I am booking a United Award ticket on NCE-FRA-PHL, and both flights are operated by LH. However, the connection time at FRA is only 45 min. It does say that I will arrive in Terminal 1 (LH 1059 from NCE) and depart from Terminal 1 (LH 426 to PHL). Is this doable? Is there any passport check at FRA for this direction? I will have checked luggage and I would be OK if my bags came a day later.
I've made a connection through FRA in just over an hour with time to spare, but I think 45 min is cutting it too close. Terminal 1 has three concourses (and Concourse A might be in two separate sections), and you probably have to go through security to change concourses (I did in 2002).
Use the Frankfurt airport's website (www.frankfurt-airport.com) to see what concourse you flights are using.
I'm surprised that the airline would book it this close, especially to meet the trans-Atlantic flight. When I had a 45-minute connection at Amsterdam (shortened due to schedule changes), I really had to run. Is this the only option available with your miles? They could put you on a later connection, if there is one, and if it's not sold out, but that might not be direct FRA-PHL.
The flight will arrive in Terminal 1 Gate Axx (or Bus) and the departing flight to the US is in Terminal 1 Gate Zxx. Right now that is the only available award option with 1 connection. I know they have an earlier flight from NCE-FRA with 5 hr layover, but there is currently no award ticket availability. I don't mind if they put me on another flight that has an extra connection (I think there is Air Canada through Toronto) if I miss my nonstop flight on LH. But any tip is appreciated. This will be my first transit through FRA. Apparently 45 min is a permissible connection time at FRA.
45 minutes is the minimum legal connection at FRA. That is quite tight.
The main things to ask yourself ...
Will you be stressed if you have to run through the airport? Would it be a problem if you missed your connection and ended up spending the night in Frankfurt?
I often risk short connections (especially on flights home) as I hate long layovers in airports and the thought of getting "stuck" an extra day in Europe doesn't bother me much. If you miss the connection, the airline will put you on the next available flight with seats. This could mean you go out the next day, you take a less direct route, or you get stuck in a middle seat. If none of these things stress you out, then go for it.
By the way, I've missed connections a few times but ironically never on a short connection. The times that I have missed connection have always been when my flight departed exceptionally late or when a flight has been diverted due to weather.