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Leading Airport of Europe
Feb 21, 2002 03:43 PM 3640 Views
(Updated Feb 21, 2002 03:51 PM)





Frankfurt International airport is the den of Lufthansa German Airlines.I have been there twice - to catch my connecting flights from Brussels to Mumbai and back. You can read about my gruelling experience with Lufthansa in the Lufthansa section. My flight from Mumbai was delayed and I had missed my connecting flight to Brussels. Lufthansa had booked me on another flight which was to depart 4 hours later.

So I got a chance to see Frankfurt. It was covered with snow blanket and since it was the 25th of December, the whole city was sleeping. I had the entire city to myself. Not a single person on the road, not a single vehicle. It was magnificent.

I arrived back at the airport to find out that the my connecting flight is delayed, the delay period was increased again later. Consequently, I passed my time hanging around the airport.

The Frankfurt International Airport is one of the largest in Europe. Unlike the Amsterdam Schipol and London Heathrow Airports, the Frankfurt Intl. airport is quite complex. It took me approximately 25 minutes of running time to drop from one plane and join the queue for another. In between I commuted by bus, escalators, stairs and about mile long subway. So don't spend much time if you don't have enough time in between your flights.

There are numerous shops with varied products, in fact all that one can find in the supermarket but this is outside the immigration check point. Since I have a Schengen VISA I was lucky. Most of the shops inside are custom shops selling the hi-fi labels only. Do not buy them unless you have enough dollars to spare. The German chocolates are quite good. I recommend Ritter-Sport. You will find plenty of exchanges inside the airport but then the rates are quite low. Restaurants and pubs are omnipresent.

Throughout the airport you will find plenty of security and airport personnel. Just in case you feel you are lost, you can ask them ... they are all around. Toilets are present at every 100 metres. They contain paper towels, creams and soap ... guess for the delays passengers to get refreshed. Some of them also have the bathing facilities. It is well connected to the city centre via 'underground' or the 'metro'. Taxis would take 25-30 DM to take you to the city centre. Connected to the airport is the Sheraton hotel which is open 24 hours.

One disappointing point about this airport was that the cybercafes are missing. There are just 2 cybercafes (with dismal 2-3 computers each) in the airport complex and those too are closed for most of the times. The entire airport is dominated by Lufthansa staffs. Some are genuinely polite and helpful and some are pretentious. This is the only place in the world where you will find the Lufthansa staff at their best! And by luck , German speak good English. Flying Lufthansa ... via Frankfurt ... you will surely find time to roam around but good luck ... pray that you don't loose your baggage and don't get delayed further! God save you from Lufthansa.

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Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) - Intl.