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Is FRA the worst major airport in the developed world?

Is FRA the worst major airport in the developed world?

Old Sep 26, 16, 5:48 am
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Is FRA the worst major airport in the developed world?

I arrived from NYC on LH en route to a 45 minute flight to BRU and am sitting in the term A Senator club.

First, at immigration there were long lines. As I neared the front of the long line I was in, the cop/border agent shut his window and told all of us still in line to just go to the end of some other line. Then he walked away.

The security checkpoint after immigration to get to terminal A is operated close to what I imagine a prison intake system is like. People are rude, bark orders, and there are often huge lines.

Transit for handicapped and mobility limited to get from where I came in to terminal A must be a real mess as it requires traversing at least a mile.

Terminal A amazingly has a significant restroom shortage.

And so it goes....
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Old Sep 26, 16, 7:47 am
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What you describe is pretty much JFK T1 for me.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 9:37 am
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I didnīt experience such problems so far, so it seems I was lucky. I had major problems at LHR and also great experiences. Sometimes itīs a hit or miss.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 9:54 am
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Everyone has these problems every once in a while.

Mine: From some recent experiences, MIA comes to mind. Arriving on BA in the early evening meant the immigration lines were rammed. This was after a 15-minute hike from the gate. Then you have to go through the new/idiotic system of entering your details at a kiosk only for it to print out a slip with which you have to stand in another line for 30 minutes to meet with a CBP officer. Then you have to walk another half-marathon to get to the toy train to take you to the car rental center...
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Old Sep 26, 16, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
What you describe is pretty much JFK T1 for me.
Or ORD T5.

Which flight? LH405? If so, you were fortunate to arrive at a B gate. But at least your flight arrived early.

Next time try a flight which arrives in Z (most US flights do) and you won't have to re-clear security.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Everyone has these problems every once in a while.

Mine: From some recent experiences, MIA comes to mind. Arriving on BA in the early evening meant the immigration lines were rammed. This was after a 15-minute hike from the gate. Then you have to go through the new/idiotic system of entering your details at a kiosk only for it to print out a slip with which you have to stand in another line for 30 minutes to meet with a CBP officer. Then you have to walk another half-marathon to get to the toy train to take you to the car rental center...
.... at the car rental center you learn thát the whole A380 which landed just before you decided to rent at the same company and you donīt qualify for any fast lane......
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Old Sep 26, 16, 11:00 am
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ROFL! Yes, how true.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 11:50 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Is FRA the worst major airport in the developed world?
Ummm.... seriously? My answer would be no.

Regards
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Old Sep 26, 16, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
I arrived from NYC on LH en route to a 45 minute flight to BRU and am sitting in the term A Senator club.

First, at immigration there were long lines. As I neared the front of the long line I was in, the cop/border agent shut his window and told all of us still in line to just go to the end of some other line. Then he walked away.

The security checkpoint after immigration to get to terminal A is operated close to what I imagine a prison intake system is like. People are rude, bark orders, and there are often huge lines.

Transit for handicapped and mobility limited to get from where I came in to terminal A must be a real mess as it requires traversing at least a mile.

Terminal A amazingly has a significant restroom shortage.

And so it goes....
When you are mobility impaired, FRA provides you with a chaperone. It is one of the most confusing airports I have encountered, in terms of design (the elevators are often sort of hidden away, perhaps purposefully), making the chaperone a must, even for someone who travels through there fairly regularly. There are several fully accessible restrooms in the lounge designated for passengers with disabilities, and the arrivals and business class lounges also have sufficient restrooms (including accessible restrooms).

Signage at FRA can be confusing -- for example, trying to find the train station, depending on where you are, and depending on which elevators happen to be working at any given time, can be both difficult and incredibly time-consuming.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 12:37 pm
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The OP gave a reasonable description of an average day at FRA. The only airport I've encountered in the "developed" world, which rivals it for frustration, is LHR.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 6:35 pm
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Of the many annoying airports that come to my mind, Frankfurt surely isn't one of them. Perhaps the fact that I live here now has jaded me, but I have been using Frankfurt since well before I lived here and never had any complaints I wouldn't have at nearly any other airport. (Queues, long walking distances, etc.) I find Frankfurt to be much more convenient than virtually all of the US hub airports. (And the security screeners beat TSA any day) Although, at the end of the day, I reckon it is primarily about personal preference.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 8:25 pm
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FRA can be unwieldy in terms of size, but agree that LHR T5 is, on the whole, far worse.
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Old Sep 26, 16, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
I arrived from NYC on LH en route to a 45 minute flight to BRU and am sitting in the term A Senator club.

First, at immigration there were long lines. As I neared the front of the long line I was in, the cop/border agent shut his window and told all of us still in line to just go to the end of some other line. Then he walked away.

The security checkpoint after immigration to get to terminal A is operated close to what I imagine a prison intake system is like. People are rude, bark orders, and there are often huge lines.

Transit for handicapped and mobility limited to get from where I came in to terminal A must be a real mess as it requires traversing at least a mile.

Terminal A amazingly has a significant restroom shortage.

And so it goes....
Sans immigration, this sounds like LGA.
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Old Sep 27, 16, 2:53 am
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I use FRA all the time and haven't encoutered the described problems. I can usually make it from the drop off area outside the terminal to the baggage drop, through security and to the gate in about 20 - 30 minutes.

The wait at passport control is rarely more than 5-10 minutes. Security staff is usually neutral or friendly. I don't recall them ever yelling at me like the TSA did in its early days.

It's a lage airport, though, that has expanded over the decades, so walks can be long and I can see how it can be confusing if you don't know where to go.
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Old Sep 27, 16, 8:59 am
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CDG is worse than LHR which is worse than FRA. Each of these airports give one the sense that no actual intelligent designer was involved; more like the mindless evolution that leads to centers of reproduction and body waste elimination located in the same part of the body. If there are more apt descriptions for these three airports, I would like to know.

If you want a decent transit experience you need to try an Asian or gulf airport. Or MUC. MUC is the only airport in Europe a disabled or elderly or inexperienced traveler should transit.
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