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Best European airport for connection with toddlers

Best European airport for connection with toddlers

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Old Aug 15, 19, 6:49 am
  #1  
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Best European airport for connection with toddlers

My wife and I are planning on going to Russia next Fall so she can visit her family and our kids can meet their grandparents. Kids/twins will have just turned 4 at that point. We are planning on using United points (out of IAD) and I'm trying to figure out which airport would be the best to try and connect through. I've seen Brussels, Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, and Zurich as options. Considering the likely negative effect the time change is going to have on the kids, I'm looking to connect in the most stress-free airport as possible. Any suggestions on what might work best? Hoping to not have to walk forever due to having to lug the kids and bags around.

Also, I've never connected in the EU when going to a non-Schengen city. How will things work at the airport? Will it just be a quick, cursory check of our passports, or do we have to go through full-blown customs?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 10:38 am
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Iíd rank the ones you listed in roughly this order:

1. Munich (far and away the best major airport in Europe for transits, in my opinion)
2. Zurich
3. Vienna
4. Frankfurt
5. Brussels

In case AMS is an option, it would fall mid-pack,
maybe between Vienna and Frankfurt.

I would avoid LHR and CPH with young kids.

Unless you have some kind of unusual circumstance, like a canceled or severely delayed flight or you have a long layover and want to visit the city at your transit point, you shouldnít have to pass through any kind of immigration or customs checks when transiting US-EU-Russia. (Caveat: Itís been many years since I last flew to Russia.)

Good luck and happy travels! Traveling with little ones isnít easy, but it also isnít as hard as you probably fear.
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Old Aug 16, 19, 4:57 pm
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Another vote for MUC and ZRH. Avoid FRA and LHR.
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Old Aug 17, 19, 10:10 pm
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MUC/ZRH airport would be my picks as well.

Iíd even go as far as spending the night at the MUC Hilton to break up the trip. Thereís lots to explore at the Munich airport center with kids, they can get their zoomies out.
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Old Yesterday, 1:51 am
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I've give Frankfurt a very hard scratch off that list above. You can get stuck with very long walks in FRA for connections. LHR as well as already mentioned.

Though I'm not sure why CPH was recommended to be avoided. The only downside to CPH is no lounge in the non-Schengen section of the airport, but going by the OP's profile that may not matter anyway.
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Old Yesterday, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by crashvt2003 View Post
Also, I've never connected in the EU when going to a non-Schengen city. How will things work at the airport? Will it just be a quick, cursory check of our passports, or do we have to go through full-blown customs?
No customs or passport check is required at European destinations when transferring from a Non-Schengen flight to another Non-Schengen flight. Depending on the airport, you might need to clear transfer security and that's all.
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Old Yesterday, 3:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
No customs or passport check is required at European destinations when transferring from a Non-Schengen flight to another Non-Schengen flight. Depending on the airport, you might need to clear transfer security and that's all.
There's no depending on the airport as far as I know in the EU. You 'WILL' clear transit security just like in the rest of the world. As far as I know (I stand to be corrected), IST and ADD are the only major international hubs that sometimes allow travelers to skip security on transit.

**Note, I did say major international hubs, not talking Kigali, Kiev, or Tashkent (...etc...)... they may be aspirationally growing, but not quite there yet on the world stage. My statement also excludes flights from Schengen origin since those are treated as domestic flights.

Last edited by dvs7310; Yesterday at 3:15 pm
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