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Where to meet my parents at Charles de Gaulle Airport?

Where to meet my parents at Charles de Gaulle Airport?

Jul 6th, 2004, 11:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 2,157
Where to meet my parents at Charles de Gaulle Airport?

I posted this to the Europe forum and then realized this might be even a better place.

We are flying separately and meeting my parents at Charles de Gaulle Airport. We arrive 2 hours before them so have plenty of time to find them I think. We fly American (terminal 2A arrival I believe) and they fly Northwest (terminal 1 arrival I believe). Can anyone confirm these arrival terminals for these airlines (Airline websites are not showing arrival terminal information at CDG, maybe because of the part that is closed from the collapse?)

When we meet at airports in the U.S. it is easy and foolproof to tell them "meet you at your flight's baggage claim", but I don't think we can do this in a foreign country where you have to pick up your bags before you go through immigration and customs and where "meeters" do not have access. I think I will tell them to stop and wait when they get to the part of the airport where the limosine drivers are holding the signs with peoples names. Doesn't every airport in every country have that? Any other suggestions for a foolproof meeting place at CDG that even my parents who don't speak French at all can find and that we coming from another terminal there will have access to?

laurie_ann is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 05:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,154
I think you're setting yourself up for a potential bummer to begin your trip. Assuming everything is on schedule, two hours hanging around an airport after a trans-Atlantic flight is a drag.

If you're staying at the same hotel, my advice would be for you to plan to head there immediately after your arrival and have them meet up with you there. You can always change your mind and find their arrival area if you change your mind, but don't lock yourself into that up front. It might make a nice surprise to meet them upon their arrival, but it's just a poor obligation to have.

Here's a potential scenario: your flight lands a half hour early and their flight is running an hour late. Now you're sitting out at CDG for three and a half hours minimum, when you could have checked in, freshened up, had your own private space with a bathroom to yourself, etc. The advice from here: Don't set up a plan like this unless there is some compelling reason that compensates for the waste of your time and inconvenice -- and that of your partner. CDG is just not a very fun place to hang out, in my opinion.
Flyboy is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 05:29 AM
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Thanks Flyboy, I spend enough time in airports already and am not looking forward to this, but for a number of reasons (we're renting an apartment not a hotel and it's not available until noon anyway, my parents don't speak French and don't travel much, we have access to an airline club for a shower anyway) it was the better option to wait and meet them. Are you familiar enough with CDG to have any specific suggestions as to where to meet?
laurie_ann is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My initial thought was not to rely on the information you have as to what gate their plane will arrive at, as those often change at the last minute. However, as you will have plenty of time waiting there, you should be able to ascertain what terminal and gate their flight will use at that time. Each of the halls funnels international arrivals through immigrations and customs, and my suggestion would be that you meed them right outside that point. Failing that, you could agree to meet at the train station, or at one of the numbered taxi/bus stations, but that might be more difficult for them to find.

The CDG website is at www.adp.fr

Its in French, but if you select "welcome" at the bottom of the first screen it switches to English. Somewhere in there, I think under passenger services, it has a map of the airport. The map is very small, but with my browser it enlarges when I click on an area. Once you see the map (and perhaps print copies for all parties), it will be easy to pick a place to meet.

Enjoy your trip. We stayed in an apartment in Paris and really liked the room and the convenience of a washer/dryer and a refrigerator.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hopefully, your flights will be arriving at the same terminal. If not, there is a shuttle that will take you between terminals. I agree with catching them just as they emerge from the customs area. You'll just want to be there when they arrive and it should be easy enough to monitor that.

In CDG 1 -- the only terminal I've spent much time in -- there is a handy little coffee bar with tables that would be a perfect location. The clubs that I've used in CDG 1 are configured more for people departing than for those arriving, so you'll want to know exactly how to get to the one you plan to use. They are accessed by an elevator along the outside wall that you will see in gap between the duty free storefronts. Go to Level 10. You can actually end up having to go through passport control coming and going just to access the club if you get yourself turned around in that place!
Flyboy is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 05:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,997
You will not be able to meet your parents at the gate or at the baggage claim.

The last thing you want is to have 2 groups of people looking for each other; it's a bad way to start a trip. I can see 2 or 3 reasonable choices:

Option 1: The most certain choice, though not the easiest for your parents, is for you to remain in the AA arrivals lounge in Term 2A. You would tell your parents to take the airport shuttle bus to Term 2A, take the elevator to Level (Niveau) 0, and follow the sign to the AA arrivals lounge. They would only get as far as the welcome desk, but you will have told the person at the desk to expect them.

Option 2: A method that's faster and easier for your parents, but more prone to risk, is to meet at one of the doors to T1. T1 is round, and each of the exit doors is numbered (from 2-32, IIRC). You could arrange to meet at a certain exit door, say #16, on the arrivals level. Unfortunately, there probably won't be a place to sit and wait, and you likely will have crowds of people to deal with.

In either case, not speaking French should not be a problem at the airport. All of the signs are in French & English, and virtually everyone who works at the airport dealing with passengers will speak English.
DonTopaz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 587
why you are making things harder. since you arrive 2 hours ahead,

1- go to the ticket counter for airline they are flying
2- find out where they are arriving and go there. wait outside for them.
3- i have always been under the impression that all flights from the US arrive at same terminal in paris.
miguelgcuadra is offline  

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