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Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter 2011: In Flight, Frankfurt Germany

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda
Date:December 23, 2011
Location: Frankfurt (Germany) International Airport

I flew on Lufthansa Airlines from Singapore and changed my flight to New York (USA) in Frankfurt (Germany) International Airport. It was my first time in Frankfurt,so I had earlier (gotten a Schengen Visa) planned a long lay-over to allow me to go out of the airport and get arrival and departure stamps on my passport (to possibly claim that I've been to Germany (lol.) 
Alright, the premeditated (evil) plan didn't work quite that well since I wasn't able to go out of the airport, but my passport has Frankfurt's arrival and departure stamps! Yeahey!!
(one of the shops in Terminal II where I got my teddys)
Frankfurt Airport is a huge airport with two terminals connected by bus and a Sky Train. My flight deplaned at around 6am in Terminal I which has five levels based on the touch-screen info-terminals I passed along the way. My flight (and all other flights) to US leaves in Terminal II which means I have to take the Sky Train on Level 2.I walked miles to find the Sky Train, which I didn't mind because it was an opportunity to take lots of pictures. Thankfully also, I have only the red bag to carry around which proves that traveling light is such a bliss!!   
(view from the Waiting areas at Terminal II)
Sky Train is Frankfurt Airport's free shuttle trains that run on two - minute intervals between the two terminals.It was such a short ride, I couldn't take pictures of the view lol. When I got to Terminal II and passed through security check, things started to drag  since my gate assignment did not appear yet on the flight screen monitor and I didn't wanna roam   around until I knew which gate to go for my flight.But after constant checking for almost 30 minutes to no avail, I decided to do the airport tour that was mentioned in the airport pamphlet. 
(free sleeping beds between Terminal I and II)
The pamphlet did not provide much info on the Frankfurt Airport Walking Tour except that it starts at Level 0 of Terminal I.Well, at least that's a good reason to actually get my dream Frankfurt arrival stamp! And so I got the stamps and exited. As I walked though I learned that the walking tour begins at 10:30am (it was only 7am) and normally lasts 3-4 hours (ouch my flight leaves at 11am), so I headed back to Terminal II, approached an Immigration officer and in a few seconds I got my dream Frankfurt departure stamp! Easy huh!! 

Back at Terminal II, my remaining hours were spent browsing through stuffed toys and souvenirs from Germany and finally buying two teddy bears (after exchangin $100 for Euro), grabbing a healthy drink and mixed nuts, using the free wifi computer, and just people watching and basking at the non-stop activity at the airport!   

The IF's at Frankfurt Airport
-if you can't find the Airport Guide 

1. If you have at least 7 hours lay-over between 10:30am onwards, go in one of the airport tours of exciting places just outside of the airport. No advance booking is required. Just go to Airport City Mall in Terminal I, Level 0 to purchase ticket. It is 12 Euro each with 5 other   people doing the same tour (or $75 if alone). 

2. If lay-over happens in April-October between 10am and 6pm, you can score an impressive panoramic view of the action on the apron and airfield from the Visitors' Terrace located in Terminal II at no cost. 

3. If you have children, there are several play areas in both terminals.Terminal 1-Concourse A, Level 2 & Concourse B .Terminal II-Concourse E, Level 2 & Bet.Concourse D & E, Leve 4.

4. If you want to save yourself a long walk, look for Terminal Express Shuttles for a free ride after passing the boarding pass check.

5. If you do not have a lounge accommodation at your airline, but wants to enjoy relaxed moments, get entertained, work or doze off, you can go to Terminal II Level 3 and avail of Sky Lounge accommodation for three hours for $40.  


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