ADrum23
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LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:04 am

Curious to know people's opinions on this subject. Of the "big four" airports in Western Europe (LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA), which is the best for connections to countries in Africa, the Middle East, India or even elsewhere in Europe? Which home airline (BA at LHR, AF at CDG, KL at AMS and LH at FRA) has the most connections to these places?
 
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seemyseems
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:08 am

I always find AMS a breeze to connect through, the staff are also helpful and the amenities are good. I have recently used FRA and CDG for connecting and they have gotten better, well from my experience.
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Varsity1
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:15 am

AMS.

LHR is easily last place.
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WPvsMW
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:15 am

ditto.
Alliance captivity may alter the priority, but for me:
1. AMS
2. tied: FRA and CDG
....
99. LHR
 
dmt52
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:16 am

AMS.
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zkojq
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:17 am

I vote Frankfurt - just a brilliant airport all around. Off course Munich is even better when it comes to connections; I made a connection less than 10 minutes aircraft to aircraft last year!
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VS4ever
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:20 am

Even though my home country airport I would agree LHR is a big ole pain in the rear. Having done DL to KLM cityflyer recently in AMS. I can say it was really rather good apart from being horrifically expensive. I have no knowledge of CDG or FRA so can’t comment, but 3rd party evidence of CDG I have from some friends says it’s improving
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codc10
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:24 am

On your list, AMS>FRA>CDG>LHR. But IMO MUC/2 is the easiest European airport for connections.
 
Drucocu
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:25 am

I have only used CDG to transfer, and hated it.
Luggage not making the connection, having to exit the sterile zone and having to reclear security again (intra-Schengen transfer). "Terminal 2" is a huge 6-terminal mess with atrocious walking time between the several (sub-)terminals and not enough moving walkways to speed things up due to the curved nature of the whole thing.
Check in lines at times block whole corridors making it even harder to navigate through to make a quick connection.
Nope, CDG is absolutely not my favourite transfer airport.

I have never had the opportunity to transfer in AMS, it being my home airport, but I know intra-Schengen it's a breeze. You exit the airplane right into the terminal. It'll be at most a 20-minute walk to your next flight if you're very unlucky.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:27 am

AMS is the worst when it comes to security check: 25 minutes queueing is common (they even have signs saying that it takes 25 minutes if the queue in front of security reaches a certain point, which it often does) and they are rude (if you don’t speak to them because you’re tired they will give you „special treatment“ shouting load at you and searching you thoroughly for 20 minutes). FRA is my choice.
Last edited by JayBCNLON on Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:38 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
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adambrau
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:28 am

As WPvsMV mentioned taking away airline alliance captivity, I would say AMS is the nicest and easiest tot transfer through.

Can'r really comment on CDG.

FRA is great. MUC is awesome.
LHR T2 to T2 connections aren't bad (Star Alliance).

I think I like ZRH best but not sure if they cover the ME/Africa as well as the big "4".

BRU serves some destinations in Africa that none of the others do, I suppose old Belgian colonies.

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FSDan
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:34 am

For connections to Africa, the Middle East, etc. it really depends on where you are trying to get to. Particularly CDG and AMS serve quite different destinations from each other (CDG has many more destinations in West and North Africa, whereas AMS has more destinations in East Africa). Destinations aside, I believe AMS is generally the easiest to connect in. I've actually never connected there myself, but I've flown to/from AMS multiple times and it's a really great airport.
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seemyseems
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:38 am

zkojq wrote:
I vote Frankfurt - just a brilliant airport all around. Off course Munich is even better when it comes to connections; I made a connection less than 10 minutes aircraft to aircraft last year!


I agree about MUC, a great airport to connect through!

ZRH is also pretty good, although not in the top 4.
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ncflyer
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:46 am

CDG = disaster. Avoid at all costs for plane changes. Horrible design, horrible distances to walk, horrible reliability of luggage transfer, horrible lines at times.
 
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copa330200
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:48 am

seemyseems wrote:
zkojq wrote:
I vote Frankfurt - just a brilliant airport all around. Off course Munich is even better when it comes to connections; I made a connection less than 10 minutes aircraft to aircraft last year!
:checkmark: :bouncy:

I agree about MUC, a great airport to connect through!

ZRH is also pretty good, although not in the top 4.
Varsity1 wrote:
AMS.

