Details: Lufthansa Coronavirus Testing At Frankfurt Airport

Filed Under: Lufthansa

Easy and frequent coronavirus testing is an important component of travel returning to normal. We’ve seen some airports introduce more testing opportunities, and this is now being rolled out at Lufthansa hubs, with Frankfurt being the first one.

The way this is being offered is something to be excited about in terms of the implications it can have on travel.

Frankfurt Airport coronavirus testing

Plans for this were initially announced a couple of weeks ago, but it’s now happening. Lufthansa plans to offer coronavirus testing at hubs in Frankfurt and Munich, and this could soon expand to more Lufthansa Group hubs.

The company CENTOGENE is working in cooperation with Lufthansa and Fraport to offer coronavirus rapid tests at Frankfurt Airport. With this, passengers can get RT-PCR tests (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction tests).

The testing center is located between Terminal 1 and “The Squaire,” and has the following hours:

  • 7AM until 7PM Monday through Friday
  • 9AM until 5PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays

There’s no appointment necessary for this, though you do need to register through the CENTOGENE website, since you’ll receive your test results in digital form.

How much will coronavirus testing cost?

There are two versions of the test available at Frankfurt Airport:

  • You can pay 59EUR for a test that gets you results within six to eight hours
  • You can pay 139EUR for a test that gets you results within three hours
  • For an additional 9EUR you can obtain an official and internationally valid attestation of the test results, which you can provide to authorities in many countries; this includes documentation of the travel document and the identity of the tested person, and is mandatory for air travel

How does this pricing compare to other airports offering coronavirus testing?

Why this is an exciting development

As we’re increasingly seeing countries open borders to visitors, one common theme is testing being required prior to arrival. In many cases, countries are requiring testing within 72 hours of travel.

Being able to get a test without an appointment and have results within three hours is extremely useful for people traveling to many places.

Often when you get tested there’s no promise as to how soon you’ll get the results, and it can take many days. This can present a major issue for anyone who plans travel but can’t coordinate both a test and the results in time.

One major consideration here, though, is that you’ll have to clear immigration in Germany to get tested. Germany’s borders are still closed to most countries, so that means those transiting Germany enroute to an international destination may not be able to actually enter the country, and therefore may not be able to get tested. You’ll need to be allowed to enter Germany in order to get this testing.

Bottom line

The new coronavirus testing at Frankfurt Airport is possibly the most useful coronavirus testing opportunity we’ve seen at any airport.

You can get tested for 59EUR, or you can pay 139EUR to get results within three hours. Being able to get results so quickly — and in a verified manner for international travel — will prove extremely useful.

As we’re increasingly seeing countries open and require testing within a few days of arrival, I’d love to see this concept expanded to more airports. Airport testing that offers results within hours could be a game changer for many.

Under what circumstances would you value airport testing options?

  1. While any testing is good, Lufthansa should start with testing their employees first. They are constantly getting exposure in the airports and flying around the world, then they should move to testing customers IMO.

  2. LUFTHANSA has at both locations there own Medical Center for there Flying Staff to the the recurrent testing for Flight personal, those include laboratories too and i guess that’s where all that takes place and keeping there own people busy and the jobs!
    Would be good idea as not to many crew members will be showing up right now for tropical testing or the regular tests for Flying Personal either as most are either or short time work or many are not going to the tropics due to the number of cancelled flights on the long haul operations, so there could be quiet some capacity!
    NOT everybody will be interested in doing a test on ever flight they take, think of that too!

  3. I know the rapid-results testing used at the White House had huge problems with false negatives. Are there accurate quick tests available?

  4. Very Good! If you need one to have a proof from your emarkation point or destination, you have it within hours.
    Most travellers would not to make a test, less because of the price but they fear if the test result is positiv, they have to be qurantined! Beware their are mild and asymptomstic cases, so you necessarily do not need to have the worst case, in the end it is either being infected or not, therefore a potential spreader and risk to other pax at the airport and onboard the plane.

  5. The key will be what test do they use. Roche, Abbot and Pfizer have all been reported as not accurate enough. Novcyt, have the gold standard test, approved by the WHO. They are currently working on a new rapid test, due to roll out shortly. This is to see if you have the test. Other companies are working on new rapid tests tor antibodies, to see if you ever had the virus. Testing will be key to open borders. Cost price these tests run at £1-£10. In theory any airline/airport could run like this:
    Check in with a covid negative test, or pay and take a test there and then, wait 10 minutes. Cost, £20-£30 allowing for staff costs etc. Could it be added to price of tickets? Anyway, at arrival airport, another test on arrival, wait 10 minutes and then clear immigration. Who knows what will happen, but as tests become more reliable and quicker, more options open up.

  6. Testing at a transit point seems to me to cause more problems than it solves.

    Travel on ME3, transit UAE
    Covid test at transit, before departure, tests positive.
    Not allowed boarding to destination, not allowed entry to UAE
    Quarantined (or worse) WHERE?

    I would be very nervous to undergo a test under these circumstances

    Test at departure point (international travellers)
    Test at final destination.
    If infected during either sector, I believe you would not become infectious that quickly, but if this should not be the case, you would be tested on arrival and quarantined or isolated there.

  7. I’ll be flying Lufthansa in late July to Lisbon via Frankfurt. I figure, by then, there will be some kind of test requirement to enter. There is already talk in the Portuguese government to require proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to entry. It would be convenient to be able to do it in transit if I could get the results with the certificate to take with me. It would be easier to get tested that way than to find some place in Los Angeles and have those results be accepted as valid in Lisbon.

