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A Few Questions About CDG  
User currently offlinePlanenutz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

I just returned from a trip through CDG where I hadn't been since the remodeling of T1.
As such I gad a few questions.

While the nre check-in area of T1 is better than before, seems a bit plain and unimaginative. I notices that Check-in area #5 is downstairs away from the main chack in hall. Carriers using it seemed to be Aer Lingus, flybe and Vueling. Why this seperate check-in area? Do carriers who use it recieve some sort of incentive for being away from the main departures level?

At T1 the auto traffic pattern goes counter-clockwise around the terminal building. This means that pax loading and unloading takes place amongst passing traffic. Has it always been this way? Arent there any safety concerns?

Terminal 2A requires an immigration check prior to check-in. I believe this is the only terminal with such a set-up. Granted the entire terminal is for non-Schengen departures, but why prior to check-in? Seems somplicated should there be a flight cancelation, etc., and pax would have to be re-prossesed through immigration.

Also, I noticed that at T2A that there was a seperate check-in area downstairs as well. When I asked about it, the policeman said that it used to be for high-security departures, ie, Air Algerie but not anymore. Is it still used for any other purpose?

Lastly, T2 still uses a lot of remote stands. Especially, at 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D. How are decisions made about which flights will use them? Is it purely operational or do carriers receive some sort of discount for their preferred use?

Thanks in advance for all responses.

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 631 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3274 times:

I recently flew out of 2A on Continental Airlines. There was no immigration prior to check in. There is a document check by the airlines' contract security agency, i-Sec, which takes place prior to check-in and prior to boarding.

User currently offlineLuzezito From Spain, joined May 2001, 269 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3135 times:

CDG 1 is nearing complete remodeling. Bear in mind that it probably was an architectural landmark back in '70 but it is today probably one of the least confortable terminals you can come accross:

Restaurants and boutiques prior to check in are underground.
Passport control queues are infamous because of the lack of police booths.
Traffic goes counterclockwise and has always been like this, with taxis, buses and cars sharing a reduced space.

Regarding CDG2 arrangements, yes they are as you describe with checks before check in. this is true both for 2A (non Schengen) and 2B (Schengen). While this may seem odd it is practical in that no time is lost to retrieve loaded luggage of passengers who may have checked in but who are then not granted to go through the passport check point.

If you fly CDG, avoid T1 at all costs! I use it too often for my liking and no cosmetic renovation can make up for the mess. imagine.

If you arrive with your car you have to go up to the upper levels of the "sphere". Then you take a lift to go underground to check in. Then you go up again, right under the 3 parking levels. Then you take a long tunnel to go to the satellites. Then you are stuck at the security check and you arrive to the actual departure area with the gates where there is only 1 booth serving poor coffee and from memory underdimensioned toilets.



Quoniam Vita Brevis Est, Propera!
User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7412 posts, RR: 57
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3119 times:



Quoting Luzezito (Reply 2):
2B (Schengen).

2D is a "Shengen" Terminal at CDG2, not 2B


User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3020 times:



Quoting Planenutz (Thread starter):
Terminal 2A requires an immigration check prior to check-in. I believe this is the only terminal with such a set-up. Granted the entire terminal is for non-Schengen departures, but why prior to check-in? Seems somplicated should there be a flight cancelation, etc., and pax would have to be re-prossesed through immigration.

I just flew out of 2A earlier this month and there was no document check before check in.

2D and part of 2F (one hall is reserved for longhaul) are the SCHENGEN areas of CDG2 to the best of my knowledge.

Regarding the hard stands, I have never been able to figure this one out. When I fly Air France long haul to CDG, it always a craps-shoot as to whether I get a gate or a hard stand, same with departing flights. I flew AA a few weeks ago to Paris and both times got a gate at their satellite in 2A. I have flown CO as well and both flights were to a hard stand (this was back when they were in Skyteam and flying into 2C), but now all the CO aircraft I saw at CDG had gates in 2A.


User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2182 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2952 times:



Quoting Planenutz (Thread starter):
Seems somplicated

You captured the essence and philosophy: it's complicated. But heck, why make it easy? Gives you more time to "enjoy" the dirt. And bear in mind that philosophy in France for infrastructure is "form over functionality". As such, airports have to be grand architectural achievements (and they often are, at the time of their opening), never mind their design isn't thought through or the building actually collapses. So things are made to look good on a grand scale, but not to be functionable or enjoyable in detail.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 3):
2D is a "Shengen" Terminal at CDG2, not 2B

2B has a "Schengen" and a "non-Schengen" part. Easyjet for instance is one carrier that flies to Schengen destinations from 2B. There's a passport control booth in the middle of the terminal hall. On top of that there is a ticket/boarding pass check before you check in (see, another example of absurdity and complexity: in an era of electronic, i.e. paperless, tickets and before you have checked in they want to see your ticket (which is, well, paperless) or your boarding pass (which, unless you checked in online, you only get after that checkpoint which wants to see it). It's Kafkaesque.

