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Tour of FRA

I didn't recognize the last name of the person narrating this video, but the first name was JO and she identifies herself as the Frankfurt on Foot tour, which is led by our own Jo Ator, so I think it must be her. I thought is was a pretty good orientation video, but then I'm pretty familiar with the airport, so everything made sense.

Nice view of the SkyLIne mover between terminals. One thing I noticed was that she did not have to go through security to get from the trains stations and arrival area to the "landside of the SkyLine. I think if you are on the "airside" of the shuttle, you are inside security, and can go between airside of the terminals without exiting security. But if you are inside security, in the Schengen (Landside) part of a "pier" and you want to go to another pier, you have to go outside security, to the different pier, then back through security. Too bad the whole operation isn't inside security, so once you are inside security, you could go between gates without going back and forth through security.

Posted by
7877 posts

The Skytrain has a wagon that is for those who are airside. The people are not mixed. Many people do not have visas to enter Germany but still need to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 and vice versa. They have to have a way for this to happen easily and this takes care of it.
Thanks, Lee, for posting the link, and hope you enjoy the rest of the airport videos. There are more of them on their way.

Posted by
17936 posts

So, Jo, if you use the SkyLine to go from the airside zone in one pier, say Z, to the airside zone another pier, say B, do you have to go through security when you get off of the SkyLine?

Posted by
7877 posts

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkyLine
Having never ridden this airside, I can't be more helpful.
It is not useful going between gates though, only terminals. I do not believe it travels between gates Z and B. The one stop in terminal 1 is for gates A, B, C and Z.

Posted by
17936 posts

I do not believe it travels between gates Z and B.

Oh yes, it does.

The SkyLine makes three stops in Termainal 1, on top of A/Z, on top of B, and on top of C (only for non-Schengen or airside). That's shown on your referenced website (Wikipedia) in the "Route" paragraphs and also in the table titled, "Bahnsteigkante für „Schengen“ und „Non-Schengen“ Passagiere."

The reason I asked about security is that I am (as always) looking for an angle, i.e., how to make a transfer as simple as possible. I want to avoid taking the time to go through security if I can help it. I know, from making the transfer landside, from B to D/E in 2000, that the landside terminals are outside the security zone, that is, you don't have to go through security to use the SkyLine landside. However, you will need to go through security to get to the gates in that pier.

So, say you arrive at the Z concourse (airside) and have a flight out to a Schengen destination from the B concourse. You can go through immigration at the Z concourse (to the A concourse) and go by either the SkyLine or walk to the B concourse, but then you have to go through security to the landside B gates. Or, you can take the Skyline from Z to B and get off at the airside B station and just go through immigration in B to get to the landside B gates. That avoids security unless you have to go through security to get out of the SkyLine and into the airside B zone.

Posted by
7877 posts

Lee, the Skytrain does not make 3 stops at terminal 1.
They even announce it, please alight here for gates A, B, C, and Z.
I have been riding this Skytrain since it first began and I do not remember it ever going anywhere but those 2 stops, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and they always make everyone get off.

https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/flights-and-transfer/transferring-at-fra.html

This airport is constantly changing and growing, and is certainly very different now than it was in 2000.

Posted by
5896 posts

Thanks for sharing this. The steady camera work is well done. Worth saving the link.

Posted by
17936 posts

From the website Frankfurt-Airport.com:

CONNECTION BETWEEN TERMINALS

via SkyLine

If you have to change between areas A, B, C or Z (Terminal 1) and areas D or E (Terminal 2),
the signs will take you to the free SkyLine.

It leaves every 2-3 minutes, operation time 5:00 am until 11:00 pm.
Passengers can board and alight from the public area as well as from
the transit area. The stops are located in (my emphasis):

· Terminal 1, A/Z (transit area)
· Terminal 1, B/C (access via departure hall B on level 2)
· Terminal 2, D/E (access via Shopping Plaza on level 3)

There is also a stop above the C gates, which is only accessible to airside passengers. The SkyLine doesn't currently stop there; because of the virus, those gates are not being used.

Here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHkKR6CiBI4, is a much better view of the entire system with all four stations - D/E, C (which apparently was not being used when you recorded your video, B (which you used), and A/Z - shown. There is a little shuffling around at the beginning as the cars go from the arrival bay to the departure bay at D/E. There is no exit at the 2nd station, C concourse, because the recorder is in the public (landside) area and the station is only for airside. The 3rd station, on top of the B concourse, lists A, B, C, & Z because it leads to the departure hall where the check-in counters are for all three concourse. If you go to the station at A/Z, which is a ways out on the A/Z wing, you probably have to go through security at the station, then through the A concourse to its root and out of security to check in or to check a bag.

What I still don't know is whether you can go from the airside car of the SkyLine directly into the concourse, or if you have to go through security when you leave the car.

