Charles de Gaul Airport, Paris, France

We are travelling to Italy and have a connection in Paris at CDG. It is a rather short connection (even for my domestic standards). We will be flying directly from Seattle, and I'm wondering if anyone knows if we will have to go through a check point within CDG airport, just to change planes? I've heard that sometimes when you are coming from a different country, you will have to be checked AGAIN within the airport - just to change planes. Does anyone know? I'm hoping not as it will make a tight connection even tighter.
Thanks in advance.

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1759 posts

We changed planes at the Charles DeGaulle airport last October, flying from Salt Lake and onward to Kyiv. You will go through a security check mush like our TSA checks. There are signs directing you to the concourse you need to find. You may have to take the people mover. Just ask if you need to. An hour would have been more than enough time for us.

Posted by Bob
Gettysburg, PA
1475 posts

How much time before flights? Same Hall?

Posted by Robyn
Eugene, OR, USA
9 posts

It's just a little over an hour - brutal. I am not sure if it in the same terminal or not. I imagine, I won't know that until we check in for our flight.

Posted by gone
2081 posts

hi, i would suspect so. my trip to Europe last march i went from. PDX > EWR > OSL > DUB and had to go thru security at each terminal. If you go online to check your flight tickets, sometimes they list what terminal you fly in/out of. also, you can try going to the CDG web site and see. sometimes they list what carriers use what terminals. happy trails.

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
5214 posts

Assume you are traveling on a single itinerary so you will be protected if your inbound is delayed.

Posted by Kim
1345 posts

Are the flights part of the same ticket? (i.e. you bought one passage through to Italy) In that case, they have the obligation to get you there, so it's in their interest to ensure that you make the connection, it seems. But an hour does seem awfully short. It usually takes me about that long to deplane, make it through immigration, and collect my luggage.

Posted by Robyn
Eugene, OR, USA
9 posts

It is all part of a single ticket, so yes - we will be "protected". If we miss our flight, they will have to get us another one. I just don't want to miss my flight. It sounds like it can be done, there just might not be time for a bathroom break! lol
Thanks for your input.

Posted by Christophe
Copenhagen, Denmark
265 posts

You will have to go through both immigration and security at CDG. I think immigration id most likely to slow you down. CDG is known for slow immigration lines. One hour is a short connection at CDG, better hurry up!

Posted by Robyn
Eugene, OR, USA
9 posts

We have to go to immigration just to pass through the airport?!?

Posted by Bets
3035 posts

Yes. It's just like coming into SFO and changing to a flight to Portland. You are going international to domestic.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3156 posts

I remember when my wife had to go to the restroom in Paris De Gaulle, and followed a security guard's instructions on which door to go through. She came back thru the same door not knowing outside was unsecured. They spotted it on a security camera. They emptied two 350 passenger planes and the whole terminal. The luggage was taken out of the planes, and it had to be re-scanned. All terminal employees, including the guards and security gate personnel, had to be cleared thru security again. A couple of thousand travelers also had to come back thru security. Then, a bunch of people missed their connecting flights in the U.S. It was really embarrassing, and another crazy travel tale. It's not the most efficient European airport. That day, they were taking security serious, however.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
5988 posts

Lets stop the guessing. You are coming from Seattle, therefore I presume on Delta flight 615. What date? Going to Italy where? With which airline and flight? I can't give advise if I don't have the details.

Posted by Maryam
Washington, DC
766 posts

I know that a little over an hour doesn't sound like much time, but in all likelihoods, you will be okay. First, going through the connection at CDG was surprisingly efficient. I have done it about 4 times and do not recall a horrible mess. Also, the airlines will not create such an itinerary if most people missed their connection. It would be a big headache for them to clean it up.
You will have to go through immigration, and then another security check to get to your connecting flight (but not pick up your luggage if you are checking it). Just know where you are going (the terminal for the connection), follow the signs, and get in line. Have a good trip!

Posted by Southam
Windsor, Ontario, Canada
1305 posts

Since you are going to be in a rush oh, yes you are study the copious information at this site so you will have a better take on how to move around Charles de Gaulle. Print out the relevant maps. Also be sure to check the information terminals once you debark (or ask airline staff) to be certain what departure gate you will be hurrying to.
France and Italy belong to the Schengen group of countries so you have to go through immigration border procedures at your port of entry for the group, which is CdG.

Posted by T.
Seattle, WA, US
371 posts

I went through this last year on a flight from Seattle to CDG and then connecting to a flight for Italy (Venice in my case). Two points--just take carry-on luggage. If you check your bags, they may not make the connection. Also, if there is a long line to clear passport control at CDG, ask for the first class/business class line and show the staffer your boarding pass. I did this and they let me through since it was such a tight connection. Also, be prepared to go through security AGAIN just before you get onto your connecting flight. It can be done, but be prepared.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22545 posts

Robyn, First of all, if you're travelling on a code share flight (ie: on the same ticket), having checked luggage won't be a concern. You won't have to retrieve it at CDG. You'll check it at SEA and you won't see it again until NAP. As CDG is your entry point to the E.U., you WILL have to go through Immigration / Passport control there. If there are a lot of flights arriving at the same time, it could be "busy". I wouldn't be concerned with a one hour connection at FRA, but not sure how well that will work at CDG? It's possible that both your Delta flight and ongoing flight to NAP will use Terminal 2C, so that should help somewhat. Your ongoing flight will likely be a Delta code share, but operated as Air France 8688. If it does happen that you miss your connecting flight due to "unexpected delays", on a code share arrangement I believe the airline has to get you on the next available flight. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by Robyn
Eugene, OR, USA
9 posts

