Please sign in to post.

Passport Control at CDG

I have heard about recent horror stories at CDG passport control.
Waits of up to two hours to leave France.
We are not young and a long stand may do us in !

We had a problem a few years ago when the wait was well over one hour.
Had to run all the way just to barely make our flight.

Can some of you folks please update us on this issue.
Thanks.

Posted by
23431 posts

It is a dice roll that depends on many factors. About six months ago we were through CDG at 9am and it was fine - maybe 20 minutes. Security lines can be another issue depending on time of day and the level of alerts. There is a reason why it is strongly recommended that you get to the airport about 3 hrs prior to departure. We always do it, sometimes closer to four hours, and then hit the airline lounge to relax prior to the trip.

Posted by
20319 posts

Maybe you should request wheel chair service.

Posted by
94 posts

We went through there end of last month and it was about two hours. I am pretty sure I saw some people in wheel chairs. So, maybe check into that like the other poster suggested?

Posted by
12172 posts

It's funny I've been through CDG twice and couldn't remember waiting any time at passport control. I know I'm jet lagged when I arrive, even though I try to get as much sleep on the plane as possible, but it seems like I'd recall waiting?

Then I remembered I flew WOW and stopped in Iceland on both trips. The line at Keflavik is somewhere between zero and two minutes. Getting my passport stamped there counts for Schengen so I never had to get in line to have my passport stamped at CDG. I carry on, no passport control, usually only a bathroom and ATM stop - it still takes nearly an hour to leave CDG by RER.

Next trip is in September, this time on IcelandAir. I didn't even factor in the saved time when I get to CDG - a real bonus!

Posted by
8293 posts

I am baffled. The OP writes that it took two hours to go through passport control at CDG when LEAVING France, not when arriving. Passport control is encountered upon arrival at CDG, is it not?

Posted by
3521 posts

You have to go through Passport Control leaving Schengen as well as arriving. Most airports I have gone through in Europe it is a fairly fast experience when leaving. Two hours arriving is not unusual, depending on the airport.

EDIT: Well, guess I am behind the times. There is another post in the forum today that points to a newspaper article where it states it is taking FOUR HOURS at most European airports arriving and leaving due to the intense and thorough checks being done and a lack of border agents to handle the number of travelers.

Good luck.

Posted by
4611 posts

Note that currently France has its own passport check irrespective of Schengen, so if flying to and from Paris via Iceland there will be a passport check in EACH airport: Schengen in Reykjavik and "state of emergency" at CDG. These two groups, leaving/entering Schengen and leaving/entering France, are mingled and not separated out at CDG. So Brad you are totally out of luck, sorry! Like our flight to Marseille last April via Amsterdam we got the double whammy passport check each way-- now it's your turn.

Wheel chair for the OP sounds smart, they could alternate using it as needed.

Posted by
14580 posts

When I arrive in the Schengen zone, say Paris CDG or Frankfurt FRA , the only two places I would arrive at, my Passport is stamped. When I leave the Schengen zone, ie, flying out of CDG or FRA, the passport is stamped again. In and out means two stamps.

Posted by
9776 posts

I experienced the long wait three (nearly four) weeks ago now, flying Delta out of CDG. It was 50 minutes in line at Delta to check my bag, and then 40-50 minutes in line to make it through passport control. The lines were horribly long, and I thought it would take even longer than it did.

indeed, you might check into wheelchair assistance to see if that would help.

Posted by
8000 posts

Country is under a state of emergency. I flew just from Bordeaux to Brussels last week and French citizens have to go through border control to travel within Schengen zone; and the lines were long in Bordeaux with them escorting people whose flights were about to leave.
Go for the wheel chair option. And especially avoid traveling there June July August.

Posted by
681 posts

We'll, you just never know. In late June, we had a morning flight out of CDG. Our plan was to check in and, then, have breakfast in the lounge as we normally do. When we got to the airport three hours early, there was a sea of people unlike anything I've ever seen in any airport. There had been a security problem and most of Terminal 2 was closed. Unfortunately, people kept coming and coming with no place to go. It was a complete nightmare. Fortunately for us, our business tickets gave us access to a priority lane that allowed us to bypass thousands (no exaggeration) of people. We still had quite a wait before I could get our passes and it was quite hot and stuffy in there. Just as I was finally getting the boarding passes, my husband started getting dizzy and soon he was on the floor (but alert). That brought the paramedics and they decided he should be seen by a doctor. So, we headed off by ambulance to the airport medical facility. That took forever, but he ended up walking out of the examining room with a clean bill of health. We think that the problem was that he hadn't had anything to eat or drink because, with all of the disruption in the terminal, we never got to the lounge for breakfast. Lesson learned here - Carry Kind Bars, or something like that, and water.

We left the medical office and had a long walk back to Terminal 2, which was still a sea of people. Then, a train ride and another long walk, but luck was with us again and the Priority lane was nearly empty, so we ended up at the gate just as boarding was to start. We were feeling very lucky . . . until we scanned our boarding passes and they were rejected. The airline had canceled our seat reservations when they took us to the medical facility. We did finally get seats and we're back home and ready to go again.

I have no idea if flights were held due to the closure in the terminal, but I can't imagine that all of those people got on their flights. Obviously, this was a day when arriving at the airport early was vital and there was no getting around standing for a long period of time. My husband wasn't the only person we saw passing out that morning, so I also would recommend that you order wheelchairs given your concerns.

Posted by
1241 posts

We flew out of CDG Thursday morning last week. The security and passport lines were so short I can't even remember them. Maybe 10 minutes? Went very quickly and next thing we knew we were at our gate with plenty of extra time. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
2916 posts

When I arrive in the Schengen zone, say Paris CDG or Frankfurt FRA , the only two places I would arrive at, my Passport is stamped. When I leave the Schengen zone, ie, flying out of CDG or FRA, the passport is stamped again. In and out means two stamps.

True for stamps, but now, at least in France, there are additional passport control checks even for Schengen flights. So this spring our passports were stamped in Amsterdam entering and exiting the Schengen zone, but our destination was Lyon, and we had to go through passport control there both ways. Passports were checked, but not stamped.

Posted by
387 posts

A friend flew out of CDG back to the US 2 days ago (Tue) around 10am and according to his Facebook post the line took about 1.5 hours

Posted by
16 posts

My thanks to all who have responded here.
Looks to me like it could depend on the day of the week or the phases of the moon as to whether the lines are short or hopelessly long.
At this point we are prepared to take our chances with the lines and call for a wheelchair if necessary.
Never had to use a wheelchair yet but there will be a first time I am sure.

Posted by
8293 posts

Robert, you need to arrange for wheelchair assistance before you assess the passport control queues, usually through your airline before you arrive at CDG. I doubt you can just "call for a wheelchair" when you are lined up for immigration. Who would you call, by the way?

Posted by
8293 posts

At some airports (LHR for example) passengers needing assistance are met as they exit the plane by one of those golf cart thingies that takes you right through to a designated passport control queue. Quick and easy. But ..... but you must arrange this through your airline beforehand. The service is available at no charge though a tip would not be amiss.

Posted by
16 posts

Once again.
The very long lines and the one hour plus waits I have encountered and those discussed in the answer to my question are for passport control upon leaving France through CDG.
Not upon arrival.

Posted by
8293 posts

Oh, sorry about that. Still you arrange ahead of time through your airline and after check-in you will be directed to a place to wait for assistance. Then you will be whisked to the special queue at Passport Control, and onward directly to your gate.