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TGV from Avignon to CDG - reliable?

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Dec 27th, 2012, 10:24 AM
  #1
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TGV from Avignon to CDG - reliable?

I'm about to book a flight that would depart CDG at 13:50. We would like to spend the night before in Avignon and there is a train that leaves Avignon at 7:15 and gets in to CDG at 10:32. I realize they could change the train schedules between now and July but as of now there is that train. Does that sound OK? Are TGV trains usually on time?
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Dec 27th, 2012, 10:30 AM
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You might want to have a look at this:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic....html#45589687
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Dec 27th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Yes, they are usually on time, very much so, but that doesn't make your plan a good idea, especially if you're looking at train schedules 7 months out. My own rule is never to count on making it to CDG from anywhere but Paris on the day I have a flight.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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I don't have statistics to prove this, but I'll bet the TGV has a better "on time" arrival record than an air flight. Would you take an airplane from Avignon to CDG with the same arrival time?

We've taken perhaps 15 TGV trips in France & all arrived on time. We've taken the TGV from Dijon, Beaune, & Chambery and arrived at CDG in time to make a flight that same day. We've taken the TGV from Rennes to CDG & connected with another TGV to Brussels with no problems.

A 3 1/4 hr connection time should be more than enough.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 27th, 2012, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for the opinions. Plan B is to book a hotel room near the airport. Any suggestions for something inexpensive?

I'm also looking at Strasbourg to CDG - in this case the train is from 6 to 8:30am, also for a 13:50 flight. With five hours to spare I'm wondering if that gamble might be worth it. And to answer the question - no I would not take a flight that arrived the same day as my transatlantic flight. I never do, just don't trust flights to arrive on time (even though in the last decade, of at least twice a year travel I don't think I've been more than a couple hours or so late on a flight). But I was thinking TGV trains might be more reliable than either flights or 'normal' trains. Apparently not.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 11:43 AM
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I'm fairly certain that the TGV is more reliable than a flight. That said, I've been on TGVs that ended up being late for a variety of reasons: livestock on the track, passenger with a medical emergency, severe weather, mechanical malfunction...only a handful of times in probably 100 TGV trips, but still unpredictable enough to make me never book a train of any kind on the day of a flight.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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>> no I would not take a flight that arrived the same day as my transatlantic flight. I never do, just don't trust flights to arrive on time<<

So - you would advise me on a flight from San Francisco to Dallas to CDG, to fly to Dallas a day early and stay at the Dallas airport overnight. I've never heard of anyone doing something like that - up to now.

>>>But I was thinking TGV trains might be more reliable than either flights or 'normal' trains. Apparently not.<<<

I believe just the opposite is true. The TGV is MORE reliable than the others I have had many many more late arrivals on air flights, and (knock on wood) not a single late arrival on the TGV - out of 15-20 trips.

For about the last 3 trips to Provence or the Alps, we've taken the TGV to the Gare du Nord, had dinner at the Train Bleu at the Gare, and stayed overnight at the Hotel Terminus - across the street from the Gare. We'll do this again in July. Our flight leaves about 11:30am, however, so there is no time to take a TGV from elsewhere.

Stu Dudley
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Dec 27th, 2012, 12:16 PM
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In May my TGV from Avignon to Paris (not CDG) was a half hour late arriving from Marseille; it happens.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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Any decent hotel booking site will turn up hotels at CdG and Roissy, the village where the airport is located. The giant Accor hotel chain has many brand names and price points, with shuttles to the airport. www.accorhotels.com Other brands compete for the business. Check the actual location carefully -- right in the airport, at the nearby village, or as far away as the convention centre.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Stu - if you're talking about SFO to Dallas to CDG all booked as one ticket then of course not. But in that case if the first flight is late the airline has to accommodate you for missing the second and put you on another one. I'm talking about flying Air France or BA or whatever from the US to Europe and then taking an easyjet flight somewhere else for example. In that case I spend the night in between in the arrival city (which is usually someplace like Paris or London or someplace I don't mind spending a night). Especially going the opposite way - say taking easyjet from point A to point B in Europe in order to catch an international flight back to the US. If you miss that you are out serious money. And the same would be true if the train were late.

So I guess I'm thinking the Avignon to CDG is pretty close, even an hour or so might cause the flight to be missed, so probably not 'worth' the gamble. In the Strasbourg case there is a couple extra hours so I might gamble that one.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 01:24 PM
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No one has mentioned strikes! The pop up, usually with a bit of notice but a visitor might not be aware of an impending strike if they do not or cannot read newspapers etc. A strike on the day of your flight home would really throw a wrench into it.

As an aside - On our upcoming trip to France at the end of January, we are flying to NYC 2 days ahead of our flight to France to allow for the potential of bad weather at either Chicago [change planes] or in NYC. [we would have had to fly in a day early in any case as our flight to NYC gets in to late to make flight to France on same day]. I don't see the need to have additional stress about weather delays. And since our flight to NYC is not on the same ticket as our European flight, not going to chance it.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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I've had TGVs be late several times in the last few years, I would never count on that for an international flight, it's too expensive if you miss it. I had a TGV to Bordeux from Paris that was an hour or two late just last Fall, and I've had them be late going from CDG to Avignon, actually.

Various things can happen with the equipment and who knows what.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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I agree with Christina, never rely on a TGV, or any train, on being punctual, particularly if it means you might miss an expensive, transatlantic flight. I have spent hours stuck on trains when something goes wrong - never assume that that unknown delays are impossible.
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Dec 27th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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I too would never rely on a train the morning of a intercontinental flight. Most likely there'll be no problem. But what if there is? You'd have to pay for another ticket and find space on the next available flight, which may not be for a day or two. It's just not worth taking the chance.

But you don't have to spend the night at the airport, you can stay in Paris. From Paris you can take a taxi or a shuttle or a bus or the RER to CDG. Even if there's a strike, not all forms of transportation would be affected.
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Dec 28th, 2012, 01:42 AM
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What DebitNM said.
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Dec 28th, 2012, 05:57 AM
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OK, you have convinced me. We will get to Paris the night before the flight.

As much as this was not what I wanted to hear, I am very grateful to all of you for your opinions.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 05:27 AM
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And the silver lining is another night in Paris.

Looking forward to the photos from wherever you're going.
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Dec 29th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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Hi Nikki - We're going to the Dordogne and Provence (followed by Italy and Switzerland and back to France for Strasbourg). We start off in Paris so I was hoping to get more time in Provence before my daughter has to leave, but there's a fairly late train the day before her flight so we'll probably go with that.

What are you travel plans this year?
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Dec 29th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Over the years I have been on the TGV at least 15 times and they have never been late, but as mentioned above that does not mean that that they can't be late. Now it it was an Italian train, I would really be concerned.

Some French think it is fasonable to be late, but the TGV, while a sleak looking and well appointed vehicle, is not concerned about fashion.
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Dec 30th, 2012, 01:37 AM
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Your danger, as DebitNM notes, is not mechanical failure or the wrong kind of leaves on the track (irresistable Southeastern England in-joke) but some kind of wildcat strike among railway or station personnel. We were unceremoniously dumped in St Denis once when arriving on Eurostar from London because of a greve at Gare du Nord.
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