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Layover time from US to CDG

Hi, guys. I’m looking at getting our airline tickets soon for our trip to Paris this summer. How much layover time do I need from here (US) to CDG? We have Global Entry but I don’t know if that will shorten the wait, considering all the Covid protocols etc. This will be our 1st trip to Europe since Covid. Thanks for your input!

Posted by
2059 posts

Not sure what you are asking. Are you attempting to make a connection of some type through CDG?

Global Entry is only used entering the USA. It is of no value to you at French immigration.

Posted by
75 posts

Sorry, let me clarify. We’re from Florida and we have a layover here (either JFK, DTW, BOS, ATL) before a direct flight to CDG. I want to know how much layover time we need to make it to our flight to CDG, with all the new protocols in place. Thanks!

Posted by
1131 posts

If you book on a single ticket, your initial security time will only be at your original departure airport. The airline will usually only book you connections they can make. That said, be wary of connections at or under around an hour to hour fifteen.

Posted by
2059 posts

Still not clear what the question is. To enter France, you must have 3 Covid shots, the 3rd must be the mRNA vaccine and becomes qualifying 7 days after it is received.

Typically, your first embarkation point, if you are connecting in the US, will verify your qualifications. Is your question about the time required to connect through a US airport, having CDG as the final destination?

Posted by
75 posts

@Tocard - Sorry if I’m not explaining myself correctly. All I need to know is how much time we need for layover from Florida to X US airport to CDG. For example, if we decide to fly from Florida to New York (with CDG as final destination), is the layover time of 2 hrs in New York enough? You’ve already helped me clarify about the vaccination status and I really appreciate that.

Posted by
2059 posts

The answer to your question depends upon how you are ticketed. If you are on a single ticket from Florida to CDG, the connection time itself is more a concern for the air carrier, but I would feel comfortable with 2 or more hours.

If you are attempting to book separate legs yourself, something I do not recommend, allow 4 to 5 hours, then watch the weather carefully and hope there are no unforeseen delays departing Florida.

Posted by
7704 posts

Usually the airline only sells you tickets that they think you will reasonably be able to meet — otherwise they would spend a lot of money putting people on later flights.

If you are talking about buying one ticket to get to, say, JFK, and then a separate ticket to get to CDG, then you need more time than a regular “layover,” because you’re not really taking a flight with a layover — you're taking two separate flights. It's not clear from what you're writing what you are trying to do.

Posted by
3574 posts

As explained above, book your trip as one ticket with same airlines
Your luggage will be checked thru to CDG from Florida

Otherwise you are on your own collecting and rechecking luggage, at JFK, etc

The airlines is also then responsible for getting you to your final destination

If you book 2 separate flights/airlines you are taking the risk of completely missing your flight from JFK to CDG

Posted by
75 posts

Thanks for all your replies. No, I am not looking to book separate flights. I’m actually looking at Delta flights but since there are no direct flights from Florida, we would have to go to another airport and they do have layovers of less than an hour to over 8+ hours. I’m not sure if I can trust their schedule (even if it is just one ticket) that’s why I was asking for your assistance. The majority say at least 3 hours so I’m glad I didn’t book the flights yet since I was looking at the one with only 2 hr layover time.

Posted by
9927 posts

Your international flight will start boarding 45 to 55 minutes ahead of departure. I like more than 2 hours and prefer 3. I don’t like changing in NYC as sometimes you have to change terminals. If you are familiar with ATL you might need just 2 hours there.

Your documents will be checked at your first air segment but your passport will likely be checked again on boarding the international segment.

I understand what people are saying about an airline not selling a connection you can’t make but that doesn’t mean it would not be anxiety producing. Yes, Delta will sell me a 28-minute connection in SLC and I’ve done it but it’s awful lol. No time to make a pit stop and a hard run thru the airport. So, no thanks. I prefer 2-3 hours minimum time.

Posted by
75 posts

@Pam - Thank you so much. That’s very helpful.

