German airports are **** - sorry, user-unfriendly. Discuss and vent.

105 posts in this topic

We two times flew to (former) French colonies from Frankfurt via CDG. On the outbound flights we of course only checked our luggage to CDG, picked it up and checked it in again.

On the return flights we checked the luggage through to FRA. On one flight both pieces did not arrive, on the other flight 1 bag. They brought the luggage to our home one day later. Would be good if the loss rate would be 100%, since going home by train without luggage is very convenient.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, AnswerToLife42 said:

We two times flew to (former) French colonies from Frankfurt via CDG. On the outbound flights we of course only checked our luggage to CDG, picked it up and checked it in again.

On the return flights we checked the luggage through to FRA. On one flight both pieces did not arrive, on the other flight 1 bag. They brought the luggage to our home one day later. Would be good if the loss rate would be 100%, since going home by train without luggage is very convenient.

Yes, and then delivery to your home!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Yes, and then delivery to your home!

 

 

Happened to me in Sri Lanka. Very nice service. I wish it was standard.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Munich and Frankfurt airports are both ranked in the top 10 airports in the world.

 

So not sure Op if any airport would be up to your high standards.

 

 

 

 

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 They may quite possibly be top in regard to how state-of-the art they are. My criticism hinges on ease of navigation for first time travellers there. The first impression for an a lady stressed traveller is what counts here.

 

And it's not just me. Tony who has also travelled a great deal thinks Frankfurt is the most passenger-unfriendly airport he's ever used.

 

I've been through several international airports which have been user-friendly. I already mentioned Changi above. Chennai has a lovely modern new airport which is easy to navigate. Dubai has long distances but is fairly straightforward. My daughter says that Mumbai International is absolutely superb now. it used to be terrible.

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, HEM said:

I had a colleague who lost his hand luggage during a BA flight from London to Denver!  Was never found.

Cannot have been at all careful but was at least lucky that his passport etc was on his person.

 

I've been though both FRA & MUC many times & apart from having to walk/trot long distances at times & having to go

through pointless but slow security for a flight with LH to Hamburg having just come off a LH flight from Denver or other US airport

I havn't had any trouble.

Since our experience, we make sure that we have ID and flight info inside and outside our hand luggage. We were lucky.  

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once more to @Camm: this was a vent, after two very frustrating events. I am sure that if you arrived at an airport with a pile of luggage and found you could not get a trolley because the machine would not accept your credit card, and then had to take a second trolley when you changed terminal, you would not rate it top, no matter how wonderful the rest of the airport is.

Similarly arriving there and the navigation not being immediately accessible. 

 

These are frustrating experiences, for every traveller. But every traveller does not experience them and everything else might be just fine.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hmmmm... new baggage cart system at Ffm airport.  http://www.luchtzak.be/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44182i

 

Thus system is definitely not in effect. Article from 2011.

 

"Frankfurt Airport (FRA) should note that very shortly the airport will be introducing a new baggage cart concept with a refundable deposit system. Trolleys at FRA will still be essentially free while availability and ease of finding them will greatly improve says the airport. All of the approximately 2,000 baggage carts in the public areas of the terminal complex will be adapted to the deposit system by April.

More than 100 storage points will be available particularly in the check-in and baggage claim halls, at the Terminal 1 and 2 forecourts, and at the parking garages. Users will be required to pay a €2 deposit by cash or credit card, which is refunded in cash when returning the cart to one of the depot stations."

 

Quote

 

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, arunadasi said:

hmmmm... new baggage cart system at Ffm airport.  http://www.luchtzak.be/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44182i

 

Thus system is definitely not in effect. Article from 2011.

 

"Frankfurt Airport (FRA) should note that very shortly the airport will be introducing a new baggage cart concept with a refundable deposit system. Trolleys at FRA will still be essentially free while availability and ease of finding them will greatly improve says the airport. All of the approximately 2,000 baggage carts in the public areas of the terminal complex will be adapted to the deposit system by April.

More than 100 storage points will be available particularly in the check-in and baggage claim halls, at the Terminal 1 and 2 forecourts, and at the parking garages. Users will be required to pay a €2 deposit by cash or credit card, which is refunded in cash when returning the cart to one of the depot stations."

