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Connecting Flights - Air France

I'm Planning a trip to France in September.
I will be starting in Paris and ending up in Nice.
My return flight departs from CDG in Paris at 10:45 with a check-in deadline at 09h45.
I'm thinking getting a flight from Nice to CDG that is scheduled to arrive at 07:30, or about 2 hours before the deadline.
How realistic is it that the planes will be on time and I will be able to make the connection? How reliable is Air France?
I've flown in the USA and and it seems like flights are commonly delayed and cancelled.

Posted by
13233 posts

Are there any more flights that day from Paris to your home airport? Asking in case you need a backup plan for a missed flight....

Posted by
4050 posts

this is not an airline or nationality thing, all planes are commonly delayed everywhere. For any of a number of reasons.

If you really have a 10:45 flight (either AM or PM), do some math to figure out how long it will take to get through all the lines you'll be waiting in. Safe bet is 2 hours. You should stay the night before in Paris or at the airport (I vote for the latter).

Posted by
4490 posts

How bad is this idea - I don't have enough time left in the day to count the ways. Flying into your departure airport on the same day on a separate ticket is always risky. Doing this for a flight that may or may not have a later one in case you miss the first- even more so. At CDG???? With the normal chaos, plus a likely terminal change, passport control and security??

Do yourself a favor and book yourself into Paris hotel for the last night.

Posted by
10516 posts

As best I can figure, you have a flight that departs at 1045 (AM?) from Paris to the US.

You have a separate booking from Nice to CDG.

Are you asking what time you should leave Nice to be sure to make the US bound flight that departs at 1045 ?

If that is the case, you should leave Nice the night before.

The other option is to book Nice to US as a single booking, to put the onus on the airline make it work.

If you have checked bags and a separate booking I do not like your odds of success. Even without checked bags I find such a plan filled with danger of a bad outcome.

Posted by
3956 posts

A complete ticket for the flights Nice-Paris-home may be cheaper as well as more secure and more convenient. In planning your transfer, you should know that you probably will go through security at CdG for your cabin carry-ons. The US currently requires airlines to check for a rapid Covid test. No way of knowing if this process will be in place come September.

Posted by
2515 posts

Delta has flights from NCE to JFK and United has flights from NCE to EWR. I would do just about anything to avoid CDG.

Posted by
367 posts

It's not clear from your post if you've already purchased the return flight from CDG but it sounds like you have. In which case the best thing to do is spend the nite before in Paris. If you miss the connection then it's on you to purchase another walk-up fare on the next flight that has space and planes fly pretty full these days.

An alternative is to see if you can change the ticket to return from Nice. We've flown back to the West Coast from Nice. If possible look for a connection in the US. There are lots more flights within the US than across the Atlantic.

As for the check-in deadline, that's just the time by which you must obtain your boarding pass (online or the airport). Most likely you'll do it online the night before. Standing in the airport terminal with your paper or electronic boarding pass you still need to get thru the screening line and then to your gate before the doors close. The one hour deadline is not a guarantee you'll make it. I once was on a tour where the guide, when asked how long before the flight to be at the airport, said "You have two choices. You can be stressed or bored." We opt for the latter and aim to be at the airport 3 hours before the flight to allow for contingencies and still make our flight.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you ALL for the great feed back!
I will plan to arrive back in Paris the day before and get to CDG early. Better bored than anxious!

Posted by
4050 posts

Bill G is right, it's too unpredictable these days how your airport experience will be. Find a way to get into your airline's club and just kill some time.

Posted by
1283 posts

I have taken that 10:45am flight fro CDG to SFO many times.
I allow about 4 hours at the airport for checking in, passport control, and security.
Sometimes it will take 45 minutes, sometimes 3 hours...
I will relax and get coffee and that last croissant when I am airside.
You are wise to fly in the night before your flight but do give yourself plenty of time in the morning.

Posted by
14209 posts

Flying back from CDG in the morning to SFO, be it on United or Air France, I spend the last night in a small hotel near the airport, Hotel Campanile, a French chain, decent, good restaurant, nothing fancy, a shuttle to the airport, which I've always found reliable, punctual, a helpful staff, basically no problems at all. I time the check-in no later than 9 pm. The guests are overwhelmingly French.