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How to transfer from Terminal 2E to 2F at CDG in an hour

Our AF flight arrives at 8:15 AM at Terminal 2E at CDG and departs from 2F at 9:25 AM. Our connection through CDG to Nice is all on one ticket. Air France says this short time is doable. The last time we were at CDG memory serves it took a while to get through immigration. We will have carry-on luggage.

1. Is it just immigration we go through, do we have customs too?
2. Will we have to go back through security again if we are changing terminals?
3. Can someone give us a step-by-step guide for dummies on how to get from one terminal to the other? We did look at the CDG map, but we are still unclear, but feel a bus is involved. The more moving parts to this, we feel the less likely we will get this all done in one hour. The ticket has already been purchased, and they told us they would not have offered the connection if they didn't think we could do it. Hmmmmm.
4. IF we miss the flight, our plans on the other end in Nice are pretty much shot with other connections. At that point, we would just rather stay in Paris. I am wondering if the connection can't be made, and it will be much later until we get to Nice, will the airline give you the option to skip out on that portion of the journey?

Any helpful input is appreciated.

Posted by
21 posts

We had basically an identical connection in December - flight left a bit late - got to CDG late, plane took a long time to deplane, security took forever - we missed the connection (also one ticket, Air France). We spent 7 hours in CDG waiting for a new flight with space - and it was a major bummer.

It is do-able only if your first flight leaves on time, you are sitting near the front of the plane, you have good luck with security lines, and you basically run. I would never do a CDG connection again with less than two hours.

And I would try never to connect at all in CDG (the last time we did make the connection but I was crying at the gate begging them to let us on). It’s a large and confusing airport and I’ve never found a connection easy or relaxing.

Posted by
845 posts

Cathy, how frustrating. Thanks for sharing. We are doubtful but hopeful. We shall see.

Posted by
18 posts

Hi. I did the transfer in October. I was coming from Slovenia (which is a Schengen country) and transferred thru CDG (also Schengen) on the way to the US. My layover was changed from 1 hr 10 min to 1 hr. I called AF and they said I could make it. I did, but I had to move fast. I was seated toward the front of coach. There are maps available online of the airport and there are a lot of overhead signs telling you where to go. I followed the signs. I went thru Customs/Passport control only. There was one ‘quick line’ for people making transfers and a separate line for people who were staying in Paris. When I got to my gate, they had a bus that took us to the plane. It seemed that there were 2 planes that had transferring passengers and the crew knew who we were waiting for. They did a few random security checks at the gate only. FYI, I checked my luggage when I boarded in Slovenia. I made it onto the plane, but my luggage did not. When I landed in US, I got a text that my luggage was not there and told me where to go to arrange for home delivery. Good luck.

Posted by
3024 posts

Air France has an area of their website devoted to connections at Paris: https://wwws.airfrance.us/information/aeroport/conseils-correspondances-paris-cdg-ory

You will be interested primarily in the webpage for people arriving at CDG: https://wwws.airfrance.us/information/aeroport/conseils-correspondances-paris-cdg-ory/correspondance-paris-cdg

If you click on "Videos and Travel Time" and then enter your arrival and departure terminals, you can get estimated connection times and can view a video that schematically shows your path for a 2E to 2F connection.

Posted by
3024 posts

You're from Texas according to your profile, so I'm guessing you are scheduled on the Houston to Paris flight? For today (and the last couple of months), that flight is scheduled to depart at 4:20 pm and arrive at 8:45 am. The block time right now appears to be quite generous (as you probably know, block time = scheduled amount of time from push back at the departure gate to arrival at the arrival gate). Since Feb 1, the IAH-CDG flight has arrived at least 30 minutes early on 20 of 25 days the flight has operated. It has arrived an hour early about half the time and has been as much as 1 hour and 20 minutes early. The latest that flight has arrived at the gate since Feb 1? 8:45 am (Source for all of this: FlightRadar24). It looks like when the flight is re-timed for an 8:15 arrival, the departure time is changed to 3:45 pm, so the block time is actually being increased by 5 minutes.

Given the current and future block times for the flight, I think the odds are strongly in your favor of making the Nice flight.

Posted by
187 posts

Thanks so much! I was just about to post the same question about CDG. I have a 1:50 connection at CDG on a flight from Los Angeles to Toulouse. Fingers crossed.

Posted by
8402 posts

I've made that Nice flight with one hour. I've also made a connection to Montpellier with only one hour. I'm usually forward in the US plane, but I walk slowly. Just follow the signs that say 2F.

You go through passport control. Then entering 2F, you have security.

FYI, the EU automatic passport booths for processing EU citizens, which closed at the beginning of the pandemic, have now reopened. This does nothing for you, but it does get those people out of your passport line. For a while EU and non-EU were put in the same line.

Passport lines, the last two times I went through were 5 minutes, once in a mixed line and yesterday with the booth.

However, three months ago when exiting France, all the CDG immigration computers in every terminal were acting up, causing huge backups. Maybe the computers decided to have a slowdown for better working conditions.

Posted by
845 posts

Dave, that was awesome research. And yes, we fly out of IAH. That gives us hope!

Bets, do we have to take a bus to the other terminal or can we walk to it? Unfortunately, we won't be in the front of the plane. I have seen on BA flight attendants towards the end of the flight move people forward knowing they have that tight connection. Perhaps AF will consider doing the same. Otherwise, we will herd off just like everyone else and scramble for the finish line!

Posted by
61 posts

JR - this is a very tight connection.

