Chunnell Time

May 17th, 2007, 10:48 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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DOH! Forgot the time zone change!

Okay - so the ETE is a dead heat (train wins when St. Pancras line is finished). So for now, it's down to cost and comfort factors.
Robespierre is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 12:17 PM
  #22  
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Janisj. I think that you have offered a great solution to our problem. Thanks for your idea.
travlertom is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 01:28 PM
  #23  
 
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Do be sure to write us with your impressions of CDG. Most beginners simply adore it!
Robespierre is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 01:44 PM
  #24  
 
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For some reason I don't mind arriving at CDG as much as I hate departing from it, maybe because the total chaos is more annoying when I'm trying to catch a flight, who knows?
Margo_Chester is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 02:44 PM
  #25  
 
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Margo: Ditto!

Arriving at CDG (never checking baggage helps) it's an easy stroll from immigration to the coffee kiosk at the foot of the elevator (with great cafe creme). The ATM is just behind it to the left and the rental car desk is just beyond that. If going into Paris, the taxi stands are just to the right (although in March there was construction so we had to walk to the very end of the terminal to the doors that exited to the stands).

HOWEVER, coming back through has always been a nightmare--from random and frequent terrorist alerts that send everyone out of the terminal to long lines to--in April--having the gate switched to one that was, I swear, 247 miles away
MelJ is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 02:47 PM
  #26  
 
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>>>>>>
DOH! Forgot the time zone change!
>>>>>

you also did not consider that the longer you need to travel to get to your point of departure (airport terminal or waterloo) and the less it is out of your control, the more tolerance you need to leave. in other words, if it takes 1 hour to get to waterloo from heathrow, you would be mad to leave 1 hour for that travel.

everyone has their own idea of stress but making your way across the airport is much less stressful than going all the way into london to catch a train. again...the stress factor will greatly depend on how much extra time you leave yourself to make that journey.

going all the way into london when you are already right there at the airport is perverse.
walkinaround is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:08 PM
  #27  
 
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Robespierre,

I think I basically like your conclusions, but I am not sure I understand the reasoning. Is there no customs/immigration for people entering France by train.

Another point, I just checked on Eurostar fare vs. air fares for some dates in the future, and I found that, booking well in advance, the best air fares I could find were just about competitive with the best Eurostar fares, but air fares repidly became much more than the fares by train.

Also, I found 10 trains between 8 AM and 6 PM. I only found three flights in that time. The first flight was at 2:50; there were six trains before that time. It seems to me that most flights from the U.S. arrive in London in the morning. You would probably spend a lot of time waiting around for your flight and get to Paris much later than by train.
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:10 PM
  #28  
 
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<<< Comparative stress factors >>>

I'm 30 miles from a train that's leaving in 90 minutes and I've only just walked through Customs and am trying to find my way to the HEX which is leaving in 3 minutes with the next one 15 minutes later and once I reach Paddington I've got to find my way to the correct Tube station and do I need some English money to buy a ticket
alanRow is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:14 PM
  #29  
 
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On the other hand, if you book London to Paris as a continuing flight, it might not matter if your flight was late, but by train you might not be able to take advantage of the lowest fare because they are non-refundable, even if your flight is late.

But, can you book a continuing flight as an extension of a "point" booking, or is such a flight a stand-alone booking? They might restrict you to more expensive continuing flights if they even allowed it.
Larryincolorado is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:22 PM
  #30  
 
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Depending on who you fly with to & out of Heathrow you may be able to get your luggage checked through and might even obtain your Paris boarding card as well EVEN if you booked separate tickets.

In which case you don't have to pass through UK immigration or collect luggage but just follow the signs to "flight connection centre" which will cut at least 90 minutes off your travel time

I may be wrong but I seem to recall that as long as your bags are checked through you can use the FCC even if you don't have your boarding pass
alanRow is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:26 PM
  #31  
 
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"Is there no customs/immigration for people entering France by train." I've always had my passport inspected by French immigration when leaving Waterloo. (From the point of view of Queuing Theory, this makes eminent sense: handle the traffic as it randomly comes in for departure rather than having to do everyone at once at arrival.)

"...you also did not consider that the longer you need to travel to get to your point of departure (airport terminal or waterloo)..." I figure that's (about) a wash. You should be able to get from where you arrive at Heathrow to the Tube, Express, or onward airline in (approximately) the same time. If it's a few minutes more or less for choice A, B, or C, it doesn't impact the overall calculus.

"...I'm 30 miles from a train that's leaving in 90 minutes and I've only just walked through Customs and am trying to find my way to the HEX which is leaving in 3 minutes with the next one 15 minutes later and once I reach Paddington I've got to find my way to the correct Tube station and do I need some English money to buy a ticket..." Given the relative frequency of HX and Tube departures and the spacing of Eurostar departures, I don't think this is a major issue. As larryincolorado pointed out, your odds of getting to Paris earlier by land is greater than by air.

Whether your bags are checked through or not doesn't change much, either. Most of your time is spent queuing for check-in, security, and boarding, and being on a "through" itinerary doesn't fast-track any of that.
Robespierre is offline  
May 17th, 2007, 03:42 PM
  #32  
 
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"Do be sure to write us with your impressions of CDG. Most beginners simply adore it!"

The problems w/ CDG are mostly when one is transferring through it on to other flights. Arriving there is not usually a problem at all.
janisj is online now  
May 18th, 2007, 06:03 AM
  #33  
 
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. Is there no customs/immigration for people entering France by

there is, the stamps of Gare du Nord in my passport proves it - mere formality that doesn't delay but have your passport out.
PalenQ is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #34  
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Thanks to all for their insights.
travlertom is offline  
May 18th, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #35  
 
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"Arriving [at CDG] is not usually a problem at all."

Note the use of the qualifying "usually." If there is a problem, getting it resolved will be worse than your worst nightmare. Remember, insouciant is a French word, and it applies to the CDG staff IN SPADES.

Half the Eurostar staff are British, and getting issues addressed is correspondingly less painful.
Robespierre is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 06:37 AM
  #36  
 
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The currently running post about Curbing Carbon Emissions dictate that environmentally friendly folks will take the train and eschew ozone-depelting plane. The planet's future depends on it!
PalenQ is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 07:43 AM
  #37  
 
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Very true. And the British government extorts a carbon tax from departing airline passengers

* Economy class flights in Europe, internal UK flights - £10
* Business and first class flights in Europe - £20
* Economy class long-haul flights - £40
* Business and first class long-haul flights - £80
Robespierre is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 07:56 AM
  #38  
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Do Fodorites have a preference of Brit Air or Air France when travelling to Paris from London?
travlertom is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  #39  
 
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The reality, given your situation namely frequent flyer from wherever to Londonand then sort of a side trip to Paris, is going to be possibly a hassle no matter which way you do it with the big unknown possible flight delays arriving at LHR and the fact the cheapest tickets be it via air or rail are non refundable non changeable.

Perhaps the surest thing is an early morning arrival at Heathrow and a mid to later afternoon train from Waterloo (incidentallhy after 14 Nov it will be St. Pancreas-Kings Cross which is a stop on the Picadilly line so no change will be necessary).

The best alternative, don't know if you've considered it, is spending 1 day in London, you can sleep off the jet lag and see a show or whatever and an early morning start the next day via Eurostar...if you leave say at 9 AM from London, you'll be in Paris in time for lunch and have the whole afternoon free for sightseeing with no jet lag.

Have you considered that?
xyz123 is offline  
May 19th, 2007, 09:07 AM
  #40  
 
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Brit Air is a French airline
alanRow is offline  

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