LHR is easily last place.
:checkmark: :bouncy:

I think AMS / FRA are the best !!! my choice normally depends on the final destination. :bouncy:

Definitely LHR is the very last :banghead:
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Midwestindy
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:52 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Curious to know people's opinions on this subject. Of the "big four" airports in Western Europe (LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA), which is the best for connections to countries in Africa, the Middle East, India or even elsewhere in Europe? Which home airline (BA at LHR, AF at CDG, KL at AMS and LH at FRA) has the most connections to these places?


In short it depends...
From my experience I remember each one has its own unique advantages

CDG: Superior service to North Africa (especially Morocco)+ many francophone countries, but in terms of pax experience it is lacking
LHR: Superior service to Nigeria(its close between LHR and FRA), South Africa, India, US, (maybe Middle East I'm not sure on this one), also lacking in terms of pax experience
FRA: Easy to connect
AMS: Easier to connect than CDG
CDG has the most countries served though IIRC...

If I wasn't Skyteam I would probably chose FRA most times, but at the same time Skyteam better serves the destinations in Africa, Middle East, and India I need to get to....so....
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787TCI
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:17 am

Easily AMS. Better terminal layout. Always on gate side of security. Superior personal and facilities. CDG and LHR share last place.
 
Melb94
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:23 am

What about BRU?
 
ADrum23
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:32 am

Melb94 wrote:
What about BRU?


BRU isn't one of the "big 4". I use the term "Big 4" because it seems most connecting traffic (particularly from the US) from outside the EU uses one of them (LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA) to connect either within Europe or elsewhere.
 
ADrum23
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:33 am

copa330200 wrote:
seemyseems wrote:
zkojq wrote:
I vote Frankfurt - just a brilliant airport all around. Off course Munich is even better when it comes to connections; I made a connection less than 10 minutes aircraft to aircraft last year!
:checkmark: :bouncy:

I agree about MUC, a great airport to connect through!

ZRH is also pretty good, although not in the top 4.
Varsity1 wrote:
AMS.

LHR is easily last place.
:checkmark: :bouncy:

I think AMS / FRA are the best !!! my choice normally depends on the final destination. :bouncy:

Definitely LHR is the very last :banghead:


This is surprising. I thought most people hated CDG the most. I've heard many more horror stories there than LHR. Is connecting within Terminal 5 (if you are using BA) that bad in your opinion?
 
blrsea
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:38 am

From an Indian citizen perspective, AMS is the best place to connect, and CDG is the worst. I would rank them as AMS/FRA/LHR/CDG.

None of the European countries are good options for India (and I assume for other South asian/African countries) if you are stuck in their airport for any reason (weather/aircraft gone mech etc). They will not let you out of the airport and treat you like crap. Europe connections are good only if things go well. Else, better for non-Western world folks to avoid it all together. At CDG, the airport itself is horribly designed, requiring you to land and go around in bus to different terminal, refusing to understand/talk in English and hard to find anyone for assistance.LHR security is worse of the lot. Many people complain about TSA in US(personally have not had any issues), but the LHR security make TSA look like ultra-efficient! AMS is the best one where people are actually friendly, connections are easier to navigate and overall user-friendly. FRA is not bad either, but the airport feels cramped and the toilets aren't sufficient during peak hours.

Better to go with Asian hubs like HKG/ICN/TPE/KUL/SIN or ME airports, where people at least help you without showing attitude, and offer decent alternatives if things go wrong.
 
DTWLAX
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:41 am

JayBCNLON wrote:
AMS is the worst when it comes to security check: 25 minutes queueing is common (they even have signs saying that it takes 25 minutes if the queue in front of security reaches a certain point, which it often does) and they are rude (if you don’t speak to them because you’re tired they will give you „special treatment“ shouting load at you and searching you thoroughly for 20 minutes). FRA is my choice.

The title clearly states best for connections - not as a point of origin. AMS is easily the best among the 4 airports mentioned
 
ADrum23
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:46 am

blrsea wrote:
From an Indian citizen perspective, AMS is the best place to connect, and CDG is the worst. I would rank them as AMS/FRA/LHR/CDG.