Posted by
17936 posts

Jo Ator has a new video out where she goes by SkyLine from Terminal 2 (Concourse D and E) to Terminal 1 (Concourse B). Unfortunately, she gets off the train at the B station. Had she stayed on the train, she would have discovered that there is another station above the A/Z gates.

The map of the airport is accessible from this page on their website (download the "Terminal Map"). On Level 4. you will see all four of the SkyLine stations - D/E, C, B, and A/Z. The video I referenced in the previous post shows someone using the SkyLine before the C gates were closed, and you can see the SkyLine stopping at all four stations (although the doors for the Landside wagon don't open at C). You will also hear them announcing that all passengers going to Terminal 1 with luggage to check should get off at the B station, since it has direct access to the departure hall and the check-in counters.

Now, realistically, the other two SkyLine gates at Terminal 1 are of relatively lower usefulness for Landside (Public side) visitors. First, the station above the C gates, only serves the airside wagon of the SkyLine. That station was only opened in 2017, and, since the C gates are currently not being used, the SkyLine trains pass by it without stopping.

Second, going to the A station undoubtedly means going from the station, through security, into the A concourse, and then leaving the A concourse to anywhere else, like the departure halls, when you could just get off at B and go down the stairs into the hall.

However, for people arriving at an outside Schengen gate and departing from an outside Schengen gate in another concourse without a Schengen visa, the four airside stations (which are also outside Schengen, in the "transit zone") are essential to being able to get between concourses. There would be no way to get off the SkyLine at the B station and go over to the Z concourse without entering Schengen.

If there is no security between the airside SkyLine wagon and the airside gates of a concourse, someone arriving (for instance) on a flight from outside Schengen and going, with a short connection time, to an inside Schengen gate should stay in the transit zone until they get to their departure concourse and then go through imigration into the Schengen airside zone of that gate, thus avoiding the extra time of security.

So for someone arriving on Lufthansa from the US at a Z gate and departing for a Schengen zone airport from Concourse D, don't go through immigration from Z to A, then leave security to go to the departure hall and take the landside SkyLine to D, where you would have to go through security to get back to airside and your gate, just go up to the Skyline Z station and go to the airside D station, then enter Schengen in Terminal 2 and go to your D gate.

Posted by
17936 posts

By the way, my original interest in the SkyLine was that it has both a public (outside security) zone and an "airside" (in this case, a non-Schengen) zone. I was hoping one could use this airside of the SkyLine to avoid security going between concourses for a change of flights. It seemed logical to me that if you went from a secure out-of-Schengen zone in one concourse to a car that you could not get out of until you arrived at a secure out-of-Schengen zone in another concourse that there would be no need to take the time to go through security.

No one (Jo) seemed to know if there was security going from the airside of a station to the concourse, so I wrote an email to the airport. They were kind of evasive about whether there would be security from the airside stations into the concourses, but they said to "count on it", whatever that means.

I imagine that there will be fewer people getting off the airside SkyLine car, so security should take less time.

So, anyway, if you were, say, arriving from the US into Concourse Z and going to a flight to a Schengen destination from, say, Concourse B, the fastest connection would be this. Don't go through immigration from Concourse Z to Concourse A, then try to get from Concourse A to Concourse B. That would require going out of security at Concourse A, going through Terminal 1 to Concourse B, then going back through general security into Concourse B.

Instead, take the SkyLine airside car from Concourse Z to the airside station at Concourse B. If you have to go through security at B it should be quicker into airside. Then go through immigration to the Schengen zone of B.

I would appreciate it if someone can offer more insight as to where security is and how long it takes.

Posted by
7877 posts

Lee, I spoke with a friend who works in a restaurant that is airside in Terminal 1. He told me that the Skyline does not go to Z or A. It only has 2 stops, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. That is it. It is not something you can use to stay airside and go from Z to B for example. This is what I thought anyway and tried to tell you, but he confirmed it.

Posted by
895 posts

I have had so much fun watching Frankfurt on Foot Tours videos. Of course, I am travel-starved, but even were I not, these are so informative on an area I am not super acquainted with - but hope to be. Thank you, Ms. Jo.

Posted by
266 posts

The SkyLine train is entirely outside the secure area. You always need to go through security afterwards, even if coming from the "airside" (i.e., non-Schengen) car.

Posted by
17936 posts

So, Chris, if I were coming from outside Schengen, say from Terminal 2 (D/E concourses) and going to Concourse Z for a flight out to the US, and if I had no luggage to check, I could go to the A/Z station in Terminal 1 and go through security into the Z Concourse, right? You do acknowledge that there is an A/Z station in Terminal 1 for the SkyLine?

Posted by
7877 posts

Lee, there is no A/Z station in Terminal 1. I just flew out of A, last week and looked all over for it. There are no signs, there is no station. There are only 2 stops on the SkyTrain, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
All the people on this forum that fly in and out of Frankfurt and not one of them has ever said they got on or off the SkyTrain at A or Z.