Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Air France, KLM, and Other Partners | Flying Blue > Air France Frequence Plus
Reload this Page >

How early to arrive at CDG for seasoned traveler? Air France economy

How early to arrive at CDG for seasoned traveler? Air France economy

Reply

Old Nov 30, 18, 2:43 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,067
Originally Posted by Tamino View Post
30 minutes at passport control is very common. I would plan to allow 60 minutes. In all, if your flight is transatlantic, I would be at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure, particularly if you do not have special status of some kind.



There is absolutely no way to authoritatively know what seat availability will be in advance other than possibly checking with reservations on how many seats are yet to be sold.
If it were me I would just purchase your seats to at least have a higher chance of being seated together or if needed to be reseated due to some IRROPs they would hopefully keep you together. I love the Upper Deck of the A380 totally worth the cost for the 2 pairs of seats!

If on other jets then towards the front is the best option .
danielonn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 30, 18, 2:50 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Traveling the World
Posts: 5,067
Another note. For me I am a stress-free seasoned traveler who makes at least two or more international trips a year plus many domestic trips. I always allow more that the time required to be at the airport. I head to the lounge and get caught up on what needs to be done whether work or reading over the itinerary over a glass of Champagne or Red Wine!

I am OCD about getting all of the details before hand. I am also OCD about confirming and re confirming and re confirming yet again just to be sure everything is in order. I stalk my online bookings to see if any schedule has changed, also e-mail the respective hotels to ask about upgrades or better rooms.

I have all of the phone numbers programmed into my phone and create a Google Contact Group on my Android Phone titled Paris 19 with all the phone numbers of hotels, airlines, rental cars etc. TMobile is my carrier and a 25 cent call to reconfirm something or fix something that goes awry is money well spent.

I also have hard copies of my reservations and I take the time to look over the maps of the airports I am traveling through.

When I was 12 my Parents Brother and I took a three month trip around Europe using cars, buses , planes and trains. So I got the hang of it. I knew how the metro works, how to exchange money, how to change airline reservations so that my Father and I could return later from Israel. We went to the AF Ticket Office in San Francisco.

The past 5 years my Father and I took Trans Atlantic Cruises and over time I learned how to figure out the timings. Traveling is a fun challenge. We learn from our mistakes!
danielonn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 30, 18, 7:54 pm
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by SDQBound View Post
For a flight departing at 4:20 PM, immigration and security will not be a big issue (at least it wasn't when departing on AF026 last summer). There aren't many long-haul departures during that timeframe so your timing seems to be fine.
Thanks for the specific feedback based on time of day- that was my impression as well- that the big block of departures to North America was from around 9 AM-1PM, so a 4 PM departure should see a relatively calmer airport.
Goldorak likes this.
DCJoe1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 1, 18, 10:00 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: UFO
Posts: 34
I'm not sure how pleasant Air France's departure methods is at CDG, but I'm done visiting Paris after the backwards departure methods I encountered with flying United out of CDG.

I had an early 9am flight and was recommended to get to the airport at least 3 hours in advance. I thought this was a joke, then again, it's France thus I'm not surprised.

Pretty much if you don't check-in your luggage and only do carry-on, CDG is literally hell. Airline check-in counter associates try to scam you for checked baggage fees.

Also you'll need to go through literally two luggage checks by inept lazy French security staff back to back, with the final check right at the departure gates. They go so far as to even fell up your legs into your socks.

It's easy to fly into CDG, but is extremely frustrating when you depart. I guess it's France's last hurrah to stick it to foreign travelers.
Ndsleep612 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 1, 18, 2:16 pm
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 12,261
Originally Posted by Ndsleep612 View Post
I'm not sure how pleasant Air France's departure methods is at CDG, but I'm done visiting Paris after the backwards departure methods I encountered with flying United out of CDG.

I had an early 9am flight and was recommended to get to the airport at least 3 hours in advance. I thought this was a joke, then again, it's France thus I'm not surprised.

Pretty much if you don't check-in your luggage and only do carry-on, CDG is literally hell. Airline check-in counter associates try to scam you for checked baggage fees.

Also you'll need to go through literally two luggage checks by inept lazy French security staff back to back, with the final check right at the departure gates. They go so far as to even fell up your legs into your socks.

It's easy to fly into CDG, but is extremely frustrating when you depart. I guess it's France's last hurrah to stick it to foreign travelers.
WOW, that's the best post of the year...
Zembla and DCJoe1 like this.
Goldorak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 5, 18, 9:51 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,307
Oh la la take it easy a French airport is not worse than a US airport. You can compare CDG to JFK or LHR and there will be few surprises. Especially for a seasoned traveler.

I would leave Paris four hours before takeoff. The RER is unlikely to be on time but it is also unlikely to take more than 60-90 minutes. On an August Sunday road transportation can be pretty slow too. You will be at the airport 2-3 hours before takeoff which is fine (3 is better).

You will have been able to check in online (caveat: in the rare case where online check in fails, come 30-60 minutes earlier).

Stop at the first check in machine you see (there are a few near the RER station, after the escalators), they are usually quieter than in Terminal 2E which will be a zoo (CDG does not slow down after transatlantic flights, since the planet has three more continents). Print boarding passes and luggage tags.

Then find the economy drop-off, there will be a line, another line for police and a third one for security (and if you have tax free forms to stamp, plan an additional thirty to sixty minutes).

AF should find you alternative transportation if you were at the airport more than two hours early and missed your flight in good faith (e.g.not purposely taking your time shopping) because of congestion at one or more airport steps. But again if you are seasoned, you should be fine.

About the recommendation to stay at a local hotel the night before, I would do it for a morning flight but a Sunday morning in Paris might be more fun for the family since you will depart at 4 PM.

Finally the seats: I would pay to book seats for peace of mind, but know that if you cancel or change the flight, the fee will be lost. So if you are looking to change flights, probably not a good idea.
DCJoe1 likes this.
af fp is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 6:14 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 119
If you are at the airport 2-3 hours prior departure, it will be enough time.

Regarding kids at the airport: bring an inflatable ball (beach ball) is a handy toy to kill time.
BobTL is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 1:22 pm
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by BobTL View Post
Regarding kids at the airport: bring an inflatable ball (beach ball) is a handy toy to kill time.
Not sure if this is a joke or not. I can easily imagine rambunctious kids annoying other people waiting for the flight quite a bit- bouncing a beach ball around, into other people, over their heads, etc. I wouldn't think of giving my kids a beach ball in a crowded enclosed space.

Anyway, thanks all, for the info- I understand all the steps but am most concerned about the average amounts of time for each one, so I can plan it out with the appropriate time cushion. Thank you.
af fp likes this.
DCJoe1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 6, 18, 1:26 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 119
Originally Posted by DCJoe1 View Post
Not sure if this is a joke or not. I can easily imagine rambunctious kids annoying other people waiting for the flight quite a bit- bouncing a beach ball around, into other people, over their heads, etc. I wouldn't think of giving my kids a beach ball in a crowded enclosed space.

Anyway, thanks all, for the info- I understand all the steps but am most concerned about the average amounts of time for each one, so I can plan it out with the appropriate time cushion. Thank you.
No not a joke. Iím sure youíll find a corner somewhere at CDG where there is space to play if your are too early.
BobTL is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: