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Germany airport (FRA, MUC, ... ) issues for UA traveler Summer 2022

Germany airport (FRA, MUC, ... ) issues for UA traveler Summer 2022

Old Jul 12, 22, 3:48 am
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
AFAIK the Schengen agreement even prohibits ID checks.
That is incorrect. It is law that you must travel with a government accepted picture ID that you can display, should border police ask. Many Schengen countries ask for ID when crossing borders, and it has been like this for many years, especially when it comes to travel by road.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:31 am
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by Goaguy View Post
That is incorrect. It is law that you must travel with a government accepted picture ID that you can display, should border police ask. Many Schengen countries ask for ID when crossing borders, and it has been like this for many years, especially when it comes to travel by road.
Well, the quote was "Many EU citizens don't even travel with a passport inside the Schengen zone. AFAIK the Schengen agreement even prohibits ID checks." so pertaining to internal border checks (inside the Schengen zone). The Schengen agreement then says:
Internal borders may be crossed at any point without any checks on persons being carried out.
-- https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-cont...0A0922%2802%29

It then lists some exceptions, indicating that they should be temporary (although, in practice, temporary can mean several years).

Of course, external borders are not affected by this.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:36 am
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
I have seen the correct answer somewhere above, but carry-on luggage goes through customs in the same airport where you would go through immigration, while checked baggage goes through customs in the airport where you collect said luggage. It makes sense because, once you're past immigration, you're free to leave the transit airport, and the final destination would have no way to verify if you did or not.

To avoid customs checks at your final destination, you could quickly go to town and ship your carry-on luggage to your final destination. Or, for the glass-half-full option, you could go into town and buy something expensive but lose the receipt somewhere, go back to the airport, fly to your final destination and you would have no way of proving that that item in your hand luggage was bought with VAT already paid.
To leave the transit airport you will have to pass through customs. With the scheme to ship your hand luggage at the transit airport, you will pass through customs. If you are shipping to a final destination in another country then you will likely have to make a customs declaration and your items might be subject to a customs inspection at arrival.


Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
because what happens if your final destination in Schengen is a small airport with four daily flights that doesn't have customs facilities?
I do not know what the situation is in EU countries, but in the UK smaller airports have a customs (Red) phone which you can call to make any declarations.


Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
It is incredibly confusing, but hey, we Americans get the advantage of not having to recheck bags, so I'm okay with it.
Or better put, “the whole world” ( not just Americans ) have the advantage of not having to recheck bags.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:41 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Are you referring to the Million Miler companion status thing for her/his wife?
Not sure what it is called, that or a corporate bung of some sorts.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:43 am
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Originally Posted by kilo View Post
To leave the transit airport you will have to pass through customs. With the scheme to ship your hand luggage at the transit airport, you will pass through customs. If you are shipping to a final destination in another country then you will likely have to make a customs declaration and your items might be subject to a customs inspection at arrival.
To be clear: coming from outside EU customs zone, transiting in a EU customs country, the final destination is a EU customs country. There would be no shipment customs declaration necessary when going into transit town and shipping said item to the final destination. The only possibility for a customs declaration would be at the transit airport, which basically confirms that carry-on luggage is to be cleared at the transit airport, not the final destination.

If you'd say, "well carry-on luggage only needs to be cleared if you're leaving the transit airport," then anyone could claim in their final destination airport that their carry-on luggage was already customs cleared in the transit airport when they supposedly made a trip to town, even if not true? And what about the other scenario, go to transit town (or even just the public airport area), purchase an expensive item but lose the receipt, take flight to final destination still in the customs zone, then being asked by customs to pay VAT again on the item in the carry-on luggage? There has to be some sort of presumption that carry-on luggage was cleared in the transit airport, or you're allowing all kinds of shenanigans like these.

It all feels like a leftover from a different time when travel was not as complicated as it is today and when authorities placed more trust in travelers than they generally get today.

Originally Posted by kilo View Post
Or maybe the whole world ( not just Americans ) have the advantage of not having to recheck bags.
Well, it's not reciprocal for the US.

Last edited by mozilla; Jul 12, 22 at 5:01 am
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Old Jul 12, 22, 4:53 am
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
As a US passport holder you *can* use the kiosks if you sign up for EasyPass RTP. Requires an in person visit with the German Federal Police at FRA, but no appointment needed and it’s really quick and easy (compared to Global Entry).

https://www.easypass.de/EasyPass/EN/.../rtp_node.html
This worked very well for me as an American living in Germany frequently traveling outside of Schengen for work, before the pandemic. But lately I don’t know what is going on but half the time it gives me an X and won’t let me use it. I went to the Federal Police to ask and they were all kinds of clueless and said the only way to reset it is get a new passport and register it.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 5:26 am
  #82  
 
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Having read the thread so far it appears that FRA is preventing passengers form easily transiting from border control to security/screening to reach the A gates (because of congestion). That's not ever the fault of UA. I can certainly understand their upset, but there's basically nothing a GS agent could do, though of course the local staff should have allowed her to at least try, if only to have made the effort.

