What is the easiest, cheapest way to get from the Frankfurt airport to Rothenburg outside of Wurzburg? I didnt want to have to go from the airport to Frankfurt Haupthoff, then get a ticket plus bayern ticket. I wanted to hop on a train straight from the airport if possible. All done wihtout buying tickets before hand, in case of plane delay.
Bryan, the method suggested by Lee is spot-on, and the quickest method. I've taken that exact trip, and travelled directly from the rail station in the Frankfurt airport to Rothenburg, with changes in Wurzburg and Steinach. Rothenburg is on a "spur line" so the change in Steinach is necessary. ¶ It's VERY easy to buy tickets when you arrive, as there's a ticket office in the airport. There was a huge queue when I arrived, but a helpful employee helped me to purchase a ticket at one of the machines, and it was a very quick process. I used a credit card to buy the ticket. Happy travels!
The cheapest way to get from the Frankfurt airport to Rothenburg is not consistent with your desire to hop a train straight from the airport. You CAN get a ticket at the Fernbahnhof at the airport for €46 and go from the airport directly by ICE to Würzburg. Then you will have to change at Würzburg and Steinach to regional trains to Rothenburg. That ICE does stop at Frankfurt Hbf but you don't have to get off. Just about any other way you route it, except for that ICE connection, you'll have to go through (change at) either Frankfurt Hbf or Frankfurt Südbahnhof to the RE to Würzburg, and you will pay more for the same trains than you would with the local ticket and the Bayern-Ticket. You can get both the Bayern-Ticket and the local ticket to Kahl at the Regionalbahnhof at the airport before you "hop" any train. . . . . . . . ¶ Taking the ICE from the airport will save you one change of trains and up to 50 min (depending on your arrival time), but will cost you about $25 more.
In 2008, I landed at FRA headed for the Mosel. As I entered the Regionalbhf, there was a bank of automats. At the first one, an RMV automat, I bought a local ticket for the S-Bahn to Mainz. I just as easily could have bought one to Kahl am Main. Then I stepped to the automat next to it, a red/white/blue DB Fernverkehr automat and purchased a Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket. Again, it just as easily could have been a Bayern-Ticket. I got on an S-Bahn to Mainz where I boarded a regional train to Koblenz. You could not get much easier.