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Old Jun 15, 08, 10:54 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Spending five hours in CDG - 2E and 2D (no lounge access)

Hello. Thanks in advance for any advice on my questions.

My oldest daughter (18 years old) is traveling to Athens via CDG on Monday evening 16 June. She is travelling with her boyfriend and his less than travel savvy mother. They will have roughly five hours to kill. The AF website says that they will likely arrive at 2E and depart 2D.

I have printed all the transit information from the AF website (which I found most helpful) and it seems easy enough. They don't necessarily want to leave the airport and go through customs and immigration. However, the site says they need to go through "police and immigration formalities" before boarding. How much time should they expect for that to happen between 2E and 2D?

And, most importantly, how would you suggest they pass the hours? They have no status nor applicable credit cards that might grant any lounge access. I understand that day passes to any lounges are not avaliable. So, passing the time. Are there siginificant differences in the shops and restaurants on offer in the two? Any particularly notable things to see and do? Any particularly notable things NOT to do?

Again, thank you in advance for whatever assistance you can provide.

Last edited by glcarter; Jun 15, 08 at 11:06 am..
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Old Jun 15, 08, 11:57 am   #2
 
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If they are coming from Houston, they will have to go through immigration in France because they are entering the Schengen zone (most of Western Europe). So they will be landside and can go anywhere in Paris. Unfortunately, five hours really isn't enough time to go into the city. Many people like the lobby bar of the Sheraton. They could also get a day room there if they want to spend the money or if you have the points. The Sheraton is in between 2E and 2D. Other than that, there are various shops and restaurants in the airport and not a lot of great things to do nearby. Sorry.
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Old Jun 15, 08, 2:14 pm   #3
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I like the Sheraton. It is pleasant and relaxing. And the wifi is free for SPG (Plat ?) members. At least it was the last three times I spent some time there, two months ago.
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Old Jun 15, 08, 2:16 pm   #4
 
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With 5 hours it is feasible to go to the center by train (RER B), have a look at the eifel tower (metro stop Trocadero is the best place to look at it), then a lunch or a stroll around or something, and go back.
To get to Trocadero would take an hour max, you could hang around for 1 to 2 hours, and then head back. With delays and time getting under 5 hours you could still do it but it would be a rush.

Otherwise. Stay landside at CDG for at least half of the time, and indeed, all there is is a bunch of restaurants and a few not very special shops.
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Old Jun 15, 08, 4:09 pm   #5
 
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Wow, I would say that would make for a pretty exhausting experience arriving from IAH unless their flight is early! count 30-60 minutes depending on their luck to disembark and clear immigration, then 20 minutes to walk to the RER station and buy tickets, then over 1 hour to wait for the RER, take it, change to the metro and arrive at Trocadero. By now, they would have anywhere between 0 and 60 minutes to enjoy the Tour Eiffel from below (queues would be too long to go up!) before heading back to CDG where they would be mad to arrive less than 60 minutes early if they do not know the airport. Personally, I really wouldn't do it... If they are not used to flying, they will be really tired by the time they arrive, and any unexpected problem (for instance if they don't find the metro station right away on the way back or something) would make them stress out... I'd personally stick with a nice bar or a day room if they are a bit early.
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Old Jun 15, 08, 5:25 pm   #6
 
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regarding a day room: I think the Ibis Hotel has day rooms as well, and it's a lot cheaper than the Sheraton.... I think it was about 40/3h or something like that. You can book those by using the courtosy phone landside in the terminals (remember, the people on the other end of the line are not native English speakers, so speak slowly and use a simple English!)

The transfer to the IBIS hotel is very easy and can just be done via the CDGVAL people mover.
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Old Jun 15, 08, 5:34 pm   #7
 
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Thanks to all!

Now that I know they have to go landside, I think the day room idea is a very good one for them. I do not know Ibis very well. I do know Sheraton and it is okay as I recall.

Agreed that it makes no sense to go onto Paris given that they are all inexperienced travellers.

As an aside, is there any phone number in the States that AF will actually answer?? The 800 237 2747 number ALWAYS puts me on hold and then disconnects me after no more than 10 -15 minutes. I had this issue the last time I flew them in March. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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