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Orly to CDG transfer

When flying back to the U.S. from Corsica, I have no option for my itinerary but to fly from Bastia (BIA) to Orly (ORY), then transfer somehow to CDG for my flight to JFK. There used to be a bus, but that has been discontinued (at least for now) due to COVID, despite what I read online about the bus being a safer option than the crowded RER train. Providing my flight from BIA arrives on time to ORY, I will have about 4.5 hours to collect my checked bag, get to CDG (an airport I hate), recheck the bag, go through security and get on that plane. I will be traveling on a Monday, which may be less hectic (or not), and scheduled to arrive at ORY about 0830. Given that the train, once I get on it, can take at least 1.5 hours, does anyone know if 4.5 hours to do all this should be sufficient time? The only other alternative is a private car, for about $100. This would certainly be a safer (because: COVID) option than a crowded train, but I'm already paying a king's ransom for this trip. (OK, I have the money). There's something on the Air France website about a free transfer for mobility-impaired folks, and I do need to walk with a cane. I tried calling the Air France customer service office (an oxymoron), but the robot on the other end told me to go online before hanging up on me. So I may have to arrange this at ORY, further eating into the time I have to get from there to CDG. Any thoughts? Sigh...remember when travel used to be fun?

Given

Posted by
8613 posts

To ease the pain of 'the kings ransom', what is the difference of the car vs train for however many there are? Might make it more palatable to look at it that way.

If had to do this I doubt, I would choose such a stressful transfer. As distasteful as it might be, I would get to Paris the day before.

Posted by
7593 posts

I tend to agree with Joe. This is pretty high risk -- as you said, you have 4.5 hours if your flight from Bastia arrives on time. Is this all on one itinerary? If not, what is your risk appetite for having to buy a new trans-Atlantic ticket if you don't make it to CDG on time (if it's one itinerary, it's their problem and they will have to put you on another flight).

The problem with taking a car is that it is likely to take you longer to get through all the Monday morning rush hour traffic than it is to take the train (and the train takes long enough-- you have to take the Orlyval to get connected to the RER B. At least then it is a straight shot all the way through).

There aren't any really good solutions here, which is why I agree with Joe that in this situation, I would prefer to go to Paris the day before.

But again a lot depends on whether this is all on one ticket. If so, no matter how much of a pain it is, it's Air France's responsibility to get you on the another JFK-bound flight.

Posted by
3304 posts

Two ways to look at the problem.

1: If you are already shelling out big bucks, what’s another $100?

2: Getting to Paris the day before your flight to the U.S. will relieve you of all the stress of worrying about missing your flight.

I am such a worry wart about missing flights that I have no doubt I would choose #2. People often recommend allowing 2 - 3 hours for flight preliminaries at CDG. You would be counting on your first flight being on time and baggage claim being quick. Then, you’d have to hope that the lines at CDG aren’t long. The last time we flew out if CDG, the preliminaries took almost all of the 2 hours we had allotted for them. You know, don’t you, that there will be an extra line for, essentially, checking you out of the Schengen zone. I’d get to Paris the night before, get across town, get to one of the hotels near CDG, preferably one with a decent restaurant, have dinner, and sleep well.
.

Posted by
2891 posts

Generally speaking, you should be at CDG 3 hours before the scheduled departure time for a flight to JFK. The drive without any traffic from Orly to CDG is about 45 minutes. You'll probably hit some traffic. The trip by taxi will likely take 60-75 minutes at the time that you will travel. I agree with you that you do not have enough time to mess around with trying to find out if you are eligible for the free transfer or to find the desk and someone who can help plus because you can't reserve it ahead, there is every chance that even if you are eligible there will be a wait for the transport to depart or that no one will know exactly what to do. Ask yourself this, in the scheme of this trip is the $100 really a big deal for door to door service without being on a crowded train? You have only two real options and a tight time line given that you have no other option for your itinerary so I would choose the taxi if I were in your shoes and absolutely could not change when I arrive in Paris from Corsica.

Edit: For me the train would be non-starter: too crowded, getting to the OrlyVal and then transferring to the RER B and then the walk from the train station at CDG to the terminal. None of it separately is too bad but I would just hate doing that starting at 8:30 AM with luggage.

Posted by
3810 posts

I would definitely fly the night before and sleep at CDG. No question here. The RER is prone to disruptions, and traffic around Paris at 9.00 AM is terrible. You can probably tweak your Air France booking in a way that lets you stay overnight while keeping a single ticket.

