The World's #1 Russian, Ukrainian & Eastern European Discussion & Information Forum - RUA!

This Is the Premier Discussion Forum on the Net for Information and Discussion about Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. Discuss Culture, Politics, Travelling, Language, International Relationships and More. Chat with Travellers, Locals, Residents and Expats. Ask and Answer Questions about Travel, Culture, Relationships, Applying for Visas, Translators, Interpreters, and More. Give Advice, Read Trip Reports, Share Experiences and Make Friends.

Author Topic: Flying through CDG  (Read 224 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Danchik

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 816
  • Country: ru
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: In The Business
  • Trips: Resident
Flying through CDG
« on: December 01, 2016, 09:39:53 PM »
If, for example, one transits CDG, long known as a black hole for checked bags
I have never transferred through this airport.Maybe you can elaborate?

I will take anoyne's advice/experience. Not only about the baggage, but the whole experience; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks.
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Online andrewfi

  • Supporting Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14987
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Articles About Almost Anything!
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2016, 10:26:37 PM »
Weird place if you ask me.

The place is in/near one of Paris' outer suburbs and not one of the better ones. When I was there it seemed to me that lots of the locals came to the airport as a place to hang out, just as they do at railway stations in other places. I felt that I had left Europe far behind - although it may be that I was unaccustomed to the racial mix found in this part of Europe given that I had been spending time in a much less heterogenous environment.

The food and drink places were expensive and staffed by folks who, even when speaking French to them, were, not to put too fine a point on it, unfriendly.

The only upside that I found was that the place is served by a light railway system. A couple of stops along and one finds a bunch of airport hotels who do day rates. I stayed at, IIRC, the Ibis for a few hours. Hotel was lovely and clean and quiet and cost little more than a private lounge in the terminal. Had a long soak in the bath (I made sure the room had a bath before booking it) and then took a nap. When I was ready I poddled off to the airport terminal and onto the plane.

One nice thing though, lots of seats once one was near the departure gate.

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus

Online B.B.

  • Supporting Member
  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 01:57:04 PM »
If, for example, one transits CDG, long known as a black hole for checked bags
I have never transferred through this airport.Maybe you can elaborate?

I will take anoyne's advice/experience. Not only about the baggage, but the whole experience; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thanks.


From your thread title, I assume you are transiting.  Without knowing your exact airline, the greater likelihood is that you will be connecting in Terminal 2

Transiting isn't all that bad anymore, because the French have more or less given up on their pretensions of linguistic superiority.  Transiting isn't all that bad now, insofar as they have put up signage in English. 

Some tips, for you (and for others reading this thread who may be more on the 'n00b' level):

A.  Do not check any bags if at all possible.  CDG is a sprawling airport and the Galling Gauls are hardly known for their efficiency.  I also dislike returning to the states, breezing through Global Entry and then getting stuck waiting for my bag for an hour, but that situation may not be applicable to you.

B.  Avoid CDG in the winter.  They don't handle weather disruptions well. Back in 2010 I had a December trip and considered CDG but rejected it in favor of AMS.  I arrived early on Friday morning and then was stranded from Friday to Monday in AMS among friendly, efficient, English-speaking and America-loving (or at least willing to fake it) Dutch, who handled things with their usual aplomb.  CDG was basically "Lord of the Flies" by 14:00 on Friday afternoon.

C.  For reasons dealing with the above, you will want a "merged" tkt, which most people get anyway, automatically, so if your inbound is delayed and you miss your connection, you're not screwed.

D.  My last transit was November 28th.  I had about an hour and 20 minutes between flights and was going from the L Portes to the K Portes, all with in 2E.  Theoretically, this should take about 20 minutes, but give yourself longer.  Also, if you are boarding a TATL flight (i.e. to the US) boarding will be a more elongated process.

E.  To transit, after you exit your arriving flight, follow the signs for connections, somewhere along the way you will find a large sign board just as in any airport, and then determine what terminal and what sub-terminal your departing flight will take off from.  There is a train between the K, L & M Portes, evidently called "Metro Lisa", but I don't think that's on the signage.  At any rate, it's not that difficult to figure out.  If you are transiting between T1, T2 and/or T3, that's a bit more complicated, but doable. 

F.  You will go through security again.  If possible, you want to be able to us the "priority" lanes.  This can happen either because you are flying business or first, or because you have status (typically "gold" (mid-tier) or above.) with your airline.  I fly a ton for business, so I have it with Delta (and therefor Skyteam) as well as Turkish (and therefore Star Alliance).  The lines will be shorter and the folks in them more likely to know what they're doing.  This isn't a lock, but its a percentage call.

