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CDG airport

Ridiculous place. Run the gauntlet of about 50 duty-free shops (who buys stuff at these places anyway?) and arrive at three lousy choice for a meal in my terminal. Just paid 27.40 euros for not much. Places with limited seating area, I might add.

Maybe put some effort in places to eat and cut back on the duty-free baloney.

Posted by
344 posts

I sympathize, as I also hate paying exorbitant prices for food, but as for:

(who buys stuff at these places anyway?)

Clearly many people are (or more precisely, the "right" kind of people who spend enough are), as CDG is hardly the only airport with a wide array of high-end duty free shops, and it's also not alone in the increasing trend of converting airports into luxury shopping malls that just happen to have airplanes at gates; I doubt this trend would have continued if it were not profitable for airports.

Retail spending in airports has increased for the last several years (though I'm sure the current situation is having a huge temporary impact), and for luxury goods it can actually make sense to buy in the airport, because many countries levy huge taxes on luxury goods.

Airports also have a captive customer audience, and while people do make decisions based on overall airport "quality" (witness the frequent advice to connect via Schiphol instead of CDG if you have the option), many times there just isn't an option. If you are trying to fly to Paris or to a secondary French city from overseas, the odds are often that CDG is the only viable choice.

Posted by
138 posts

I avoid that airport at all cost. Two years ago, we had to transfer there. As we were in transit, I assumed (right or wrong) they were directing us to the correct terminal. It appears whe ever there was a decision to be made, we showed our tickets and were pointed in a direction, often a direction with limited access - so it seemed correct. We were trusting them. We had 3.5 hours between flights
To make a long story short, We started to question, trip seemed to long, we find ourselves in a line and everyone is asking, why are we here. We are here because this is where they directed us, there were people from all different sorts of flights. We were put on a bus, transferred to another terminal - this is now over an hour into the transfer. Enter new terminal, no direction, we are lost and now must make our way to the correct terminal. We find ourselves in a deserted terminal, with another couple, both completely confused. No one around to ask..what is going on? Finally we hop back on transfer train and arrive back at terminal we were transferred from. Arrive at gate with 20 mins to spare! I have heard many similar stories on CDG!

Posted by
7640 posts

I don't mind it at all. I fly Delta so leave from 2E.

In October, I got a wonderful cup of mint jasmine tea at Exki along with a hunk of fresh baguette. I'd not intended on the tea but the woman ahead of me got it and the fresh mint smelled so delicious I just pointed at it and nodded my head. What a wonderful way to start a flight! There are a number of outlets that have the meal deal thing in case you just want a sandwich to go. Plenty of seating in the concourse on 2E along with those standing podium type tables. My flight leaves mid-morning so generally I'm not looking for a full meal anyway.

Posted by
3133 posts

Your dislike of duty free is not universal. While I am not familiar with CDG’s, I like Heathrow Terminal 3 and Schiphol.

Airport food? I avoid it and bring my own or pick it up on the way. It is overpriced, low quality fare even in airline clubs.

Posted by
849 posts

Sure, the food is a rip off. I usually go with the tried and true Paul chain. You know what you’re going to get and generally it is pretty good. I would never choose Paul if a mom and pop bakery were nearby, but it is the best option at CDG.

Though I will say, I go to the Paul in DC as much as I can.

Posted by
11704 posts

I bought something at the duty free shop in CDG once. I can't recall what it was? Probably a bottle of wine and I probably drank half of it in the airport with a sandwich for lunch.

Posted by
2799 posts

I too avoid CDG whenever possible, and it's worked for several years even though we always travel to France. But many years ago there was actually a very good restaurant at CDG; I can't remember the name. It specialized in regional French dishes -- 1 dish from Region A, 1 from Region B, etc. Then 1 year we looked for it, and I believe that while the name had stayed the same, it was now just a mediocre fast food restaurant.
As for duty free, I steer clear of them except occasionally for chocolate.

Posted by
2664 posts

It seems you need to run the gauntlet at all airports not just that one. I wish Frankfurt’s Z gates had one restaurant. It has a couple wurst stands if you get there when they’re open, and one really expensive bakery.

Posted by
449 posts

I could say the same for many airports in the US, especially with crap food for ridiculous prices.

CDG is a lovely airport.

Posted by
1145 posts

Overall check-in went smoothly this time, which is not always the case. Often you try to figure out where to go, find a machine, start to enter to check a bag, and then they tell you, oh, no, you've got to walk 500 feet to some other area (which happened at Schipol).

But then brain-fart city trying to get through security, where there was no line but took forever and a long conversation between the agent and just two women, which sounds like just friendly chit-chat.

Yeah, Ekk is where I ate, but superoverpriced. And how about some place to sit?

Could also just be Air France.

That 777-300 on AF in economy has very uncomfortable seats--very thin.

Curious thing on my three-day jaunt to AMS from CDG. No problem going. But at Schipol for the return to CDG, the machine would not accept my passport. I gave it to the woman there at the computer set up, and she didn't indicate anything was wrong, except that I had to walk a long way with the luggage to check it, even though there were AF desks right there.

So I go to check-in and check a bag, and the woman asks me when my flight back the US is. I sez, why is that relevant now? She sez, well, you might need a Visa to get into Paris. I sez in about two weeks. Oh, OK, you're all set.

Does this make any sense whatsoever I her part? AF agent is enforcing the Schengen rules? Wa? And can't she see when I entered by the stamp on my passport or on her screen? And she can't see my AF flight back to the US on my AF account?

So I assume this is why the machine didn't like my passport scan?

But wouldn't it be passport control to monitor this, not the airline for the Schengen rules?

Weird.

Also about 35 minutes late taking off because of some air controller issue/shortage/walkout. But we arrived in the US on time, I think.

Avoid Durkin at Logan for a place to eat. The worst service ever--and the jokers tried to charge me $4 extra on my credit statement, which I got back pretty quickly because I had a picture of my receipt.

Posted by
1145 posts

I also met a woman who had just arrived from Salt Lake City and connecting to Nairobi. She said she had to pass through security at home and then again at CDG.

What's the reason for this? I thought it might have to do with entering the Schengen zone and then leaving it again?