Air Travel

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Air Travel

Flying time to Paris is 7 hours from New York, 9½ hours from Chicago, and 11 hours from Los Angeles. Flying time from London to Paris is 1½ hours.

The French are notoriously stringent about security, particularly for international flights. Don't be surprised by the armed security officers patrolling the airports, and be prepared for very long check-in lines. Peak travel times in France are between mid-July and September, during the Christmas-New Year's holidays in late December and early January, and during the February school break. During these periods airports are especially crowded, so allow plenty of extra time. Never leave your baggage unattended, even for a moment. Unattended baggage is considered a security risk and may be destroyed.

Airline and Airport Links.com. Airline and Airport Links.com has links to many of the world's airlines and airports. www.airlineandairportlinks.com.

Airports

The major airports are Charles de Gaulle (CDG, also known as Roissy), 26 km (16 mi) northeast of Paris, and Orly (ORY), 16 km (10 mi) south of Paris. Both are easily accessible from Paris. Whether you take a car or bus to travel from Paris to the airport on your departure, always allot an extra hour because of the often horrendous traffic tie-ups in the airports themselves (especially in peak seasons and at peak hours). Free light rail connections (Orlyval and CDGval) available between the major terminals are one option for avoiding some of the traffic mess, but still give yourself enough time to navigate your way through these busy airports. Check the Aéroports de Paris Live! function on the website (or smartphone application) for more up-to-date details and real time news from the airports.

Airport Information

Charles de Gaulle (0033/1–70–36–39–50 outside of France. www.adp.fr.)

Ground Transportation

By bus from CDG/Roissy: Roissybus, operated by the RATP (Paris Transit Authority), runs between Charles de Gaulle and the Opéra every 20 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm; the cost is €10. The trip takes about 45 minutes in regular traffic, about 90 minutes in rush-hour traffic.

By shuttle from CDG/Roissy: The Air France shuttle service is a comfortable option to get to and from the city—you don't need to have flown the carrier to use it. Line 2 goes from the airport to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Étoile and Porte Maillot from 5:45 am to 11 pm. It leaves every 20 minutes and costs €15, which you can pay on board. Line 4 goes to Montparnasse and the Gare de Lyon from 7 am to 9 pm. Buses run every 30 minutes and cost €16.50. Passengers arriving in Terminal 1 need to take Exit 34; Terminals 2A and 2C go to exit C2; 2B and 2D take exit B1; Terminals 2E and 2F, Exit 3.

A number of van services serve both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Prices are set so there are no surprises even if traffic is a snail-pace nightmare. To make a reservation, call or fax your flight details at least one week in advance to the shuttle company and an air-conditioned van with a bilingual chauffeur will be waiting for you upon your arrival. Confirm the day before. These vans sometimes pick up more than one party, though, so you may have to share the shuttle with other passengers. Likewise, when taking people to the airport these shuttles usually pick up a couple of groups of passengers. This adds at least 20 minutes to the trip.

By taxi from CDG/Roissy: Taxis are generally the least desirable mode of transportation into the city. If you're traveling at peak hours, journey times (and prices) are unpredictable. At best, the journey takes 30 minutes, but it can be as long as one hour.

By train from CDG/Roissy: The least expensive way to get into Paris from CDG is the RER-B line, the suburban express train, which runs from 5 am to 11:30 pm daily. There are two RER stations at CDG "RER B Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 1" for Terminals 1 (via CDGval) and 3 (via a covered walkway). "RER B Aéroport Charles de Gaulle 2" serves Terminal 2, accessible via walkways or by the free N1 shuttle. Trains to central Paris (Les Halles, St-Michel, Luxembourg) depart every 15 minutes. The fare (including métro connection) is €9.25, and journey time is about 45 minutes.

By bus from Orly: Air France buses run from Orly to Les Invalides, Charles de Gaulle Étoile, and Montparnasse; these run every 15 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm. (You need not have flown on Air France to use this service.) The fare is €11.50, and journey time is between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic. To find the bus, take Exit L if you've arrived in Orly South, or Exit B-C from Orly West. RATP's Orlybus is yet another option; buses leave every 15 minutes for the Denfert-Rochereau métro station in Montparnasse from Exit H in Orly South and Exit G in Orly West. The cost is €6.90. The cheapest bus is the RATP city bus 183, which shuttles you from Metro Porte de Choisy (Line 7) to Orly South for just €3.70, every 30 minutes from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm. Travel time is approximately 50 minutes.

