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Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?  
User currently offlineArt From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 3382 posts, RR: 1
Posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8818 times:

Scenario 1:

You are in central London. You're going to Paris. You get a taxi/lift/tube train to the station. There you get your ticket from the machine, go through the barrier, go through security checks immigration and get on the train with your baggage.

About 2 hours 40 minutes later you get out of the train. You are in central Paris. Strangely, you still have your baggage with you since nobody at the station decided to take it from you and put it on the train to Hannover/Honolulu/Hongkong. You get a taxi/lift/metro train to your destination.

Scenario 2:

You are in central London. You're going to Paris. You get a taxi/lift/tube train to Heathrow. You go into the terminal, find the check in, stand behind some other travellers for a time, check in your baggage, go through passport control, go through security, walk to the departure lounge, wait there for a time, get on the plane, fly to Paris, get off the plane, walk to customs and immigration, stand behind some other travellers for a time, go through immigration, go to the baggage reclaim, stand there with some other travellers for a time, go through customs, leave the terminal, a) get a taxi to Paris or b) walk to the car park with the people collecting you then drive to Paris or c) wait for an airport bus, get the bus to the airport station, buy a ticket for the train, wait for the train, get on the train. After a few minutes you get out of the train. You are in central Paris. You get a taxi/lift/metro train to your destination. Total door to door trip time not a lot less than 4 hours. A lot longer if you need to report any missing baggage.

Is there some attraction in flying London-Paris that has escaped me? If not, why do people still do it?

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26593 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8797 times:

Well, these days, flying can often be quite a bit cheaper than taking the train. Also, connecting traffic does not want to schelp into the city (trust me, I have done it) to get the train. Finally, some people like those miles Big grin


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7591 posts, RR: 42
Reply 2, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8807 times:

Very good point but I have one POSSIBLE answer: sometimes flying is cheaper than taking the Eurostar. Okay, so I don't know for sure if this is the case with LON-PAR, but at least that's the reason why last summer I flew SN from LHR to BRU on a Sunday morning at 06:50 instead of taking the train. Flying one way was 35 pounds, all taxes and charges included... taking the Eurostar one way was above 120 euros.


Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8775 times:

Scenario 3 :

You are in suburban SW London. You're going to somewhere in suburban NE Paris.

You take your local bus to Heathrow and go straight through security and to your plane (you've already checked in online). If you have some time to spare, you pop by the lounge for a quick drink and email check.

An hour later you land in Paris. The French immigration officer is half asleep and doesn't even glance at the expired dog license you wave in his general direction. You stroll to the RER station right inside the airport and voila, a few stops later and you're there.

To each their own.


User currently offlineWunala From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 950 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8752 times:

Or maybe you have a connecting flight through CDG. Makes sense to fly, drop off luggage, and sit back and relax.

Its personal choice, there are still boats that do the crossing too. That saves people from Dover having to get a train into central London.


User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8677 times:

Some people just might enjoy flying more than they do sitting in a train . . .

Being a big fan of train travel, I would take the Eurostar any day. Same goes for travel I do on the continent.



4 Engines 4 LongHaul
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8518 times:

Although it does seem strange, I think that some people have a fear of being trapped in the Channel Tunnel, particularly as there was a fire on a freight train a few years back and the images of the drivers who had to flee from the trains via the escape tunnel might still be in people's minds.

I know more people who are scared of long tunnels than those who are afraid of flying.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8468 times:

Quoting B747-437B (Reply 3):
The French immigration officer is half asleep and doesn't even glance at the expired dog license you wave in his general direction

Hehe - "Operation Vigipirate" at its finest Big grin

Admittedly flying does seem to be a bit of an effort, but it depends where you're headed. From central London to central Paris, Eurostar wins hands down. From/to anywhere else, it's a two-horse race, as long as the elastic bands and paper-clips holding Swanwick together don't ping off in all directions or catch fire. The minute there's a technical hitch, I'd much rather be on the train - at least you have the option to get out and walk.


User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2432 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8438 times:

Scenario 1:

You are in London, and you need to get to Paris.. The train is delayed, so you have to wait 3 hours for the train to depart the station. You get to Paris 5 hours after you got to the train station.

Scenario 2:
You are in London, and you need to get to Paris.. Check-in goes smoothly, and the plane leaves on time. You get to Paris early enough to eat lunch in the middle of Paris. Extra Bonus: You also saved some money

Thats why some people prefer flying instead..


User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8432 times:

Yes, because there are *never* any delays at Heathrow.

