How Early Should I Arrive At CDG?

May 9th, 2006, 08:18 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 891
How Early Should I Arrive At CDG?

In reading some posts about Paris, it appears that departing is often difficult and time-consuming. Based on your experience, shall I arrive 3 hours before my departure time? (May 25th)
sallyjane3 is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
Came out of CDG 10 days ago - 11:30 flight - it took 35 mins to get through the security line (i.e. after obtaining boarding pass. My partner was on the same fligt three days earlier and only took 3 minutes.

Some of the lines at the check-in desks looked time consuming but I had an express check-in with AC business class - do did not have to take time for that.

Three hours seems pretty generous to me.
wombat7 is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 883
That should work fine. We usually arrive at CDG about 3 hours in advance - for other airports I would usually arrive 2-2 1/2 hours ahead for an international flight, but CDG is a disaster. And be ready for some weird questions by security. They asked 1 member of our group what he had for lunch (no, I'm not making that up). Not sure why that airport can't its act together . . .
grantop is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Does anyone know if it makes a difference which terminal you're at - whether Terminal 1 is better/worse than Terminal 2? Also, is time of day an issue? My departure is from T1 at 2pm, and my friend's is from T2A at 5pm (both on Wed 17 May). Of course, I'd prefer to spend the least amount of time at the airport - and the most time continuing to enjoy Paris! But I'm getting used to long hours at the airport...
ggreen is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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My experience was with T2A
wombat7 is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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T1 has been undergoing renovations - I wouldn't risk arriving any less than 3 hours. Sometimes it is quicker, but rarely. You cannot get a boarding pass or check a bag if you arrive at the checkin counter less than one hour.

Taxi, bus or RER all take 35-50 minutes to get there. Security will take at least 30 minutes, sometimes there are two checkpoints between checkin and the gate.
Travelnut is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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We arrived to stand in the line at American Airlines a little over two hours before our flight and we barely made our flight on time. If they had not finally put the folks from our flight at the front of the line, we would have missed it. (They were checking in three flights at once.) The lines are ill-marked and then the line to get through the metal detector are long and full of major line jumpers.
missypie is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Original Poster
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Thanks for the replies, y'all. I appreciate it!
sallyjane3 is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,562
In March we were in line to check in at AA too early - 3.5 hours. But if we hadn't been there is a very good chance we would have missed our flight (Didn't intend to be there that early but everything went like clock work that morning so we were at CDG earlier than planned)

My friend and I were numbers 4 and 5 in the pre-screening line - and it was nearly 45 minutes before I was called to the document screener and another 10 minutes before we were through w/ the AA check in desk. By the time my friend and I were cleared - the queue was literally the entire length of the terminal.

Watching as others slowly filtered into the departure lounge it is obvious the folks at the end of the line barely made it. I'm sure some must have missed the flight - even though they were in line 2 hours or more.

CDG is a MESS.
janisj is offline  
May 9th, 2006, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,861
CDG, whether it's aérogare 1 or 2, is a horror. Three hours is what I always give myself, and I've had flights I almost missed even giving myself that time.

Not to mention they've basically dismantled the Duty Free area in CDG 2 now, so there are no shops or cafés for diversion before the flight. It's awful.
StCirq is online now  
May 9th, 2006, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,553
Thanks for the heads up everyone. It's been a few years since I used CDG, and I was hoping that the unending lines I remembered for checkin maybe had more to do with flying a US airline than the airport... but I guess I'll see for myself firsthand as I depart for CDG tomorrow night!
ggreen is offline  

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