 

But that is the old system 2011.  This is the new system

 

https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/flights---more/transfer.detail.suffix.html/article/flights-and-more/luggage/baggage-carts.html

 

Baggage carts

Easy to find

The baggage cart system at Frankfurt Airport ensures that every passenger can find a baggage cart in all public areas within a very short time, with the exception of the gate and transit areas of the terminals.

 

Starting in December, only cashless payment for luggage carts Frankfurt Airport is following the trend toward cashless payment. Soon it will only be possible to remove a luggage cart from a dispenser after paying the fee with a credit or debit card. The switch will be made in the night between December 12 and 13. For the time being, payment can be made with VISA, VPay, MasterCard, MasterCard Debit, Maestro, American Express and Girocard. Additional credit cards and other cashless options will also be gradually added to the list.

Baggage carts can be found in the area of check-in counters, baggage claims, terminal entrances, bus parking, access to car parks, regional and long-distance train station. After paying a fee of 1 € at the machine next to the depot, you can simply pull out your baggage carrier. If you no longer need the baggage cart, simply slide it back into one of the depots.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. That is the system that didn't work for us. It did not accept Tony's Irish card, nor my Volksbank card, nor my Visa card.

If it would work easily OK. But it doesn't. 

Both of us had airport employees helping and none of them got it to work.

 

I would say, make it free again! Other airports worldwide seem to manage with free trolleys...

Changi even offers free trolleys for hand luggage, as soon as you disembark. Loved it!

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a lifetime of flying out of and in to Hartsfield, the busiest airport in the world, I have to disagree with the idea that European airports are tough. I just had a connection in Dulles and had a hard time finding people to direct me to my connection and I still think it is easier to travel through than Hartsfield. 

 

Shout out to the angry TSA workers in the A-T-L. Ain't never seen anyone hate their job more.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, arunadasi said:

I would say, make it free again! Other airports worldwide seem to manage with free trolleys...

Changi even offers free trolleys for hand luggage, as soon as you disembark. Loved it!

 

Many airports are heading in this direction though.  It was never free of course, the cart system costs Frankfurt Airport 5 million a year and only about 6 percent of passengers use them.  It has upset the homeless guys though, which I can understand, as they used to make a bit of money returning abandoned trolleys and retrieving the 2 euro Pfand.  Other airports are heading in this direction too.  I would guess they are having some teething problems with the system.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

since most suitcases have wheels now trolleys are becoming redundant. But families with children and/or disabled/old people will always need them.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, arunadasi said:

since most suitcases have wheels now trolleys are becoming redundant. But families with children and/or disabled/old people will always need them.

Reminds me if another Fraport trauma when kiddo was a baby...big suitcase, hand luggage, pram and car seat (prerequisite for a separate seat on the plane)...no trolleys available at all. I must have looked comical. :blink: 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vienna airport got over the bad signage issue - by not having any signs :P. Its a long corridor after you deboard to catch a long-haul flight. And then you assume your way forward by following the crowd so no stopping for peeing after the flight as you would be all alone in a 5 km long hospital light corridor.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/29/2017, 2:31:06, john g. said:

Brighter memories: a friend of my mine, Tom, had a teddy bear in his hand luggage and the guy at Heathrow looked at it and said: " sleep well, Mr Galvin"...:lol:

 

 

I had my (unusual looking) Scuba diving computer in my hand luggage (a back pack) , and was explaining its use to the X-ray guy. He looked at my bright red high heels sticking out the side pockets, winked, and asked : "And are those your fins?" :D

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 29/12/2017, 09:11:34, arunadasi said:

OK I mean Frankfurt and Munich specifically. Had an unpleasant adventure the other day.

We -- myself, daughter, and her fiancé -- were just about to leave my home for Frankfurt airport when she discovered she had forgotten her passport -- in Freising! Meanwhile the car was waiting to take us to the station (taxi's waiting, he's blowing his horn etc) to get to Frankfurt. We got to the train I time but still not knowing what to do.  She had neither passport nor ID. Just drivers license. Someone said that Easyjet accepted license for international travel but a call to Aer Lingus established that they didn't so we sent her to Freising from Mannheim, to join us the next day in Dublin.