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7211 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8396 times:

Have you ever tried to get into central London for 8am? Its so much easier to get to an airport against the traffic.


The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2432 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8391 times:

Quoting Zonky (Reply 9):
Yes, because there are *never* any delays at Heathrow.

Yes, because there are never any delays at Eurostar train stations..

my point is, that the question does not lead to any specific answer.. It is an individual opinion what you like the most, or if you are afraid of sitting in a train or a plane or so...


User currently offlinePlanenutz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8387 times:

There was a special report on the BBC radio about Eurostar vs. flying. It boils down to the fact that flying is simply much more competitievly priced. Especially with the low fares offerd by Ryanair and.or EasyJet and advanced purchase fares from LHR on bmi or BA.

Eurotunnel, Inc. the operator of the channel tunnel is saddled with a HUGE amount of dept stemming from the initial construction costs of the tunnel itself and related infrastructure. Eurostar, the franchise which operates the trains is responsible for trying to recoup that dept while at the same time trying to maintain a small profit. This coupled with the conveniece of traveling from central London to central Paris equals high fares.

There's also the issue of catchment area. The Eurostar has a relatively small catchment area limited to city centers and areas that are not convenient to outer suberbs where more people actually live, and where an increasingly larger number of business have located operations.

Lastly, the rail stations lack vertain amenities that airports offer, especially short and/or long term parking. There was an effort to open car rental facilities at Gare du Nord, but the rental companies had to charge exorbident prices to offset the costs associated with storing vehicles in city centers, etc.


User currently offlineIcarus75 From France, joined Oct 2003, 804 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8321 times:

When I go to London, about 3 times a year, I always take a flight, booked well in advance : it's not expensive, going from LHR to center London is very quick but the main reason is : I'M SCARED TO TAKE THE TUNNEL!!!!!  yell 


Flying is amazing!
User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8250 times:

Quoting Planenutz (Reply 12):
Eurotunnel, Inc. the operator of the channel tunnel is saddled with a HUGE amount of dept stemming from the initial construction costs of the tunnel itself and related infrastructure. Eurostar, the franchise which operates the trains is responsible for trying to recoup that dept while at the same time trying to maintain a small profit. This coupled with the conveniece of traveling from central London to central Paris equals high fares.

Eurotunnel and Eurostar are totally different companies.

Eurostar is owned by the railways companies (French railways, Belgian Railways, and a special company in the UK, as it is only one of the many franchises of the UK rail network).
There is an agreement between Eurostar and Eurotunnel on a "minimum usage charge" which obliges Eurostar to pay a certain annual fee for tunnel usage regardless of the number of passengers using the service.
As it was based on numbers of passengers higher than what they are in reality (when traffic forecasts were made for the Tunnel, LCCs were not in the picture) this leads to a quite high cost per Eurostar passenger.

But this minimum usage fee is near to disappear (this year I think) and will be replaced by a fee proportional to the number of passengers using the service, so this could lead to more competitive pricing by Eurostar.



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5712 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8163 times:

Why? PRICE!

A real example, although getting a bit old:

Jan 02, 2 adults, 2 teenagers who have an open jaw ticket SYD-KIX-MXP, CDG-NRT-SYD are travling around Italy/UK/France need to get from London to Paris and I really want to travel on Eurostar, so I start looking at ticket prices:

Eurostar, advanced purchase, standard class GBP170 EACH adult, GBP45 EACH teenager, total cost GBP430 (about $A1220)

Buzz, now Ryanair, STN-CDG, GBP20 each, total GBP80 (about $A220)

An extra $A1000 to take the train! Even adding half a STN express and a one way RER ticket each its still no contest, belive me! Unfortunately Eurostar is simpley not price competive.

Gemuser
PS The haul tickets Oz-Europe-Oz were $A1450 each, including the 4 star hotel in KIX for the next day connection.



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8129 times:

Quoting TGV (Reply 14):
Eurotunnel and Eurostar are totally different companies.

Planenutz wasn't wrong in his answer. The only subtlety is that Eurostar only run the Waterloo-Brussels/Paris services, not the lorry/car shuttles.

Quoting Art (Thread starter):
walk to customs and immigration

Surely it's just passport control for UK-France flights?

Geoff M.


User currently offlineEha From France, joined May 2005, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8057 times:

If you like to do some plane spotting when on hold, then it is quite interesting to fly CDG-LHR. Unless they decide you'll stay on ground until traffic is clear at your destination. Other than that, the ride is boring and short. Interesting only if you connect or have a business meeting at the airport or nearby.

