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Important RER ticket info--CDG to Paris

Old Sep 25th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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Important RER ticket info--CDG to Paris

I've just been reading several websites with people's reviews of CDG airport (pretty bad, for the most part), and came across several mentions of a very important time-saving tip for those who plan to take the RER into Paris. Apparently, the automated ticket machines at CDG take ONLY Euro coins (not bills) or French credit cards! (Gotta love the French mindset: international airport--yes; international credit cards--no!) If you don't have either of these, you have to wait in line for the ticket counter, which can take an hour.

So, if you have Euros with you on arrival or withdraw some from an ATM at the airport, be sure to get enough change in coins at an airport shop before you head to the RER station. I believe the current ticket price is about 8.40E.

I hope this info is helpful to others; it seemed important enough to me to warrant its own thread.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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That the machines do not take US credit cards is the tourist's introduction to the use of that card. My experience has been that automatic machines do not take US credit cards anywhere in France. I haven't had an hour's wait at CDG, but once the line at the Gare du Nord was so bad--only one ticket vendor open in that area for both métro and RER-that we used a métro ticket to take the RER outside Paris, and then crawled under the turnstile at the end of the ride.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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Is it possible to buy a day or two in advance an RER ticket from Gare du Nord to CDG - to avoid a long line there if one is heading to the airport and doesn't want to be late? We'd be going to the airport from Gare du Nord about 7:45am -- maybe lines are not a problem then. Thanks for any help.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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You can by a ticket to CDG from any métro station, which can be used at any time from any métro station or RER station within Paris.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 04:05 PM
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Aren't there manned (or womanned) ticket windows at the RER CDG stop? They would take all sorts of cc's.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Yes, there is a ticket office but that is where the line is... I waited behind about 6 people for less than 10 minutes on a Tuesday late morning.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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My wait was short, too, but I have heard others say that they experienced a long wait on line.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Just returned from Paris... Was able to use a credit card issued in the US (Capital One Visa) at the automated ticket machine at CDG without any problems. I paid 8 euros each way.
One suggestion I do have is make sure you know which stop to get off at when you return to CDG for your departing flight, as there are different stops for different terminals.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 03:59 AM
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I have used British credit and debit cards there.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 04:50 AM
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Here is another thing - we used Carte Orange 5-zone passes. I bought the first set at the RER ticket office at CDG. I was game to buy them from a vending machine in Paris for the next week, however only zones 1-2 were listed on the menu. So still had to buy them from a clerk.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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Anyone know which RER stop at CDG one gets off to get to American Airlines? Thanks for any help!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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Thanks for the info on being able to buy an RER ticket from any metro station -- there's one across from where we're staying and will make that easy I hope. To get to CDG on way home, I'm thinking that taking a cab to Gare du Nord about 7am will be easier than taking Metro (incl. changing trains), even though entrance is just across the street. Thanks again for help.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:38 AM
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If you are taking a cab to an RER station, take it to Luxembourg, Port Royal or Denfert-Rochereau, assuming that you are styaing on the left bank. All of them have easier and less confusing access to the trains than the Gare du Nord.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:58 AM
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http://paris-cdg.com/airlines.html

This site says American Airlines is CDG-2A
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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Just back from Paris myself. I too found it difficult to get a ticket for the RER. Upon arrival, I ended up (despite arriving in Terminal 1 at CDG) trying to buy an RER ticket at Terminal 2. The line at the ticket counter was extremely long and didn't appear to be moving. The lines for the two working automated ticket machines were also very long and were not moving. People were apparently having a lot of trouble getting their credit cards to work. One American complained that while her credit card was charged, she never got a ticket. I ended up bailing on the RER after seeing what a mess it was and just took the Air France bus to Gare Montparnasse instead. In the end, it took me a long time to make it into Paris and I regret how much time I wasted trying to figure out the train.

I did, however, take the RER back to CDG. I left from the Luxembourg station and found out when I got there that there (a) is no ticket office at that station; (b) that the automated maching only takes credit cards and (c) none of my credit cards would work at the automated machine. A very kind man explained to me that it only takes cards that have a hologram (sp?) on the front. You also need a pin number. Finally, I offered him a 10 Euro note to buy my ticket with his card (he kindly gave me a 2 Euro coin back). The trip was uneventful; it took about 45 minutes.

I will say this about CDG. The lines for everything--at least on Saturday the 24th--were very long. In order to go through security, we had to first show our passport to someone (this was in addition to showing it at the American ticket counter and before boarding the plane). There was only one person checking the passports, however, and it took FOREVER. The line was literally out the door. I thankfully factored in much more time than I thought I would need and ended up with very little time to spare.

American, for the person who asked, is in Terminal 2. You land, however, in Terminal 1.

I had a great time in Paris, but dealing with the airport was a total headache!

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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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I don't follow the statement above about 'landing in Terminal 1 but leaving from Terminal 2'...

The official website for Paris airports (www.adp.fr) indicates that American flys in and out of CDG-2(as does Continental and Delta); USAir and United fly in and out of CDG-1. Air France uses both - perhaps the poster was on a codeshare flight...?
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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This is not that big of a deal. I bought them from the ticket counter and was only in line behind 5 people. If you go in with the mind-set of impatient Americans, then you won't like waiting, but it really is not a big deal at that point. You buy your ticket and walk over to the RER platform and get on the train.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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For american airline get off at cdg 1, then take the shuttle to terminal 2. I was there on the 18th and that what we did.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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I don't recall ever landing at Terminal 1 with American Airlines and I've flown them exclusively 2-3 trips/year to Paris since 2001. I know I've never taken a shuttle while there.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Huitres, re your comment "If you go in with the mind-set of impatient Americans, then you won't like waiting," the original post warned about possible waits of an hour or longer, not just 5 people. While it's great that you got thru that quickly, it's obvious that not everyone, "impatient American" or otherwise, has been so lucky. Just be glad that it wasn't a big deal for you, and let the rest of us share our experiences and knowledge without your put-downs.
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