Nonetheless, we’re nicely ensconced in our First Class seats, and Kathy just brought Blane back from the dining car with a snack.
Air fried - a bit stale but edible…
We hope to fly Frankfurt to Chicago tomorrow morning at 8:30. We’ve read reports that FRA is a mess, understaffed like much of Europe and North America.
Just wanted to give my experience on the other side of the equation (exiting FRA back to the States) in case it helps anyone:
• UA 181 / 16th FRA-DEN 11:20 AM departure, Polaris
• Arrived to check luggage at 0700 (1 bag, 2 people ahead in the Polaris/1K line - long line already queued for economy check-in/baggage drop off)
• Took the 1 agent forever to process the pax at the counter. Completed check-in at 07:20 and made my way to Passport Control/border and subsequently security
• Arrived Passport Control (Z gates) at 07:25 - line was already back to the top of the escalator and wound around
• No bypassing for First/Business class. Everyone funneled into one automated reader.
• There was an agent there letting crew and anyone with extremely tight connections through
• This took me a solid 55 minutes to get through. During that time several people (at least 2 dozen) on the ORD-bound flight were jumping the queue (fine by me since I had plenty of time) as their flight was about to close. I'm going to say that some of them missed their flight (one group told me they'd been there since the counters opened at 5 AM).
• Arrived at Security and again no differentiation for First/Business. Everyone funneled into one line. Only one lane of security was open. At about 08:30 and additional 2 lanes opened up.
• Through security in roughly 20 minutes.
• Seems like when they opened the additional lanes, they also started letting First/Business through the left-hand side.
Again, sample size of one. But, I fly to/from/through German airports all the time and this is the most chaotic I have seen. Colleagues who flew direct to Cologne/Bonn did not fare any better (2 had their flights completely canceled out of the UK, one mis-connected out of AMS and his return flight was also canceled a week later).
Pack patience and arrive early. May the odds be ever in your favor!
We’ll manage one way or the other, but it will be an early morning. It’s an “interesting” time to travel.
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