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Charles de Gaulle airport: Speediest arrival and departure ever!

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I was concerned about delays for arrivals and departures at CDG, as we are transiting this airport 4 times in 2 weeks.

Fodorite friends reported a completely overwhelmed system when they arrived at CDG on November 18.

When we flew in from Canada at 8 am on Tuesday Nov 24, there was only the usual immigration check with only 3 or 4 people ahead of us in line. As our flight was less than full (I actually found 4 empty seats where I stretched out and slept) our luggage came fast. It was, in fact, our speediest arrival ever at CDG.

Yesterday, we flew to Rome from CDG. We anticipated that we might have delays this time - I had heard of multiple checks of documents and long lines. But Terminal 2F had the lightest traffic I've ever seen. From alighting from the RER train until we sat down at the departure gate was 25 minutes.

That included 5 minutes or so in a line up at an AF ticket office to check how much it would cost to switch to an earlier flight. (85 Euros - we declined)

At the security check, the personnel outnumbered travelers. Took 3 minutes maximum.

There is "heightened security" at FCO airport as well, which means a swarm of police confront you when you descend from the bus that conveys you from plane to terminal. There is no barrier or checkpoint, just armed men who say nothing and expect you to guess that they are checking passports - which they don't actually look at.

We fly from Florence to CDG for an overnight on Dec 8, then back to Canada on the 9th. I've no idea whether traffic will still be unnaturally light or whether a pre-Xmas rush will be on (ticket prices to Canada on AF seem higher from Dec 10, which may be the start of holiday travel)

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