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Now arriving at CDG -- Questions

Please pardon the redundancy but my plans changed & I'm now arriving at CDG around 7:30am on Delta from JFK on a weekday. After going through immigration, baggage carousel and customs, I'll need to buy my Navigo Découverte card.

  • Is THIS where I need to go and about how long of a walk is
    it after I pick up my checked bag?

  • Is the signage to get to the ticket office well displayed so that I
    don't look lost and thus become a target of pickpockets?

  • I'll be in a CDG wheelchair part of the way because of a spinal
    condition. I can't remain standing for more than 1-2 minutes without
    pain which is why I arranged the wheelchair. Will the person
    wheeling the chair take me to the ticket office where I will buy the
    ND card? (If so, I probably won't have to worry about directions!}

Next, my husband will arrive on a Saturday morning around the same time -- 7:30am on Delta. He will need to buy one RER rail ticket from CDG to Luxembourg RER and then 4 carnets for the métro. His visit will be a quick one.

  1. Where does he buy the RER ticket?
  2. Where does he buy the 4 tickets for the métro?
  3. If he can use cash to buy the RER and 4 carnets, are there BNP Paribas cash machines nearby to get cash?
  4. If cash machines issue €20 notes, will the ticket machines provide change when purchasing tickets?
  5. Can a métro ticket be used on an RER train within central Paris?

Thank you!

Posted by
4010 posts

Yes, I mean 4 tickets. I will correct the OP. Thanks for the info. He may be withdrawing between €100-150 from the cash machine. I am assuming the cash machine will issue €20 notes. Nothing higher I hope.

Posted by
8171 posts

The link didn't work for me. You buy the ND at the RER train station; I can't imagine that the airline wheelchair service extends there, but I don't know. But how will you use the RER and metro if you are unable to stand and walk? I would be getting a taxi.

I don't think you understand what a carnet is. A carnet is 10 of any ticket. Usually it refers to 10 ordinary metro tickets for 14.90 for Paris. But it could also be 10 tickets CDG to Paris if that is what one wanted and that would cost about 80 Euro give or take. 4 carnet of Paris tickets would be 40 tickets and cost about 60 Euro. If he wants 4 ordinary tickets, that would be roughtly 7 Euro.

You buy the RER ticket at the RER train station from machines or desk -- this is also where you buy the Navigo Decouverte. Your husband can buy a ticket on the RER to Paris from the machines for 10.30 and then 4 individual tickets on the same machine for Paris metro/bus only for about 7-8 Euro.

Posted by
4010 posts

I can stand and walk. What I am trying to do is avoid standing for long periods of time with a condition I have called spondylolithesis. One of the worst things I can do is take a taxi as sitting in a car is very painful unless it's a tall SUV. I take subways all of the time at home and sit in the handicapped seats if available or ask someone for a seat if necessary. People are wonderful about that. Walking is no issue; lifting luggage is so hopefully no stairwells. That the RER ticket windows are a long walk is no issue.

I'm sorry the link didn't work. The picture came from this webpage, https://parisbytrain.com/paris-airport-terminal-2-train-photo-tour/ under the heading "Paris Metro/RER Train Tickets CDG Airport Terminal 2"

Thank you for the ticket info for my husband and for me. Yes I was totally confused about what a carnet meant. He definitely doesn't need 40 tickets!

Posted by
10298 posts

Continental, You will probably arrive in Terminal 2, which is again divided into numerous sub-terminals and will have to take the internal shuttle, CDGVal, to Terminal 3 to catch the RER. It is a long way to the shuttle. These terminals are much larger than anything at JFK. Elevators are available down to the platform and back up. The RER is not too far away once in T3.

We were on the shuttle last month when the whole system shut abruptly, probably due to an unattended package. The Hilton van or an overcrowded bus were the only ways to get to T3. We hitched a ride in the van.

I suggest you take a taxi due to your pain and let someone else deal with getting into town. Can you lie down in the back of a taxi?

