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CDG connection, different airlines

I will be arriving from JFK into terminal 2A at CDG on American airlines. I will be departing terminal 2F on Air France. I have no checked bags. I thought that I would have a leisurely stroll through the airport since I have three hours in between flights, but now I understand that I may have to exit and recheck in/security/passport check ?? Can someone leave me through this process, please?

Posted by
23472 posts

I assuming that you are going somewhere in the Schengen zone with the second flight. Also assume you are on one ticket. You land, and will go through immigration. That could take some time but should get through less than hour. From there you head to you next departure gate and you will have to go through security again since you are check through to the final city and you have the boarding pass. At the final airport you go through customs. If any of the assumptions are incorrect then the picture changes.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks. Going to Rome. Separate tickets. First from American Airlines. Second I purchased from air France--I believe I can print that boarding pass from home before I leave. Does that change things?

Posted by
3801 posts

I believe that you will have to go through passport control and exit the secured area and then make your way to Terminal 2F. I hope that Passport Control is not too long at Terminal 2 A when you arrive and that you have your boarding pass so you can proceed straight to security for Terminal 2E because otherwise IMO 3 hours between unconnected flights is cutting it close.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks. So, why do I have to leave secure area if connecting with boarding pass in hand? I can understand if I had to get baggage, check-in at ticket counter, print boarding pass. But, can't I just go through Passport Control then security at 2F since I already have my carry-on and only baggage? Is it something about the separate ticket/airlines? Getting nervous. . .

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks, so I tried that link and the following is what popped up:

→ Follow signs for «Connecting flights»
If you do not yet have your second boarding pass, go to the company connecting flights desk of your next flight
→ Follow signs for «Terminal 2F»
→ Go through the Security checks
→ Take the blue shuttle bus (Navette bleue) to Terminal 2F
Frequency: from 5 am to 11:45 pm

Since I will already have my luggage, and have boarding in pass in hand, can't I do the above? Again, Coming in on American Airlines and departing to Rome on a SECOND ticket from Air France.

Posted by
8240 posts

You are not connecting. You have two separate flights. 3 hours scheduled is not the same as actually having 3 hours. PLanes are often late; half an hour would be nothing remarkable. You have to go through immigration and customs on arrival and then check in with the second airline. You should have time if all goes smoothly and immigration is not crazy long; it can be if you are behind several other large planes. It is much too close to schedule for separate flights; no one at CDG will care if you are running late and will miss the flight.

Posted by
8 posts

AHAH! Thank you! Now I understand. I don't like it, but I understand. Not a connection . . . So, (sorry for all the questions for this newbee international traveler) I would follow the signs for Baggage/Exit--get through passport/customs, then EXIT to outside, right? Then take Blue Shuttle to Terminal 2F. If I have a boarding pass and only carry-on luggage, am I stopping into the ticket counter to "check-in," or just going straight to the security line at that terminal? I am not sure what you mean when you say that I need to check in with Air France if my boarding pass is in hand and no luggage needs dropped off. Thanks in advance.

Posted by
23472 posts

....why do I have to leave secure area if connecting with boarding pass in hand? .....

Because you don't have a connection. You are not in Kansas anymore. Your international flight terminated in another country, you go through immigration and customs since you are arriving in France. From there you will moved to a domestic flight terminal for your next flight. Since you have a boarding pass in hand and no luggage to check, you do not need to go to the check in counter for AirF, double check your board gate and proceed to that gate area. You need to go through a security screening. If running short on time, look around for a prior line. There is often a short line for those with short connections.

You do not have an excessive amount of time even if everything is on time. For the international flight try to get a seat near the exit so you can be one of the first off. Watch the signage. CDG is big, sprawling airport so don't be reluctant to ask directions.

Posted by
8 posts

Okay -- so try to get off the plane early, dash toward the Baggage Claim/Exit area that will lead me to Passport Check and Customs (I have no bags to pick up). Go outside on first floor, run to Terminal 2F from 2A, unless the shuttle is right there ready to go. Go straight to security near my departure gate (that I will look for along the way or on my APP) since I have my boarding pass in hand and no checked luggage. Pray the whole way. Does that sound about right?

Just curious, since I would not have known all this--what would have happened if I had had just taken my boarding pass and luggage with me as if I was a "connector?" Where would I have gotten stopped and sent back through customs?

Posted by
3801 posts

First, the stop is at passport control/immigration and not customs. Customs deals with the items that you are allowed to bring into a country. Passport Control/Immigration deals with your person being allowed into the country. A traveler is required to go through passport control at the country of first entry into the Schengen Zone regardless of whether they have a connection on a continuing ticket or doing what you are doing.

Posted by
8889 posts

"what would have happened if I had had just taken my boarding pass and luggage with me as if I was a "connector?"" - It is not just "landside" (outside security) and "airside" (inside security). This is an international airport, there are three areas "landside", foreign (outside Schengen) and inside Schengen. When you go through immigration (passport control) you are in the "dirty" landside and need to go back in through security to get to intra-Schengen "airside".
Since it is two different terminals and two different tickets, there is no shortcut, and even if there was you would still have to go through immigration.

Posted by
8 posts

So, if everyone has to go through passport control, and all non-Schengen travelers regardless of one ticket with connection, or in my case, have to get "dirty." Don't those 1 ticket people still have to go through security at 2F just like I do? Again, since no dropped bags and boarding pass in hand, what is the practical difference? Hope this is last question (as do you all, I am sure).

Posted by
8 posts

So, if everyone has to go through passport control, and all non-Schengen travelers regardless of one ticket with connection, or in my case, have to get "dirty." Don't those 1 ticket people still have to go through security at 2F just like I do? Again, since no dropped bags and boarding pass in hand, what is the practical difference? Hope this is last question (as do you all, I am sure).

Posted by
4066 posts

Just to add another kink, your hand luggage may be screened to get on the shuttle inside the airport, too. Stay calm; this is the age of security. It's easier to understand if you look at the maps on that link to the airport provided above. It's interactive, showing the route to make connections (although always check the information screen once off the first plane to see if the departure gate has changed.) You might print out the relevant maps or use some smartphone gizmo, to help with navigation.

Posted by
3801 posts

The most important practical difference in my view is that for the "one ticket" people if they miss their second flight, the airline is on the hook for getting them to their destination at no extra cost. You will have to buy a new ticket. It's probably not going to be big deal for a trip to Rome from Paris but when the situation is having to buy the ticket from Paris to the US, things get interesting.

Posted by
23472 posts

At some airports, the people with connecting flights will be directed to a in-transit area after immigration and keep behind security since they will be going through customs at their end destination. In other airports the physical arrangement doesn't allow this and everyone goes back through security. It just depends.