Frankfurt International Airport

As one of Europe’s largest airports – Frankfurt International airport is regarded as a major global traveller and tourism hub, and is in fact the ninth busiest in the world.

In 2012, it boasted that up to 57.5 million passengers passed through its security barriers (its highest number ever for one year). Passenger figures at Frankfurt International Airport have been increasing on an annual basis. But then that shouldn’t really be surprising since 107 airlines fly to more than 275 destinations in 111 countries around the world with flights to and from every major airport (1,365 flights a day in total).

Located a mere 12km southwest of Germany’s financial capital Frankfurt, the airport currently boasts two major international terminals. Work on a third terminal is ongoing and when finished should ultimately provide adequate parking for up to 75 aircraft at a time (in addition to a maintenance facility for the new much-wider A380 Airbus which German airline Lufthansa and other major carriers plan to develop). This new 3.4 billion euro facility, along with the new 2800 meter long runway will also allow bosses at Frankfurt International Airport to achieve their aim of 120 flight movements an hour and the servicing up to 90 millions a passengers a year. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2016/17.

Employing more than 75,000 people the Airport is Germany’s biggest single employer based in the one location. These individuals work not just on airport-related services (Frankfurt is a hub for Lufthansa and Air India’s North American operations), but also the very many catering, business, conference and retail facilities that exist within the airport, making it far more than just an air travel location. In fact, it’s often referred to as a ‘town’ in its own right due to its abundance of ‘lifestyle’ facilities.

These facilities include seven on-site hotels such as the highly-rated Sheraton and Steigenberger groups, 200 individual conference suites for up to 1200 delegates at a time, 65 restaurants and around 250 shops. There is also religious provision in the form of a chapel and Muslim prayer room, as well as a lawyer, dentist, optician, hairdressers, medical clinic, two pharmacies and a dry cleaning outlet.

Frankfurt Hahn Airport

IATA Airport Code: FRA

ICAO Airport Code: EDDF

UTC/GMT: +1 Hour (+2 Hours in Summer)

Hotels

There are currently seven hotels in the airport itself (as well as a dog hotel). Human hotels are – The Sheraton, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Steigenberger, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and the Meininger. These all range from three star provisions up to five star.

Literally just steps away from Terminal One, the Sheraton is the most conveniently located of all the airport hotels. It’s also the largest with more than 1000 rooms and 54 conference/banquet rooms for up to 1200 individuals at a time. There are also four restaurants/bars and a fitness centre located within the hotel itself.

Hotels near Frankfurt Airport

Shopping and Eating

With a supermarket selling seven days a week, and clothing and countless other retailers remaining open from 6am right up to 10.30 pm there is every chance shoppers will find what they are looking for at Frankfurt International Airport.

The Shopping Alley in Terminal One is the airport’s main retail area and is regarded as a bit of a shopper’s paradise, especially when you consider the number of designer outlets it boasts, such as English designer Mulberry, Hermes and Esprit, as well as numerous technology and multi-media outlets, not to mention the popular Duty Free emporiums.

These are all surrounded by a host of strategically-placed 24-hour coffee bars and restaurants (the latter offering cuisine from every corner of the globe). One of the more popular eating and drinking venues at the airport is the rooftop beer garden in Terminal One, level three.

Those anxious about not having enough time to browse the duty free shops prior to their flight can order online up to 12 hours in advance of their arrival at Frankfurt International Airport and simply pick it up already packaged from the appropriate Duty Free desk.

Conference and Business

A large conference centre can accommodate up to 200 individuals at the one time with onsite audiovisual equipment, secretarial staff, internet equipment, interpreters and caterers.

In addition to the above there are also eight conference locations with more than 200 individual rooms for up to 1200 participants.

Many of the Frankfurt International Airport lounges also have facilities business people can use, as do the larger hotels such as the Sheraton Frankfurt Hotel. All are regularly used since the airport itself is less than three hours from any major European city and extremely convenient as an international meeting venue.

Trains

Passengers who arrive in Frankfurt International Airport can make their way to local destinations such as Frankfurt or anywhere else in the Rhine-Main thanks to more than 220 regional S-Bahn connections a day arriving and departing from the airport. Meanwhile, for those westbound to Mainz and Wiesbaden trains are available every 15 minutes.

With more than 180 long-distance trains running on a daily basis, passengers heading further afield to anywhere else in Germany or indeed to most of Europe’s largest cities, can travel via the AIRail Terminal. Both the S-Bahn and AIRail are located in Terminal One but tickets are purchased at different locations.

For instance, for the S-Bahn tickets should be accessed via the RB Mobility Centre. For the AIRail Terminal it’s at the Deutsche Bahn station where you’ll find long distance trains departing and arriving via Platform Three.

It is worth noting too that for long distance travellers arriving on certain airlines - such as Lufthansa, Air Berlin, Emirates and Air Malaysia – it is possible to check in their baggage via counters in the AiRail Terminal between the station and Terminal One.

Banks

Seven major German banks offer both domestic and international services. There is also ATM machines (both airside and landside), a post office and currency exchange bureaus located throughout both airport terminals.

General Traveller Information

The FRA Airport App can be downloaded free by scanning the QR code. This provides information on flights, shopping and parking.