By train from Orly: The cheapest way to get into Paris by train is to take the shuttle bus from Exit F at Orly South or Exit G at Orly West to the station RER-C Pont de Rungis–Aéroport d'Orly into Paris. Trains to Paris leave every 15 minutes. The fare is €2.60 (Shuttle) plus €3.95 (RER), and journey time is about 35 minutes. Another slightly faster option is to take RATP's monorail service, Orlyval, which runs between the Antony RER-B station and Orly Airport daily every four to eight minutes from 6 am to 11 pm. Passengers arriving in the South Terminal should use Exit K; take Exit W if you've arrived in the West Terminal. The fare to downtown Paris is €10.90 and includes the RER transfer.

Transfers Between Airports

To transfer between Paris's airports, there are several options. The RER-B travels from CDG to Orly with Paris in the middle, so to transfer, just stay on. Travel time is about 50–70 minutes and costs €18.20. The Air France Bus line 3 also runs between the airports for €19 one-way, every 30 minutes, with about 50 minutes travel time. Taxis are available but expensive: from €60 to €80, depending on traffic.

Contacts

Air France Bus (08–92–35–08–20 (recorded information in English) €0.34 per min. www.cars-airfrance.com.)

SuperShuttle Paris (08–11–70–78–12 €0.06 per min. www.supershuttle.fr.)

Paris Airports Services (01–55–98–10–80. www.parisairportservice.com.)

RATP (including Roissybus, Orlybus, Orlyval) (3246 €0.34 per min. www.ratp.fr.)

Flights

As one of the premier destinations in the world, Paris is serviced by a great many international carriers and a surprisingly large number of U.S.-based airlines. Air France (which partners with Delta) is the French flag carrier and offers numerous direct flights (often several per day) between Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport and New York City's JFK Airport; Newark, New Jersey; Washington's Dulles Airport; and the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Miami, Chicago, Houston, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montréal, and Mexico City. Most other North American cities are served through Air France partnerships with Delta and Continental Airlines. American-based carriers are usually less expensive, but offer, on the whole, fewer nonstop direct flights. United Airlines has nonstop flights to Paris from Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, and San Francisco. American Airlines offers daily nonstop flights to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport from numerous cities, including New York City's JFK, Miami, Chicago, and Dallas/Fort Worth. Northwest has a daily departure to Paris from its hub in Detroit. In Canada, Air France and Air Canada are the leading choices for departures from Toronto and Montréal; in peak season departures are often daily. From London, Air France, British Airways, and British Midland are the leading carriers, with up to 15 flights daily in peak season. In addition, direct routes link Manchester, Edinburgh, and Southampton with Paris. Ryanair, easyJet, CityJet, Aer Lingus, and BMI Baby offer direct service from Paris to Dublin, Birmingham, London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Cardiff, Zurich, and Brussels, to name just a few destinations. Tickets are available on the Web only and need to be booked well in advance to get the best prices—a one-way ticket from Paris to Dublin costs a mere €45, for example.

Airline Contacts

Air Canada (888/247–2262 in U.S. and Canada; 08-25–88-29-00 €0.15 per min. www.aircanada.com.)

Air France (800/237–2747 in U.S. and Canada; 3654 €0.34 per min. www.airfrance.com.)

American Airlines (800/433–7300 in U.S. and Canada; 08–26–460–950 €0.15 per min. www.aa.com.)

Delta Airlines (800/241–4141 in U.S. and Canada; 08–92–70–26–09 €0.34 per min. www.delta.com.)

United Airlines (800/864–8331 in U.S. and Canada; 01-71-23-03-35. www.united.com.)

Discount Airlines

CityJet (800/237–2747 in U.S. and Canada; 3654 €0.34 per min. www.cityjet.com.)

easyJet (08–20–42–03–15 €0.12 per min. www.easyjet.com.)

Ryanair (08–92–78–02–10 €0.34 per min. www.ryanair.com.)

Aer Lingus (516/622–4222 in U.S.; 800/474-7424 in Canada; 08–21–23–02–67 €0.12 per min. www.aerlingus.com.)

Within Europe

Air France (800/237–2747 in U.S. and Canada; 3654 €0.34 per minute. www.airfrance.com.)

British Airways (800/247–9297 in U.S. and Canada; 08–25–82–54–00 €0.15 per min. www.britishairways.com.)

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