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Connecting flight at Frankfurt

I am flying internationally for the first time in October to Dublin. My flight there is direct from the usa to ireland. However, on my flight back, i have a connecting flight in Frankfurt before landing in the USA. What is the process in Frankfurt to get on my flight back home? I have about 1 hour between flights. (All lufthansa/united)

Posted by
847 posts

You will have to go through passport control. At FRA, this could be a total nightmare. Travel volume may be lighter due to Covid, but this airport is not user-friendly. Be sure to read the terminal map ahead of time to figure out when exactly you head for. The staff of FRA is of third-world country caliber.

Posted by
7685 posts

Changing planes in Frankfurt is difficult. See if you can find a better itinerary from Ireland back to the US.

Posted by
1341 posts

I guess I will be the exception tonight. I don’t find FRA that difficult an airport to connect in. Perhaps that’s because I’ve been to several large multi terminal airports (SFO,LAX,JFK,LHR, etc)

The airport website has a section dedicated to transferring flights.

As I understand it Ireland is not part of the Schengen zone. As both your flights are non Schengen the website indicates that you should not need to go through immigration/passport control. You may need to clear a security check.

Lufthansa and United are Star Alliance partners. They try to keep their gates close together. The process should be fairly straightforward. Deplane from your Dublin flight and check the monitors for your United flight. It’s probably leaving from one of the Z gates. If it’s not listed check on your phone or with an information booth. Follow the signs for your gate. This may involve some long escalator rides. Somewhere along the way you may encounter a security screening. Continue on to your gate afterwards.

As you get close to the gate you may encounter some United employees. They do a security screening. Ask some questions and I think they put a sticker on your passport. The gate area is rather small and a 777 load of passengers causes it to be very congested. Find your boarding group. They had separate lines for flyers with status, business class passengers and a few separate groups for economy.

With only an hour you don’t want to dawdle .

Have a great trip.

Posted by
1884 posts

Rocket sums it up pretty well; I'll just add that the Lufthansa app has a good map and indexed guide for getting around the airport. When you're walking the hallways check the signage in all directions, not just the one you're guessing is the right one.

And skip the big pretzels for sale at stands and bakeries, especially if you're used to American (Philly or NYC) soft pretzels, because they are a real let-down. Note also that if you happen to like a particular German brand of doo-dad the prices in the airport shops, even though they are airport shops, might still be less than what you'll pay for them in the USA -- examples are Lamy and Kaweco fountain pens.

Posted by
3196 posts

I agree with Rocket, I don't find Frankfurt difficult. It is a big airport, but not that difficult.

And no, there will be no passport checks if flying Ireland to USA.

Posted by
18298 posts

Lufthansa and United use concourse A/Z, B, and C in Terminal 1 at FRA. Concourse A is paired with concourse Z; They are on two floors of the same building, separated by immigration. A is in Schengen, Z is "airside" (outside Schengen). If both of your flights use Z, you won't have to go through either immigration (passport check) or security. You will stay on the same floor, just change gates.

Posted by
13 posts

Thank you all so much for your advice. I actually found a couple of you tube videos that showed the Frankfurt airport. It is large but reminded me a bit of Chicago O'Hare. It helped a lot to watch the videos and look at the terminal map to see where A and Z piers were located! Thank you all so much!

Posted by
1656 posts

I don't know how things will be during times of covid, but I've also had bad experiences at FRA. Since your short transfer is on the way home, I'd suggest you pack your carry on with anything you'll need right away at home or that you don't want to lose, in the off chance any checked luggage doesn't make the short transfer (it will catch up eventually). Also don't stop anywhere between gates. Use the bathroom on the DUB-FRA flight, bring snacks with you.

Posted by
2317 posts

I've only ever had good experiences connecting through Frankfurt and will choose it over other airports every time.

Posted by
21709 posts

I was really surprised at the first very negative comments. Our experience with Frankfurt has always been positive. It is a big, sprawling airport -- BUT -- in typical German fashion - I thought it was well organized with good signage. We have had any problems. However, I do remember one trip through that airport very well. Several years ago I have a "challenge" getting through the body scanning machine. As I removed my belt the top button on my pants was also removed. Now my pants are pretty loose fitting and I realize it. In the body scanning machine, I am trying to hold my arms out, spread my knees to keep my pants up, and this is not going well with the machine operator who wants me to stand up straight. I did and the pants kind of hung down lower than they should be. Fortunately most people around me were more concerned with their own problems and not mine. But I do remember that airport.

Posted by
690 posts

I agree with Rocket that Frankfurt while a sprawling airport is one of my favorite ones to make a connection. The last time I flew through there was in March 2020 right before the shut down, so I can't speak about recent experiences. Given that you have an hour between flights, I would suggest that you familiarize yourself with the airport and when you land, pull up the mobile app to check gates.