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Old Feb 27, 07, 1:56 pm   #1
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Is a 2 hour layover at Charles DeGaulle long enough?

I need to leave a meeting in Barcelona 5/11/07 after 3PM and be in North Carolina 5/12/07 for a wedding. I am seeking advice on a possible flight plan:

5/11/07
BCN --> CDG Air France 1749 leave BCN 5PM arrive CDG 6:55PM
CDG-->JFK Delta 8624 leave CDG 9PM arrive JFK 11:15PM
5/12/07
JFK-->RDU Delta 5021 leave JFK 8:30AM arrive RDU 10:27AM

My question is whether a 2 hour layover at Charles DeGaulle connecting to an international flight to the US is long enough? I'll avoid customs because I will be arriving form an EU country. I am concerned about having enough time to gather my checked bags and check-in on Delta for my flight to the US. is this too risky? Any advice about navigating CDG terminals? My other option os to go through Heathrow?

Any input is appreciated.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 2:15 pm   #2
  
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You should be fine. You'll be able to check your bags at BCN directly to RDU and will not have to recheck them at CDG.

Note that your flight from CDG to JFK is actually an AF flight, so you'll be on AF all the way from BCN to JFK. AF should give your all your boarding passes (BCN-CDG, CDG-JFK, JFK-RDU) when you check in at BCN.

No risk. Relax and enjoy the flight.

Of course, if the wedding is an event that you CAN NOT MISS, consider cancelling the meeting in Barcelona and flying back to the US several days early. You never know, there may be a strike at CDG, there may be bad weather, equipment problems, etc. If you feel that your LIFE WILL BE DESTROYED AND PURPOSELESS, don't risk making a wedding the day you fly back. ESPECIALLY since you're on a Delta Connection flight from JFK to RDU.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 2:15 pm   #3
  
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Last April we connected through CDG on a flight from COP. CDC was a nightmare! We had 1 1/2 hrs and barely made it.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 2:28 pm   #4
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Yes, but it starts to get tight < 90 minutes there depending what gates you're going to/from. Maybe AF to AF is quicker? Our last connection in CDG was NW from DTW to AF to ATH. We had 90 minutes but barely had time to catch our breath at the gate before boarding started (which means we had 15-20 minutes to spare).
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Old Feb 27, 07, 2:34 pm   #5
  
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My experience is that 2 hours is a reasonable minimum time for transfers at CDG. But that leaves very little room for things to go wrong, as they sometimes do. If the wedding is imperative, then look for options that give you more time, or leave BCN a day earlier.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 2:51 pm   #6
  
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I barely made a 30 minute connect in CDG from a delayed inbound flight, and I barely made a 2 hour connect when everything was supposed to be easy, there is just no way to predict. 2 hours is now my personal minimum for connecting in CDG if traveling in Y, and I usually try for 3. The 30 minute connect I was in business class connecting to BE on DL, and AF had a representative meet the inbound flight (from Cairo) for me and one other PM/BE customer and he literally led us by the hand through the terminals to our connecting flight, broadjumping over a security line that would have taken an hour to go through. One other tip is to never assume that the monitors are showing the correct gate for your flight... If you are running for your connection you might just run right past the new gate and your flight as you head over the horizon to the wrong part of town. Check often for updates and changes.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 3:13 pm   #7
  
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Another option to consider is to go via London. There is a 4:40pm flight on Iberia or BA which gets into LHR at 5:55pm. Then there are several late night flights to the states on AA or UA which get you into RDU or CLT in the morning by 11:00am.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 3:20 pm   #8
  
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Is a 2 hour layover at Charles DeGaulle long enough?

I've found that 2 hours is ample time for the baggage handlers at CDG to loose anything.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 9:37 pm   #9
  
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A 2 hr layover at CDG is about 2:01 too long, IMHO!
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Old Feb 27, 07, 9:53 pm   #10
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I have never had any problems with a 2 hour layover. You should not have any problem. Now if you were an inexperienced flyer or unfamiliar with the airport and get lost easy, you might need to make it 3 hours.
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Old Feb 27, 07, 9:57 pm   #11
  
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It's fine.

I sometimes wish I had the luxury of 2 hours. Not only do you not have to recheck your bags at CDG, the airport will be amazingly quiet (relatively) at that time of the day (it's AF's only transatlantic departure then and there are only a few other long-haul flights at that time or later) so clearing security for the JFK flight shouldn't be difficult either.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 2:47 am   #12
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
Of course, if the wedding is an event that you CAN NOT MISS, consider....
This is the key issue. I think transferring from an intra-Europe flight to a TATL at CDG would be easier than flying a domestic airline into JFK and transferring to the international terminal there. I still can't imagine not allowing for at least two hours at CDG for that kind of transfer. However, I am a big believer in Murphy's law and I don't like to run from gate to gate.
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Old Feb 28, 07, 2:56 am   #13
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if anything goes wrong you'd be put on AF22 the next morning, arrive at 10h20 at JFK. but I'd say 2h is really enough time
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Old Feb 28, 07, 3:35 am   #14
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The main problem is that you'll probably be conecting from 2F to 2E and 2E is fubar due to the roof collapse and reconnection.

That being said, 2 hours should be fine. I've made ~1 hour connections on a couple of occasions lately. When the connect starts to get tight they will have agents meet the plane and escort you to your new gate. The other thing you have going for you is that AF / DL flights from CDG to BOS often leave late.

I would *NOT* try to go by way of LHR. IMHO, it is actually much harder / longer to connect at LHR and they will not go out of their way to help you. My preference is AMS but Spain - AMS schedules may not be as good as Spain - CDG.

Good luck but don't worry.
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