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Airline Travel to Germany

We are traveling from New Orleans to Nurnberg this fall. Our airline options have a connecting flight either from Paris or Munich to Nurnberg. Some options only have an hour between the flights. Where would we go through customs? Would an hour be enough time?

Posted by
8994 posts

Munich is your best choice by far. Then consider taking the train on from there rather than flying. It will probaly be faster in the long run.

Posted by
12172 posts

You go through customs at your first entry point.

I think Jo's right. Unless you want to go to Paris, you don't want to go through Paris.

Taking a train from Munich is a chance to see a little more, save money and stretch out for the last part of the trip. Second class on a train is much roomier than first class on a plane.

Posted by
19148 posts

You go through IMMIGRATION at your first entry point into the Schengen Zone (Munich or Paris). You go through customs whenever you get your luggage, probably in Nürnberg if your bags are checked through to Nürnberg.

OTOH, the flight from Munich to Nürnberg might be considered a domestic flight, with no customs at the Nürnberg end, and you would have to claim your luggage in Munich and go through customs. In my experience (11 trips), customs arriving in Europe is a non-event. Just walk out through the "nothing to declare" lane.

The down side of taking the train to Nürnberg is that the fastest way appears to be to take the S-Bahn, 40 min in the opposite direction from Nürnberg, into Munich Hbf, and an ICE from there. That way will take 2 hours and cost €54 pP.

You can also do the trip with a Bayern-Ticket (€20 for one person; €28 up to five people, total) and regional trains, after 9 AM. That will take at least 2hr44m on the fastest route, with a fast Regional Express (RE) that uses the same tracks as the ICE. That RE only leaves the Munich Hbf every 2 hours, at 11 AM, 1 PM, etc. In between there are some regional connections, one through Munich Hbf in 3h44m, one via a bus to Freising and an RE to Nürnberg in 2h44m.

Posted by
19148 posts

BTW, the Munich airport website (www.munich-airport.de) has gate assignments (and terminals) by flight number. I think most trans-Atlantic flights use Terminal 1, but some domestic flights use Terminal A. There is a considerable distance between those terminals, and you would have to go back through security. I don't think an hour is enough time in Munich if changing terminals.

Update: After checking with the Munich Airport website, it appears that all flights to Nürnberg leave from Terminal 2.

Posted by
671 posts

Everyone is right- Munich, not Paris. If the flight is on the same ticket, and only a little bit more (20 euros or so- sometimes it is), go ahead and take the flight to Nurnberg. If it's on the same ticket, then the airline would be on the hook for the re-ticket if you didn't make the flight due to them running late. What are the lay-over options other than an hour? If they are more than two hours, take the train. You don't need to sit at the airport all day when the train doesn't take that long.

If the connecting flight is not on the same ticket/airline, cost more than the train, or if you would be sitting in the airport all day, take the train. My brother and sis-in-law missed their connecting flight (Air France) because their flight from the U.S.(United) was late, and they had to buy all new tickets on the spot for a small fortune.

Posted by
1976 posts

An hour doesn't seem like enough time for me. If your flight from the U.S. is even a little bit late, and you have to go through customs, you might miss your connecting flight. I'm surprised that the airline thought this was a reasonable amount of time to make an international connection.

Posted by
19148 posts

I have been an hour late into Europe in 25% of my flights in the last 8 years. Is allowing an extra hour enough? In the two weeks following my reserving flights in 2007, the same flight was 9 and 10 hours late. How much do you allow?

If you have one complete ticket booked to Nürnberg, and the airline says you can make it in Munich in an hour, they are reasponsible for getting you there. There is about one flight per hour from Munich to Nürnberg. Surely they can get you on one of the next flights.

OTOH, if you take it on yourself to book a later flight to Nürnberg, and your flight is on time, you could sit in the terminal watching people board the earlier flight, then sit cooling your heals for an hour waiting for the flight you scheduled. Or, you could be two hours late and be in the same situation.

Posted by
2779 posts

By the time you arrive at either MUC or PAR, go thru customs, go to the connecting flight's gate, wait, wait, fly to Nuremberg you would actually already have made it by train from Frankfurt airport to Munich. There is a high-speed train station at FRA airport and the journey to Nuremberg takes just 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Posted by
110 posts

Do yourself a favor and connect in Munich. I've been to Munich a couple of times and find it a very easy airport to navigate. I connected at CDG in Paris and it was a nightmare. Never again will I do that. I've gone to Nurenburg from Munich using the Bayern ticket. (see link below)It costs around 26 euros and five people can travel with it within a certain range. I've used it to Salzburg too. The only catch is that you have to use it after the morning rush which is I think 9:00 am.

http://www.bayern-takt.de/public_main_modul.php?unit=&document_id=334

Posted by
81 posts

Ack-I just made reservations going to Nuremberg and connecting in Paris this Decemebr and I see the concensus is that CDG isn't pleasant. We have about 4.5 hrs to connect to our next flight. I hope that is okay...