None of the European countries are good options for India (and I assume for other South asian/African countries) if you are stuck in their airport for any reason (weather/aircraft gone mech etc). They will not let you out of the airport and treat you like crap. Europe connections are good only if things go well. Else, better for non-Western world folks to avoid it all together. At CDG, the airport itself is horribly designed, requiring you to land and go around in bus to different terminal, refusing to understand/talk in English and hard to find anyone for assistance.LHR security is worse of the lot. Many people complain about TSA in US(personally have not had any issues), but the LHR security make TSA look like ultra-efficient! AMS is the best one where people are actually friendly, connections are easier to navigate and overall user-friendly. FRA is not bad either, but the airport feels cramped and the toilets aren't sufficient during peak hours.

Better to go with Asian hubs like HKG/ICN/TPE/KUL/SIN or ME airports, where people at least help you without showing attitude, and offer decent alternatives if things go wrong.


Where in India are you located, and how often have you made the connection in Europe? I have friends who just got back from BLR the other day, and they didn't seem to have too many problems (granted, like you said, it's probably a much different experience for westerners than it is for south asians). From where I am in the US (Nashville - BNA), LHR is the only one stop option (or will be starting in May) to get there, so I don't really have a choice. I may be making that BNA-BLR journey via LHR someday myself.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:47 am

I would have to say as far as convenienc and connection options, Frankfurt and Amsterdam are roughly equal. But for customer amenities, such as shopping and dining, as well as the overall look of the airport, I'd pick Frankfurt over Amsterdam. London is by far better than CDG (at least the new T2). But still more of a pain than FRA & AMS. Therefore, my choices would be in order: FRA, AMS, LHR, CDG.
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DDR
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:48 am

This is all of course personal preference, but my vote is AMS as the best and CDG as the worst. Never met a single rude employee in AMS. Airport is super easy for connections.
 
wenders825
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:52 am

FRA>AMS>CDG>>>>>>>LHR

MAD deserves a mention in this thread as an “outside the big 4” mention. Terminal 4 is pretty incredible.
 
LTCM
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:52 am

Best connecting airport in Europe?

BER

I've heard there has never been an aircraft delayed there. :stirthepot:
 
ADrum23
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:57 am

wenders825 wrote:
FRA>AMS>CDG>>>>>>>LHR

MAD deserves a mention in this thread as an “outside the big 4” mention. Terminal 4 is pretty incredible.


But if I am coming from the US, how many connections could I make to Europe and beyond in MAD?
 
ADrum23
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:59 am

LTCM wrote:
Best connecting airport in Europe?

BER

I've heard there has never been an aircraft delayed there. :stirthepot:


I think only construction workers are allowed to connect there right now........ ;)
 
StuckInCA
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:10 am

I'm really surprised at the positive responses for FRA. I really don't care for that airport at all.

I connect at AMS whenever possible, but end up at CDG a fair amount and haven't had any particularly bad experiences.

I've had some of my worst experiences at FRA.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:11 am

ADrum23 wrote:
copa330200 wrote:

This is surprising. I thought most people hated CDG the most. I've heard many more horror stories there than LHR. Is connecting within Terminal 5 (if you are using BA) that bad in your opinion?


I'm just as surprised. I stopped connecting through CDG entirely, it just doesn't make sense to run between the different parts of terminal 2. It has been a couple of years, but my waits are CDG were always terribly boring, lots of luggage delayed, etc. I've had nothing but smooth experiences connecting through LHR T5. The traffic during peak seasons is annoying, but not disruptive in my experience.
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blrsea
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:12 am

ADrum23 wrote:
Where in India are you located, and how often have you made the connection in Europe? I have friends who just got back from BLR the other day, and they didn't seem to have too many problems (granted, like you said, it's probably a much different experience for westerners than it is for south asians). From where I am in the US (Nashville - BNA), LHR is the only one stop option (or will be starting in May) to get there, so I don't really have a choice. I may be making that BNA-BLR journey via LHR someday myself.


I am in BLR as you can see from my username. I have connected through Europe 1-2 times a year till a few years back. Now I prefer ME airports. Like I said, when things are good (>98-99% of the time), there are no issues. In May when the chances of weather related issues are low, there shouldn't be any issues. If you are an Indian citizen, make sure that you have a valid H1B stamp in your passport (doesn't matter if you have I-797 extension) else airliines will not even allow you to board flight to LHR.

