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FRA questions

FRA questions

Old Sep 17, 18, 1:03 pm
  #1  
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FRA questions

DH and I are headed for a multi city/country adventure in March 2019. We booked a Business class RT using AA points, we will be landing in FRA and I need to schedule a flight to Berlin. How much time should I allow for customs and immigration? We will be booking, at least, business class tickets to Berlin. In addition, we would really like to do rail from Budapest back to FRA-seems like the landscape is beautiful-for this one I would appreciate opinions on rail versus air. We will be staying at an airport hotel the night before our departure so little to worry about with time. Sorry if my abbreviations or lack thereof offends, I am so new that I don't know the lingo of flyertalk. I really appreciate any advice or suggestions. Thanks!
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Old Sep 17, 18, 1:44 pm
  #2  
 
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I have done the J class to FRA and then hop a flight to TXL several times.

I missed one and had to pay Lufthansa a 70 Euro change fee. The good news is that there are hourly flights from FRA to TXL. I am not sure I would book J class, it is a short hop and European Biz Class is not really much. You can get a good economy fare with a seat assignment and one free checked bag on Lufthansa for under 100 Euros.

I had given myself over 2 hours, but the plane sat in ATL for 2 hours. Just know that your risk exposure with Lufthansa will be about 70Eu per person if you miss. The flights are usually between 70-100 Euros one way in economy anyway.

I would hate to wait 3 hours, but have started doing that. I tell myself you can't get into Berlin too early anyway as the hotel might not be ready.

As for the return, I would not want to be on that train that long. It will be a long train ride. Like close to 11 hours. I would rather fly into FRA, then spend the day in Mainz or Weisbaden roaming around.

Hope this helps.
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Old Sep 17, 18, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
I have done the J class to FRA and then hop a flight to TXL several times.

I missed one and had to pay Lufthansa a 70 Euro change fee. The good news is that there are hourly flights from FRA to TXL. I am not sure I would book J class, it is a short hop and European Biz Class is not really much. You can get a good economy fare with a seat assignment and one free checked bag on Lufthansa for under 100 Euros.

I had given myself over 2 hours, but the plane sat in ATL for 2 hours. Just know that your risk exposure with Lufthansa will be about 70Eu per person if you miss. The flights are usually between 70-100 Euros one way in economy anyway.

I would hate to wait 3 hours, but have started doing that. I tell myself you can't get into Berlin too early anyway as the hotel might not be ready.

As for the return, I would not want to be on that train that long. It will be a long train ride. Like close to 11 hours. I would rather fly into FRA, then spend the day in Mainz or Weisbaden roaming around.

Hope this helps.
@bitterproffitt Thanks so much! I'll plan 4 hours between our flights, I just sent myself down a rabbit hole on what lounges we will have access to, ETIAS(when available) or apply for a visa, I certainly did not know any of this (and will use the non Schengen lounges). We will be getting lots of train time between all the cities we will be visiting so a short flight is my pick-DH can take the train and meet me in Frankfurt, if he insists .! Next time I'm in Nashville the drinks are on me. Again, thanks for your help!
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Old Sep 17, 18, 10:33 pm
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Your OW flight will arrive in Terminal 2, LH will depart from Terminal 1. So besides immigration and customs, there'll be a terminal transfer. Then you'll have to clear security in terminal 1. Additionally, if travelling with checked baggage, you'll have to collect your bags in T2 and re-check them in T1.

Taking all that together, and considering you'll be travelling on two different tickets, I'd leave at least three hours between flights to be on the save side.

A o/w eco classic ticket FRA-TXL, which includes a checked bag and a seat reservation, will typcially cost you 79€ (or a bit more during peak times). The same ticket in C will cost at least 309€.

The upgrade is not worth it IMO for a 50 min flight. You get the same exact seat as in eco. Hard-product wise, the only difference is that the middle seat is kept free (the planes are configured 3-3, but in business they'll only put 4 pax per row). The meal you'll get in C is nothing special, and drinks are free in both Y and C. IMO, the only arguments for booking C would be (i) lounge access, (ii) security fast lane, and (iii) more flexible booking conditions. But, ofc, you'd get (i) and (ii) anyway with *G status.

---

I second the other poster's comments on taking the train from BUD. It's a ten-hour train ride. Typically, you'll take a regional/slower train to Vienna (so you may enjoy the view) and then transfer to an express/ICE train from there. The ICE train takes six hours and runs at speeds of up to 150 mph, that's often times too fast to enjoy the view. Besides, it runs through tunnels and along anti-noise barriers which block the view most of the time.

