Bus to plane at FRA

Old Mar 26, 14, 3:53 am
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Bus to plane at FRA

I think this is somewhere around my 10th time transiting through FRA to UA 969. Each and every time has required a bus from the gate to the plane. I asked and was told LH wants the gate available in case they need it. Seems odd - is FRA that crowded? Or is there discrimination against non-LH flights? Or something else? Just curious - it's a pain in the arse to go through FRA.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by CopperSteve View Post
I think this is somewhere around my 10th time transiting through FRA to UA 969. Each and every time has required a bus from the gate to the plane. I asked and was told LH wants the gate available in case they need it. Seems odd - is FRA that crowded? Or is there discrimination against non-LH flights? Or something else? Just curious - it's a pain in the arse to go through FRA.
We landed from ORD about a week ago, and for the first time, ever, we pulled into the a gate. (We did, however, land on the runway that's all the way across the highway, and taxied forever.) Every other time we've been bussed, which actually isn't too bad since you come into a fairly central point. Leaving, we almost always depart from a gate to the US, although flying inter-europe via LH it is almost always a bus. I've never figured out a pattern.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 6:42 am
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I think I got an arrival gate maybe once in all the times I connected in FRA. And, most of the time my next flight, which was on LH, left from the remote gates, meaning we were bussed to the plane.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 7:21 am
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It seems a lot of international flights arrival in FRA between about 8 and 10am. Those seem most likely to get the "park away and shuttle" treatment.

Best solution- don't arrive in those peak hours, or arrive via LH metal. Worked for us the last two times, including a flight out of SFO the day after the Asiana crash, that arrived in FRA over an hour late (just after 4pm), crunching our connection time to 30 minutes. We got a gate, an empty Passport Check station, and made our connection, along with our bags. And we had to be bussed to our departing plane.

Coming from SFO on LH, on a A380, that requires a special gate, no problem.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 7:36 am
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On Intra-Europe flights, I've always been bussed at FRA, and sometimes three busses are being loaded at the same time, resulting in a minor panic attack about whether or not I'm on the right one. But besides that, it never seems to me to add too much time to departure.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 8:12 am
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Even with the extra gates from the new A+ pier there aren't enough at FRA for every flight to always get a gate. It really just depends on the timing and what FRAPort has in mind that day for operations.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
I think I got an arrival gate maybe once in all the times I connected in FRA. And, most of the time my next flight, which was on LH, left from the remote gates, meaning we were bussed to the plane.
Same here, although I have often (but not always) departed on LH domestic from jetbridge gates.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 8:24 am
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Id rather fly on UA and get a Stand then on LH and get a Gate. The 1 exception would be the LH 748 in Biz. Y on LH is worse then UAs E- and LHs Biz just doesnt do it for me nor does their IFE
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Old Mar 26, 14, 8:47 am
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3 for 3 on gate arrivals to FRA from US originating flights, 2x on UA and 1x on DL (terminal with much less congestion)

2 for 3 on gate departures from FRA on flights departing to US (1x on UA and 1x on DL)

FWIW it's not just FRA, we were bussed >2 mile to the plane at LIS for an LH flight outbound to FRA about 6 weeks ago.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
It seems a lot of international flights arrival in FRA between about 8 and 10am. Those seem most likely to get the "park away and shuttle" treatment.

Best solution- don't arrive in those peak hours, or arrive via LH metal.
LH metal is no protection from the bus. Several times I have flown in from SEA on LH491, arriving about 830a, and lucked into the bus every time. Usually raining.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 10:49 am
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I've always thought it strange that Germany cannot marry one of its great strengths (efficiency) with one of its great airports. It's almost as if FRAPORT have recruited as its ops people the only folks in Germany who cannot organise things.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 10:54 am
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They are being efficient. They are letting a lot more flights departing and arriving due to the use of the remote stands.

I always love departing FRA on intra-europe flights and taking the bus all the way past the LH technik hangars - it takes more than 10 minutes to get to the plane.

My all time favorite was arriving from BUD and pulling up to an A gate, only to be told to take the stairs all the way to the ground and get on a bus and be driven to the B drop-off point.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 11:03 am
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All four segment for intra Europe flights last year were on a bus.

But it was relatively quick, and got a very nice upclose view of several aircraft. It was the first time I've seen A321 with Sharklets with my own eyes.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by tods27 View Post
They are being efficient. They are letting a lot more flights departing and arriving due to the use of the remote stands.
By this definition, all terminals should be torn down and FRA should be turned into a large open field.

FRA is simply a third-world airport in a first-world country. They are not being efficient - they are being greedy and don't care at all about the customer experience.
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Old Mar 26, 14, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
FRA is simply a third-world airport in a first-world country. They are not being efficient - they are being greedy and don't care at all about the customer experience.
Dunno, I personally think it's quite the experience being up close and personal to ramp operations as we get bussed out.

At least the first couple of times.

Now, I find it tedious. But just know to route via other airports.
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