Posted by
7704 posts

Aha, now i understand what you’re asking.

I'm from the middle of the country so I always have layovers coming to and going from Europe. I'm comfortable with an hour and 45 minutes / two hours.

I can only think of once in the last 20 years or so of not making my connecting flight . They put me on a later flight to another European destination, and I had to backtrack to Paris. Still, I made it the same day I was supposed to.

In other words, I have had almost no problems, in 20 years of going back and forth, with around two-hour layovers.

Posted by
1131 posts

OP, two hours would be perfect for me. I hate layovers with much more time, as I detest sitting around in airports. Under an hour and 15 gets too tight for my comfort, as Pam said, due to not being able to potentially go to the bathroom, unless we are in the same terminal with an easy gate change (it happens!) More than two hours, yuck.

Posted by
261 posts

I’m a very heavy user of ATL and JFK. Atlanta is the easiest to navigate. Both airport terminals are connected by trains. Atlanta’s system is within the secure area. JFK’s train system requires exiting and re-entering through TSA if a a terminal change is required. Having TSA precheck via your Global Entry would speed up the TSA process at JFK. I’ve used DTW less frequently. Changing terminals was simple. Although I’ve used BOS it was not for connecting flights.

You would need less time for a transfer through DTW and ATL (approximately 1 & 1/2 hrs). With JFK being a more congested airport you may need much more time for ground traffic and especially if you have to change terminals. If there is no terminal change then estimate 2 hours.

All of this assumes that your original flight departs as scheduled and your connecting airport has no landing delays - weather, ground traffic, gate access, etc.

Edit: You are unlikely to have terminal changes at JFK if you’re using Delta. Their flights primarily depart from terminal 4. Some depart from terminal 2.

Posted by
75 posts

Thanks, guys, for all your wise advice. This should make booking our flight hopefully less stressful.

Posted by
6728 posts

I once nearly missed a flight through O'Hare to Rome with 5 hours of connection time because planes were not landing at O'hare but were taking off due to weather issues. We got held up and barely made the flight -- the plane to Rome flew half full because dozens of people were on connecting flights that didn't make it. My then 80 year old mother ws flying out of New York and had never traveled abroad and we were meeting her in Rome. Very nervous making to think we might be stranding this totally clueless person in Italian immigration.

So I always try to give myself a little hedge on an important connection. Yes your airline has to get you. there BUT who wants to blow a day or two of their short vacation with missed connections?

I'd take the longest layover you can on that single flight ticket. If your connection is airside then presumably all the check in requirements are handled at your port of departure. But don't cut it super close.

Posted by
87 posts

I concur with Pam, not less than 3 hour layover for connecting flight. Unlike domestic travel where there is usually another flight to your final destination a few hours later, if you miss your international connection then you may be waiting a full day for the next flight. I experienced that when my Delta flight to Atlanta was delayed by thunderstorms in Orlando causing a run through ATL to barely make my flight to Milan. Like you, I’m flying from Florida to Paris in May connecting at IAD. My choices were 1.5 or 5 hour layover. I booked the longer layover to be safe and avoid stress.

Posted by
774 posts

The reason people have been asking if you've booked this on one ticket is because if you miss the connecting flight due to a delay then the airline selling you the ticket is responsible for rebooking you on another flight. Back in the golden days (say before 2000) they'd put you on the next available flight on any airline. Sadly those days are long gone. Now you're going to have to wait for another seat to open up on your airline. Maybe its later that day. Maybe, especially if you're connecting later in the afternoon, it's not for a day or more

There are direct flights to Paris from airports in Florida, you don't say what your departure airport is. For example Delta sells direct flights from Miami.

