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Is a four-hour layover enough time to shop in Frankfurt?

Is a four-hour layover enough time to shop in Frankfurt?

Old Apr 16, 19, 8:30 am
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Is a four-hour layover enough time to shop in Frankfurt?

I have a four-hour early afternoon layover in Frankfurt on my return from a business trip in Eastern Europe. I am interested in visiting and making a purchase at the factory store of Sinn Uhren, a luxury watch maker which is a 15 minute cab ride from the airport according to Google Maps.

I've connected at Frankfurt before but not entered Germany. I will have a boarding pass, am flying business and would want to be through security and at the gate one hour before departure. Is four hours enough time to clear immigration, visit the factory store, make a purchase, get the VAT refund papers processed and go through departure immigration? My concern is the length of time to process the VAT forms and the entry/departure immigration waits. How much time would they require?
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Old Apr 16, 19, 8:44 am
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This is all very doable. The VAT process is largely dependent on how many people are in front of you in the queue. It is not unusual to have a huge crowd of Asian travellers getting forms for their recently purchased cooking utensils.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 10:38 am
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Since you're flying business you will probably be through immigration pretty fast, because you're deplaning before the masses.
So getting out and onto a cab and to the factory store should be doable in about 45 minutes. I don't know how large the factory store is to estimate the time you need to spend there. The main issue is as LondonElite rightly points out the queue in front of the VAT processing counter.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
This is all very doable. The VAT process is largely dependent on how many people are in front of you in the queue. It is not unusual to have a huge crowd of Asian travellers getting forms for their recently purchased cooking utensils.
LOL. I've encountered the same crowd at LHR except they are mostly buying coats and sweaters.

Originally Posted by SunshineStay View Post
Since you're flying business you will probably be through immigration pretty fast, because you're deplaning before the masses.
So getting out and onto a cab and to the factory store should be doable in about 45 minutes. I don't know how large the factory store is to estimate the time you need to spend there. The main issue is as LondonElite rightly points out the queue in front of the VAT processing counter.
The factory store is about the same size as a typical small watch boutique. I have a good idea of the model I want and will let them known in advance by email that I'm coming.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 2:55 am
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[QUOTE=Badenoch;will let them known in advance by email that I'm coming.[/QUOTE]
Wouldn't count on any significant effect but a try doesn't cost anything
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Old Apr 17, 19, 8:43 am
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Have you done the VAT refund process before? There are 2 things you would need to do at the airport: 1. (must) visit the customs office to have your filled-out vendor-issued forms stamped, to present the goods, your passport, & your boarding pass, and then 2. (may) visit the refund counter where you get your cash back after customs has processed your paperwork (you can also do this by mail, if pressed for time).

I assume the watch will be on you/your carry-on (vs. your checked luggage)? In that case you have to visit the customs office *behind* emigration/security (so that you are behind customs should you choose to come back in). Per the (kinda useless) FRA website, that office is located in B (can't imagine there isn't one in A somewhere), and there's also one in T2. The refund counter, run by the private company who will take a huge cut of your refund, should be nearby.

In the case of checked luggage, you'd check in, get the bags tagged, take them back and walk them over to the customs office *before* emigration/security, where they will process the paperwork and take the tagged bags. That is where you could encounter the long lines of people with lots of luggage. With the carry-on process, the lines should be small to non-existent.
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