I have a flight from Stuttgart to Frankfurt whose ETA at Frankfurt is 9:10. I have a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Chennai at 10:50. Both the flights are booked as part of the same ticket. So, there is a layover of 1h40m at Frankfurt airport. Would this be enough? I have been watching the terminals closely and I find that my first flight exits me at A2-3 and the connecting flight is at C15/C14. IS there a passport control and security check along the way and would this time be sufficient?

If i miss the flight, what happens?

Both flights are operated by Lufthansa

  • 2
    If your ticket is changeable, you might want to switch to Rail+Fly: there is a train from Stuttgart arriving at Frankfurt airport at 8:06 (that's tomorrow -- check for whichever day you are travelling). Rail+Fly means you use the same ticket for train and plane. – Max Jun 28 '16 at 12:40
  • Do we take the luggage on-board with us when we use the train? – DarthVader Aug 1 '16 at 13:05
  • As far as I know, you take the luggage with you on the train and check it in at the airport as usual. There are also check-in counters directly at one of the two train stations in FRA (namely, the long-distance station, where IC and ICE trains stop). – Max Aug 1 '16 at 21:39
up vote 13 down vote accepted

You will have to go through passport control as you are exiting the Schengen zone. This in and of itself can easily soak up the 1:40 that you have available to you.

Not to mention the time it takes to cover the distance from gates A -> Terminal Lobby -> Passport Control -> C -> Gate 15

Now the good news is that everyone at the airport will know which flights are departing and you will most likely be put on a priority queue if there is a long line at immigration (this is really, your only real cause of concern).

Your luggage will be transferred automatically, as you are on one ticket.

Personally, 1:40 is a bit tight for my liking - but as the airline has booked you the itinerary, it is their responsibility to make sure you reach your destination.

Lets assume the worse case scenario that your flight is delayed in-bound, and there is a long queue at immigration, and by the time you clear all that and find your way to the gate, the flight has departed.

Before any of that happens though:

  1. You'll notice people running around yelling the flight number and destination of your flight.

  2. You'll see someone that is minding the queue at immigration, and they will be calling for people with flights close to departure.

  3. Your name may be called as well.

  4. Once the flight has departed:

    a. Lufthansa will arrange to put you on the next available flight.

    b. Depending on how long the delay is to your next flight; you may be provided compensation.

So, the worse that will happen is that you will be bumped to a later flight along with some compensation.

  • 5
    Note: This is obviously only valid if OP booked the whole flight Stuttgart to Chennai as one ticket. If this are two separately booked flights, Lufthansa isn't responsible for any problems. – Josef Jun 28 '16 at 10:42
  • 1
    Unfortunately, such Lufthansa connection flights are often delayed, and arrive after the international flight left. Lufthansa seems to not care much about the problem. I know many people that book the connector flight 3 to 4 hours earlier because of that, or avoid using a connector at all. – Aganju Jun 28 '16 at 11:13
  • 7
    "Your luggage will be transferred automatically, as you are on one ticket." It's very possibly that you make the connection but your bag does not. It's the airline's responsibility to get it to you - but you might want to make sure the stuff you will need urgently is in your hand luggage. – Max Jun 28 '16 at 12:34

Well, if it's on the same ticket, operated by Lufthansa, they certainly expect you to make it, and they'll sort you out if you don't (due to delays or whatever it might be).

For your own sanity, for a domestic-to-international transfer like that at Frankfurt, the estimate is around 45 minutes. So you'll have a bit of leeway around that anyway.

  • 2
    when I was transferring from London->Vienna via Frankfurt, I was told by a Lufthansa employee that 45minutes is the minimum time. – jermenkoo Jun 28 '16 at 10:41
  • 1
    I recently did Amsterdam to Frankfurt to Houston with Lufthansa. Transfer time was 50 minutes, we got a parking spot on an outer apron (so a leisurely bus ride to the terminal) and I made it with about 15 minutes to spare. Even my "scheming" to get seated as far in front of the AMS-FRA flight as possible turned out not to be necessary! – yatima2975 Jun 28 '16 at 12:20

I'm not sure if this is still true, but I remember that I once realized that there was no airside connection from terminal A/B to C, which means that you will also have to pass through security, further cutting into your time.

