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Cienfuegos

Viking - changing planes in Frankfurt

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My wife and I finished the Trades Routes cruise (Bergen - Barcelona) last week, and had some concerns about what has become a tight FRA connection, even though two hours are allowed.

 

Our Airbus A380 from Miami arrived a few minutes early, but there was a terminal change to get the Oslo plane. So we had to take the people mover to terminal A, walk through several corridors, go through hand luggage screening and pat-downs, walk another corridor to an escalator, and go through the passport and immigration controls. Followed by yet another walk to the Oslo flight gate. We arrived about ten minutes before scheduled boarding to find a gate change announcement.

 

Fortunately, the aircraft was not at the new gate, it was at the maintenance shed for repairs, so the passengers were bused out. We went through perfunctory customs and immigration checks in Oslo, and met our Viking pre-trip extension greeter outside the gates.

 

In the past, Frankfurt has been reasonably efficient.  But, I suspect the combination of a very large aircraft,  and light staffing in screening and passport controls created significant delays at several points on the chain.  Viking had initially said we would have a Miami - Vienna - Oslo routing, but changed that later in the process. 

 

We expressed our concern to Viking in writing through the cruise questionnaire,  and in person at guest services.  It seemed like an unduly stressful process.

 

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I HATE having to connect through Frankfort. Several times we have not had a gate so you have to deplane, one bus load of passengers at a time and then drive to some drop off that seems like it’s halfway to Berlin and then it’s up and down escalators and long waits for security and passport control then more endless corridors and what seemed like a perfectly reasonable layover time turns into an early morning sprint to make your next flight!  We have started using Vikings custom air option for the express purpose of avoiding Frankfurt!

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