I wouldn't mind connecting at LHR, but if given a choice, would prefer Asian/ME connections. Its just that I have a better experience in other airports. I used to fly through Asian carriers long time back when BLR had no direct connections to Europe. LH was the first to start and for few years, their prices were super expensive (>$400 diff travelling via FRA compared to 2-stops). Asian carriers were good, but on the way back to India from US, there would be long layovers of greater than 6 hours at BKK/SIN/KUL. So overall flight duration on way back would be greater than 32-34 hours. Then BA/AF started flying to BLR, and EK also started expanding to US, so options are more. Not to mention that Dragon Air flies to BLR too, and flight to SFO/LAX through KA/CX is actually faster than ME and HKG airport is great.
 
DTWLAX
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:05 am

blrsea wrote:
If you are an Indian citizen, make sure that you have a valid H1B stamp in your passport (doesn't matter if you have I-797 extension) else airliines will not even allow you to board flight to LHR.

This has nothing to do with BA or other European airlines. If you are traveling to USA and do not have a valid visa to the USA, no airline will allow you to board the aircraft. The I-797 extension is completely invalid if you do not have a valid visa.
 
blrsea
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:51 am

DTWLAX wrote:
blrsea wrote:
If you are an Indian citizen, make sure that you have a valid H1B stamp in your passport (doesn't matter if you have I-797 extension) else airliines will not even allow you to board flight to LHR.

This has nothing to do with BA or other European airlines. If you are traveling to USA and do not have a valid visa to the USA, no airline will allow you to board the aircraft. The I-797 extension is completely invalid if you do not have a valid visa.


Did I say anywhere that it has to do airlines? I didn't even mention BA, please re-read the quoted part. And the topic is about LHR, hence the visa issue. Also, this is not about travelling to USA for which as everyone knows, a valid visa is required. What happens many times is that the H1B status is extended, and people in US can continue to work based on that. They prefer to go to India for getting visa stamped, and even at that time while going to India, they won't be able to transit LHR as they don't have a valid US visa on their passport. A very close friend of mine and his family got refused boarding at Seattle for flight to India thru LHR by BA as his H1B stamp in passport had expired.

And US visitor visas too are different in that you need to just enter US while the B1/B2 visa stamp is your passport is valid. The length of stay is decided by CBP on the I-94. So while going back, the visa stamp in your passport would have expired. I know people who have entered US with just a week or so remaining on their visitor visas, and the immigration officials will allow them 6-months stay. Going back will be a problem if transiting through LHR.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:34 am

I would say FRA is just a bit better od AMS due to distances.
Then... I don't find CDG too customer friendly and I managed to always avoid LHR.
Btw, MUC is the best and MAD is good too.
 
DouglasDC10
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:52 am

AMS is by far the easiest of the four mentioned, MUC is very close although I still prefer AMS over it. AMS has everything within one building and more facilities to offer in order to kill your time. FRA can be a pain in the ass if you have to connect between a flight in Terminal 1 and a flight in Terminal 2 or between a Schengen and a non-Schengen flight. Other than that, it's fine. I can't decide which one is worse: CDG or LHR. I would actually like to avoid both of them.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:57 am

WPvsMW wrote:
ditto.
Alliance captivity may alter the priority, but for me:
1. AMS
2. tied: FRA and CDG
....
99. LHR


99. LHR. Bwahahahaha!
BA JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO W7 WN NW DL QQ UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR PG MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN PC LO OK OZ UL SQ LA

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 332 333 342 343 380
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:45 am

Never been to AMS but of the other ones mentioned I prefer FRA, although LHR T5 was also quite nice. CDG is a nightmare. And as MUC and ZRH were mentioned a few times: MUC=ZRH>>>>>>FRA.
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dredgy
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:06 am

Well it depends on lots of things - if you want to leave the airport for a night, and of course where you're flying to.

As the OP posits, if connecting to Africa, then CDG is probably best since France has a lot of ties to Africa and therefore lots of flights. Though a transit in CDG can be more painful than surfing in a volcano so there's that...