Frankfurt International Airport, as you can imagine is at the forefront of the latest travel technology. New Interactive Information Kiosks can also read boarding passes via a barcode scanner. They will then direct passengers towards their respective departure gate via a large lit-up terminal map. They also give up to the minute flight changes and other journey-related information. Around 90 of the new kiosks will be installed in both terminals.

Meanwhile if you prefer to speak to someone face-to-face then manned Information Desks can be found in both terminals and are open round the clock.

Getting Married at Frankfurt International Airport

And finally, it’s not everyone’s idea of a romantic destination, but it’s now possible to get married in Frankfurt International Airport thanks to the introduction of an airport wedding planner. As well as a reception for 15, the cost of 1500 euros includes the ceremony itself and a photo shoot with airplanes in the background. At least that way you’ll never miss the honeymoon flight!

Rental Cars

A selection of cars in various sizes is available to rent and pick up and drive directly from the airport on production of a relevant driving licence and credit card.

Frankfurt Internationa (am Main) Airport car rental

Parking

Frankfurt International Airport boasts plenty of parking provision (both multi-storey and underground) such as 8,400 spaces in Terminal One and 3,300 in Terminal Two. Those who book online from four weeks and up to nine months prior to their flight can save as much as 53 per cent when they opt for the early bird parking discounts.

Parking at both Terminals is 24 hours and easy to access via the motorway.

For those looking for long-term holiday parking provision around 1500 spaces are available with parking for eight days from 49 euros (between November and March – prices can double in peak season). Parking places can be reserved for 5 euros.

For a higher rate, Airport Car Service (ACS) will guarantee security for 188 vehicles in Terminal One by ensuring they remain in locked and guarded premises.

Business parking is available at Terminal One. This guarantees an extra-wide front row parking space and direct access to the terminal building itself.

Drivers with registered mobility difficulties are entitled to use the reserved spaces in the underground parking facility in both Terminals One and Two. Early Bird discounts also apply on booking these online prior to the flight.

Payment for parking is automatic with machines accepting both debit and credit cards. Parking tickets have the level and row number printed on them for easy location on return.

Luggage carts at the airport cost 2 euro to hire (a credit card can be used in addition to money).

Airport Transfers

Moving between terminals in the airport is easy and extremely quick via the free Sky Line shuttle train which usually appears to pick up and drop off passengers every two minutes.

Taxis

Taxis can be found at a designated rank outside both Terminals One and Two. The typical journey into the centre of Frankfurt should no more than around thirty minutes.

Buses

Three local buses stop at Frankfurt International Airport – the numbers 61, 62, 73 and 900. You can also catch an Airliner bus. Tickets are bought from the driver on entering the bus which is located outside Terminal One at Arrivals and Terminal Two (level two).

Other Means of Travel

Around 12 hotels in total within the Frankfurt area – such as the Hotel Mercure, Holiday Inn and the Ramada - provide free or paid for shuttle bus transport to and from the Airport. Some of these shuttles have to be booked with the hotel by the guest him or herself, other shuttles are operated on a regular basis, picking up and dropping off passengers throughout the day and night. It’s always best to check beforehand what your hotel’s provision is as a taxi ride will take around 30 minutes into the city centre.

Airport Lounges

Frankfurt International Airport has several lounges. There are 14 lounges in Terminal One and a total of seven in Terminal Two. All are WiFi-enabled. The Airport is the first in the country to now offer 30 minutes internet access free from the Wireless Local Area Network (W-LAN) via Deutsche Telekom.  Passengers type in a code on their own iPad or laptop. After that it costs 4.95 euros an hour.

Smart phones and other mobile electronic devices can be charged for free using the various Oracle booths throughout the airport as well as in the Around the World restaurant in Terminal One.

The LUXX Lounge and the Sky Lounge are available for anyone for a cost of 30 euros a day or 30 euros for three hours respectively. Here visitors can shower and freshen up as well as dine and attempt to find some quiet space. Those who wish peace and quiet can head to the Terminal 2 Spa for a massage or 30 minutes in the Oxygen Bar. Both are located on Level Three.

Other Facilities

We don’t all need them but for some they are essential – baby-changing, family play areas, showers, a casino and even a guided tour of the airport if you’ve been hanging around too long and have nothing else to do.

Children, and those who like plane spotting, will enjoy the Visitor’s Terrace. This is where the airport authorities refer to as the ‘apron area’ and is the closest passengers can get to seeing planes take off and land. Located at Terminal 2, it can be accessed for $5 between 10am - 5pm. As well as the live action there is also a set of miniature model planes to allow the visitor to simulate his take offs and landings.

For those who can’t bear to be parted from their canine friend and want him or her to receive top treatment, the airport offers a Dog Hotel where the pooch will receive grooming, vaccination and veterinary care as well as socialization with other dogs. All dogs who have received rabies injections will be considered for a place.

The aforementioned guided tours depart hourly from 1 to 4pm and can be booked beforehand via email rundfahrten@fraport.de. Additional tours are available at weekends and on holidays, including children’s birthday party tours and even special night time airport trips. Most of these involve a look at the new A380 Airbus.

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