G.  Try to get to the gate a bit early, as people start queuing up, and overhead space is at a premium.  Less of a problem if you are in the front of the bus, but still not a bad idea.

If the above is too much best to remember these two things: 

1.  Carry-on only.

2.  Give yourself two hours between connections, if possible.


B/B


Saving the World, One Clue at a Time
If your religion insults my intelligence, don't be surprised when my intelligence insults your religion.


Online B.B.

  • Supporting Member
  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 02:03:25 PM »
Also, for others reading this who may want general information about travel to/from the FSU, I find that Turkish has decent pricing.  And (like Aeroflot) they have a legitimate business class in intra-Europe flights (i.e. more like domestic business class in the US, and not a 3x3 configuration with the middle seat blocked out.

My recollection is that Danchik is coming from SVO, and I'm no sure what the current state of affairs is b/w Russia and Turkey, but for a while the Russians were hassling Turkey, and especially Turkish Airlines.  IIRC, Erdogan apologized for shooting down that MiG, so things may have simmered down.

Also, for guys flying to Ukraine, Aeroflot isn't an option now, for obvious reasons.  I used them a lot, but now either use Skyteam (DL, AF, KLM) or Turkish, depending or pricing.  Guys flying beyond KBP or ODS might also look into LOT, for flights to Kharkov or Austrian, for flights to Dneperpetrovsk with one stop, in Warsaw and Vienna, respectively.  Or one can simply transfer in KBP, etc., on UIA.

B/B
Saving the World, One Clue at a Time
If your religion insults my intelligence, don't be surprised when my intelligence insults your religion.

Online Danchik

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 816
  • Country: ru
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: In The Business
  • Trips: Resident
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2016, 08:10:30 PM »
Yes, I'm coming from SVO. I'm stopping in Spain for a few days and can't avoid connecting through CDG on that leg. Then on to LA via JFK. Here are my options:

SVO-CDG-BCN depart 23rd (Aeroflot to Paris, Air France to BCN)
BCN-JFK-LAX depart 27th (Delta)
LAX-CDG-SVO Jan 16 (Air France) this option can be
LAX-AMS-SVO. (KLM)

So, what option is best in your opinion coming back; AMS or CDG (sounds like AMS)? Checking a bag is unavoidable, so I'll deal with it. I've used most of my skymiles in the last 3 years (about 25000 left), so I'm not sure that will help. You also mentioned going through another long-lined security check when you arrive at CDG. Is it the same through AMS?

Unfortunately, Delta has no flights from Moscow to New York, New York to Moscow at present.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.
When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Online B.B.

  • Supporting Member
  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2016, 10:31:28 PM »
Yes, I'm coming from SVO. I'm stopping in Spain for a few days and can't avoid connecting through CDG on that leg.

Hmm.  Judging from Aeroflot's online time table the 'Flot has 3 non-stops a day from SVO to BCN:

SU 2638 (dep 7:55)
SU 2514 (dep 13:35)
SU 2512 (dep 20.10)

Air Europa (also a Skyteam airline) also flies non stop.

Admittedly I didn't check every day, and I don't know your preferred travel dates, or other parameters.

Then on to LA via JFK. Here are my options:

SVO-CDG-BCN depart 23rd (Aeroflot to Paris, Air France to BCN)
BCN-JFK-LAX depart 27th (Delta)
LAX-CDG-SVO Jan 16 (Air France) this option can be
LAX-AMS-SVO. (KLM)

So, what option is best in your opinion coming back; AMS or CDG (sounds like AMS)? Checking a bag is unavoidable, so I'll deal with it.

Absent price sensitivity, I would always choose AMS over CDG...but sometimes there's price sensitivity.  I've seen discounted business class from JFK to AMS at $8K.  I booked my November trip on AF because the price differential was in the thousands. 

If you can bring what you really need in a rollaboard, you may want to do that, then check the rest.   

I note that there is a BCN-AMS-LAX option on KLM (KLM 1662 & KLM 601) which you might consider, as JFK can suck w/r/ international connections.  More on that below. Using the KLM option, you would clear customs at your final destination in the USA (LAX) and not have to worry about any bullshit at JFK.

You also mentioned going through another long-lined security check when you arrive at CDG. Is it the same through AMS?

Yes, but in AMS it's run by the Dutch and is therefor more efficient, etc.  It wasn't terrible at CDG last time, but I was also going through the "short" line. 

Unfortunately, Delta has no flights from Moscow to New York, New York to Moscow at present.