E.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8023 times:

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 16):
Surely it's just passport control for UK-France flights?

Technically you do pass through Customs, although as a passenger originating from within the EU you are not required to declare anything legal you have with you. They are still allowed to stop you and check for illegal substances etc. Just they can't be arsed.


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7909 times:

Quoting Geoffm (Reply 16):
Planenutz wasn't wrong in his answer. The only subtlety is that Eurostar only run the Waterloo-Brussels/Paris services, not the lorry/car shuttles.

I don't want to start any Anglo-French war, but when it is written:
"Eurostar, the franchise which operates the trains is responsible for trying to recoup that dept (note: I assumed it meant debt) while at the same time trying to maintain a small profit" this implies that Eurostar is linked with Eurotunnel and has to pay Eurotunnel debt.

This is not the case: Eurostar has to pay to Eurotunnel usage charges for crossing the tunnel. But Eurotunnel is the only company responsible for the debt.

And yes Eurotunnel operates directly the Shuttle services (and even planned to operate directly trains on the conventional network in Europe, but this was cancelled due to the financial risk involved).



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4585 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7645 times:
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Here is another scenario everybody seems to have overlooked :
You are in central London, jump in a cab or take the tube to the docks and grab a plane -8 to ten times a day- from London city to CDG or ORY,catch a RER and you're in Paris downtown. Time 1hr45 mins.
'Course ! it,s more expensive, but for a rich lad like you, time is money, ain't it?

Regards



Contrail designer
User currently offlineRom1 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7554 times:

I took Eurostar for the first time last month going to Paris, it was really nice as well and time didn't seem too long...
Mainly flying is cheaper from Heathrow to CDG but i agree with the fact that going from CDG to Central Paris by RER (train) is a bit long (30 minutes) and expensive...

But as a plane enthousiast I just love spending time in an airport, even if Heathrow doesn't offer a lot of places inside their terminal to take pictures... (terminal 2 for Air France, Terminal 4 is ok for BA!, don't know about BMI in terminal 1 I guess)
I'm sad that BA moved to Terminal 2A in CDG, terminal 1 is a lot better for spotting there!...
also i don't live in Central London, but if so, i would definitly take the train....


User currently offlineORDagent From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 823 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7335 times:

I book a lot of business travelers to Europe and the vast majority take the train. They are price sensitive but the train is simply more efficient. I would prefer the train as well but I am a bit more price conscious than my business travelers.

The cost factor is becoming an issue for train travel across Europe. The rail companies need to realize that they are now in a price war with air travel.

As a resident of the U.S. we get lots of special passes and discounts not available to E.U. residents.

As big as a comercial aviation fan that I am I do prefer the train in Europe. It is a much more civilized way to travel on the shorter distances.


User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7269 times:

Scenario __:

A friend from Barbados was travelling BGI-CDG 2 weeks ago.
She did not realise that BA no longer serve Paris from Grotwick and having endured an overnight flight, had to get on the coach to LHR in the morning rush hour and then check in all over again at LHR for the short flight to CDG.

I find it hard to explain why there are no flights to either ORY or CDG from LGW. What do other connecting passengers do?


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26593 posts, RR: 75
Reply 24, posted (9 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7233 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 6):
I think that some people have a fear of being trapped in the Channel Tunnel

What for? At least there is an escape tunnel. You don't escape a plane crash

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
You are in London, and you need to get to Paris.. The train is delayed, so you have to wait 3 hours for the train to depart the station. You get to Paris 5 hours after you got to the train station.

Except that Eurostar has a much better ontime record than the airlines on the LON-PAR route and gives passengers who are delayed, no matter the issue, free tickets

Quoting Icarus75 (Reply 13):
I'M SCARED TO TAKE THE TUNNEL!!!!!

And you are not scared to fly in a much smaller aluminum tube flying at 75-80% the speed of sound 5-10 kms above the earth?

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 15):
Buzz, now Ryanair, STN-CDG, GBP20 each, total GBP80 (about $A220)

Ryanair does not fly to CDG. If you fly Ryanair to "Paris" you land in Beauvais and are in for a really nasty trek into the city

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 15):
Eurostar, advanced purchase, standard class GBP170 EACH adult, GBP45 EACH teenager, total cost GBP430 (about $A1220)

170 GBP return for each adult? You did not pay the cheapest fare.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 20):
Mainly flying is cheaper from Heathrow to CDG but i agree with the fact that going from CDG to Central Paris by RER (train) is a bit long (30 minutes) and expensive...

