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Immigration & Customs

I have a flight from San Francisco to Zurich going through Frankfurt. The first part is with United 926 and the second part with LX 1075, both tickets bought as 'one' through United. United tells me luggage will be checked through. Also UA926 arrives in terminal 1 and LX 1075 leaves from terminal 1. So all of that indicates customs and immigration doesn't happen until arriving in Switzerland. On the other hand, on this forum it was said that immigration will happen in Frankfurt and customs in Switzerland. Any input is appreciated.

Posted by
2879 posts

immigration will happen in Frankfurt and customs in Switzerland.

It's correct, whomever said it. Frankfurt will be your entrance into the Schengen zone, so you'll go through immigration there. And while Switzerland is part of Schengen, it is not a member of the EU customs zone, so you will go through Swiss customs there.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for the quick response. So the luggage will indeed be checked through to Zurich, i.e. it's not like in the USA where you have to get your luggage, go through customs and immigration before getting on a connecting flight.

I am still puzzled how this works in Frankfurt, though. Looking at yesterdays data, Flight UA 926 arrived in terminal 1 and gate A22. Flight LX 1075 departed from terminal 1 gate A24. So they were just two gates apart. So how do you first go through immigration when the two gates are pretty much right next to each other?

Posted by
4950 posts

Worth maybe adding that in Frankfurt, depending how the airport is set up, you should look for the "connecting flights" immigration line if it is available. That will keep you airside, avoiding having to go through security to get back to the secure zone.

Posted by
4950 posts

I guess I cannot speak for Frankfurt specifically, but often International arrivals are routed to a different level of the airport, so coming off the jetbridge, you probably will take a set of steps up or down to get to immigration, not out the door into the terminal as you would for a domestic flight. You could wind up quite far away from your arrival gate before you hit immigration and have to head back to the "adjacent" gate.