If destination was irrelevant and it's just what's the most pleasant airport to connect in, then it has to be AMS hands down.
 
ei146
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:28 am

For me:
1. MUC: OK, MUC is not one of the big 4. But it has a lot of connections to Eastern and Southern Europe, and it is fast and efficient, even if you change between terminals.
2. FRA: Not so beautyful, and you see how it grew over time. But still it is efficient once you know your ways around and some of the short cuts (e.g. the tunnel between A & B and the SkyLine Train, both available within the sterile area)
3. AMS: Still relatively short distances and efficient security and passport checks. But while I made my tight connections my luggage didn't a number of times.
4. CDG: A nightmare if you have a connection like 2G to 2B. So you need plenty of time. And they also lost my luggage several times.
Honorable mentions go to MAD. Most of the time it worked. But somehow my incoming flight is always late there so I have to hurry. Do you know how it feels if you arrive at your departure gate completly exhausted from running just to see how it closes?
Last: LHR I avoid it like the plague.
 
sekant
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:53 am

Always surprised by all that raving about AMS, the place is overpacked, automatic passport control when exiting Schengen is more often than not a mess, no priority line for those of us luck to travel in J, lounge is way below par in terms of food and beverages, the process for flights to the US is messy and incomprehensible.....

CDG, depending on the type of connection, for instance 2F to 2E (KLM) is actually now fairly smooth and fast, in particular the priority lane which work much better thant T5 (security clearance event with priortiy is a regular mess at Heathrow).
 
ei146
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:37 am

sekant wrote:
Always surprised by all that raving about AMS, the place is overpacked, automatic passport control when exiting Schengen is more often than not a mess, no priority line for those of us luck to travel in J, lounge is way below par in terms of food and beverages, the process for flights to the US is messy and incomprehensible.....

CDG, depending on the type of connection, for instance 2F to 2E (KLM) is actually now fairly smooth and fast, in particular the priority lane which work much better thant T5 (security clearance event with priortiy is a regular mess at Heathrow).


I am not raving about AMS, it is just one of the not sooo bad options amongst all the bad and terrible ones. Forget about all the lounges and priority lines. I and about 80% or more of all travellers can't use them anyway. I just want to get from arrival gate to departure gate as quickly, smooth and hazzle-free as possible. Please make me find my way easily and keep harrasment by security and passport checks, waiting queues and commercialism to a minimum. AMS is not so bad in this regard. Now if they would not lose my luggage all the time they would actually be good.

For CDG I seem to have bad luck and get the terrible connections all the time.
 
ei146
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:40 pm

blrsea wrote:
None of the European countries are good options for India (and I assume for other South asian/African countries) if you are stuck in their airport for any reason (weather/aircraft gone mech etc). They will not let you out of the airport and treat you like crap. Europe connections are good only if things go well. Else, better for non-Western world folks to avoid it all together.


I am sorry about your experiences, but there is only so much the airport or the airline can do about it. At least at most European airports you have an "international area" that you can use for connections without a visa and without legally entering the country. In the USA you even need a visa for transfer.
If you have a visa you can of course leave the airport. For me as a German it is the same in India: I need a visa to be allowed in.
But even inside the international zone you usually have hotels and depending on the airline and the flight the airline may have to pay for it.

At CDG, the airport itself is horribly designed, requiring you to land and go around in bus to different terminal,

agreed

refusing to understand/talk in English and hard to find anyone for assistance.


In my experience this is a field were cultural differences collide.
One thing: In most countries in Western Europe (except UK and Ireland) English is not an official language. Most people learn some English in school, but don't need it in their daily lifes. So I would not necessarily expect a French bus driver to understand a lot of English. Also Western Europeans are used to British and American English. Some English variants and the pronounciation used in India or other Asian countries is actually difficult for us to understand. So if someone pretends to not understand you this person may actually not understand you.
The other thing, and this is difficult for me to write as English is not my native language and I don't know if I will find the right tone: When people from India or some other Asian countries have a question or a request to an information desk or an airline employee it looks to me often very demanding, agressive and unpolite. They may talk in what they think is the normal way to do so, but the reception on the other side of the desk is completly different, because that guy or gal is not used to it. MIx that with a bad day and you may actually get a rude response. This is not professional but human.
 
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:57 pm

I'd say AMS is generally best, although the last time I connected through, there was some weird security theater that I hadn't seen before.

CDG used to be horrible, isn't so bad now, but it depends on where you are going from/to. 2E/2F which is common, is not bad at all, and someone even thought to put signage up a couple years ago (amazing). Connecting between 2ABCD and anywhere else can be a hassle, and if T1 is involved forget it.

FRA is sort of similar in that it can be OK or really bad, long long walks. At least FRA you can stay behind security if you know what you're doing.