Yes, it is a Delta flight to CDG and then we are on to Naples, IT. We booked our flights through a travel agent and each flight says Air France (even though we know the first two legs are Horizon and Delta respectively). However, I'm not sure which actual airline makes the last leg. I have studied the maps at the airport, but I don't know which terminal we'll be leaving out of. The travel agent said we likely won't know gates/terminals until we check in for our flights. I believe Delta only flies into one terminal, so I think I know where we'll land, the issue is where to go from there. I've printed all the maps so I'll be prepared (amazing race style - lol), but the tip about showing our boarding passes in line is a good one. Might have to play that card. I am only bringing carry on bags, but my husband wants to check his bag. Maybe the bag just won't make the trip? sigh. I guess it's a chance we'll have to take. Thanks for all the good information!

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
1654 posts

Good luck to you and hope that you SEA-CDG Delta flight is on or ahead of time. As others have noted, you will need to get through pk passport control, then security check. You will then have to move quickly to your connecting gate likely in another terminal and likely in the far end of that terminal. You should pre-plan by learning the general layout and configuration of the CDG terminals. I had the reverse case returning from Venice via CDG. Arrive via Air France far end of one terminal,long walk to the overseas terminal with a security checkpoint in between. Good news is that you don't need to take off your shoes.

Posted by Ron
Ron-in-Rome................................ Now, RPT in Vienna, Austria!
1763 posts

Robyn, I would first start with the travel agent. Part of this depends on who they booked the flight through. Was it a consolidator, an air service provider, or did they book directly through the airline? Does the travel agent's company support you (they should) if you do not make your connection? I would ask THEM who do I ask for help if I miss my connection? What are YOUR contact numbers? Better, Where and WHO do I seek out at CDG if there is an issue? I help folks with flights and we have a general rule for Euro-connections. No less than 2 to 2.5 hours for connections which involve entry into and out of the Schengen area. We would not be allowed to book a 1.0 or 1.5 hour connection. That said, it's done. Generally, most codeshare international luggage transfer agreements require two hours... so you might make your connection, but your luggage may not (This has happened to me twice at CDG). So if you have checked luggage, take a change of clothes (at least one) in your carry-on bag. As far as CDG - uh, bad news. It has repeatedly been voted the "world's worst airport." And there are many well-deserved reasons for that. I've traveled through there perhaps 25+ times over the years and my "connections" have varied. As mentioned, twice our luggage was delayed (both times going from AF to AZ planes). We've missed one connection due to an equipment malfunction. I've never tried a one-hour connection (even domestically) at CDG. I have booked my son through there often when we lived in Rome and we always allowed 2+ hours. Generally his wait times in immigration varied - as short as ten minutes and once more than 1.5 hours. As mentioned, it will depend on how many other plane loads are coming through immigration when you arrive... AND how many counters they have open.

Posted by Ron
Ron-in-Rome................................ Now, RPT in Vienna, Austria!
1763 posts

I believe Delta arrives in terminal 2E and many domestic (intra-Schengen) Air France flights fly from 2F. This is a short and easy walk. As long as you're staying in T2 you're okay. I've had to transfer to T1 and that's a nightmare (the old, round terminal we all remember from the glory days of CDG) . You can ask your travel agent what airline you are flying from on your final leg. The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that agencies must disclose code share operators – who is ACTUALLY flying the equipment. It's the law. So your travel agent should know what "airline" you're on. There are big fines for nondisclosure. That may help you determine your connection options. When you hit the immigration lines, look for the signage for CONNECTING FLIGHTS. While you're standing in line, if it's TREMENDOUSLY LONG, send one member of your flight ahead to find an official and perhaps he/she can explain your tight connection to this CDG official. I know at AMS, they have personnel who specialize in helping TIGHT connections get through ( another reason AMS is my favorite airport). At CDG, don't expect the same support – Frankly, you may get a reply like," Why would you book such a tight connection – this is not our fault – wait your turn." Ah, you have to love CDG. This is a very tight connection. But many people book these because they are inexpensive. Often they are inexpensive because NO ONE is booking "this connection." In our case, we're not even allowed to schedule this type of connection. But the good news is, if you and your luggage make it, you saved some time.

Posted by Ron
Ron-in-Rome................................ Now, RPT in Vienna, Austria!
1763 posts

I'm a little disappointed a travel agent would book this type of connection. Most "educated" advisors know the Schengen assimilation rules, policies, and time-frames... and thus would not put you – or your vacation – at risk. I would caution everyone to add that extra hour, give yourself more time than you think you'll need. Foreign airports are ...well, foreign. And getting help is sometimes more difficult with language, cultural, and communication issues. So avoid those orbitz, kayak, or Expedia trips that are the lowest priced but with the worst connections – it might cost you more in the end.

Posted by Edgar
Medford, OR, USA
1654 posts

Tight (70 to 90 minute) connections involving passport control and a security screening are less of a concern IF you have a number of latter alternative flights to your destination on the same carrier. It's a good idea to know what is possible if you miss your connection. It is also a great idea to arrive one or more days earlier than a "must be there" event such as the start of an inn to inn walking tour or fjord boat cruise. You don't want to miss the boat.