My friend has Schengen visa and she lives in Italy.
I have a layover in Germany for 5 hrs but I do not have visa but I can stay in transit area.

I have to give the iphone I am bringing from USA. Is this possible to do in transit area?
If she is also flying to the same airport, can I somehow meet her in the airport area if our terminals are reachable? How to exchange in transit area?

  • 7
    Which airport in Germany? Dec 29 '15 at 20:11
  • 3
    Also, if the airport in question actually permits what you are planning to do, your friend will need to leave the Schengen area to meet you in international transit and re-enter on the same day. For people staying with a visa, this will raise questions at the passport checking point - especially if the purpose of the meeting is to import an iPhone. I'm not an expert in customs, but I'm informedly guessing that your friend will have to pay import duty on the phone.
    – DCTLib
    Dec 29 '15 at 21:15
  • Okay thank you for your response. Yes, I thought about custom duty on the phone. The airport is frankfurt, Germany. Does the rules change with different airports in the same country? Dec 30 '15 at 21:43
  • Wouldn't it be much, much easier to simply put the phone in a box and ship it to your friend? Jan 3 '16 at 23:50

No, you basically can not do that, at least not as simple as you described it.

Visiting air-side transit areas is usually allowed for transit passengers who have no visa, hence the name.

I am not aware of situations where people who live in a country are allowed to visit there. One of the reasons is exactly what you are trying to do, duty free goods.

Even employees who work in such areas, will undergo security checks upon exiting, they will be checked for any stuff they brought from inside, including duty free items which they are not allowed to buy. Your case is similar, who will pay the tax for the phone and where? these transit areas are not equipped for such cases.

If somehow you managed to meet your friend, most likely she will be in a plane leaving the Schengen area totally, other than that I am not really sure.


It will depend on the airport how easy it is. Many will have Schengen only areas and international transit areas.

If she is transiting from within Schengen to international in that airport it will likely be possible to meet, but it is not a given as in some airport outbound passengers are kept separate from inbound and transiting passengers, if she stays within Schengen, no chance at all.

While officially the people are not supposed to mingle in the international transit lounge, in many of them in Europe you are not kept separate.
A single used I-phone, or one that looks as if it is used, will not show up as suspicious in ones luggage.


Since you have no Schengen visa, I assume that:

  • You are flying from the US to a non-Schengen country

  • The airport in question allows for international transits without a visa

  • The airport is a regional hub, as small airports usually don't have flights to the US

In that case I'd say it's a perfectly reasonable idea if:

  • Your friend gets on non-Schengen flight departing at the same time (or later) than yours
  • The flight leaves from the same terminal
  • The terminal configuration allows one to walk from one gate to the other

The cheapest way to pull it off would be to get a flight to London or Dublin, as they can be purchased for as little as 30 euros.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.