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Connection time in Frankfurt airport/also customs ???

Hello everyone,

I've never been through the Frankfurt airport. I am planning on flying from Boston to Venice via Frankfurt. Is 2 hours and 5 minutes enough of a layover?
[I will be buying the ticket through and both flights are Lufthansa flights].

Also, how do customs work in European airports when making connections? Do I have to go through customs in Germany although that is not my final destination? Or, do I just go through them once I get to Venice, Italy?

Thanks in advance for all your answers. Everyone is always so helpful here! :)

Posted by
3112 posts

Yes, 2 hours 5 minutes should be plenty of time when both flights are Lufthansa. You should get boarding passes for both flights when you check in at Logan. Worst case is you would get a boarding pass with no seat assignment, which you could get at either the transfer desk or the gate in Frankfurt. My recollection is that you go through customs in Frankfurt.

Posted by
18616 posts

You go through passport control when you enter the Schengen treaty area, which includes Italy and Germany. However, if your luggage has been checked through to Venice, you will go through customs, if they require it, in Venice.

Posted by
558 posts

Thanks for your answers, but I guess I'm confused about customs.

If my plane from Boston lands at [let's say] Gate 20 for Lufthansa and the connecting flight leaves from [let's say] Gate 30, don't I just walk from one gate to the next? Where are customs? Do I have to go downstairs and then back upstairs to my connecting gate? Thanks for any answers you can give.

Posted by
378 posts

You will have plenty of time; I've had a 45 minute layover at the main Frankfurt airport and made it to my connecting flight although i did have to hustle. don't worry about finding where to go through customs, just find your way to your gate for your connecting flight and you will eventually run into the passport check area on the way. you won't need to go out of your way to find it; you will just run into it. some Lufthansa flights actually display the gate number on board a few minutes before arriving which is helpful because sometimes the gate for your connecting flight may have changed.

Posted by
658 posts

Hi Gretchen - Until recently Frankfurt airport used to be my mainland European base.

Let’s say your flight from Boston lands at gate 20. You will then pass through passport control. They look at your passport and if all is OK you proceed onwards. Your luggage is already on it’s way to Venice ( fingers crossed and rubbing lucky rabbit’s foot ). You already have a Lufthansa boarding card for your flight to Venice.

All you have to do is follow the signs for ‘TRANSFERS’ and head towards gate 30.

In Frankfurt you don’t hit customs only passport control.

You won’t hit customs until Venice

Posted by
1 posts

All the previous replies were helpful.

I have a similar question with twist: We are flying direct from Anchorage, Alaska to Frankfurt on Condor and then need to transfer to Lufthansa to fly on to Venice.

Will we be able to check our luggage through to Venice given it is two different airlines? Where will we need to go through customs? Frankfurt or Venice?

I have about 2-1/2 hours and I am hoping it is enough, especially since my husband and I will be travelling with two children.

Thanks for any help with this as I'm getting anxious thinking about it!


Posted by
1459 posts

Yes, you should be able to interline your bags from one airline to another. Just call up Condor and check on this so that there are no surprises.

For FRA, 2 hours is more than enough - I believe the MCT (minimum connecting time) is 45 mins. That said, make sure you know whether there are other flights in the day to your destination in case your first flight is late. This happened to us last year - the UA flt from ORD got in late followed by a remote parking which meant we had to be bussed into the terminal. We had a connection on Austrian airlines to Dubrovnik via Vienna. By the time we got to the gate in Terminal A which was a mightly long walk, the gate had closed. Luckily United rerouted us through Zagreb on Croatian but we ended up being 8 hours late. Lesson learned.

If your first flight is very late and you think you are going to miss your connection, go straight to the Transfer desk for help.

Posted by
1 posts

Just a note on Frankfurt airport. On flying in from Athens going to the US, we had to go through German passport control to exit the EU. Although they had about ten booths, they only had one officer there to process hundreds of people. Another officer would appear for a few minutes and then disappear. This line took almost an hour and people were getting very upset. If you add in the long walk between terminals, going through security, possible late incoming flight, I would suggest a minimum two hour layover at FRA if you are going to/from a non-EU country. We ran all the way between our planes and just barely made it with our 1 hour 25 minute layover. Others did not make it.

Posted by
8432 posts

Don, this post is a year old.

Having flown in and out of Frankfurt multiple times, having arranged pick-up service for hotel guests for 3 years for the hotel I used to work at, 2 hours is NOT the norm. If you do not have luggage to pick up, you can be walking out the door within 30 min. If you do have luggage, add another 15 min. Basically, we usually planned on 45 min. between landing time and walking out the door. This is a normal amount of time. Have no idea why your time was so long, perhaps you were there when people were on strike or something else, but 2 hours is waaay over and extremely unusual.