There are some real reasons why CDG always comes out at the bottom of "good airport" rankings. Not all are mentioned here.


User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2892 times:



Quoting Mozart (Reply 5):

There are some real reasons why CDG always comes out at the bottom of "good airport" rankings. Not all are mentioned here.

CDG isn't a perfect airport but I wouldn't call it poor. I fly in and out of there frequently and the good has generally outweighed the bad. It is a fine airport if you're originating or terminating there, however making connections (most especially between different terminals) can be a harrowing experience. I am speaking of CDG2, and have not been to CDG1.


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2858 times:



Quoting Cba (Reply 4):
When I fly Air France long haul to CDG, it always a craps-shoot as to whether I get a gate or a hard stand, same with departing flights. I flew AA a few weeks ago to Paris and both times got a gate at their satellite in 2A.

I don't think it is actually a crapshoot, but follows a pattern. Generally, if the aircraft is turning around and departing back out of CDG within an hour or two, it will pull into a gate. If the aircraft is going to remain in CDG for a long time (say 12 hours), then they will hardstand the arrival and tow the aircraft to the gate for departure. In the case of American, they will always use a gate because the aircraft turns in about 1h 30m.

Once when I flew Alitalia into MXP, the 767 was parked at the south end of the airport a mile or so from the terminal near what appeared to be a maintenance hanger. But when I left the airport on the return flight to JFK, it left from a terminal gate.

Same thing happened to me once at the old Kai Tak on United. The arrival was at a hardstand with buses distant from the terminal, but the departure on the return flight to LAX was from a gate at the terminal.

It is very easy to use a hardstand for an inbound arrival because you just empty the aircraft and dump everything at customs.


User currently offlineCgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1156 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

It seems CDG enjoys a "love/hate" relationship with travellers. I personally find it to be okay. There have been improvements in the past few years.

1) the CDG Val train makes it very easy to travel between CDG1,CDG3 and CDG2. The buses between terminals were a nightmare.

2) T1 isn't as bad as it use to be. Granted the improvements aren't awe inspiring but nonetheless a small improvement is better than none.

3) CDG2F is in my opinion the nicest terminal. 2E has potential once the re-construction is finised. Haven't experience the new 2E extension yet.

4) restrooms tend to be a hit or miss; however, I've experienced some filthy facilities in major airports in Europe and the US

5) getting to/from airport by rail is easy. Something 99.999% of US airports can't brag about

I agree with one poster about the French paying more attention to form over functionality. But then again look at JFK, BOS, PHL none are a sight to behold.

One other nice thing about CDG, there is an excellent area near T3 and the IBIS hotel for spotting. Whenenver I go through and have enough time I try to head over to do a bit of spotting weather permitting.



A330 man.
User currently offlineMozart From Luxembourg, joined Aug 2003, 2182 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2599 times:



Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 8):
1) the CDG Val train makes it very easy to travel between CDG1,CDG3 and CDG2. The buses between terminals were a nightmare.

It´s not very thought though. It doesn't go to 2G, and you still have to do a lot of walking to/from the VAL if you want to go to/from 2A or 2B

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 8):
2) T1 isn't as bad as it use to be. Granted the improvements aren't awe inspiring but nonetheless a small improvement is better than none.

Sure, if an improvement from "utter failure" to "disaster" is good enough for you, then sure. But let's face it: it's still dirty, the layout is still silly, bagage delivery still takes hours, security lines are still understaffed, some lounges are underground, moving walkways and elevators are constantly out of service, the waiting areas don't have enough seats, let alone power plugs, the WLAN is unreliable, ...

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 8):
3) CDG2F is in my opinion the nicest terminal. 2E has potential once the re-construction is finised. Haven't experience the new 2E extension yet.

Yes, it's relatively the nicest. But again: a wasted opportunity to make seemless connections happening (for inter-Schengen for instance), and it has many of the same deficiencies as described above for T1: dirt, unfunctional, etc. Not as dark though, that's true

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 8):
4) restrooms tend to be a hit or miss; however, I've experienced some filthy facilities in major airports in Europe and the US

Whilst it may be true that this is not a CDG-specificity (although I doubt other airports to be systematically on the "miss" side as CDG is), it doesn't make it any better.

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 8):
5) getting to/from airport by rail is easy. Something 99.999% of US airports can't brag about

True for being more accessible by train than most US airports. But mind you, in many cases there you don't need it. Accessibility by train is not an end in itself, so the absence of it really is only a problem where alternative ways of access are tedious and time consuming.

As for CDG: if you don't mind wild strikes, an even other sphere of dirt and filth on the RER than already experienced at CDG itself, the useless stops in the Banlieue Nord, the long travel time... If this was Heathrow Express, OK. But the absence of a fast, clean and reliable train link is one of CDG's major weaknesses.


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