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I plan to take a Condor flight in mid-August from Canada to Germany and change to Lufthansa at Frankfurt for my final destination in Turkey, without carrying checked-in luggage. I learned from the German Consulate website that if travellers do not leave the international transit area, and go through customs and security in Frankfurt, they do not need a transit visa. But I also read from several websites that transiting in Frankfurt requires a single-ticket flight and I don't know if Condor provides a single ticket when booked on their website. Does anyone have an opinion or experienced a similar situation? Thank you.

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This gets tricky and I would advise caution to anyone relying on this answer at any point in the future without further research but for now you are good if you are booking a flight on the Condor website going into Frankfurt (or Dusseldorf or Munich as we will see) and an outgoing flight on Lufthansa.

You need Condor to be able to book Lufthansa flights for you to avoid a visa requirement. This is necessary because you need a confirmed ongoing flight and if your incoming flight is late, you need Condor to rebook you to have one.

Now, how is it possible that Condor books Lufthansa flights? They have a Special Prorate Agreement or SPA in place which allows for this. And this agreement stays in place for the foreseeable future because the Lufthansa group is dominant on the feeder network into Frankfurt, Munich and Düsseldorf according to the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt) therefore they need to provide access to it for antitrust reasons. According to the Bundeskartellamt itself:

Only based on the Special Prorate Agreements (SPAs) concluded by the airlines can Condor offer [...] full protection in case of delays or flight cancellation.

Lufthansa tried to cancel the SPA, Condor complained and the German authorities said they agree with Condor -- and they found the agreement need to be even more in favor of Condor than what it asked for originally. AFAIK no final ruling has been made yet source but the preliminary ruling from February 2022 forces the SPA to continue and it's not likely Lufthansa will prevail any time soon in cancelling it. Any changes must be announced a year ahead so for now you are good.

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  • Thank you for this detailed explanation, it was an answer to my doubt about whether Condor will provide a single ticket or will not.
    – bshologram
    Jul 9, 2022 at 14:23
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It depends on your citizenship and the type of ticket you have:

  • If your citizenship allows you to have visa free access to the Schengen area, then you can take that itinerary without any need for a transit visa or worrying about passport check or exiting the transit area.
  • If your citizenship doesn't give you visa free access and you also need a transit visa (List of countries that need a transit visa for Germany: https://uk.diplo.de/uk-en/02/visa/airport-transit-visas/2442170), then you'll have to request a transit visa from a German diplomatic mission before flying and transiting through Germany.
  • If your citizenship doesn't give you visa free access but you also don't need a transit visa, Frankfurt airport states that you will not be subject to passport checks and can remain in the transit area (https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/flights-and-transfer/transferring-at-fra.html), However this scenario assumes that you're flying on a single ticket (It's the case if you buy directly on Condor website for the full itinerary Canada-Germany-Turkey in a single transaction). This is important because if you buy Canada-Germany in a booking and Germany-Turkey in a separate booking. the airline that operates the Canada-Germany booking will probably deny you the check-in and boarding. From their perspective, your final destination is Germany and you don't have a visa for it.

You are arriving from outside the Schengen Area and your destination is in a non-Schengen country: Usually no passport check is mandatory, provided that that you do not leave the transit zone. Depending on your nationality, you may require a transit visa. If in doubt, please contact an embassy or consulate of your country.

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    Are you sure that airside TWOV requires a single ticket? Timatic, the system used by airlines, does not specify that requirement as far as I can see timaticweb2.com/integration/…
    – Traveller
    Jul 7, 2022 at 21:32
  • @Traveller even if Germany allows it and the airport enables it (with no checked luggage, of course), the chances that the airline will indeed refuse boarding because the passenger does not have the necessary documentation to enter Germany are quite high.
    – jcaron
    Jul 7, 2022 at 21:50
  • Yes, I plan to book directly on Condor's website with a single payment, but I don't know whether Condor will give me two flights as a single ticket? Technically, the two companies are separate.
    – bshologram
    Jul 7, 2022 at 23:24
  • @jcaron IATA says “TWOV (Transit Without Visa): Nationals of Turkey transiting through Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC), arriving from a non-Schengen Member State with a confirmed onward ticket for a flight within 24 hours to a third country which is not a Schengen Member State. They must: - have a residence permit issued by Canada, and - stay in the international transit area of the airport, and - have documents required for their next destination.” Are you saying that airlines will likely ignore Timatic and/or IATA? TWOV is a common scenario with which airlines should surely be familiar
    – Traveller
    Jul 8, 2022 at 0:13
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    @bshologram If you’re booking both flights on the Condor website, it’s highly likely you’ll have a single ticket, allowing for baggage to be checked through to Turkey and facilitating airside transit. Though you might want to consider the possibility of Lufthansa cancelling your onbound flight bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-07/…
    – Traveller
    Jul 8, 2022 at 0:22

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