Taking the RER into central Paris costs about as much as the Tube journey in London and takes about half the time. Faster options in London cost much more.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
25 BCAL : BA used to operate a LGW/CDG service but this was recently dropped due to unprofitability. I think that as people living near LGW could go to Waterlo
26 BCAL : I asked the same question of someone who was afraid of using the Channel Tunnel and their reply was that they felt safer in a plane, where you would
27 N1120A : U2 flies the route. And of course they are irrational and illogical
28 BCAL : U2 flies from LTN not LGW (at least when I checked their website again a few minutes ago). I can understand their fears and concerns!
29 Post contains images LoungeLover : OK, now I do London-Paris-London about 4 to 6 times a month for both business and leisure and I have tried and tested both Scenarios. Scenario 1: you
30 Rom1 : Taking the RER into central Paris costs about as much as the Tube journey in London and takes about half the time. Faster options in London cost much
31 Joost : The do realize it. Long-distance train travel prices dropped significantly after the price war in air travel started. On routes that I travel sometim
32 YULWinterSkies : I'm surprised no one mentioned the LCY-CDG flights operated by AF (and others?). Especially convenient for the rich expats living in the City (and the
33 AsstChiefMark : The most I've ever paid for a Eurostar ticket is US$150 return. I buy online. Mark
34 Post contains images YULWinterSkies : Yes, this is absolutely true in continental Europe, especially where TGV and Thalys operate. Germany does not look bad either. But it seems that, des
35 TUGMASTER : REASON: This is an aviation forum, therefore it wouldn't be unreasonable to think that most people here enjoy aircraft and the time spent in the air ,
36 BCAL : It is because of the UK Government's Transport Policy that Britain is having problems making trains efficient and reasonably priced. The Government b
37 LoungeLover : Well the LCY-CDG flight are probably interesting for a business crowd who works in the City or maybe lives somewhere near Greenwich. But for most trav
38 Arsenal@LHR : Eurostar from Waterloo to Paris Central is around 2 hours 40 minutes, by air this journey is cut down to 30 minutes. From where i live, i can get to P
39 Ctbarnes : Yet another scenario, which may or may not be relevent given the benefits between flying and the tunnel, namely connecting traffic. Say, for the sake
40 Post contains images Vasu : Erm, flying is more fun any day!
41 GaleaoCumbica : Hi, PLANE IS NICE. TRAIN IS BORING! Went to Paris 7 times and only once by train just because my mum wanted. I will go again by train only if price is
42 GAWZU : Read again and you'll see that Germuser was flying in Jan 02 when Buzz were still around and flying to CDG from STN.
43 Andz : I thought the thread title had something to do with masochist = wanting to go to France...
44 Cxsjr : Scenario 4: Don't go to Paris! If you do and you're a tourist, even if you are as polite as one can possibly be, chances are, you'll get ripped off bi
45 Incitatus : I flew it last week. I'm not a masochist. The French immigration officer wasn't half asleep but she hardly bothered checking my passport.
46 Post contains images Glom : Just as long as you take the plane.
47 Post contains images AirPacific747 : Well said mate, well said
48 HKGKaiTak : Mmmmm. I have to disagree. A high-speed train like the TGV, Eurostar or ICE in full flight is just like you're on the runway waiting for rotate . . .
49 Brons2 : You could use this example a lot of different places in Europe. I have a American friend who is working in Heidelberg, Germany. I decided to visit her
50 Gemuser :
51 MAS777 : I live on the South Coast and trust me since the LGW-CDG service was axed - families, friends and businesses have suffered by having to travel to LHR
52 Zonky : It's a train station! Take the train! If there is not direct train, on the south coast it's pretty much bound to be a one stop At Clapham.
53 N1120A : Yep, you caught me How? Why not just take one of 4 tube lines that go there? See you mention taking the tube to LHR and not to Waterloo The RER takes
54 Mozart : It all depends on *how* you travel on plane: if you are close to the Peripherique, go by cab to CDG, there are no traffic jams, you have an electronic
55 Rafabozzolla : Well, this is just the useless point many people often try to make in these forums. You top-managers-multi-frequent flyers, seem to forget that most
56 Tolosy : Having lived 5 years in London and being from paris, I have always travalled between the two cities. Both by plane and train. Travelling from central
57 Post contains images EMBTucano : Passionate about flying!!!
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