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Flying into CDG airport

Last time I flew into an EU country (Frankfurt to be exact), customs was a breeze. I had to ask if I went the wrong way because it was nothing like the long line at Heathrow(I had to stand in for an hour).

I wasn't sure this was the same with all EU cities. How much time should I expect to go through customs at CDG in Paris? The plan arrives at 8:50AM.

Posted by
3551 posts

It varies alot but never as bad as Heathrow or JFK.
If 3 planes arrive back to back then you can imagine about 900 all of a sudden.
If you do not have checked luggage you will be better off in general . I always allow 1 hr min and don't have anyone picking me up or a tight schedule upon arrival.

Posted by
3313 posts

I've found CDG customs to be a breeze. But, as has been said, you can't count on it.

Posted by
10 posts

It is hard to say ... as the last posters have said, I have been at the front of the line and had an easy time ... but have also been in the heard, depends on all the other flights coming in. But Heathrow is bad. Still allow plenty of time.

Posted by
12040 posts

Leaving Europe through CDG is a nightmare, but I have heard entering through here causes little to no pain. Nothing at all like Heathrow.

Posted by
219 posts

I think Customs officials were very organized at CDG. I was there 1 day before Christmas- considered a busy tourist time of the yr. When my family and I entered the line for Customs check, there were 50 or 60 people ahead of us, some from our plane, and some from previous ones. Everyone was passing the officers in less than a minute. We were lucky, no one ahead of us looked threatening to the officers to slow the process down. I did notice that when the line was getting extraordinarily long, they did add at least 1 other officer to help w/the checking, which to me means that they are aware of the line length. We left customs in less than 30 minutes. BTW, the officers were very friendly w/personality---unusual for that line of business.

Posted by
251 posts

Having flown in to CDG (from U.S) many times (and not much other airports) I wouldn't say that I found it to be a nightmare (though my standards for comforts lown and adventure high).

Passport was scanned, welcome scowl was given, and customs barely looked at me. There was a customary lines with all my fellow passengers but it moved efficiently (even for the French)

What I remember about CDG is that it takes a long time mostly because the building itself is old and disorganized. It seems there are a dozen hallways that you have to go down. I ALWAYS allow the full three hours before check in and never buy train tickets with less than 2 hours arrival time.

But it has been two year since I've been there.

Posted by
11507 posts

I recall almost walking through,, LOL, I all of sudden was " out" and thought, "is that all?",, LOL I do not check baggage.
I honestly didn't think Heathrow was that bad either, and a have flown into there serveral times, but, I have a good tolerance for lines.

Posted by
166 posts

I flew into CDG in September 2006, and I, too, had to stop and ask if I'd gone the wrong way because it was so easy/fast! I had checked luggage to retrieve; but the whole experience took very little time. Have fun!

Posted by
3580 posts

They must have reconfigured CDG to improve the flow from plane to RER. All my memories are of escalators going endlessly up and leaving me wondering how to get out of the place. Or it is possible that the terminals are different. Passport control was always a breeze.

Posted by
365 posts

Alicia, as other posters here have mentioned, you'll get through CDG customs in no time flat.

It's when you get back to SeaTac that you'll need to bust a move to avoid being in the back of a very loooong line...