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When landing at CDG suggestions to get through customs quickly.

When landing at CDG, are their 'tricks' or best practices that help either to get to a shorter line and/or to clear immigration and customs quickly? We are flying from DTW to CDG. We leave in 22 days. :)

Posted by
3990 posts

Nope, not in my experience. Maybe if you were are seated up on first class, there could be separate short lines. You will have no idea of how long the lines will be ahead of you especially if there aren’t enough employees at immigration and customs at the time you arrive. Even in a wheelchair, you wait on those lines.

Posted by
2542 posts

First class ticket holders are directed to a separate, and much shorter, Immigration line. Otherwise, sit near the door and be one of the first to exit the plane.

Posted by
13899 posts

I flew,Delta One to Paris in April. The separate lane for Business and Crew was blocked off so everyone was in one massive line until we funneled down for the Immigration kiosks. Some of us were directed to e-gates when we got to the front but they did not work for me and I was taken to another line.

My suggestion is to not schedule yourself tightly and go with the flow. You may randomly hit a seam where no other planes are arriving and you breeze through by no fault of your own. Or not.

Posted by
2745 posts

Yes if you are flying in the front of the plane you may be directed to a fast track option if it’s open. There is a concierge service at the Paris airport that will escort you to the front of the line. I believe it’s about €150 a person (I have never actually done it, I don’t know how reliable it is, know nothing about it besides it exists)

Posted by
153 posts

Tip, go to the toilet before hitting the what can be long lines. You never know how long you might have to wait.

Posted by
31 posts

Thanks all, first class - Delta one is not an option for me. I will head to the loo before getting in that line.

Posted by
4366 posts

OTOH, my lines were short and the workers couldn't be bothered to do much more than look me up in their computers. I was delighted/amazed how fast it went, but then again that was back in December.

Posted by
8030 posts

The best way to end up at the end of a long line is to hit the toilets first --- the best way if not in business class to get through quickly is to move fast -- go down stairs instead of the escalator and move along smartly to get ahead of those going slowly dragging luggage etc. If you stop to use the head then everyone on the plane will be ahead of you. If you don't, you may discover another full plane ahead of you and wish you had.

In business we have always been able to use the short security line. In coach you are at the mercy of how many planes got in just ahead of you and how quickly you got there and how well staffed they are. Usually EU passport holders have separate lines -- sometimes they don't and everyone is in the same gaggle.

Posted by
11143 posts

I will head to the loo before getting in that line.

Use the loo on the plane just before they are closed for landing

Posted by
2296 posts

hey hey redbarryfan
no tricks to get in a shorter line. like others have said first class, use restroom before landing, no stopping at an ATM in airport to get cash euros, have them already, do you have capacity of higher status?
you've been flying for about 10+ hours, (what's another hour, more or less). who knows how many flights have landed with others wanting the same thing as you, maybe empty or short line. a good thing. immigration/customs at an airport usually not a "quick fix".
are you enrolled in global entry which could help out. so many different scenarios, traveling during a busy high season will produce some cranky, upset travelers. i've seen it all, good and bad, and i'm just relaxed since my arrival city will still be there to enjoy. expect the unexpected, many questions asked about this topic, and the posters here are seasoned travelers and give you their opinions.
good luck and have a safe holiday
aloha

Posted by
13899 posts

I’ll also add that in my instance the plane was parked at one of the tarmac gates. You go downstairs and load onto a bus to get to Immigration. Any advantage to having Business or being at the front of the plane is lost as they pack the shuttle til it’s full. Only then can you go.

Posted by
10170 posts

As Pam said, sometimes there's a huge shuttle to take you from the tarmac to the terminal. People in biz board first, but you never know which shuttle door will open first, your end or the other, or sit in the middle. 50-50 odds.

The separate lines for EU and non-EU passports have reopened, as have the EU biometric scanners. These shorten the lines for all.

Last December may as well have been last century there have been so many changes. I've been going back and forth all during the pandemic, but was really surprised at the crowds at CDG during our last flight to the US in May. We have a bunch of priority this-n-that's and they were all crowded and backed up.

Posted by
529 posts

Don't know if this is cheating, but when we were there on Saturday, while waiting in line, I saw the "no -18" sign. So I took a chance and asked one of the people there if that included my daughter, who will be 18 in 3 weeks. She said yes and sent us off to another window and we were in and out in a flash.

Posted by
145 posts

The key thing is to get to the immigration lines quickly. As some have pointed out seating near the front of the plane and use the restroom before deboarding help.

Get oneself familiar with CDG terminal 2E floorplan could be helpful too. If you're already familiar with terminal 2E then please ignore the rest. Terminal 2E consists of the main terminal building (immigration, baggage & check-in); and Gates K, L, and M.
Gates K is adjoined to the main terminal building; while Gates L and M are in two seperate satellite buildings linked to the main terminal building by free airport shuttle train.
This article gives a good description of Terminal 2E; the website also has other useful information:

https://easycdg.com/terminal-2e-paris-cdg-airport-charlesdegaulle/

Posted by
54 posts

<<--"The best way to end up at the end of a long line is to hit the toilets first.-->>

Can confirm 100%. And if you take too long, you can lose the flow of the crowd and have no idea where to go ... ;)

My only tip to get through quickly, based on my experience and that of others I know, is to arrive early on a Sunday morning. ... Maybe not foolproof but 100% effective in our orbit.

Posted by
117 posts

There is a way to skip the lines IF you have a tight connection. Show the agent at the First Class/Business Class line your boarding pass or train ticket proving that you have a tight connection. He/She will usually let your through if it is legit.

Posted by
2745 posts

Or not. I was in Charles de Gaulle recently and I saw people showing agents their boarding passes with short connections and they just got told to go back in line and stay there. As a matter fact when they tried to push their way to the front past other people the staff came up to them and explained the rules to them so you may not get lucky.