  8. Hard to believe but In the DMV I can’t find one rapid testing center that will take me for travel purposes. Only if I show symptoms. And with that only a few places offer it.

  9. The little that I know/read shows that this testing is very accurate but the testing process, handling of the material is very delicate. Apparently it uses RNA and when RNA is removed it is very fragile (unlike DNA).

    But I’m not in the medical field so this is worth nothing 🙂

  10. @Ben: it is REVERSE, not “reserve”.
    RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction)

  11. @Rich, you are right. Basically the PCR detects the presence of a portion of the genetic material of the virus (or any organism). Various kits have various thresholds for detection and one of the major causes of false negatives is the acquisition and processing of samples before the actual PCR. You need to first ensure the swab is done appropriately then the genetic material is extracted and yeah RNA degrades faster than DNA…then one extra step before the PCR. Broadly speaking, if a kit’s lower limit of detection is say 20 copies, but you only get 10 copies at the end of the process, it may appear to be negative. On the other hand, having a positive results doesn’t always mean you are infectious. Your body may have managed to inactivate the virus, but there may still be traces left

  12. @UpperDeckJohnny Your statement about testing while in transit is very valid.

    Just mentioning, this testing location is well into the ground-side area, it would normally be considered outside the terminal. If I understand, it is in the walkway from Terminal 1-A to the Sheraton/Marriot, Hilton and long distance train stations. I am guessing they are going to use the empty area that was once a ticketing office run by DB,

  13. @david – as far as I understand from the press reports, it isn’t 22,000 layoffs but 22,000 equivalent positions. Using e.g. part-time working / salary cuts, the layoffs could be fewer.

  14. I’m in Houston, fourth largest city in America, and a swab test takes 5-7 days to get results back. Nobody has rapid tests or access to quick PCR labs. You can’t get a faster result even if you pay for it. What a joke of a country we live in.

  15. I’m confused what the “official and internationally valid attestation of the test results” means, and why the upcharge is necessary. If you don’t pay it, are your test results only valid in Germany?

  16. Not coming anytime soon to any Hawaii airports: rapid COVID testing. But that’s cool. Hawaii doesn’t need tourists.

  17. My free drive though swab test provided by the National Guard and UMC (at UNLV) in Las Vegas has test results in 12 hours . Result was available online dated at 4am the next morning.

    In theory I could then fly somewhere internationally for a night or two, and make it thru security for my return flight using the same negative test result…..


  18. @Lucky, I’m a non-German EU citizen living in the infected U.S.

    I wonder if I could travel to Germany, get this test, and avoid the German quarantine as a result?

    EU citizens are welcome to travel to the EU on July 1st, but we can still be held accountable for quarantine, if coming from a banned country (e.g. the U.S.).

    Your thoughts?

  19. @James:
    I guess that would depend on the health authority.

    According to the relevant quarantine by-law by the state of Hesse (where FRA airport is located), you are exempt from having to quarantine if you can provide a medical certificate by a doctor that there are no indications that you have been infected by the SARS-CoV2-Virus. The test must be a molecular-biological test having been done in a country in the European Union or another country approved by the Robert-Koch-Institute (German Version of the CDC) that took place not more than 48 hours prior to entry into Germany.

    The testing center is landside, after immigration. Being tested there would mean that you did not have a test prior to arrival in Germany.

    However, there is a provision that the Health authority may grant an exemption if this is considered justifiable, all things considered. So you would have to plead with the health authority to accept a test taken after arrival.

    Here’s the bylaw (German language only):
    and it’s Para 2 (3) and (4) of the bylaw.

  20. Myself and my family did testing on arrival at PRG yesterday. It cost 5250 Kc (65 EUR) and we had the results in our email a little more than 12 hours later. There was an express option to get the results in 3 hours for 3.5 times the price. Hope to see this in more airports enabling safe travel.

  21. Not particularly cheap but good development. Will help travel if you can go with a certificate. Will this be the swab test through nose and troth? This is not only painful but can give false positive up to 3 months! So, you could have contracted Corona and get better (or didn’t notice much) and still get to test positive up to 3 months!! This is not helpful and will slow down air travel. We need to find a solution for this.

  22. @The Other Charlie. Yes, that is the general list. But only three clinics in the DMV (that I can find) offer the RAPID testing. I called them and none will do rapid testing for travel purposes. Only if you have symptoms or are a health care worker or first responder.

  23. So being EU citizen transiting from Dubai through Germany do I need any test? The time between flights is 3,5 h

  24. Has anyone taken a test like this at FRA lately? I have read on Total Croatia News that it seems possible to do a test while IN TRANSIT at FRA: Wife and I are going to Croatia the first week of Sept and have no confidence that the DFW area will have testing speeds to meet the 48hr requirement of Croatian borders, and this would be a lifesaver backup plan if we don’t have results by the time we layover at FRA.

  25. @Curtis. I’ve been watching this very thing to try to get to Croatia. Unfortunately, both places at FRA are landside, so transit passengers who are already not allowed in Germany would not be able to get the test there. I think Total Croatia News has updated the information. I did contact the FRA folks and they hinted that they may be opening something for transit passengers who cannot go landside. Otherwise, I think at this moment, IST is the only place to test for Americans, at least.

  26. As Sue has stated it will be very useful if testing is done in the transit area of airports.

    From Aug 8 India is allowing to skip mandatory institutional quarantine if arriving pax has a negative Covid test report.

    As United is operating US-India flights they are offering an itinerary which includes flights on LH from say EWR-FRA-DEL. With a 5 hour layover in FRA. If testing is there in transit area it will be a major benefit to pax travelling to India. As testing in the US is very expensive and results are delayed.

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