I am travelling from Prague to Atlanta with a connection in Frankfurt. The PRG-FRA segment is on Czech Airlines, while the FRA-ATL segment is on United. At what point(s) will I need to go through security, customs, and baggage claim?

Long story short: how much time is required to make this connection?

  • 5
    Are you traveling on single booking even though the airlines are different? Dec 1 '14 at 17:28
  • 1
    As Czech is Skyteam but UA is Star Alliance, I'd venture a guess that the answer is no, but we need confirmation for this. Dec 1 '14 at 20:41
  • No, unfortunately the overseas leg is an award ticket, so its not a single booking. The PRG-FRA is on Czech Airlines and the FRA-ATL is a United award ticket on Lufthansa.
    – e m
    Dec 2 '14 at 19:14

First of all, United does not have a flight from Frankfurt to Atlanta - you probably booked a codeshare that is operated by Lufthansa.

Assuming that you booked both legs separately (i.e., they are on separate tickets), you roughly need about 2 hours in Frankfurt, as you will need to take the luggage from the belt and bring it to Lufthansa check-in. According to their web-page, check-in closes 40 minutes before departure, but since the flight is to the US, you should be there way earlier (my guess: 90 minutes). Getting from the gate to the belt is quite quick, as passport checks (if conducted) are quick. After the check-in, you will need to go through security again. Passport checks are typically quite quick. Having said that, the 2 hours are just a rough figure and by no means a good guideline. I would personally never book a seperate-ticket connection if the connection time is not at least 5 hours. If your incoming flight is delayed, your out-going one (from Frankfurt) is void, including the return trip. Also, you may be taken to the gate from the plane by bus, which costs extra time.

If both flights are on the same ticket, then do not worry - the travel agent or the web-site has already checked that the minimum connection time has been met and if your incoming flight is delayed, you will be rebooked free of charge.

  • 1
    There won't be any passport checks from the gate in Frankfurt to the luggage belt, since Prague-Frankfurt is intra-Schengen. Dec 2 '14 at 9:47
  • True, but occassionally, Schengen flights are routed to non-Schengen gates (or alternatively, the bus drops off people at non-Schengen bus gates). In that case, a check may be performed, and when timing a lay-over, it is probably not wise to count on the absence of a check.
    – DCTLib
    Dec 2 '14 at 9:49

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