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Connections and Clearing Customs in Paris.

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Oct 4th, 2005, 02:53 PM
  #1
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Connections and Clearing Customs in Paris.

I'm flying from Scotland to Atlanta on Air France. I have to make a connection in Paris. I only have 1.5 hours between my arrival and departure in Paris. Is that enough time to clear customs, or do I even have to clear customs since I am just making a connection? I am an American citizen by the way.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 03:09 PM
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ira
 
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Hi On,

It's not Customs, it's Immigration and security checks that hold up the lines.

90 minutes is very, very tight.

Am I correct that your flight from Scotland arrives at CDG1 and your flight to ATL leaves from CDG2?

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Oct 4th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Yeah i think so. I arrive at PARIS CDG and leave from PARIS C.GAULLE 2E according to my itenerary.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 04:34 PM
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Air France is notorious for making the change time much too short. I've known people that have missed their connections in both directions on a round trip.
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Oct 4th, 2005, 04:38 PM
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Once more: you arrive at Charles de Gaulle, but which terminal? And you leave from which terminal?
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Oct 4th, 2005, 05:20 PM
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My return from Italy last week went through CDG, with 75 minutes between flights. We arrived in Terminal 2E and needed to go to Terminal 2c for the outbound flight. They only had one desk open for Immigration, checking passports, and the line was quite long, then there was another line for security. We just barely made the connecting flight, and only because the gate happened to be the first one in front of security. If we'd had to go to another gate further in the terminal, we'd have missed it for sure.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 12:20 AM
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First, there's no Customs within the EU anyway.

You won't go through immigration either, assuming this all happens within CDG AND YOU'RE SURE YOUR BAGS ARE GOING TO BE THROUGH CHECKED. You'll either walk or be bussed within the secure area. You will be messed about, and you'll have to go through security again.

90 mins is likely to be tight, but the experience of people who've had to go through immigration is probably a complete red herring as far as you're concerned.

If, OTOH, your Scotland-Paris flight is on an airline without an interline agreement with the transatlantic carrier, your chance of making this are virtually zero as you'll have the pleasure of going through immigration, finding bags, rechecking and all the other joys of Europe's greatest monument to lousy design.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 01:09 AM
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I arrive at 2F and leave from 2E.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 01:59 AM
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eri
 
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You'll need alot of luck to make the connection. Your luggage, from my experience, will not have thwat luck.
3 weeks ago it took us over 40 min from the time the plane touched ground to arrive at the terminal, and 30 more min to reach our departure terminal. And believe me - we were running! CDG is an awful airport!
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Oct 5th, 2005, 02:27 AM
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the ONLY time i've ever made an air france connection of four attempts was a consequence of being upgraded to biz class and being able to exit early...

and then, it was a mad dash at a full run with an AF rep running interference. air france's attitude about on time arrival is the tires touching the tarmac. as noted above, there is frequently a 20 minute taxi time to the gate or, if you're particularly unfortunate, they will disembark on the ground and you'll have to take a shuttle bus.

i'd say with 90 minutes your chances are 50/50 but those improve slightly or deteriorate rapidly dependent on your time of arrival at CDG. i wish you the best of luck but were it me, i'd begin checking out later available flights to queue up for upon arrival.

oh, and you're really gonna like hartsfield's (ATL) take on baggage claim...you get to do it twice!!!

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Oct 5th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Yes, but I am use to Atlanta.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 04:17 AM
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Also, security at Air France routinely decides to cordon off areas of the airport to investigate and then blow up suspicious bags. Sometimes, this could work in your favour (for example, if the problem is located near where your flight is supposed to take off and passengers can't board the plane; it will give you time to catch up). Sometimes, it could work against you (e.g. if, for example, you get stuck on a bus as you get off the plane on your way to clear security again and can't reach your plane in a clear area where everyone else has managed to get through) ...
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Oct 5th, 2005, 05:46 AM
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We traveled through CDG on our Air France flight to Italy and on our way back last week. If you check your bags through, you will have to pass through passport control only. We had an hour 15 minutes going to Italy and made the flight easily. Coming back, we had an hour and a half and waited at the gate for 25 minutes prior to boarding. If you are organized and know where you are going, and your flights arrive on time, you should be fine. We found it easier to walk between terminals than to take the shuttle which is a bit unreliable.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 08:28 AM
  #14
ira
 
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Hi flanneruk
>You won't go through immigration either, assuming this all happens within CDG AND YOU'RE SURE YOUR BAGS ARE GOING TO BE THROUGH CHECKED. You'll either walk or be bussed within the secure area. <

That's what they told us, too.

We landed somewhere in Normandy, were bussed to 2E, herded through Immigration (They gave out the forms when you got to the desk), herded through security again.

With a 90 min connection, we would not have made it if the departing flight hadn't been 20 min late.

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Oct 5th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Ira:

If you're booked on an airline that has an interline agreement with your ongoing carrier, and you're changing planes from Britain onto a flight to the US, you don't go through Immigration at CDG.

CDG is bad enough without inventing problems that don't exist. And ontheroad has enough people telling him about problems that don't apply in his case without you adding another non-issue.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Well the flight was cheap and on a student buudget I am willing to take the chance. I did call the airline and if the worst happens there are later flights....
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Oct 5th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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The good news as my husband discovered, is that if you are detained by Immigration officers and miss your flight, the airline can't charge you extra for changing your flight time.

After my experience at CDG -- the only way you'd make it is if you landed and took off from the same terminal and that's unlikely -- so you'll have to jump a shuttle, and you'll need to pay attention to the bus numbers, because they don't all match the terminal numbers they're going to.

You could wing it (I'd also try to get seating near the front of the plane so you can be first off the plane, then RUN to the Immigration line, do a carry-on if you can so you don't have to wait for your bag), and pray. Weirder things have happened.

Jules
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Oct 5th, 2005, 01:00 PM
  #18
ira
 
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My dear flanner,

As I mentioned "That's what they [AF]told us, too". It was an AF flight connecting to an AF flight. We were assured several times that we would go through a secure area at CDG and go through immigration at BOD.

I am not inventing a problem that doesn't exist, I am reporting what happened to myself and my wife on Sept 9, 2005.

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Oct 5th, 2005, 01:49 PM
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Perhaps FlannerUK needs to experience going through CDG these days to understand what you're saying, Ira. But I believe you as we've done that shuttle trip. It really cuts down on your connection time alot.

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Oct 7th, 2005, 04:14 AM
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I just got back last night from Copenhagen with a connection at CDG each way. First of all, I think it's impossible to change from one terminal to another without going through immigration. However, I was no big deal either way for me. That being said, CDG has to be the most god-awful airport to connect. I had a 50 minute connection on my way there. I made it walking very quickly and even had time to duck out for a quick cigarette! However, the signs were awful and another man and myself almost got into a very long line that DIDN'T go to our gate. Our gate was down steps a bit further with a very small sign. Coming back I thought it'd be fine since I had over two hours. My flight from Copenhagen was delayed due to fog in Paris, cutting down my connection time to about 35 minutes once we arrived. The only thing that saved me was I had splurged on a discounted business class ticket and was met on the tarmac by an Air France rep who drove me somewhere, up stairs, down stairs, running down long corridors, up more stairs, down more stairs...it was awful. Passport check was somewhere in there too. Got to the gate as the last bus for the remote area was about to depart. I've been to CDG lots of times going to Paris and knew it was a confusing airport but had no idea just how bad it is. Good luck.
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