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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 11, 2022, 6:06 am
  #1  
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Avoid Frankfurt like the plague

My wife is global services in polaris trying to connect to Berlin today in Frankfurt from Chicago. The flight was 2 hours delayed due to incompetence of ground staff at O’Hare. United refused to allow my wife to speak to a global services agent, and now Frankfurt security refuses to allow her to enter the a concourse for connections because they are restricting entry to European citizens. So much for no border controls in Schengen and customer service for global services. ... is going on united and Frankfurt? This is reprehensible.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 6:21 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by chitraveler1975
My wife is global services in polaris trying to connect to Berlin today in Frankfurt from Chicago. The flight was 2 hours delayed due to incompetence of ground staff at O’Hare. United refused to allow my wife to speak to a global services agent, and now Frankfurt security refuses to allow her to enter the a concourse for connections because they are restricting entry to European citizens. So much for no border controls in Schengen and customer service for global services. ... is going on united and Frankfurt? This is reprehensible.
It’s really hard to follow this - I was just in Frankfurt and the EU - had zero issues entering Schengen area - can you’ve more specific? Also - not sure how they prevent you from calling GS?
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 6:21 am
  #3  
 
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That doesn’t sound like a United problem but a problem with German border controls (People arriving from the U.S. at Frankfurt don’t have to go through security to connect to a Schengen flight.)

With her boarding pass, your wife should go to the Senator Lounge and ask to be rebooked on the next flight up to Berlin.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 6:27 am
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There must be just a little more to this story..
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 11, 2022 at 4:01 pm Reason: moot after cleanup
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 6:52 am
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Frankfurt "security" (I guess airport checkpoint security?) doesn't do any border checks; that's the German immigration/border police job.

While there are no border controls once inside the Schengen zone, there is still an inspection when entering the Schengen zone at whatever airport that may be. Flying from ORD to FRA to connect to BER means you'll enter Schengen in FRA and would go through Schengen immigration there.

US citizens usually don't encounter difficulties at the Schengen border, on the condition that all the paperwork is in order, of course. Having missed a connecting flight doesn't affect admissibility. So we're not getting the full story here. Maybe there's an issue with her passport (although UA should have spotted that before boarding)?
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 6:53 am
  #6  
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The gist of it is that United gate agent refused to page or connect my wife to the Frankfurt global services rep on duty. There is no excuse for this - one of the benefits of global services is white-glove service at the airport, especially in the context of missed connections. And to make matters worse, my wife was misdirected to the wrong customs/security lines and ended up in a situation where she was not allowed into the A gates because they were restricting entry to European passports only. This is a customer service fail by United at Frankfurt and an unsurprising mess by Fraport - just curious if others have dealt with similar issues or we just got the bad gate agent on the wrong day at FRA.

Border control wasn't the issue at all. She cleared customs no problem. But in security to re-renter for A gates, some Fraport flunkie was making up rules and decided European passports only because of overcrowding.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jul 11, 2022 at 7:57 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 7:10 am
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Never heard of passport discrimination at Schengen security checkpoints. Many EU citizens don't even travel with a passport inside the Schengen zone. AFAIK the Schengen agreement even prohibits ID checks.

The only place where I know this happens at FRA is at immigration where EU passport holders can use the automatic gates and there are usually agents directing passengers based on their passports.

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Old Jul 11, 2022, 7:27 am
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Sample size of 1: Just a lowly 1K arriving from ORD yesterday morning but I can say that the line to get through Schengen for connecting flights was out of control and wound all the way down to the lower level. We hard-standed it so we had to bus to the terminal. The escalator (turned off because people were not moving) and stairs up and around the corner (left hand for connections, right hand for FRA final destination/baggage claim) was longer than I've ever seen. Fortunately, I terminated in FRA and switched to the DBahn. But, I'm certain there were a lot of missed connections as the connections line was barely moving a person's length per minute.