So if I was in your shoes I'd decide how important it was to be in Paris the exact day you expect. If you buy a ticket with a connection in the US and the flight is delayed, you might not arrive until a day or more after you plan. No problem if you're just on vacation in Paris, big problem if you're meeting a tour or taking a cruise. So I think it boils down to how much risk you're willing to shoulder. Chances may be small of not arriving on the day you expect, but small is not zero. Me, on outgoing flights I never connect in the US. I find a direct flight to somewhere in Europe and connect there; lots more flights within Europe than across the Atlantic, and there's always the train as a backup within Europe. If being there that exact day really matters I'd (in order of preference)

  • go to an airport in Florida with a direct flight to Paris
  • find a flight with a connection in Europe
  • fly Florida to the US city (perhaps NYC) and spend the nite before the flight to Paris
  • allow 5+ hours for my US connection
Posted by
2059 posts

Back in the golden days (say before 2000) they'd put you on the next available flight on any airline.

This rule has been the same for decades. If, for any reason, you misconnect to your final leg to CDG, you will be accommodated on the next available flight. That does not necessarily mean the next scheduled flight. If the next scheduled flight is already full, the air carrier will not remove passengers to seat you. Available flight means the next scheduled flight having space, which may be the following day.

There are many possible ways to reach Paris from Florida. Last month I flew MIA to IAD to CDG. It all went very well, had a 2 hour connect at Dulles, which we needed, as the MIA flight was late, but we arrived CDG on time.

Check goggle.com/flights as there are a lot of options.

Posted by
517 posts

@ Jovie…..no one has mentioned BOS. I would add more time here as well since you will most likely need to switch terminals.

Posted by
774 posts

Back in the golden days (say before 2000) they'd put you on the next available flight on any airline.

This rule has been the same for decades. If, for any reason, you misconnect to your final leg to CDG, you will be accommodated on the next available flight.

Look up what's happened to Rule 240. As Chris Elliott (travel writer) says

reciprocity was never a government requirement. Rather, it was part of an airline contract called Rule 240, which outlined what carriers would do for passengers whose flights were delayed or canceled. One of the Rule 240 requirements was something called “endorsing” a ticket to another carrier, which meant re-booking a passenger on another carrier at the airline’s own expense. Rule 240 faded away after deregulation

https://www.elliott.org/blog/flight-canceled-airline-obligated-get-destination/

The article goes on to depict the plight of a traveler going to a wedding that could have still made it on a flight operated by a different airline but the carrier she booked the ticket with would not book them on that flight. There's lots to like about deregulation including lower fares, more convenient flights, etc. But this change ain't one of them.

What this means to the OP is that if their flight from Florida to (for example) NY is delayed and they miss the flight across the Atlantic then their carrier such as Delta may decide not to put them on a different carrier and instead make them wait for the next Delta flight even if it is a different day.

If the passenger does not request cancellation and refund of the remaining portion of the ticket, Delta will transport the passenger to the destination on Delta’s next flight on which seats are available in the class of service originally purchased. At Delta’s sole discretion and if acceptable to the passenger, Delta may arrange for the passenger to travel on another carrier
https://www.tripsavvy.com/airlines-rule-240-54480

"sole discretion" means maybe they do, maybe they don't

Posted by
3699 posts

In the unhappy situation of missing a connection, it might help if you have your airline's schedule handy to help negotiate a replacement. "Next available flight" is a loaded promise since the next flight may already be full. In my old-fashioned way I would print out the flight schedules. A cellphone could do it for you (if not me) and put you in direct touch with the airline rather than over-the-counter, where there may be a lineup. So you can see why previous posts stress the safe-not-sorry approach of a generous layover time, however boring. And PS: You might make a tight connection but your checked luggage might not.

Posted by
84 posts

We are flying to Lyon out of western Oregon in May, connecting in San Francisco. Both areas are notorious for fog, especially morning fog. United dropped our original flight out of Oregon and tried to put us on a shorter connecting or way longer one. I declined both and had them credit that segment back to us, and I booked tickets for the afternoon before on a different airline. We will stay at an airport hotel in SF that night and head to the airport about 3 hours before flight. We are flying business class so hopefully the lounge will be open. I have had too many flights messed up by fog. Not taking risks with this one.