Right, but you can still fly the 'Flot.  I used to do that out of Terminal 1 at JFK a lot, then bounce back to KBP or ODS--basically what I do on Turkish, now only connecting in IST.  The long flight is enough for a meal and movie, and then 5 or 6 hours of sleep which is all I need.

If you are connecting through JFK at all, especially inbound (i.e. international ->JFK->wherever (including LAX)) be sure to book a layover of AT LEAST 3 HOURS IF NOT LONGER, depending on circumstances, i.e. if you have to change terminals, if you can use the priority lane, etc.  You will have to clear immigration and customs at JFK (there are some exceptions, like arriving from some airports in Canada and Ireland, but those don't sound like they apply) and that an be time consuming with checked bags and without Global Entry, etc.

There is a "short connections" line for re-checking, etc., but that's after you get your bag, and that can take a while.  I'm a bad judge here, because I use GE and don't check and JFK is my destination, so I'm typically landside 15-20 minutes after my feet hit the jet bridge.  The last time I checked a bag it took 45 minutes to an hour for it to appear. 

I'd consider the KLM option I mentioned.  It seems you want to keep it to SkyTeam, but there are similar choices on Lufthansa and SWISS, as well as others that are less conv.

You might even consider booking two RT tickets on 'Flot, SVO-BCN and then SVO-LAX.  That might actually be the best price option.  Sure it'd be a bit of a pain in the ass flying back to fly west again, but it's be worth a look.  Plus you'd avoid customs at JFK which is worth it. 

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.

No worries.

B/B
Saving the World, One Clue at a Time
If your religion insults my intelligence, don't be surprised when my intelligence insults your religion.

Online Gipsy

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2134
  • Country: 00
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2016, 10:49:21 PM »
Personally, I try to avoid JFK and CDG, too many probs with customs checks and lost luggage, which never seems to be found again...

Online B.B.

  • Supporting Member
  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3545
  • Country: us
  • Gender: Male
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 10:53:48 PM »
Personally, I try to avoid JFK and CDG, too many probs with customs checks and lost luggage, which never seems to be found again...

Yep.  I have a bit of a blind spot w/r/t JFK (as I noted, above) because I don't ever use it as a transit airport.  It's either origin or destination.

B/B
Saving the World, One Clue at a Time
If your religion insults my intelligence, don't be surprised when my intelligence insults your religion.

Offline Manny

  • Moderator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14519
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
  • Spouses Country: Russia
  • Status: Married
  • Trips: 20+
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2016, 10:54:12 PM »
When I was there it seemed to me that lots of the locals came to the airport as a place to hang out, just as they do at railway stations in other places. I felt that I had left Europe far behind - although it may be that I was unaccustomed to the racial mix found in this part of Europe given that I had been spending time in a much less heterogenous environment.

^^ This. I once collected my wife there from a Russian flight, and there were all types of coffee coloured people just kind of dossing about with no luggage. Looked like it was just a place to go to keep warm for them.
Gordon Gekko: "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."

Online Danchik

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 816
  • Country: ru
  • Gender: Male
  • Status: In The Business
  • Trips: Resident
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2016, 12:55:13 PM »
You might even consider booking two RT tickets on 'Flot, SVO-BCN and then SVO-LAX.  That might actually be the best price option.  Sure it'd be a bit of a pain in the ass flying back to fly west again, but it's be worth a look.  Plus you'd avoid customs at JFK which is worth it.
Couldn't agree more about customs at JFK. After my last time there 2 years ago, I vowed i would only to go through that "degrading" experience if I had no other choice.

I must admit, I never thought about retuning to Moscow and heading to LA from there, and after checking it out, it has become a definite option. It is a bit costlier, about $400 more ($1335 for SVO-CDG-BCN-JFK-LAX-CDG-SVO vs. $1725 SVO-BCN-SVO-LAX-SVO), and flying west to east to west initially is not exactly what I wanted to do. But, the prospect of not dealing with both JFK and CDG (back-to-back no less), and travelling non-stop to my destinations make it worth the extra dough and pick of poison.

Thanks again to everyone for the all-around useful advice.

When it is dark enough, men see the stars.

Online andrewfi

  • Supporting Member
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14987
  • Country: gb
  • Gender: Male
    • Articles About Almost Anything!
Re: Flying through CDG
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2016, 05:05:10 PM »
maybe more money for the tix but you will spend less on stopovers.difference in cost less than first look suggests.

"For what else is the life of man but a kind of play in which men in various costumes perform until the director motions them offstage?" -Erasmus