Posted by
8171 posts

You will have to carry luggage up and down stairs if you use the train system and with many metro transfers lots of steep stairs.

Posted by
4010 posts

Janet, I asked in a different thread (I forget which one) about commuting from Gare du Nord when I thought I was arriving by train to Luxembourg RER. I was told that there would be no stairwells at Luxembourg. I will not be taking the métro.

Now that I will be commuting from CDG, I hope nothing has changed in that I can take the RER B from CDG to Luxembourg RER station to the street and not have to take a stairwell.

Posted by
10298 posts

One of the exits at Luxembourg has an escalator, while all the platforms you need to reach at CDG , both the CDGVal and the RER, have escalators and elevators. Best case scenario is that all will be up and running. However, I have seen various conveyences out of order at different times ( RER elevators at CDG and Luxembourg escalator.)

Posted by
557 posts

To your last question:

Yes, a métro ticket (to be explicit, a T+ ticket) can be used on the RER train within central Paris. To determine the exact geographic validity, take a close look at the métro map: a small black squiggly line over the RER lines indicates where a T+ ticket is no longer valid.

For example, if you look at the RER A, you will see that there is a black squiggly line between the Nation and Vincennes stations in eastern Paris and another black squiggly line between the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and La Défense stations in western Paris. That means that your T+ ticket is valid for travel for all RER A stations between Charles de Gaulle-Etoile and Nation (inclusive), but not for any stations further east/west into the suburbs.

Note that unlike on the métro where you only need to use the T+ ticket on entry, on the RER you need it on both entry and exit, even for journeys solely within central Paris.

Posted by
8171 posts

It is absolutely not true that there are elevators in all train stations -- and there are very few in metro stations. There are elevators on lines 1 and 14 which are accessible lines but the lines linking to them are not. There are generally elevators at RER stations and for a very few very deep metro stations like Lamarck Caulaincourt and Abbesses. But almost no other stations. There are escalators at some metro stations but even those that have them rarely have them for all the stairs and they are often out of order. Most metros involve many stairs up and down to get to and from platforms and always on transfers. It would not be unusual to have half a dozen stair flights to get to a platform from the street or back out or on transfers.

Posted by
10298 posts

I ask exactly the same question, Barbra, but Continental does take the NY subway, which I think is physically challenging, too. I think the Metro is tougher, though. It will help to get a seat if she has a cane.

Please let us know how it goes, Continental.

Posted by
4010 posts

Everyone's feedback and concern are very much appreciated! Thank you.

My concern about steps/stairwells is solely about my arrival at CDG and commuting to my hotel near the Luxembourg RER. I can use both escalators and elevators. I will not be traveling upon my arrival at CDG via the Métro. I will be going via the RER. I understand that an elevator or escalator can be down. Happens all of the time at NYC subway stations that have escalators/elevators. What I hope to avoid is lifting my pullman which will be packed as lightly as possible; this is why I want to avoid steps/stairwells. If the escalator at Luxembourg is down when I arrive, I will figure something out. I'll have no choice!

Once I am settled in the hotel, i can walk up and down stairwells slowly....but I can do them. That is liberating and I am relieved I can do that. I do it everyday commuting to/from my office. The key for me is to do core muscle strengthening and stretching exercises. As an aside, I've learned to do many exercises just about anywhere -- any chair, bench, even wall. LOL

Posted by
2576 posts

Typically, if you are using a CDG wheelchair, they will take you to baggage claim. After that, you might be on your own. Plan for the worst case.

To purchase a Navigo Découverte card, follow the signs Paris by Train which will lead you to the center of terminal 2 and the ticket kiosks/sales windows. You will need a 25 x 30 mm ID photo which you attach to the space shown on the card. Be sure to print your name in the space indicated. As long as you arrive on a Monday through a Thursday, you will be able to load a zone 1-5 fare and use it immediately for the RER into Paris. If you arrive on a Friday to Sunday, Navigo fares will not e available before the following Monday.

