Air France to BKK via Paris

Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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Air France to BKK via Paris

We are leaving in 2 weeks for BKK and will change planes at CDG in Paris. I vaguely remember that some of you have flown this route, so please let me know how you fared in CDG. We have 5 hours between flights and move from Terminal 2E to 2C. I hear the transfer from one to the other is by shuttle bus. All reports here and elsewhere say it is a nightmare. Also, does anyone have any experience with Air France?

Thanks for your comments.

mcbeanie
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Bob and Karen just flew this. they're returning today, so I'm sure his Bobness will chime in. Their layover on the way there from Boston was 10 hours and they went into Paris, I think.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 08:15 PM
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I've flown Air France many times....L.A. to Paris. It's not my airline of choice. I end up on it because it's a Delta partner.

As for Charles de Gaulle. Well, I've been landing there almost annually since the mid-seventies and it just amazes me how the airport still hasn't gotten itself totally together although it has improved some. And yes, you do have to shuttle between terminals.
However, being on Air France will at least land you in a better terminal than if you were to fly on say, United which ends in the non-renovated terminal. I've flown United for years and that terminal is pretty awful to say the least.

There's really absolutely nothing of interest to do in the airport if you plan to stay there for a long time. It's not Chiangi Airport...Singapore.

With a 5-hour layover,you could go into Paris depending on if you know Paris or not. If you know it, then go for it. It beats staying at the airport. I've done it with a 5-hour layover. If you do decide to go into Paris then I would highly suggest you take the Air France...I think it is...bus that will let you off right between the old Opera House(Garnier?)and the American Express Office.. the money exchange is downstairs in the basement.

A half block up from where the bus lets off are the big department stores and they have cafeterias in them if you want to grab a bite. Also if you go into Galerie Layfayette Maison...on the same street the bus lets you off on, a few steps away, there's a take-out, mini grocery section with sandwiches and drinks. Then of course Place Vendome and the tourist areas around it are within walking distance. Happy Travels!

I suggest the bus because it will be easier for you to take if you don't know Paris. Then just take it back to the airport.It comes very often and picks up at the same place where it left off. It takes about 45 minutes to the airport. It's non-stop to and from the airport unlike the RER. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 05:16 AM
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The bus that Guenmai refers to is called the Roissybus, operated by RATP.

There is also an Air France bus, and I might actually suggest that one if it's your 1st time to Paris. The AF bus lets you off at the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs Elysees -- a very nice intro to Paris if you only have an hour or two.

If you stay at the airport, you can take the shuttle from 2E to 2C, but you can also walk it if you feel like taking some air. There's a decent restaurant -- Brasserie Flo -- in Terminal 2F.
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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If you take the airside shuttle between 2E and 2C, then you don't need to go through immigration.

If you decide to get out to Paris, or walk between 2E and 2C, then you need to go through immigration twice - one into France, one out of France. Plus security.

There are 3 Air France Coach (Le Cars Air France) routes from CDG. One to Arc de Triomphe, one to Gare d'Lyon and Montparnasse, and one to Orly Airport. Make sure you get on the right one. And the one to Arc de Triomphe (Route #1) makes one stop first at Port Malliot. Don't get off there. Also, roundtrip ticket is cheaper than two one-ways.
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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I would not consider venturing into Paris proper for 5hr layover. De-planing, going through passport control can easily take an hour. Waiting for Roissybus (or waiting in the queue to get RER tickets) and actual transportation time to central Paris would take 45min at least, assuming no traffic gridlock.
Considering you need to get back to the airport, go through security check, be at the departure gate 30-45min before, I'm afraid you really do not have more than 30min, 1hr if you're lucky and know how to navigate through.
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 08:05 AM
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Rizzuto...Thanks. It hit me that it's the Roissy bus. I've taken both buses, but seem to always forget the name of that one. I recommended the Roissy bus since it's quicker into town than the Air France one that goes to the Eiffel Tower area. When I stay in Paris, I take the RER, but when I have layovers, I jump on the Roissy bus. Plus, depending on the time of year and weather, I like to be near the department stores if it's cold and I want to get out of the cold for a while. Plus, the cafeterias are quite good inside of the department stores. Happy Travels!
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 06:10 AM
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Thanks, everyone!

We'll probably just stay in CDG until we have a longer layover -- or several days.

mcbeanie
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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we completed this route on wednesday....it was simply fabulous all around.. the bkk/cdg/bkk is now on a 747 and most seats were full...we slept a full 7 hours on the bkk/cdg return flight with some pill aides...coach...

we had a 15 hour lay over so we rented a car going east....the layover going west was about 5 hours and that was just about right....

changing from one terminal to another now often takes up to an hour or even more....the walks are long and so are the bus rides...

if you watch for the transfer station when you arrive (ours was just to the right after deplaning, you can save lots of time....just follow the signs for your next terminal....do not go through the immigration line...!!

the food was actually quite good...

there is a new temporary gate area, as there is still not a complete recovery from the collapse a few years ago....this area is about a 15 minute ride around the terminals and tarmacs...
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Old Dec 9th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Not sure what class you'll be flying, but if in economy, try and get a seat on the 747 upper deck. You'll have slightly more room than the main deck.

As mentioned, a 5 hour layover doesn't leave time to get to/from Paris. You might consider taking a shuttle bus over to the Marriott Courtyard where we've always managed to have an excellent meal in their restaurant.
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Old Dec 11th, 2006, 08:15 AM
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It's good to know that the planes are better now because this was not my experience in spring. As I mentioned, I kind of get stuck on Air France a lot due to the connection with Delta. Happy Travels!
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