 

So, Tony and I travelled on taking her suitcase. That meant that we had three pieces of hold luggage and 2 hand luggage. Which  meant that we'd need a trolley at Frankfurt Fernbahnhof. When we arrived Tony said he'd just go and "grab" a trolley. He was gone about 15 minutes with me guarding the luggage. The reason being you cannot just grab a trolley. You have to pay to get a trolley. 1 Euro. but not with a coin. No you need a credit card, and only a German card would do. T did not have a German card. Luckily some Afican guys turned up who had a German card and he got the trolley. Then a long trek to Terminal 2. Nowhere was it stated that we'd have to take the shuttle train. We suddenly found ourselves at the statio right at the top of the airport. Trolleys not allowed on the train, so all luggage unpacked and loaded in the train. Trolley gone.

The airport worker who grabbed the trolley began speaking to Tony telling him not to get off at the Terminal 2 but stay on the train till the next stop, then we'd get a free trolley. He spoke so quickly it was unundestandable why, so I told him  T does not speak German and please repeat. He repeated, but I still didnt get it so we did get off at Terminal 2 as I did not understand. There were no free trolleys so I ran off to grab a paid one, another 1 Euro of course. The machine was impossible. It did not accept my Volksbank card and also not my Visa card. It just said follow instructions on the screen, but there were none.

 

I fiddled with the machine for about ten minutes, wondering where T was. I never got a trolley. eventually T found me -- he had free trolley. apparently the free trolleys are simply the paid trolleys people leave behind when they find they can't board the train with trolleys. Long story short, to change terminals you need to go through the unresponsive trolley system twice, paying 2 Euros.

 

Now why in God's holy name would it occur to anyone to create a trolley system where you cannot use 1Euro coins??? ONLy credit cards, and only German credit cards, and even then you can't figure out how to make them work??? (I use machines and ccards all the time but never encountered such an unresponsive machine.) At an AIRPORT.

 

Our odyssey wasn't over. We checked in ( nice agent who accepted daughter's hold luggage as ours) and continued to the Gate. Which was closed. about 50 people standing or sitting on the floor in the corridor outside the gate. I refused to stand or sit. I sat down on one of the security staff counters. A staff member told me to get up. I said no. I said I need a chair and I am not going to stand or sit as both are painful to me. Anyway that seemed to do the trick as he spoke to someone who opened the gate and we (everyone) were able to enter and sit down.

 

Meanwhile daughter arrived home in Freising, picked up her passport and left for Munich airport next morning. Which is the most badly signposted airport ever, as I found out when I flew  to Sri Lanka from there earlier in the year, and as my daughter complained after queueing for 15 minutes only to be told to go somewhere else at the last minute.

 

I know these are 1st world problems but don't anyone tell me how efficient everything in Germany is! Traveling is hassle enough without things that should be easy (like machines that accept coins or proper signs) being made difficult. Should have posted in the Vent I suppose.

Feel free to vent about other airports.

 

On the way home we stopped off in Drogheda and went to the church where Oliver somebody's head has been preserved since the 17th century. How weird.

 

Very cold here. Rents are fairly high but buying a house would be cheap. You can get a nice 2- bed for 50 grand. Might even do that.

 

 

Frankfurt is my local airport, so I know it well.  But I would never class it as a nice airport and I feel your pain.  

 

As I know it so well, then I don't notice many things.  But, since my daughter came along then I have a new perspective on the airport as we have had to navigate with a pushchair and with luggage so we have to take (very) long way round to take the lifts.  And this showed me how difficult it is to do this.  Add in the people who take lifts just because they are lazy, meaning those of us who have no choice have to wait, then it makes things worse and slower!

 

But, compared to some other places then it is still not bad.  For example:  A couple of months ago we flew in/out of Stansted (first time in 10+ years) and the place is just terrible.

Massive Queues everywhere.  Families with small kids don't get priority at security and immigration (as they do in Frankfurt in most cases, which works very well and reduces the stress a lot), and such a bad layout.  

The layout means that it is difficult to get lost, but that people are funnelled the same way in narrow gaps so you get push around.  My poor daughter got hit twice be people 'in a hurry' who push past, and I had to intervene at least twice more.

 

 

 

 

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently flew to Sumburgh (Shetland), not much signage there, but hardly any needed as it's basically a shed, albeit a large-ish one and the main feature of the airport?

 

How about this for a runway?

Saxa-02.jpg.050142b5e89c910a8d1e6f9f8ead

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now