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Massif Central again

Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 07:25 AM
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Massif Central again

Thanks to Stu and all for great advise - have booked flight to CDG late April - a few days in Alsace, stop in Beaune to see old friend and then a week in the Massif!

Now how to plan to get back to CDG on Sat 5-15 for 1:30 pm AA flight!

1. Leave Clermond at 6:29 am and get into Gare Lyon at 9:52 am - how to get to CDG and enough time to get there and check in??

2. or spend Friday night ( too far to drive from Clermont 2 1/2 hrs early am) in Lyon for nice meal and catch 7:56 am high speed from Gare Part Dieu for direct to CDG at 10:02 am - safest but more big city driving and expense.

Your thoughts please! Dale
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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My advice is never to count on traveling from so far away to an airport the same day as departure.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 09:00 AM
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You probably should have booked a flight into CDG and out of Clermond Ferrand - that's what we did.

Actually, I've taken several TGVs from Dijon & elsewhere to CDG the morning of the flight. The on-time arrival % for TGVs is probably much better than the on-time airplane arrival %.

Have you looked at late afternoon train schedules to Paris - and spend the night there?? Many times we've dumped the car someplace else, taken the train to Gare Lyon, checked into the hotel Terminus, had dinner at Train Bleu at the gare, then a taxi to CDG the next morning.

Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Since the trains are quite reliable in France, there should be no problem to get the train from Clermont to Gare de Lyon. You can either take the Air France coach from Gare de Lyon to CDG, or you can take the RER D from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord and make the easy transfer to the RER B to CDG. Either option will take less than one hour total.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 10:11 AM
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yes STU decent airfare from Clermont to CDG 6:40 am in at 7:45am - plenty of time and far less hassle - just may go that way!!!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 10:48 AM
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I agree the trains are usually reliable, but there can be events beyond anyone's control that can stop a train, as well as strikes. I think I would determine the cost in the unlikely event that the plan fails and you miss your flight.

(Example: When traveling from Munich to Salzburg last year, our train was stopped for several hours because someone decided to commit suicide by train.)
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Yes, French trains are very reliable. But French strikes are pretty reliable too. I once was on the TGV and just outside Tours we stopped for an hour and a half for some kind of medical emergency onboard. Another time on the way back from Bordeaux there were cows all over the track, causing an hour's delay. And I've waited in Périgueux at least twice for a "replacement train" to be brought because of some malfunction. I actually have, once, gone directly from Lyon to CDG for a return flight, but nearly had a panic attack when I got to the shuttle and there were so many people waiting I didn't get on until the third one had come around.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 12:38 PM
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St Cirq
How many flights have you been on that were cancelled or delayed significantly?

This year (June) our flight to CDG was cancelled because of bad weather. Last year our flight from Geneva to Frankfurt was cancelled because of the Luftansa strike (July). We've had many flights significantly delayed because of someones medical emergency. One flight was 3 hrs late because a person got on the plane & could not find his passport. He had to get off the plane (after looking around the terminal for 45 mins for his passport) and then they had to find & unload his luggage. Has anyone been on a plane that sat on the tarmac for an extra hour??

I believe in France that strikes must be "announced" in advance. However, in '00 there was a gasolene strike (non train related) and several strikers put tires on the Bordeaux to Paris train tracks & set them on fire.

Based on my experience of taking TGVs & flights within France - I have more confidence in the TGV getting me there on time.

Stu Dudley
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Hi, Stu.

I've had plenty of flights canceled or delayed, certainly more than trains. Which is why I think the OP's best choice is to be in Paris the night before the flight home. I wasn't suggesting the flight from Clermont-Ferrand was the better option.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 08:50 AM
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I am leaning to going into Lyon on Friday night and either taking the bullet at 7:56 to get into CDG at 10am or fly into CDG on AF to get in at 8:40 - we did the bullet few years ago out of Avignon with a stop in Lyon and direct into CDG - nice thing about the train in comes in right under AA desks I think!!

all depends on price

still may go into Paris also

found a nice gite we think on www.frenchconnections.co.uk #662 - near Thiers-Vichy in country village!!
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 09:06 AM
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>>nice thing about the train in comes in right under AA desks I think!!
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