LHR if everything is within the same terminal it's probably OK. Otherwise just don't.
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:32 pm

ADrum23 wrote:
Curious to know people's opinions on this subject. Of the "big four" airports in Western Europe (LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA), which is the best for connections to countries in Africa, the Middle East, India or even elsewhere in Europe? Which home airline (BA at LHR, AF at CDG, KL at AMS and LH at FRA) has the most connections to these places?

Putting aside personal preferences, I decided to focus on connections in terms of variety of destinations served.
This soon proved to be a minefield......

Take AFRICA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_t ... _in_Africa
The top 19 airports (2016) only cover 11 different countries plus one French overseas department (out of 54 sovereign states)

If you know your world geography (or history) you will see that most African countries have little connection to either Germany or the Netherlands.
It is basically a straight split between France and Great Britain. (Ok, that's probably going to attract some criticism... :lol: )

In terms of travel, France wins out because their former colonies are mostly clustered around North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) i.e. just a short hop across the Mediterranean from France itself. There is a huge North African diaspora living in France, and French people can even pop across to visit Tunis on a day-trip!

In contrast, the (former) British colonies tended to be located much further south and east (e.g. Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and of course South Africa itself)) which makes them more of a long-haul destination.

This inevitably affects the variety of destinations, and the frequency of services, out of LHR versus CDG, making statistical analysis somewhat moot.

Summary
Purely in terms of AFRICA; number of destinations, services, and indeed variety of airlines offering competing schedules...

AMS is the poorest option; KLM only serve 3 airports out of the top 12, and two of those are JNB & CPT in the Republiek van Suid-Afrika
Similarly, only four African airlines serve AMS (Egyptair, Royal Air Maroc, Tunisair, and Kenya A/w) from the busiest African airports. (no SAA ??)

It's hard to split LHR & CDG, with each country favouring it's former colonies.

FRA is ultimately the surprise with LH serving more top African airports than either AF or BA.
FRA also receives a healthy share of return traffic from African airlines, offering multiple options on most routes.

But that is just Africa.
And even within "just Africa", it makes quite a difference where you are headed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scramble_for_Africa
Image
Blue = France, Salmon/Pink = British, and for a full list see the article above ( "Scramble for Africa")
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:07 pm

Having just finished a trip IAD-CDG-AUH, then DXB-AMS-IAD, as well as having connected at FRA and LHR many times I vote for AMS!
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Bostrom
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:22 pm

FRA is my favourite of the four mentioned. I've really not seen AMS from the nice side that so many here seem to have done. Long lines, having to go through security when connecting despite having arrived from another EU country. Hopefully it has become better, but I have avoided AMS recently. And, as many other I would rank LHR in the bottom. Not horrible when staying in the same terminal, but I would not like to connect between terminals.

I also would like to give CPH an honourable mention, a great airport for connections in my opinion.
 
sofianec
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:16 pm

AMS is a nice airport but has certain issues such as: a) frequent security delays - in fact in all cases I had to transfer via AMS or use AMS as an origin/destination airport comparing it to FRA where security checks and time wasted are minimal/non-existent. b) Arrival at FRA including Zoll/Customs, passport control, baggage collection all cases FRA fares better than AMS (always took forever for everything and too much walking, food options are grotesquely overpriced) and FRA is very affordable vs Schiphol. I agree that MUC is nicer than FRA but the best European Airport for transfers among LHR/CDG/AMS/FRA are imo:

1. FRA - both transfer-wise and o/d experience is better than AMS overall.
2. AMS - excellent in many ways but lacking vs FRA in simple time/effort/cost to use the airport
3. CDG - huge mess / if only on AF somewhat easier but if I had a choice to pick transfer airport i'd rather try FRA/AMS/CPH/HEL/VIE first.
4. LHR / #3 if not switching terminals otherwise takes forever, LHR is BA o+d crown, for transfers i rather not
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:12 pm

What pissed me off about LHR is the fact that they only reveal the departure gate 60 minutes before departure. I'm told this is normal with all UK airports, to keep you shopping, but I still think it's wrong. Especially when going from T5A to T5C, knowing the departure gate that late is just wrong.

As for the question at hand, I can't judge CDG because I was never there. I have to say (based on my immediate experience) AMS first and FRA second. LHR definitely last.
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Re: LHR, CDG, AMS, FRA: Which is the best for connections?

Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:11 pm

LH and BA has the best network, though FRA is a better airport. AMS is nice airport and KLM is nice airline.

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