Posted by
8613 posts

Are you able to change your CDG-JFK flight to the 410 PM departure, giving you 7.5 hrs to make the transfer?
Probably end up with some thumb twiddling time, but better than the unrelenting tension of the shorter time frame

Posted by
1995 posts

The ORY to CDG bus has suspended service. Fixed taxi fees are not available from ORY to CDG and there can be a lot of traffic weekday mornings. My taxi estimate would be somewhere between 100€ and 150€, but the time required would be an even bigger guess, easily as much as 1+30. Taxis have access to special lanes along the A1 and possibly elsewhere, that VTCs or private cards do not.

The OrlyVAL to Antony to pickup the RER B to CDG will cost less than 20€ and take about 1 hour to 1+10.

This can be done with 4+30, but you are accepting a lot of risk. Personally I would unquestionably reach Paris or CDG the day before your planned JFK departure.

Posted by
8396 posts

The last time we took that bus in morning traffic, it took two hours.
If this itinerary is put together by an online broker (Expedia, Cheapo Air, etc), they are two separate flights. If Air France created the itinerary, you are protected.

You need to go the day before and sleep in Paris or near CDG.

Posted by
6612 posts

Always be in a city of a high stakes departure the night before. We have had the Thalys come n 4 hours late, had a tram breakdown on our way to a train, have been in traffic jams that kept us motionless for hours behind a serious accident and have had planes come in as much as 5 hours late.

If I were keeping that set of tickets, I would take a cab from Orly to CDG regardless of what it costs.

but I would never book this kind of transfer and would come into Paris the night before. You could come in late and take the train to CDG and spend the night in an airport hotel -- we stayed at the Novotel there on our last trip. You could fly into Orly -- get dinner in Paris and then take the train to the airport for the night.

4.5 hours is way to close as it allows for nothing to go wrong and stuff happens -- odds are you make it but there is a good chance you blow an expensive ticket.

Posted by
37 posts

Thanks to everyone who responded to my post! I'd booked all trip segments through Air France, but didn't really want to take the chance of missing a connection and relying on AF to put me on another flight and/or not charge me extra. I ended up taking everyone's very good advice and booked a later flight from Bastia, with an overnight near CDG. Still working on getting to CDG from Orly, but I'll worry about that later.

Has anyone stayed recently at the Ibis Hotel at CDG? I was there for a horrible overnight in 2009. Roasted in my room in May with no a/c, and no one at the desk who cared. Their website now says all rooms have a/c. The only advantage is they've got a free shuttle for the very short distance to the terminals. Wish there was a shuttle from Orly!

Posted by
6612 posts

Haven't stayed at the IBIS but all the hotels at the airport are on the shuttle to the terminals. We stayed at the Novotel which is right at the station for the RER and the shuttle to the terminals. Worked great. As I noted above unless you come in very late, you could head to Paris and have dinner there before going to the airport for your hotel and flight the next morning.

Posted by
1995 posts

There are a lot of hotels near CDG which state they are CDG hotels but they are some distance from the airport. The CDG Ibis, along with a number of other hotels, are at Roissypôle or that area along the CDGVAL free train line, between terminal 1 and terminal 2. Be sure to select a hotel which is located along the CDGVAL and on the airport proper. Another option, the Sheraton, is at terminal 2.

Posted by
7593 posts

Lesley, I’m so glad you've made this modification to your flights. And I am jealous of your time to come on Corsica !

Posted by
2580 posts

I just stayed at the CDG Hilton for the second time and it's fine. You can probably use miles or join their frequent flyer club and make it work. It's one of those old-style large hotels with a huge open atrium up the middle. Surprisingly the shower isn't very good. Has a business center and onsite restaurant; the only real snag was they didn't start serving breakfast until 6 AM, hello CDG is a world class airport open 24/7 and so should the Hilton. As noted, the Sheraton is actually literally inside the airport, we walked past the signage for it on the way to Delta.

Posted by
3304 posts

phred mentioned some of the same negatives about the CDG Hilton that we experienced. There were others, too. They charged $25/day for wifi. Really! In this day and age when every modest b&b has free wifi. The first room assigned to us had no hot water , so we were moved. It does make you wonder about the cleaning that was done with just cold water.

After our experience there, we opted for the Sheraton the night before our return flight. They also started breakfast service at 6 a.m., but had put out trays of beverages and croissants for early bird flyers.