Last edited by 1flyer; Sep 17, 18 at 10:41 pm
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Old Sep 18, 18, 2:36 am
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Just a few other options for your consideration...

You might also consider taking the train from FRA to Berlin. There are a number of trains daily which run directly from the FRA airport station to central Berlin, and they take around 4 hours. If you take the deep discount fare ("Super Sparpreis"), it will cost as little as 60 in 2nd class and 70 in 1st class. However, these cheap fares are even more inflexible than the LH fares: if you miss the train, you can eat the ticket for lunch.

I also checked the rail connection from Budapest to FRA. The shortest is indeed 10:15. However, the price is very reasonable: as little as 60 in 2nd class and 100 in 1st class. If you like long stretches of looking out the window and seeing the scenery go past, it might be OK. These connections generally involve changing trains in Vienna, and you do have the opportunity to schedule you trip to give you a few hours there, in case that's interesting for you.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 5:23 am
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+1 for the train, but I would suggest book Rail & Fly if possible.

This has to be booked through your airline (American) and not all offer it, but then you can get a single or return ticket which is unlimited and for a cheap price, So if your flight is late no problem! But it is not clear for me if American offer this just for passengers originating in Germany or not, so you might want to ask them.

link in German
https://www.aa.com/intl/de/specials/...false&from=Nav
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Old Sep 18, 18, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by dj_jay_smith View Post
+1 for the train, but I would suggest book Rail & Fly if possible.
I prefer to take the train quite often for domestic German travel. However, I think in this instance, a flight is more convenient. He's already at FRA airport and TXL is so close to Berlin's city center such that a flight will save some time. A train takes 4:15h at a minimum.

From OP's statement that he plans on flying business, I don't get the impression he's looking for budget travel. I think leaving three hours between flights is conservative enough. The OP could also be a bit more aggressive and leave less time. If he misses the flight, he should be prepared to pay up to 300 or 400 euro extra in the worst-case scenario (only fare buckets Y/J open).
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Old Sep 18, 18, 3:47 pm
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@1flyer Thank you SO MUCH for the terminal info. Very helpful! Info for the flight class, also very helpful. No airplane food for us on this leg, we will be lunching somewhere in Berlin.
@david7031 Thank you for taking the time to look up all that info, it was very helpful.
@dj_jay_smith Rail&Fly did not work for this trip but thank you for that info, I'll keep it in mind for future trips we may take.

To all, I was checking on travel for DH (business), DH and me (the question in this thread) and travel for some friends who are trying to meet us for a couple of stops on our trip, when I posted this question. I got a little crossed up attempting to figure stuff out. Our actual last stop before heading to FRA is Vienna, our friends would need to leave from Budapest. So, y'all helped out 4 travelers I just completed our booking on Lufthansa FRA->TXL, I've allowed 4.5 hours between flights, just to be safe. We're going to mull over train or plane for Vienna->FRA since it will be a shorter segment but leaning towards a flight.

If anyone would like to offer best rail options for Berlin->Prague->Cesky Krumlov->Budapest->Vienna by train I would love your thoughts. Eurail pass seems the easiest, but maybe something else?

Thank you all for your time and advise.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 4:02 pm
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For all things 'train' in Europe, I see the Man in Seat 61. www.seat61.com

I have taken a few train trips in Europe and his advice was amazing. Including which country to buy the tickets from, to which lines are best, etc. Enjoy.
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Old Sep 18, 18, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by bitterproffit View Post
For all things 'train' in Europe, I see the Man in Seat 61. www.seat61.com

I have taken a few train trips in Europe and his advice was amazing. Including which country to buy the tickets from, to which lines are best, etc. Enjoy.
Dang, now I owe you 2 drinks! Thanks for that link, I knew I'd have time to look things up but thank you, just made my life easier.
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Old Sep 27, 18, 2:45 am
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Sorry for hijacking the thread

I'll be flying Finnair from FRA to HEL. Being Finnair Plus Platinum / OWE, I have lounge access, but not feeling tempted by the "Premium Traveller Lounge", so was wondering if I there are automated border control gates, that would "allow" me to cross to the non-Schengen side for using JL lounge (CX is closed by the time I'd get to the airport) and then back to the Schengen side for taking my flight.

Thanks for the info!
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Old Sep 27, 18, 6:37 am
  #12  
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German border police will let you pass for lounge visits in FRA & MUC. Once I even accompanied a friend to his NYC flight gate, no problem from border police or security.
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Old Sep 27, 18, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
German border police will let you pass for lounge visits in FRA & MUC. Once I even accompanied a friend to his NYC flight gate, no problem from border police or security.
Thanks a lot!
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