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Passport control/security

If I have a flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt and connect to a flight from Frankfurt back to USA, where will I go through security? Lufthansa is suggesting these flights with only an hour connecting time in Frankfurt.

Posted by
1583 posts

You'll go through security in Hamburg. There should not be a need to go through security in Frankfurt unless you are only checking bags thru to Frankfurt. I would advise against this because you won't have time to retrieve bags and get thru security again in an hour. I assume all your flights are on Lufthansa, so be sure to check your bags, if any, thru to the USA.

Posted by
8201 posts

Anita are you mixing up Security with Passport Control?

Posted by
18941 posts

You will have to go through emigration (passport control) in Frankfurt, where you will be leaving the Schengen zone.

You will only have to go through security in Frankfurt if your flights arrive and depart from different buildings. Lufthansa uses Terminal 1, with A, B, C, and Z gates. A and Z gates are on different levels of the same building, with passport control between the two levels; there is no security between the levels. A gates are for in-Schengen flights, Z gates are for out-of-Schengen flights, B handles both in- and out-of-Schengen flights.

I believe C is only for out-of-Schengen flights. I've never seen a flight to or from the U.S. use a C gate. C might be for flights coming from an airport not considered secure. Those gates, along with the uppermost level of Z, have security before passengers can access the rest of the airport.

I assume you already know the flight numbers for your flights.

Go to the website for the Frankfurt airport and look up your flight numbers for today, to see if they are in the same building (A/Z or B). It will tell you at what gates your flights are arriving and departing today. If they are in the same building, you just go through emigration, and it should not be a difficult change of gates, IF the arrival is on time. If the gates are in different buildings, it will be difficult to make the change in the time allotted, even if the flight from Hamburg is on time.

However, in 2002, I connected through FRA from a flight into A (from Munich) with a departure from B (to Denver), using the tunnel, in less than an hour (if I remember correctly). It was tight. It was in January, about 4 months after 9-11, and we went through security checks three times but made it.

The gates used by a flight today is no guarantee that it will be the gate used the day you fly. I would check the gates used every day from now until you fly.

If Lufthansa is suggesting the flights with a one hour connection time, it probably means that they expect it to be doable.

Posted by
328 posts

I do this connection all the time. An hour is tight, but very much doable if you are on one reservation. You go through security in Hamburg.

Note that at the moment, security in Hamburg is a nightmare. I don't know how long this current crazy will last.

Posted by
7721 posts

When you do connections to an international flight you go through security at the first airport and emigration/passport control at the final airport in Europe. This is generally done airside -- you could not make a connection with only an hour unless this were done airside. I suggest looking the Frankfurt airport website for instructions on making an airside connection so you know precisely what to do when you arrive at Frankfurt since you need to move fast.

I just did a similar transfer in Amsterdam, airside and because i had researched it we were able to move quickly even though our flight was a bit late on arrival and we had to use a bus to the terminal.

Posted by
18941 posts

I believe C is only for out-of-Schengen flights.

Looking at the arrivals board for Frankfurt airport, I see that flights for Eurowings Discover, which is a "leisure" charter airline which flies to Canada uses Concourse C. I can also see flights coming to Concourse C from Algeria, Tunisia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, etc.

I don't know for sure but I suspect that flights coming from these northern Africa and eastern Transcaucasia countries might have their own concourse because they are felt to require extra security. Concourse Z, over in the A/Z building, has two levels, the regular level, with waiting rooms for each gate, and the upper floor, which is just a hallway with entry from the jetways and no waiting rooms. It leads to the Rotunda where there is a security checkpoint before you can join the normal passenger traffic on the lower Z level. I've arrived from the US at a Z gate, and we came directly into the lower level of Z, without any check through security. I saw a YouTube video of someone arriving from Bangkok, and they came into the upper Z level and had to go through security to get to the rest of the airport.

Concourse Z is a recent addition with gates farther apart to accommodate large aircraft, and the second floor to allow for enhanced security. I suspect that Concourse C was used for this purpose before Z was built. It now serves smaller planes from closer-in countries.

Posted by
532 posts

Thank you to all who responded. I appreciate your collective wisdom and experience.