Frankfurt Airport Connection Report

I know there have been lots of posts about connection problems at Frankfurt Airport. I'd like to report the incredibly easy transfer we had there yesterday.
I admit upfront that this was Lufthansa to Lufthansa, and we were already in Schengen, flying Copenhagen to Frankfurt to Philadelphia, and thus this experience will not hold for all.
Anyway, we arrived A26, walked sterile to Z19. Took 12 minutes total from plane door to next gate, walking slowly, and even stopping to check directions to get to next level. All this while person in next seat on 1st plane told us we'd have 45 minutes at security.
As for the stepped-up security to the US, which we first heard about while we were already abroad, all we were asked to do was show our passports and get them stamped when we arrived at Z level, which I suspect has always been the case. I was curious about this and had time to kill, so I went back and asked. Security guard explained that had we come there a different route we'd have had full scan and such, but arriving from another plane he was just checking passports and only pulling people for extra screening if they looked suspicious.

Now the flight's exit from the airport, that's another story. That the plane was not at the gate and we were bussed to it was not a delaying factor in itself, but the plane was parked as far west as possible while still remaining on airport grounds, and of course the runway was the east to west runway. Even with pushback exactly on time, it was a 1/2 hour by the time it could taxi and be airborne. We were about 12 minutes late to PHL, and I heard some passengers concerned about making their connection here timely as PHL has always handled its immigration lines badly, and in fact it was 30 minutes before we could call our daughter to come from the cell-phone lot.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
14146 posts

I once changed planes at FRA (from MUC to DEN). The incoming gate was in A concourse, but the outgoing gate was in B concourse. Even though I used the connecting tunnel, I still had to go through security to get to B (in fact, it was just after 9-11, and I had to go through 3 security checks, including one at the gate).

More recently, I flew from MUC to ORD with a change in Düsseldorf. DUS was a breeze. The international gates were in the same concourse, just down the hall, and outgoing Schengen was in the hall. Never had to go out of the secure area.

In the US, however, everyone flying into an airport from outside the country must go through immigration and customs at the first airport, and I don't know of any airport in the US where doing so doesn't take you outside of security and make you go back through security if you have a connecting flight. And Philly is probably the worst. Half of the TSA employees in PHL have only one job - to yell at and generally harass the passengers.