt or Munich anyway:
The closest airport for Detmold is Paderborn/Lippstadt, served by Lufthansa from Munich and Frankfurt. 30-40 min drive to Detmold from the airport.

Detmold is on no major railway line, so getting there by train from Dortmund or Hannover will take a while.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2014, 06:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,825
What about Amsterdam? The train ride from Amsterdam airport to Detmold lasts 5 hrs (AMS dp 10.37 - Detmold ar 15.58), discounted web fares start at 24 EUR/33 USD

What about Frankfurt? The train ride from Frrankfurt airport to Detmold lasts 3 1/2 hrs (FRA dp 12.11 - Detmold ar 15.39), discounted web fares start at 39 EUR/53 USD

A flight from SFO via MUC to Paderborn would cost more and take more time.
neckervd is offline  
Jun 14th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 30
Thank you all for your input.

We'll weigh the costs and time involved with flying to Frankfurt, and then continuing on to Paderborn/Lippstadt with another flight. Our travel agent isn't able to give us price quotes with Lufthansa until the Fall, or 330 days prior to our desired departure date.

As far as taking the train anywhere, I'm assuming that transferring three people and their luggage (one carry on, and one check-on per person plus a small medical equipment bag)from the airport, to the train station, and then to the car rental agency would be extremely cumbersome.

We certainly do have ALOT to think about and plan for. Thank you again for your suggestions!
liebchen is offline  
Jun 14th, 2014, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 510
As an alternative, you can fly Air Berlin via LAX or Chicago into Dusseldorf. Rent a car for a 2 hour, 195 km drive to Detmond. Not a direct flight but close to Detmond. If mobility at the airport is an issue, obviously the airline can help with in terminal transit.

If you want a direct flight, only Amsterdam, Berlin or Frankfurt offer that from SFO.
Huggy is offline  
Jun 14th, 2014, 11:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,789
It looks like the metric you want to minimize is the number of times you have to handle all your luggage. Setting aside whether it is "extremely cumbersome," since you did not mention travel time or driving distance as something you want to reduce, it appears that the distance from where you land to Detmold seems to be irrelevant as long as you don't have to handle luggage. Then it seems flying to FRA, then renting a car to drive to Detmold seems to satisfy both your needs: direct flight to reduce "cumbersome" moving carry-on luggage from plane to plane and moving your luggage only once from FRA baggage claim to the car rental.

Flying to Hanover, etc, involves having to move your carry-on from plane to plane.
greg is offline  
Jun 15th, 2014, 07:48 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,711
As greg wrote, it should be helpful if you ranked your requirements and preferences.
Will you need or want to rent a car for your stay in Detmold anyway?

For example, flying into FRA or AMS and taking the rental car from there, will limit the handling of luggage to the minumum. OTOH, you will have to drive a substantial number of kms after a right-eye flight with jetlag.

Costwise, you *usually* get a connecting flight to secondary airports for just some surcharge on what a nonstop will cost. Actually, it can sometimes be less pricey to fly SFO- Munich- Paderborn than to take the nonstop to Munich only.

Fortunately, you still have more than enough time to play around with the options.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 03:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 30
Thank you all, again, for your input. At this point, things are still subject to change, but it's coming together a bit clearer now. I spoke to the travel agent who has always handled our flights to Germany.

Some good news we were given from them, is that if we fly from SFO to either Frankfurt or Munich, there is no additional cost involved with getting a connecting flight to continue on to either Paderborn or Hanover, and our luggage is moved to the connecting flight for us.

Paderborn is much closer (only 17 miles compared to 48 miles from Hanover) to our destination of Detmold, BUT...usually there is a long six hour stop-over in Frankfurt before finally leaving for Paderborn.

Upon arriving either in Paderborn or Detmold, we'll need to pick up a rental car right at the airport. Again, things will make much more sense when we finally book our tickets and know for sure our times of departure and arrival. It'll all come together nicely, I'm sure!
liebchen is offline  
Nov 26th, 2014, 02:16 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 3,296
Have you been to Detmold before? We spent several days there and found it delightful. An attractive city with a highly rated music school, so as we walked through the pedestrian zone during the day (and evenings), we could hear the talented students practicing -- it was a pleasure to listen to the music pouring into the streets. The Freilicht museum outside Dresden was a highlight of our trip and actually, one of the highlights of all our visits to Germany. We also enjoyed hiking in the Teutoburgerwald and driving through the region's small towns.

Re airports, if you can arrange a flight to Muenster and pick up a car there, that would be my recommendation. From the airport, you can drive part way to Detmold along the back roads that go through the scenic Muensterland area, with its parks, villages and water castles.
WeisserTee is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:21 PM.