The solution seems to be in hiring more personnel. Not really sure why the airport isn't doing so. Travel (while not back to pre-pandemic levels) is definitely increasing, and so capacity has to be turned back up.

Me, I just find the thread useful since I now know to avoid FRA for intl travel to/from the US.

Regards,
-Bouncer-
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Old Jul 12, 22, 5:28 am
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
I can certainly understand their upset, but there's basically nothing a GS agent could do, though of course the local staff should have allowed her to at least try, if only to have made the effort.
The one, and only, time I ever entered the EU at Frankfurt, I was escorted through border control by an LH agent, who took me past a 30-deep line to the desk used by airline staff; the whole thing took 45 seconds. Of course, I was in LH F; I don’t know if they’d do the same for their HON members. But it’s certainly something UA could do, with permission from the border staff. I just don’t know that they would.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 12, 22 at 3:39 pm Reason: Let's stick to UA traveller issues, discusstion board security loopholes is getting too far offtopic
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Old Jul 12, 22, 5:31 am
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post
[...] Me, I just find the thread useful since I now know to avoid FRA for intl travel to/from the US.

Regards,
-Bouncer-
And, based on experience in the last few weeks, AMS and MXP and LIS and (etc) ...

Many EUR airports are, shall we say, not the models of efficiency right now. IST was, for whatever reason, quite easy and (relatively) uncrowded.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 5:45 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by marks88 View Post
And, based on experience in the last few weeks, AMS and MXP and LIS and (etc) ...

Many EUR airports are, shall we say, not the models of efficiency right now.
Given what I've seen in JFK and MIA recently and what I heard of BOS, EWR, and IAD it seems like there is not much difference on either side of the pond. Immigration @JFK close to 2.5 hours. Rebooking line over 5 hours. I think one can safely say that the whole air travel industry is currently not exactly a model of efficiency.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 7:13 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by mozilla View Post
The EU customs authority does, in fact, make a distinction between checked luggage and carry-on luggage.
...and the pragmatic implementation that exists in reality is customs checkpoints at exits to landside where all of your baggage and anything on your person is fair game. 🤷‍♂️
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Old Jul 12, 22, 8:12 am
  #87  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
Most GS get it via OPM/corporate deals/spending. Perhaps some get it indirectly via MMer status.

Of the spouses of GS flyers I see, most seem to be way better travelled than the average American repeat visitor to the Schengen area. Maybe her/his wife is the exception to that, but I doubt it. I think it more likely the wife saw a true mess at FRA and expected a kind of service previously delivered by UA to GS members but not delivered this time at FRA.
At which airports (if any) do GS get true white-glove experience? I flew LH F via FRA two weeks ago AMS-FRA-IAH (so leaving Schengen) and had zero assistance. Two long lines, one to exit Schengen with zero priority (one massive line for non-EU passports + e-gates for EU with minimal line) and one to check docs at Z gates (which had combined J/F line). Not sure how UA GS expects better service than LH F at FRA ... I have had LH F walk me through EWR security lines before, but never immigration.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 8:13 am
  #88  
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Originally Posted by marks88 View Post
And, based on experience in the last few weeks, AMS and MXP and LIS and (etc) ...

Many EUR airports are, shall we say, not the models of efficiency right now. IST was, for whatever reason, quite easy and (relatively) uncrowded.
LHR is implementing a cap of 100k daily passengers and asking airlines to stop selling tickets.

https://www.heathrow.com/latest-news...2-capacity-cap

Originally Posted by Bouncer View Post

The solution seems to be in hiring more personnel. Not really sure why the airport isn't doing so. Travel (while not back to pre-pandemic levels) is definitely increasing, and so capacity has to be turned back up.

Me, I just find the thread useful since I now know to avoid FRA for intl travel to/from the US.
You’ll have to expand your list of airports to avoid significantly. If traveling through Germany, take a look at the threads in the Germany forum (where this thread should really be) about some other airports. AMS seems to be a CF, too. LHR… see above.

And airports *are* trying to hire. Just like everyone else. Specifically, Germany is looking at bringing in thousands of Turkish guest workers to work at airports.

https://www.dw.com/en/will-turkish-w...ons/a-62338679
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Old Jul 12, 22, 9:48 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
I think that count is wrong. It has 2x just to ORD. 2x EWR, 1x IAD, 1x DEN, 1x IAH, 2x SFO
UA has 2X FRA-IAD, the second one is at 5:10 PM. We took that a month ago.
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Old Jul 12, 22, 9:49 am
  #90  
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Originally Posted by marks88 View Post
At which airports (if any) do GS get true white-glove experience? I flew LH F via FRA two weeks ago AMS-FRA-IAH (so leaving Schengen) and had zero assistance. Two long lines, one to exit Schengen with zero priority (one massive line for non-EU passports + e-gates for EU with minimal line) and one to check docs at Z gates (which had combined J/F line). Not sure how UA GS expects better service than LH F at FRA ... I have had LH F walk me through EWR security lines before, but never immigration.
LH F you'd want to exit security and walk to the FCT ... that is where you get 'assistance'. No gate to gate transfer assistance for LH F unless flight arrives at an apron position in which case a car will pick you up.
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