Also, the smaller aircraft more often get outfield parking positions, then you will be bussed to the terminal, which also takes more time than getting off via a jetway (on my last connecting flight from FDH, it was 30 minutes between touchdown and actually reaching the terminal building. Consider that the maximum, the plane was parked at the very end of the airport grounds).

As the others have mentioned, Lufthansa will rebook you if you miss the connection, but given that there is only one direct flight to Chennai every day, I would rather try to get an earlier flight into Frankfurt.

Depending on where you are staying the night before your travel, and how you will be getting to the airport, it might be worth taking the train instead of a connecting flight: it gives you much more flexibility, plus the train ride from Stuttgart main station to Frankfurt airport is roughly one hour, while the ride to Stuttgart airport takes about 30 minutes; so heading straight to Frankfurt airport is actually faster.

  • Ok, assuming I am bussed into the terminal buildings, is there some sort of fast lane concept which I can use to get to gate Cx to be on time? Also, I am really not sure the train would be a good choice as the timings don't match. this seemed to be the cheapest, least hectic method for me because my hotel is sort of really close to the Stuttgart Airport. – DarthVader Jun 28 '16 at 10:52
  • +1 for taking the train from Stuttgart to Frankfurt airport. Faster, and probably cheaper? – senschen Jun 28 '16 at 11:46
  • I have seen a fast lane concept in Frankfurt, but I don't know when it opens for a certain flight, and if it's available for all flights. As for the price of taking the train, it's not guaranteed to be cheaper, I have once searched for flights where HEL-FRA-STR was cheaper than HEL-FRA – Sabine Jun 28 '16 at 12:50

Normally, the airline is very interested that you make your connection, as many others explained, and for most places in the world that would do. But especially Lufthansa in Germany has unfortunately a history of not caring much. Those connector flights are often delayed significantly, and arrive only after the international connection left already.

If this happens, Lufthansa will book you on the next day's flight, and pay you a hotel for the extra day in Frankfurt; that may be of interest to you, but if you live in Stuttgart or Nuremberg or so, this is not of much value, and if you need to be somewhere the next day, it's not fun either.

I know dozens of people that have missed their connection in Frankfurt that way (myself included), and have started to book an earlier connector because of that. If you care to catch this flight, I recommend you try to rebook your connection to an earlier one (there should be at least one per hour from Stuttgart to Frankfurt), so you have 3 or more hours layover in Frankfurt.

I did this yesterday morning. Took me 32 minutes from the plane stairs (apron parking, so we were bussed to the terminal A) to exiting immigration and walking to a gate in terminal B.

I can confirm that there is no security (and this would have been my main concern time-wise). As far as I can tell, you only go through security if you come from a non-Schengen/USA/Canada flight.

All the answers date back to 2016. I traveled in a similar leg recently: Munich - Frankfurt - Chennai.

Scenario 1:

I arrived in zone A of Frankfurt airport at 8 AM. My flight to Chennai was supposed to be at 10:15 AM from C15. During my transit from Zone A to C15, I had the following (in no particular order):

  • 1) Passport Control
  • 2) Regular Security Check
  • 3) Took the train from Zone A to C
  • 4) Walked for atleast 20 minutes
  • 5) Had the final passport/boarding pass check by
    Lufthansa before letting into C15.

All these together took me 45 minutes exactly. So, yes, it was all fine for me.

Scenario 2: I had my flight canceled the previous day and they were giving me a flight from Munich that would reach Frankfurt at 9 AM. I was skeptical about making it to my Chennai flight on time, hence, I asked them for a flight that reaches Frankfurt at 8 AM from Munich.

They also told me, if I miss the connecting flight to Chennai because of any delay caused in between, they would put me on the next flight.

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