On the flip-side, walking over to the FRA Flug HBF, the check-in desks looked like a normal Sunday although the airport felt more crowded than normal. The airport was also warning of long delays for baggage arrival (but mine was the 5 bag off). So, guessing FRA is just a victim of the same airport struggles much of Europe is going through right now.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 8:21 am
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Either your wife is misstating the story, or you're misunderstanding it.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 8:26 am
  #10  
 
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It is possible that she was directed to the "EU passport" line and not the "All other passport" line. Then got to the front of that line and was sent to the other line. Hence the 'EU passports only' claim.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 8:59 am
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Originally Posted by pretzlaff
It is possible that she was directed to the "EU passport" line and not the "All other passport" line. Then got to the front of that line and was sent to the other line. Hence the 'EU passports only' claim.
That would be my guess, probably just got into the wrong line - I can't imagine any other situation (absent a literal closure of borders, which I think we would've heard about) where border control would refuse to take a non-EU passport. I am curious why OP's wife didn't just go to the nearest Senator lounge once she was able and ask the agents there for assistance rebooking though, that's what I would have done (mind you, as a lowly Gold I'm certainly never going to ever get/expect personalized white-glove service). Surely that would've been faster than trying to get a hold of a GS agent...
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by pretzlaff
It is possible that she was directed to the "EU passport" line and not the "All other passport" line. Then got to the front of that line and was sent to the other line. Hence the 'EU passports only' claim.
Originally Posted by chleonard
That would be my guess, probably just got into the wrong line - I can't imagine any other situation (absent a literal closure of borders, which I think we would've heard about) where border control would refuse to take a non-EU passport. I am curious why OP's wife didn't just go to the nearest Senator lounge once she was able and ask the agents there for assistance rebooking though, that's what I would have done (mind you, as a lowly Gold I'm certainly never going to ever get/expect personalized white-glove service). Surely that would've been faster than trying to get a hold of a GS agent...
the OP already updated saying it was not border control since the wife passed it already. I say she exited passport control through the arrivals instead of the connections as you don’t clear security from a USA arrival flight. To get back into A (Schengen flights), one would need to clear security again if “exited” to arrivals. How the security knew the wife wasn’t an EU passport, I dunno because all you do is scan your boarding pass to get through the gate. The story is missing some pieces.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 9:30 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by chitraveler1975
she was not allowed into the A gates because they were restricting entry to European passports only. This is a customer service fail by United at Frankfurt and an unsurprising mess by Fraport - just curious if others have dealt with similar issues or we just got the bad gate agent on the wrong day at FRA.

Border control wasn't the issue at all. She cleared customs no problem. But in security to re-renter for A gates, some Fraport flunkie was making up rules and decided European passports only because of overcrowding.
This was also my experience at FRA 3 weeks ago, so this has been going on for a while. I could not believe my eyes! I flew United from IAD to FRA and had a 2-hour connection, which in the past has always been plenty of time. As I approached the immigration area where you go through passport control to connect to the A gates, there was a man blocking entry to the stairs to go down. He said only EU passport holders could proceed. I had dual citizenship and was able to go, while most passengers from my flight had to wait for permission to go down. Downstairs the line was the longest I have ever witnessed in Frankfurt. The situation is ridiculous, and the airport is simply not adequately staffed.

Does anyone know if there is a problem right now connecting the other way at FRA to catch a flight back to the U.S.?
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by pretzlaff
It is possible that she was directed to the "EU passport" line and not the "All other passport" line. Then got to the front of that line and was sent to the other line. Hence the 'EU passports only' claim.
There is an airport worker at peak times preventing passengers from approaching the passport control area downstairs. He simply will not allow people to proceed without EU passport. Once downstairs, there are 3 lines ahead when connecting to A gates: 1) other passports, 2) EU passports, and 3) EU passports automatic gates for EU passport holders over 12 years old. The situation is simply a mess right now, and 2-3 hours connecting time is not enough if in the all other passports category.
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Old Jul 11, 2022, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingfromDC
Does anyone know if there is a problem right now connecting the other way at FRA to catch a flight back to the U.S.?
On Jul 7 around 1130am it was a 30-45 minute line (and getting longer) to get through the all other passports line. No line for EU passports or the EU automated gates.
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