Flights to Eastern Europe

I am trying to find the best flight to either Prague or Budapest, and all the flights seem to have between 1 and 1.5 hour layovers in Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, or Frankfurt. This makes me very nervous. Is this enough time to clear customs and get to the next flight? It sure seems like this would be cutting it too close for comfort.

Posted by James
Frisco
1766 posts

Its a matter of hunting and pecking through the lists. RT Budapest I generally find my best connections through Houston on United / Lufthansa with a two plus hour layover in Frankfurt, Try both the usual search engines and then go directly to the United and Lufthansa sites. My backup is AA/BA out of Dallas connecting through Heathrow. Good Luck

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2798 posts

Prague and Budapest are both in the Schengen Area, as are the other airports you mentioned (London and Dublin, two other popular connection airports, are not). So, you would go through immigration at the connection airport, but you go through customs at the final airport. Customs is just a walk through the "Green Channel - Nothing To De-clare" line. But immigration can indeed take some time. If you have the choice, I'd rate your airports in this order for connecting (most preferred to least preferred): Munich, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris. As long as you are booked on one ticket, the airline will put you on the next available flight if you miss your connection. One and a half hours is usually enough time, but of course could still be a problem. One hour is fine as long as there are no problems; any issues (like a late arrival, or a long line at immigration), and you will not be on your intended connecting flight.

Posted by James
Frisco
1766 posts

For Budapest my preference was once Amsterdam but I havent foud promising connections there in about 2 years now. Clean and efficient. In bound or outbound no matter where I change planes there is a security check but bags are checked straight through to Budapest or to the US port of entry. For me its more about the timing then the airport with the exception of Chucky D. and JFK Wont do Chuck D. or JFK no matter how good the timing is. For layovers here is my reasoning more or less: The flight is 15 minutes late, it takes 15 minutes to get off the plane and to passport control, it takes another 15 minutes to get through passport control and it takes 15 minutes to get to the next gate. That's an hour total. Boarding for the next flight is 30 to 45 minutes prior to flight time. So in my world it will take an hour and 30 minutes to make a connection. Having said that I have a hour and 10 minute connection in Frankfurt in a few weeks. Entering the US I would plan on 2 hours with Global Entry and 2.5 hours without it. But people do it in less time all the time.

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

the airport in Amsterdam and munich are not that big and relatively easy to navigate. CDG in paris is really bad for 1.5hr. if the 2 flights are in the same terminal you probably ok, but otherwise I have been to different terminals in CDG requiring 2nd round of security check.