There are elevators to the RER departure platforms.

At Luxembourg, an elevator is currently being installed. Work was to be completed by the end of September but it will probably not be completed until the end of October. The escalator for southbound arrivals (trains from CDG) is on the departing end of the platform.

Travelex operates the ATMs at CDG. There are two HSBC ATMs located next to Baggage du Monde and opposite from the Sheraton Hotel. The la Poste ATMs have apparently been removed. There are no BNP Paribas ATMs at CDG.

The CDG ticket kiosks accept coin or chipped credit card. There is a least one stand alone bill changing machine within each group of ticket kiosks.

Posted by
4010 posts

Typically, if you are using a CDG wheelchair, they will take you to
baggage claim. After that, you might be on your own. Plan for the
worst case.

Yup, I was told that by someone else here and I am prepared.

To purchase a Navigo Découverte card, follow the signs Paris by Train
which will lead you to the center of terminal 2 and the ticket
kiosks/sales windows. You will need a 25 x 30 mm ID photo which you
attach to the space shown on the card. Be sure to print your name in
the space indicated. As long as you arrive on a Monday through a
Thursday, you will be able to load a zone 1-5 fare and use it
immediately for the RER into Paris. If you arrive on a Friday to
Sunday, Navigo fares will not e available before the following Monday.

I'm arriving on a Tuesday. Thanks.

There are elevators to the RER departure platforms.

Great. Thanks.

At Luxembourg, an elevator is currently being installed. Work was to
be completed by the end of September but it will probably not be
completed until the end of October.

I will assume it won't be completed when I arrive. Instead I'll be pleasantly surprised!

The escalator for southbound arrivals (trains from CDG) is on the
departing end of the platform.

I'm confused by this statement. Where is the departing end of a platform? From what I've read, I thought that the escalator was on the northern end of the station so I should sit toward the back of the RER B. Is this correct?

Travelex operates the ATMs at CDG. There are two HSBC ATMs located
next to Baggage du Monde and opposite from the Sheraton Hotel. The la
Poste ATMs have apparently been removed. There are no BNP Paribas ATMs
at CDG.

Good to know, thank you. I have enough cash to get me to a BNP Paribas cash machine when I arrive in the city of Paris.

The CDG ticket kiosks accept coin or chipped credit card. There is a
least one stand alone bill changing machine within each group of
ticket kiosks.

While my AMEX is chip/signature/pin, my Visa credit card is not. I wanted to buy the weekly Navigo Découverte card with my Visa credit card because I have no international transaction fees. So that won't be possible? Will the ticket machine accept Apple Pay which has that same Visa card?

Posted by
2576 posts

Where is the departing end of a platform? From what I've read, I thought that the escalator was on the northern end of the station so I should sit toward the back of the RER B. Is this correct?

The end of the platform at which the train approaches is the arrival side. The opposite end is the departing side.

Some of the escalators on the northern side are closed due to elevator shaft construction. The elevator on the south end of the platform is open.

While my AMEX is chip/signature/pin, my Visa credit card is not.

If your Visa does not have a chip, you can still use it at the sales window. You can simplify your vacation transactions by updating your Visa card to chip card before leaving.

Posted by
4010 posts

The end of the platform at which the train approaches is the arrival
side. The opposite end is the departing side.

Some of the escalators on the northern side are closed due to elevator
shaft construction. The elevator on the south end of the platform is
open.

Thank you on both. I didn't realize there were accessible exits at both ends.

If your Visa does not have a chip, you can still use it at the sales
window. You can simplify your vacation transactions by updating your
Visa card to chip card before leaving.

I must have had a brain freeze yesterday -- my apologies. My Visa DOES in fact have a chip. I confused it with it not being a contactless card as my AMEX is along with the AMEX having a chip. So not a problem.