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Which airport in Germany?

Those of you who have flown into both airport, which do you prefer? I am looking at roundtrip flights between Atlanta and western Germany next March, and either city would serve the purpose. There is a slight cost advantage for Dusseldorf and the return flight leaves a little later in the morning. The advantage for Frankfurt is that I know the airport, but it seems to take forever to get from check-in to boarding. Is Dusseldorf any better? (Please, no lectures on the spelling of Düsseldorf and Frankfurt am Main; I just need advice on the airports.)

Posted by
3551 posts

I have never had a pron at Frankfurt airport.

Posted by
1064 posts

Thanks, Lee and Beatrice, for the Dusseldorf information. As I said, I am concentrating on western Germany, primarily between the two cities and the are around Luxembourg. What was so frustrating about Frankfurt AP last time was that we had to wait for Delta to open its check-in desk (now I take a laptop and can check-in online the night before), then we had to go through two security checks as well as take the train between terminals. Typical large airport. That is one reason I was interested in Dusseldorf. The other reasons are $40 less per ticket and an hour later departure time.

Posted by
31271 posts

Roy, if there are flights available from your home area directly to Düsseldorf and it's closer to the area you'll be touring, then that seems like a better choice. I've never used Düsseldorf as the best availability of flights for me is always Frankfurt. I always prefer a smaller airport when possible. Happy travels!

Posted by
693 posts

I also prefer Duesseldorf to Frankfurt - will avoid FRA if at all possible.

Posted by
17936 posts

I've never terminated at Düsseldorf airport, but I have changed planes there. It's a smaller airport and getting between gates was a breeze.

Posted by
2297 posts

Where do you want to visit? If your main region of interest is Bavaria flying into Duesseldorf adds to your transportation time. If you are interested in Northern Germany Duesseldorf makes more sense . . . . . . . . . . . . Duesseldorf is a smaller airport but the busiest airport in Europe for package type tourism. It can be very busy during peak vacation times especially in the summer. March would be ok though, I think. Otherwise, there is less walking around between check-in, security, gates etc. as it is a smaller airport.

Posted by
92 posts

Sorry have never gone into Germany (flying) through Dusseldorf, always used Frankfurt. The main reason, it was always cheaper from NLR Ar, and closer to the Rhine area. I always stayed in St Goar for a couple of days on the way into Germany and a couple of days on the way out of Germany. After staying in St Goar, I stay in Sud Frankfurt by the airport for the next days flight. I even thought of going into Munich so I would be closer to Austria, and then go into Italy. So far as checking in and boarding in Frankfurt, I have never had trouble, but I have always flown American the last 6 years. Hope you find the airport that suites your needs.

Posted by
17936 posts

I took the Delta Atlanta to Stuttgart flight to Germany in 2002 when we wanted to start out in Rothenburg. Unfortunately, flying Denver to Atlanta is not much different than Denver to, say Philly, then from Atlanta we had to fly for an hour up the eastern Seaboard before we got to around Philly. Made it a long flight, but that was the only direct flight to Stuttgart. However, you are already fairly near Atlanta.

Posted by
2779 posts

With the exemption of a few Air Berlin and some US long haul flights Düsseldorf mainly handles inner-Schengen flights. The terminal is very new and ways are kept to a minimum. ICE trains as well as Rhein-Ruhr S-Bahns stop in the basement of the airport (not the terminal itself but just out and down).

Posted by
2980 posts

We've also had a good experience flying into Dusseldorf from Atlanta - if the cost and times work better than Frankfurt I'd definitely chose the flight that goes to Dusseldorf. In the past, we've also found good flight options from Atlanta to Stuttgart. Once there, the transportation connections are good.

Posted by
11798 posts

I haven't done Duesseldorf but I would gladly fly there if there was a price advantage to it. Frankfurt is a very large airport but well organized and not difficult to get in or out of.

Posted by
850 posts

As Sharon mentioned, Delta has direct flights to Stuttgart and sometimes favorable rates. Worth checking if it fits into your itinerary. Maybe 50-60 miles further to Luxembourg than from Frankfurt but not as busy as Frankfurt or Dusseldorf. If you are taking public transportation I would imagine Frankfurt and Dusseldorf may offer more options as far as schedule is concerned. I have picked up cars at all three airports and driving from each is easy.

Posted by
1064 posts

Thanks everyone. I stubbled across the Dusseldorf flights by accident. I was not aware of the Atlanta-Stuttgart connection, which sounds even better. My vacation window has been changed from March to May, when prices are higher, but Stuttgard still looks like it offers a better price and a more desirable departure time than Frankfurt or Dusseldorf. Hopefully, the prices for May will come down before I hit the panic button this winter.

Posted by
1064 posts

Lee raises an interesting point. Are there any flights from the east coast that go west-to-east directly across the Atlantic? From Atlanta, we could be halfway there by the time we clear Canada's airspace. Do flights from Miami also have to go through Canada?

Posted by
4555 posts

Roy...if they went directly east, you'd be in the air forever. The great circle route is the shortest path, and some of those are generally over Canadian territory. But it's definitely not faster to head directly east from Atlanta.

Posted by
4555 posts

To expand on that, no, Miami is not a faster route to Europe....at least, not to Germany

Posted by
850 posts

Roy, the flight to Stuttgart is only 20 minutes longer than to Dusseldorf or Frankfurt. If it is where you wish to go and the rates are better, 20 minutes on a 9 hour flight should not be a factor.