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jmday4 Jul 27th, 2007 04:38 AM

Time to allow to CDG
I haven't really seen any mention of how much time one should allow at CDG for an international flight. My son has a flight on a Saturday in August. I've arranged for Parishuttle to pick him up at the apartment he's staying at on rue Cardinal Lemoine at 10am for a 1pm flight to the US. I assumed this should be ample time to check in and go through security. Any thoughts? Thanks

barbmike Jul 27th, 2007 04:48 AM

Hi J,

Is your son the only/last pickup by Parishuttle to CDG? A three hour window should be enough, but alot can happen with traffic ect. so maybe allow for a little more time.

What's the worst that can happen, your son spends some extra time at the airport. Good Luck.

sjj Jul 27th, 2007 04:59 AM

A few years ago my wife and I took a shuttle from a hotel on Cardinal Lemoine to CDG and wound up at the wrong terminal. Getting to the right one was difficult because of poor signage, and we barely made our flight. So, I think your son should allow a little more time and be really sure where he's going.

jmday4 Jul 27th, 2007 05:12 AM

Thanks so much for your replies. My gut was to just have him picked up earlier. He has no idea where he's going. I've told the shuttle service terminal 2E for Air France. I'll make sure my son knows this too though! We'll be doing the same thing the week before so I'll be able to tell him what to expect when he gets to the airport! Again, thanks so much!

ira Jul 27th, 2007 05:29 AM

Hi jm,

I'd go for an 09:00 pickup. He can always window shop.

>He has no idea where he's going.

Has he called AF to ask from which terminal he is leaving?


missypie Jul 27th, 2007 06:00 AM

We left three hours early for our flight and ALMOST didn't make it. I was very nervous.

Kate_W Jul 27th, 2007 06:29 AM

I'd recommend at least 3.5 hours to be on the safe side.

August traffic in Paris should be minimal so getting to the airport likely won't be a problem. At other times of year, this might be an issue.

Check-in / Exit-Immigration / Security lines can be very unpredictable at CDG. Ideally, he should check in online for his flight the day before (he can do this from an internet cafe) and then all he needs to do at the airport is drop off bags and pick up his boarding pass if he couldn't print it where he checked in. For some airlines, though, Fast Bag Drop can be a very long line, too. (BA at CDG is terrible if you're flying Traveller. I've seen the line to drop bags for Traveller be as long as 30 minutes.) I've usually found the Immigration/Exit lines at CDG and Orly to be relatively speedy (maybe 10 minutes long at most), but recently I've had a few nightmarish experiences. We spent over an hour in line at Orly a week ago and spent 20 minutes in a line at 2B at CDG in June.

Depending on the layout of the terminal, there will be either a relatively central security line up (e.g. for all or most of the flights departing from a subterminal, like 2D), or there will be a security line for a gate or pair of gates (as at terminal 2B). If it's the latter, you could again face a very long line. I've spent over 30 minutes in a security line for a BA flight and was quite stressed about it (although if you've managed to get to the security line and you've checked bags, they'll probably let you through if you ask to go to the front of the line, unless everyone else in front of you is lining up for the same flight - in which case they'll hold the flight).

How old is your son and how self-sufficient and savvy is he? I would have thought that, given his location in Paris, it would have been easier, cheaper and faster for him to take the RER to CDG instead of the shuttle.

jmday4 Jul 27th, 2007 06:50 AM

Thanks Kate for the great info!
I'm fairly sure that he's leaving from terminal 2E. He'd be mortified if he knew that I was even asking this info! He's going to be a freshman in college and he's very savvy and self-sufficient in the states and even though he's traveled with us internationally, he's never been on his own. I know 100% of this is my issue with him being on his own and that his style of travel differs so much from my own. I like to know where I'm going and to have a plan whereas he prefers to be very very laid back, maybe get lost but to "be chill" the whole time! I know he could've taken public transportation from his location but again, I just want to be sure that he does indeed end up at the airport in time to get on the plane! I've emailed Parishuttle and requested a 9am pick-up!

kerouac Jul 27th, 2007 08:51 AM

Check-in for US flights is always longer due to the comic routine of 'Security for Dummies.' "Is this your bag?" "Who packed this bag?" "Has this bag been with you at all times?" etc. That already wastes quite a bit of time, and, hey, I think that possible terrorists know what to answer to those questions. Most foreign airlines do not bother with this farce, so the airline on which your son is flying is already one element that needs to be known to give a proper answer.

The only other problem is the general security line, which is extremely variable depending on the time of the flight. However, your son is flying at the busy time, so it is imperative to rush to the security line as soon as check-in is completed. No wandering around until he is in the transit zone. Then he can do whatever he wants.

Finally, I am one of those people who don't trust shuttles and feel much more secure with the reliability of the RER B (not to mention the money saved).

djkbooks Jul 27th, 2007 09:58 AM

Last September, we had to go through a security check "interview" before checking in for our flight. Slow going. The trip before that, the terminal had been changed and we had to get ourselves and our bags to the other terminal, which took over 30 minutes. You never know about traffic. In all our trips, only once was there and accident (a motorcycle was involved, I think, injured people were being treated on the pavement, there was a swarm of emergency vehicles blocking all but one lane, and it occurred where two highways merge), but it delayed us over an hour.

We always allow at least three hours plus lots of transit time. More if we can. It's much better to have plenty of time to spare at CDG than get there too late.

It's good to know the check-in deadline. With Air France, for example, it's 60 minutes. One second later and they are not obligated to rebook. There was a time when they divided the lines by flight times, but this hasn't been done for the last few years.

Kate_W Jul 27th, 2007 02:07 PM


The worst over-the-top security experience I've had so far was flying l'avion from Orly to Newark (and that's saying something because I used to fly regularly from Toronto to DCA in Washington DC, where the security clearance procedures in Toronto are extra-intense because planes land so close to the city).

kerouac Jul 28th, 2007 12:32 PM

I'm not surprised: the company that runs L'Avion is targeting an American clientele that feels safer with that sort of treatment.

Weadles Jul 28th, 2007 02:56 PM

I just got home tonight from Paris. Air France is recommending that passengers get to CDG 2.5 hours before an international flight, so I don't think the 10AM pickup is a good idea. The airport was a chaotic mess this morning, with long check-in and security lines.

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