Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Frankfurt Airport

Throughout my life....I've probably been in the Frankfurt airport over one hundred times.  In my early Air Force years at Rhein Main....it was the nearest place to catch the subway into Frankfurt.  Over the years, I've ridden into or out of the airport several dozen times.  So for those looking for a bit of advice....here are my ten comments:

First, there is the old airport terminal (number one) and the new airport terminal (number two).  There are about one mile apart.  The guys decided to have this tram which would pick you up and transport between the two.  It's a lousy design (you have go up to a third-floor level.....then board and ride to the next terminal (two minute ride)....then go down from the third-floor level to the ground level.  My advice, when you get dropped off at the airport...make sure you know the right terminal and have the ride dump you there.  Avoid the tram ride.

Second, there's about twenty places to eat in the two terminals.  In terminal two (the newer one), there's a McDonalds, a sandwich shop,  and a coffee shop.  Terminal one is the place which has more to offer on food.

Third, if you are stuck at the airport for eight hours....remember that you are just a twenty-minute subway ride into Frankfurt.  So there's plenty of opportunities if you suddenly get stuck for a couple of extra hours.

Fourth, both terminal one and two have ample parking.  In fact, your biggest worry is writing down your parking spot and remembering it as you come back later.

Fifth, crime.  Yes, there are people walking around the entire airport on a daily basis, and waiting for you to put down a bag....then walk off with it.  So pay attention to your environment.

Sixth, progression through the counter line, then the passport check, then the various security checks?  You need to be at the airport at least three hours prior to the flight, if leaving from Frankfurt.  If you arrive forty-five minutes before the flight, you can just about forget on catching that flight.

Seventh, the odds of the customs guys checking your luggage as you exit the baggage point?  One out of hundred trips.  In all these years and trips.....I've only had them check my bags once.

Eighth, these little currency exchange spots in the airport....are total rip-offs.  If you want Euro....just find an ATM machine for some bank and buy your Euro there.

Ninth, if you've never been to Germany and your intention is to drive a rental car out of the airport.....have your map and game-plan already thought out.  The minute you leave the parking garage, there will be a sign or two....indicating four significant directions.  You'd best be ready to know precisely what direction you are traveling.  And yes, a GPS would be nice to have at this point.

Tenth, stuck overnight?  Well....there's a fancy hotel at the airport, which runs in the 200 Euro range ($250 a night).  You can get a taxi to take you down a mile to a second hotel.....which is in the 160-200 Euro range ($180 minimum).  After that, there's a hotel or two that run in the 140 Euro range.  This is probably not the airport that you want to be stuck overnight.  Yes, you can take the subway into Frankfurt, and find a number of 2-star hotels in the 100 Euro range.....all within walking distance of the train station.  It's best not to plan for an event like this.

2 comments:

Andrina Royceston said...

You really know everything ‘bout this airport, huh. How long exactly have you been going there? I think your observations could help a lot in making that place better. This blog post can make people aware… :D They probably have read this by now. Is the airport still that way?
Andrina Royceston

Taisha Bousquet said...

This would certainly be helpful for people who are going to Frankfurt Airport for the first time. I would just like to add to number 9 on the list. If you don’t want a rental car, every airport has an airport taxi service that can help you go around the place. That way, you won’t have to worry about having a car break down on you or getting lost in a foreign country.