I have made the connecting flights to Italy in the past through CDG - only ever missed one connection with 1:30 to transfer.

When you check in at IAH, be sure to let the agent know that you have a very short connecting time in Paris and the agent should tag your bags "Short Connection." This will help AF flight attendants know that you are short on time.

Once the plane lands, immediately exit the plane and fall the signs to 2F. Be sure to check your departing gate (on the connection screens available), sometimes the gate changes. Take the navette (airport bus), if offered.

I do not believe you can walk because of passport control and security. If possible, try to limit your carry on. There really is no time to do anything, but get to the gate.

I wish you luck.

Happy Travels!

Posted by
8402 posts

I’ve never taken a bus between terminals at CDG. Just follow the signs on foot.
You may have to take an internal shuttle train, but it’s quick.

Posted by
845 posts

Great advice Spello, and thanks. I've never landed at CDG where I had to catch another flight. Always stayed put. All of your advice here helps a lot!

Posted by
454 posts

This is an unofficial site but a good one that has a walkthrough with pictures of what it's like to make a connection from terminal 2E to 2F. You may not know which set of gates you will land at yet (K, L or M) but the main difference is that if you land at M gates, there is a short tram you have to take to the K gates. The passport control and security checks will be required regardless.

Posted by
3024 posts

I’ve never taken a bus between terminals at CDG.

The only time I recall taking one is to get to Terminal 2G, which has the gates for HOP!, Air France's REGIONAL CARRIER!

Posted by
3024 posts

I've connected at least a couple of dozen times at CDG over the last several years. I've never missed a flight, including the time I ended up with a 45-minute connection time and the incoming transatlantic flight arrived 12 minutes late (2E --> 2F connection at 6 am; happily, I was at the front of the plane and can walk fast!). I feel like pre-pandemic, the airport was putting a fair amount of effort into improving the efficiency of connections.

Posted by
845 posts

Thanks., It helps to have an idea of what to expect since we have so little time between flights. We were not going to check bags in the event we missed the flight and had to go to plan B. Didn't want the bags going somewhere we weren't.

Posted by
845 posts

We were looking on Flight Tracker to see if we could find which gates in 2F planes typically landed from IAH to CDG. (We know gates change but were looking for a pattern.) It only says arrival 2E with no gate number. Then we looked up what gates the flights from CDG to Nice left from typically and those were F50 and F29. Of course, we aren't going to know anything until we check-in as to what gate we will be arriving at CDG. On one of the links mentioned, it had a nice guide, but you needed to know what gate you were coming in on. Is there anywhere else to look to see which gates these flights typically arrive from? We are less and less confident we will make this connection. Seems lately the flights from IAH have been departing late.

Posted by
3822 posts

There are many flights/day from CDG to Nice on Air France, so if you do end up missing the connection, the likelihood of being put on another flight that same day is very high.

Posted by
845 posts

So in talking to Air France this morning, they told me they may put me on the next flight at no charge. I asked if they could just change my connecting flight from the 9:25 (which only gave me a one-hour layover) to the 12:20 and they said they could but I would have to pay the difference in fare, which I am not going to do. They then said if it's their fault I miss the 9:25 flight, they will put me on another flight, but if they determine it's my fault they won't. So that kind of leaves a lot up in the air. Who determines who is at fault? We certainly can't control the lines in security and passport control, and it looks like we have to take the tram from Hall M to K then walk. I guess when we get to the airport this week we will just have to see if the ticket agent there can help us out with changing the flight at no additional charge.

Posted by
8402 posts

Just go with the flow JR. You'll probably make it, or you might not. They will put you on the next flight if you miss the one you are assigned. I don't think you'd show up three hours late from going through the shops and hanging out at the Petrossian caviar bar. They can tell when someone is making an effort and they know how to do this.
Any changes before you actually miss the flight, if you do miss the flight, will cost you $$. Don't worry about it. Just relax. This is your vacation. Nothing will change thinking about it in advance. You've done all the research, so now just relax.
repeat: VACATION. RELAX. DEEP BREATH.

Posted by
845 posts

UPDATE on our transfer through CDG - from personal experience this week, if you are considering a one-hour transfer through CDG - don't!!! It is not worth the stress and anxiety it brings. While still at IAH we learned our flight was going to be late arriving in to CDG which would surely make us miss our connecting flight to Nice. The airline personnel on the ground assured me we would arrive on time and make up for lost time. They also said that officially the airports policy is that it is possible to do a one-hour connection. We wrote down instructions for all the possibilities for transferring from 2E to 2F. The unknown was what gate we would arrive at. We learned that about 15-minutes before landing. Worst case was we arrived at a gate we had to take a tram. And that is exactly what happened. Once we landed, we took the tram to gate k and the walked to @F (rather ran/walked). We thought all was good until we got to security and saw how backed up it was. We were not the only ones in line trying to make a short connection. The line was not moving, and at this point we had 10 minutes to make the flight. I saw another passenger jump the line into the crew only line and get through. We saw a couple of others do the same thing, so we decided to do the very same, and others followed. We tried to explain to what was going on, and we felt terrible, but security said nothing. Once we cleared through, we had to go through passport control. That took another 5 minutes. At this point, our flight was already boarded, and we knew we were not going to make it. At the gate, two gate agents asked us our names, and said they would walk us to the plane. Literally no time to spare. If we hadn't jumped in the crew line, we never would have made it. We know of several other people who didn't make their connections. One hour is NOT enough time to get through CDG and even though the airline will book it, be warned one little hiccup will slow you down. Lesson learned.