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Airport in Paris

I hear Charles Degaul is terrible, What are the alternatives?
Is it bad enough to pick an alternative?

Posted by
15687 posts

The other major airport in Paris is Orly. Both have flights from the US.

Posted by
3 posts

I know their ARE other airports...i'm trying to figure out if CDG is so bad that you'd be inconvenienced in other ways just to avoid it.
Or is i just another major airport?


Posted by
805 posts

It's an ugly airport, not great but not as horrible as many say.

Virtually all the international flights to Paris go to CDG, take one there (from LV I'm assuming) and you should be fine...

Posted by
15687 posts

Arrivals are "usually" easier than departures. Any major airport is a hassle. If you can fly into a smaller one, then you may have an easier time.

Nothing, when it comes to air travel, is guaranteed.

The last time I flew into Orly, it took 15 minutes from getting off the plane to exiting the terminal. And that included waiting on line to get change to use the loo. Of course, I only had carry-on and was able to bypass customs entirely.

Posted by
990 posts

How experienced are you in major non-US airports? CDG is pretty chaotic, especially for departures, with criss-crossing lines of passengers, poor signage, information personnel few and far between, and so forth. If you've flown out of other European mega-airports, you'll have a better sense of what the procedures are likely to be. If you're accustomed to US airports, it's likely to be daunting. Assume you'll get confused, assume you'll stand for a while in what will turn out to be the wrong line, and make sure to give yourself plenty of time for departure so you don't start to panic when those things happen to you. Three hours is not too much.

And don't get me started about cleanliness--the bathrooms are often filthy. My best CDG story, though, is from about three years ago. I was in one of the long lines to check in, shuffling my carry-on a few inches at a time up the line as it slowly moved. A woman just ahead of me in a different line was carrying a large covered basket in addition to her other baggage. Out popped a tiny, cute little dog on a lead, who proceded to poop on the floor right there in line!! No one, including the owner, seemed to think that there was anything out of the ordinary about this. That's what happens when you let an airport get run down--people start treating it as though it were a hellhole not worth keeping clean and pleasant. A self-fulfilling prophecy...

Posted by
368 posts

I am going to post a totally different experience form mostp eople it seems. Erlier this year I transferred through CDG on my way back from Nice.

After hearing all the horror stories about CDG I gave myself plenty of time. It took 30 minutes to get off my plane from Nice and to the gate for my flight to SFO.

There were people directing me from the terminal where I landed to my new terminal. At passport control there was a person who looked at my passport and directed me to the correct line and when I went to the security check there was a woman who looked at my ticket and directed me to the correct line. The gentleman who looked at my bags was very plesant, could be becuase I spoke to him in French (LOL).

So all in all it was not the horrible exoerience that I had imagined. The main thing I would advise is make sure you have plenty of time to make your transition.

As a comparison when I transferred though Dulles in DC it was a terrible experience. There were so many people trying to get hrough passport control that the emergency stop on the escalators was triggered because there was not enough room at the entrance to passport control for everyone. People missed conneting flights becuase of the time and disorganization and it was a total madhouse.

Posted by
8293 posts

I've gone through CGD many, many times and it has never seemed to me to be any worse than any other large international airport. It puzzles me that some passengers find it so chaotic and complain about the signage. To me it is as orderly as can be expected and the signage is adequate.

Posted by
2030 posts

I've been to CDG many times -- arriving, departing, connecting and have managed fine each time. Yes on the surface this airport seems and looks chaotic and I guess it is -- but they must be doing something right.

Posted by
11507 posts

I have never thought CDG was any worse then any other airport,, and it has proved to be a hundred times better then the one in Ft Lauderdale, now thats a nightmare, LOL

I think Canadians arrive at a different Terminal then most Amrican flights, it is a smaller one and pretty well imposible to get lost in. I did fly from Paris to Rome on a Europeon airline, and had to fly out of one of the other terminals, it was bigger and busy, but well signed, I found our way around there fine.

I sure wouldn't rearrange my trip over an airport.

Posted by
8293 posts

Air Canada arrives at Term. 2. It is not a small terminal. Terminal 3 is where charter airlines land and it is quite a cosy little terminal.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everybody!!!
Great advice,
Tahoe is actually about 4 hours closer to SF than LV.


Posted by
11 posts

Here's a little advice that has stood me well no matter where I travel.
I find that if my face is not in a permanent frown, everyone every where is much more likely to be of help.
I usually am so glad to be where I am that my demeanor seems to disarm even the most curmudgeonly person. Sometimes, I am cordial to someone who's rude just to see them have to change their attitude. Usually works.
I know in other countries a greeting first is very important rather than immediately shoving a ticket in someone's face or rudely embarking on some question. That holds true in shops and restaurants as well.
Happy trails,