FRA-Berlin (downtown-to-downtown time)

Old Jul 28, 13, 4:54 pm
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FRA-Berlin (downtown-to-downtown time)

What's a realistic, downtown-to-downtown time for Frankfurt-Berlin via LH?

I have not been at FRA in over two decades, and have no idea how long it takes to get through security etc. at FRA (and have never flown at any airport in Berlin, let alone TXL).

The reason I ask is that Deutsche Bahn takes 4.5-5 hours by train, while LH is 1 hour 20 minutes. But, with security lines, and travel to/from the airport at each end, it could easily run over 3 hours, not much of a time savings compared to taking the train. If it makes a difference, I would be flying both legs on a Saturday morning. Any advice? Thanks.
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Old Jul 28, 13, 5:10 pm
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I am on this route every week. I usually fly in the morning to Berlin and back in the evening. Unlike FRA-MUC, I would say flying to Berlin is still the best option (at least as long TXL is open). I usually leave home 1:15h before the flight (approx. 20-30 minutes to the airport, depending on traffic) which leaves me with about 15 minutes to get through "fast lane" security plus a 15 minute buffer until the gate closes.

TXL is great, you need to walk about 100m from the plane to get a taxi and it shouldn't take you more than another 20-30 minutes to get to the city. All in all, I would say it takes approx. 3h from downtown Frankfurt to downtown Berlin.

Hope this helps!
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Old Jul 28, 13, 5:38 pm
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Vielen danke! I would not qualify for the rapid line at security; is the regular line that much slower?
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Old Jul 28, 13, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyPatterson View Post
Vielen danke! I would not qualify for the rapid line at security; is the regular line that much slower?
I also fly this route regularily, although usually in the other direction. Starting in FRA it depends on the time of the day, but from my experience the "normal" line should not take more than +10mins. Monday morning I've had the case that the "fast" lane was actually slower as the number of business travellers is much higher, blocking the 3-4 designated checkpoints for up to 30mins..

In TXL, in most cases there is only one line and I get there 5 mins after official boarding time. Usually, there are still 50-60 people in front of me by that time
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Old Jul 29, 13, 4:59 am
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Note that the train line is still suffering from delays due to the recent flooding in Germany.
Frankfurt-Berlin trains run up to an hour longer due to detours, probably well into autumn!
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Old Jul 29, 13, 4:59 am
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With the current situation with the DB and the problems on the Hannover-Berlin track, it is probably best to fly especially if it is more time critical. I regularly commute between Frankfurt and Berlin and I usually take the train but right now flying may well be more convenient and practical.

As pointed out by the previous posters, TXL is not the problem but the can be quite some queues at security in FRA and on a Monday morning it can be a real pain. On Saturday mornings it shouldn't be a problem though.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 7:48 am
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I done a comparison in the past of Frankfurt - Paris by Train and Plane, which is 4 hours on the TGV/ICE.

Basically the conclusion I came to was that door to door it was about the same (my office is halfway between Frankfurt HBF and airport) but that I preferred to fly in general, but if I really needed to work then the train was better.

I found that when flying the time went quicker because you had:
  • Trip to airport
  • check-in/baggage drop
  • Security
  • Waiting
  • Boarding
  • Flight
  • Luggage collection
  • Trip to centre

So for me in split the trip in to lots of smaller steps, each of which was not long. Were as on the train you had a long 4 hour trip, which if you need to work or can pass the time then its good otherwise you can easily get a bit bored.

Also, when I done this trip I travelled 1st class to Paris and 2nd class back (due to availability of seats) and I found 2nd class too uncomfortable with less personal space (I was at a table of 4) and less privacy for working. A 2er table would have been better.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 7:53 am
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I went through FRA twice in the past three weeks on different trans-continental flights, once on a weekday morning and once on a weekend afternoon. Both times the airport felt crowded but it took me no more than 20-30 min to go from landing gate (once a busing gate) through immigration to the departure gate ( A <-> Z). it is a confusing airport to navigate but you should be fine if you just follow the signs. As others have pointed out, TXL is a breeze, especially if you qualify for fast track.
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Old Jul 29, 13, 2:05 pm
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While the plane is most likely an hour or two faster door to door I find the train better for uninterrupted work. I can get more work done during most of the train ride. If you need to get there as quickly as possible: plane. If it does not mater if you work during the trip or after arrival: train
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Old Jul 29, 13, 4:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Rambuster View Post
Note that the train line is still suffering from delays due to the recent flooding in Germany.
Frankfurt-Berlin trains run up to an hour longer due to detours, probably well into autumn!
DB updated there booking system as of today. Times on there website are now real world travel times


Here you can find more:

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/fl..._germany.shtml
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Old Jul 29, 13, 7:54 pm
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Originally Posted by flying_student View Post
DB updated there booking system as of today. Times on there website are now real world travel times


Here you can find more:

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/GBR/en/fl..._germany.shtml
Very helpful -- did not know about the floods! LH it is. Anyway, the train route from FRA to Berlin is not very scenic.
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