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How much time should I allow myself to get from Frankfurt Airport train station to Terminal 2, check in and fly (with Emirates Airline)? What if I check in online (but still have bags to drop off?)?

There is a train arriving 2h15 before my departure time. Is that enough, or should I arrive 3h15 before?

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Did you check buses? Last time I went to FRA I could take a Lufthansa bus, maybe Emirates Airline provides such services too. – Pierre Arlaud May 27 '14 at 12:50
I'm not coming from Frankfurt city, but the Saarland; I doubt Emirates has busses from so far. – Max May 27 '14 at 12:54
I had a Lufthansa bus to FRA from Strasbourg (Frankreich) – Pierre Arlaud May 27 '14 at 13:19
@ArlaudPierre Do you mean Straßburg (France)? ;-) – Relaxed May 27 '14 at 13:30
According to… Emirates only operates busses in UAE and Japan – Max May 27 '14 at 13:33
up vote 5 down vote accepted

When taking the ICE (long-distance high speed train) to FRA, there is something else to consider: The German Railways (Deutsche Bahn). The trains can be quite delayed, which messes with your whole planning. I always plan another 30 minutes to an hour when travelling with them, especially if you are catching a long-haul flight. In your case, this would mean to take the train that arrives 3:15 before the flight.

For example, on the route Köln HBf-Frankfurt Flughafen, 26,0% of the 4667 trains were delayed. Average delay was 18,3 Minuten, but note that this is an average. I have travelled quite a lot on this route and I had everything from on time (<5 minute delay) to 2 hours.

Data source: Interactice Map from Süddeutsche Zeitung. Note that the data is from 2013.

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Cologne is ~200 km from FRA! If you're coming from Frankfurt city, there are S8/S9 trains every 15 min, so even if you miss two, you'll only be half an hour late. – jpatokal May 27 '14 at 11:04
@jpatokal You're absolutely right. This only applies if you are coming from further away than the Rhine-Main-Region. However, it is quite common to come from further away (like Köln) to FRA. Some of the trains serving FRA are even advertised with a Lufthansa flight number and can be booked like a regular flight (AIRail). – traindriver May 27 '14 at 12:18
-1 This does not seem to address the question at all. Whatever the means of transport, you obviously need to factor in potential delays and back-up plans but that's not specific to the airport in any way. – Relaxed May 27 '14 at 13:32
I just wanted to stress that it is likely that the train is not arriving 2h15 before departure time as stated in the question, especially at FRA. I am addressing the last part of the question (Is that enough?), and answering with a clear no, and giving some background on this. – traindriver May 27 '14 at 14:05

2:15 should be plenty. Emirates' official recommendations if you've already checked in online are:

When do I need to arrive at the airport if I check in online?

If you are checking baggage, you will need to arrive at the airport at least ninety (90) minutes prior to your scheduled departure time. If you are not checking baggage, you must arrive at the airport at least sixty (60) minutes prior to scheduled departure.

But these are not hard cutoffs: in reality, though, they close just 15 minutes before departure (at least in DXB, not entirely sure about FRA). I've checked in an hour before an international flight and still made it through, but that was with access to the premium checkin lines and without checked baggage. YMMV.

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I'm not so worried about Emirates' cutoffs as the time needed to get from the train station to the bag drop-off, and then through security and passport control to the departure gate. – Max May 27 '14 at 9:56
The Skyline train goes T1 to T2 every 2 min, travel time 2 min. If you've dropped your bags an hour before departure, you'll have zero problem clearing immigration in time, exiting is usually quite fast. – jpatokal May 27 '14 at 11:00
@Max: The train doesn't matter at that point; the Frankfurt Airport train station is directly connected with a bridge to the terminal buildings; you have to walk through those corridors for a few minutes, but arriving at that station is really hardly any different from arriving at the airport with any other means of transportation in terms of distance to the actual airport buildings. – O. R. Mapper May 27 '14 at 21:35
Directly connected to T1, yes, but Emirates is in T2. Although the shuttle will only add a few minutes to your journey. – jpatokal May 28 '14 at 9:36

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