We have booked a shuttle to take us from the Marais to Charles de Gaulle airport for a 11:40 am flight to Seattle. Can we count on the shuttle arriving on time and getting us to the airport 2 hours before the plane leaves? If they don't show up, we're out of luck.....Should we plan on a taxi back-up?
Are you saving so much money by using the shuttle that it's worth the worry? We had our hotel in the 5th book a taxi to drive us from there to CDG. The trip was at 7:30 Sunday morning (taxi rates vary depending on the time of day and day of the week.) It took 55 minutes and cost 60 euros which included the tip and a small extra charge for two 26 inch suitcases.
You have a point. Unfortunately, we're not staying in a hotel and I understand you have to hire a cab to come and get you 48 hours in advance.
No, no, and no. First of all, a drop at the front of the terimal two hours prior probably isn't enough unless you know exactly where you're going (i.e., have done it several times before and know the layout cold). I've never ridden the shuttle, but have twice stood waiting for it with friends and had to switch them to Plan B when it didn't show up by the time I was really getting nervous. Pre-orderd taxis can also be prolematic. I speak fluent, unaccented, idomatic French and, another time, ordered up a taxi which didn't show up. In this case, Plan B would be knowing where the nearest taxi rank is so you can trot over there. You should also know that the taxi meter starts from everwhere the vehicle is when it starts heading to get you. What really worries me is the darn congestion that can cripple surface transportation. I've driven around Paris a lot over the years and for the last ten or so it has not been unusual to take a couple of hours for what I'd thought would be a thirty-minute trip (as it had been two days before). For me, the metro/rer would be the best, most dependable solution with the known location of a taxi rank being Plan B in case there's another strike or something. In regard to your second post, you can order a taxi the night before without a problem. Somwhere I've seen a post about an outfit with an English-speaking dispatcher, but have no recollection of what it is.
The RER was so easy, fast and inexpensive to use. If you are located close enough to a Paris RER station and you don't have a lot of really heavy luggage with you, I'd take it. For an international flight home, some of the lines at CDG can be quite long. If it were me, I'd give myself at least 2 and 1/2 hours before my plane was departing.
Three hours, not two I hope.
Thanks for everyone's comments. We have been unable to get reassurance from the shuttle that they will pick us up on time, so we have canceled the reservation and sill be taking the RER to the airport. It feels safer to have everything under our own control, although we're not looking forward to the multiple flights of stairs...
Where are you staying? There might be a metro route that's a bit longer but has escalators and lifts.
We're in the Marais and will be going from Rambuteau station to Chatelet where we will catch the RER B. Two double flights of stairs, but I think we can manage it.
Ack!!! You've probably got a half-mile of tunnel hiking from the metro side to the rer side at Chatelet. Go in the other direction, change at Republique to Metro 5 (another big station, but the platforms you'll be using are much closer together). The total elapsed time should be about the same and it'll be easier on your legs.
Both the Chatelet metro station and the Chatelet - Les Halles RER B station have un ascenseur disponible. (Ed is correct - the Chatelet - Chatelet/Les Halles area is to be avoided if at all possible.)(St Michel/Notre Dame and Gare du Nord RER B stations both have escalators).
What about "Super Shuttle?" Is that known to be unreliable?
Another reason to use RER TO the airport - no traffic jams. Definitely plan on being at the airport 3 hours (or more) before your flight boards. And just leave a bit earlier than that for navigating the metro stations - those stairs can be killers for some, and simply adding 30 mins to your time gives you a huge margin to work with. No need to add anything to stress over on your day of departure. Go to the website ParisByTrain.com for alot of info (incl photos!) to help you spot the differences between a regular RER to the airport, and an express RER...and many other goodies.
Are you leaving on a weekend? That is something to consider, since part of the RER will be shut down for repairs (or remodeling, can't remember).
I would do 4 hours early. CDG is really big. I have seen security stop everyone twice getting to an aircraft. Are you close to Opera. The Roissy Bus leaves every 10 minutes or so to CDG.Cost is around 10Euro.
As for the reported RER B interruptions (reported on several posts currently)...According to the ratp.com interactive map, the only shutdown of service is for this coming weekend, and then for 2 1/2 hours around midnight for the next 2 years...unless the info is incorrect. And I know from experience that EVERYTHING online is absolutely correct...(and that sometimes when I refresh the ratp interactive map the info may change from time to time - it is a fluid kind of thing)
Eileen-hmm, I read that the closures were going to last until Nov. 7th.
http://www.transilien.com/web/site/accueil/guide-du-voyageur/reseau/acces-aeroport/lang/en check this website there is a delay I think because of some work being done GOOD LUCK .
http://www.transilien.com/web/site/lang/en Check this website for transportation information. There is some construction going on to airport you may need more time.
** Before this gets too frantic, the interruptions are only for 2 more weekends - Oct 9-10 and Nov 6-7, 2010, although there are 2 weekends in 2011 AND 2012 scheduled... ** As I said, everything online is always correct...;-) ratp.com contradicts itself - after lots of digging (en français), they say service is interrupted as reported above - but perhaps their interactive map only shows for the coming weekend (and that's not their normal style...they usually give the whole story). I'll check back next week and see if they change the map......AND how exactly to get to the airport gets a bit complicated from there, depending on the source...BUT, the airport website (a WEALTH of good info, BTW) says (as does ratp.com) to take RER B5 to Mitry-Claye then take the Roissypôle bus to CDG 1, then take the airport shuttle bus ('CDGVAL') to CDG 2 (if necessary).** And allow an extra hour. ** Just go Very Early!!! This info will affect very few travelers on the Helpline; if you're already in Europe, you probably won't be reading this, and as already stated the closures are only for the 2 weekends listed...And again, to reiterate the others who've said the same thing - Go Early - CDG is a Zoo...it's not that it is run any more inefficiently than other airports (YMMV, of course), but there are just so many danged people wandering through the place, and you have to wander through them...like swimmng upstream. Four hours AT THE AIRPORT is not too early for the (usual) 11 am departure time...