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charles de gaulle- now required to arrive 3 hours before flight

charles de gaulle- now required to arrive 3 hours before flight

Old Oct 21st, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Kerouac - am I deducing from your comments that *if* one can preprint their boarding passes (as Continental as told me is possible for Int'l flights), then one can *skip* the airline counter and just go to Passport Control, Security and the Gate? What if we miss the "did you pack this bag yourself?" interrogation and don't get the little security stickers on our carryon bags..?
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Nobody really looks at those stickers. After all, a professional terrorist can take those off of any bag and put them on any other bag. Only really really naive palinized tourists could possibly believe that a little security sticker means anything.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 02:13 PM
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Janis said:
"Even before you get to check in at the counter there is a pre-screening interview."

and that's exactly where I always find the glitch to be, as well! It's frustrating to see the lines next to you moving along while I always seem to get in the one with people in front of me who need a lot of time for this--don't speak the language, hit the "hot buttons" or, in one case, the person doing the screening was new and very unsure of herself!

My upcoming CDG adventures (next Tuesay arrival, Nov. 18th departure) should be lovely nightmares. I have to get from 2D to 2F for a departure 1.5 hours after arrival at CDG (and must be at the gate 45 minutes before take-off, which leaves us 45 minutes) I really had no choice in this selection.

On the return home we have to depart CDG at 7:50 a.m. -- again, no choice--so we're spending our last night in Paris in an airport hotel! I'll be looking for an open cafe kiosk at 5:50 a.m.!
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 02:14 PM
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From NYC any interntional flights are a 3 hour check in.

If you're Business or First you can get by with less - if you go cattle car you do so at your peril. I've seen security lines at AA that had more than 500 people in them - all being asked a bunch of questions.
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Old Oct 21st, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Travelnut - You will get asked those questions at the secondary screening before you board the plane. Same thing in most airports for flights to the US if you can print your BP and have no bags to check.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 12:27 AM
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maybe the fact that Schiphol now have shares in the Paris airports will improve them - you can but hope.
As long as the Paris airports also having shares in Schiphol doesn't have the reverse effect!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 12:54 AM
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I haven't noticed too many complaints about CDG here since the summer ended.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 01:07 AM
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Tha's because they all decided to fly out of London City airport I guess.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 02:26 AM
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Just returned from CDG on Monday. While it wasn't a nightmare, it wasn't what I remembered from my last trip to Paris in 2004. We flew on USAir, which was very pleasant. The arrivals process was smooth. So was the departure process, but my complaint is with the duty-free shopping and eating venues once you pass through the final security point. I guess we were at Terminal 1, the oldest in the airport. When we finally arrived at the gate, there was just one tiny cafe open, which at 12 noon had run out of sandwiches on baguettes. When I decided I wanted a couple of pastries, I pulled out my credit card, having used up all my euros before entering the gate area. They didn't accept credit cards. That made me angry, because I was hungry. I ate something before I entered the gate area, but my husband and I were still hungry and figured we could get something before we boarded. And the duty-free shopping was the worst I have ever seen anywhere in the world. Of course, my husband was thrilled, but it was very disappointing that once you arrived at the gate, that was it. At FCO in Rome, the shopping was fantastic.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 02:46 AM
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We also just returned to Australia from Europe last week, via CdG, and to my mind it's now worse than ever.

Nothing to do with shopping as far as I'm concerned, but with the shabby, chaotic, poorly planned and badly signed place that it is.

As an example of why it's essential to get there three hours before (in fact we made it four hours!) there is now pre screening directly prior to check in and before customs, or security.

This consisted of one person holding a rope across the line, which stretched back on itself it was so long. This person's job was to very, very, very slowly check passports (checked again later, twice!) and to ask "do you have any lipstick" of every woman in the line.

As most people flying internationally are well aware now of the liquids and gels rule and had their little plastic bags out already I do not understand this pre check in routine.

The collection of baggage continues to be a nightmare, as do the surly staff - and the more often I go, and practice my French, the more I understand and hear that is rude and unecessary.

As I adore France (outside the airport) and love Paris I'll continue to fly there but really the airport is an absolute disgrace .
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 03:05 AM
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Just changed planes in CDG this past weekend and it took a full 2 hours to get from domestic to international. Security check points abound, there are no signs and the staff continues to be a problem. It is by far France's greatest national disgrace. I love France and for that reason must continue to use CDG, but I am always looking for alternative routes.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 03:27 AM
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I agree that it is pretty terrible. Just wait until you have to transfer to the new Terminal 2G--this involves a very long bus ride--longer than the usual long bus rides at CDG!

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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 03:35 AM
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This is not CDG-related but I was once almost bumped from an Iberia flight out of Madrid because I was 'late': 2hr45min before the flight. Anyone that had not checked in at exactly 3hrs before the flight was immediately placed on standby. It was in July and all their flights were oversold like crazy.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 03:35 AM
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When I was leaving Paris last April, I had a terrible fever and was very late getting to the airport (I remember walking to to the taxi stand at Republique in the rain, crying, sure that I would miss my flight)

My flight was scheduled to leave at 11:30 am, and I didn't get to the airport until after 10:30 am.

Luck was on my side- first, some of Air Canada's luggage conveyer belts had broke down so most of the passangers on the flight still hadn't been checked in by the time I arrived (safety in numbers, I figured).

Second, someone had left a bag unattended, so about 5 minutes after I arrived we all had to evacuate that part of the terminal while they blew up the bag (took forever)

Of course our departure time was pushed waaaay back and I was glad in the end that I was late, instead of having to wait around in the airport for 5 or 6 hours.
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Old Nov 7th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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My update on my questions above, relating to skipping check-in if you already have a boarding pass:

We caught a taxi from the 14th at 6:40am, and were sitting in the waiting area at our departure Gate at 7:45am. We indeed headed past the long counter lines to the Passport Control, maybe 5 people waiting at each window, then through the security/x-ray within 10 minutes, and on to the Gate. So we not only skipped the check-in lines, we also weren't caught up in the same crowd trying to then get through the security check. Yeah!
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