art
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Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:52 pm

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?
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 12:57 pm

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
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EddieDude
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:00 pm

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.
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B747-437B
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:02 pm

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.
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wunala
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:12 pm

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.
 
HKGKaiTak
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:49 pm

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.
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BCAL
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:26 pm

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."
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:40 pm

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.
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:48 pm

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..
 
zonky
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 5:50 pm

Yes, because there are *never* any delays at Heathrow.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:03 pm

Have you ever tried to get into central London for 8am? Its so much easier to get to an airport against the traffic.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:05 pm

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...
 
planenutz
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:06 pm

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.
Not all who wander are lost....
 
icarus75
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:43 pm

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!
 
TGV
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:40 pm

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.
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Gemuser
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:20 pm

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.
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geoffm
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:27 pm

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.
 
eha
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:47 pm

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.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:01 pm

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.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
TGV
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:56 pm

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)
 
Pihero
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:28 pm

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
 
Rom1
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:36 pm

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....
 
ORDagent
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:00 pm

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.
 
cambrian
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:07 pm

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?
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:12 pm

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
 
BCAL
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:19 pm

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 23):
I find it hard to explain why there are no flights to either ORY or CDG from LGW. What do other connecting passengers do?

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 Waterloo or even Ashford to catch the Eurostar, the demand for air travel between LGW and CGD/ORY is thin as no other airlines have since taken over the route (although flybe would be in a good position to do so) since BA dropped it.

Otherwise connecting passengers probably avoid, whenever possible, using LGW as a transit stop.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
BCAL
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:25 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
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

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 either survive a crash or meet a quick end, rather than stuck under the sea, perhaps risking a slow death by suffocation or drowning. Even when I pointed out that there was an escape tunnel, that could be isolated if the main tunnels flooded or there was a fire, they still said they would feel safer in a plane rather than walking underground in an escape tunnel, perhaps many miles, knowing that the tunnel might collapse at any time.

[Edited 2005-06-29 16:26:20]
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
N1120A
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:28 pm

Quoting BCAL (Reply 25):
for air travel between LGW and CGD/ORY is thin as no other airlines have since taken over the route (although flybe would be in a good position to do so) since BA dropped it.

U2 flies the route.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 26):
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 either survive a crash or meet a quick end, rather than stuck under the sea, perhaps risking a slow death by suffocation or drowning. Even when I pointed out that there was an escape tunnel, that could be isolated if the main tunnels flooded or there was a fire, they still said they would feel safer in a plane rather than walking underground in an escape tunnel, perhaps many miles, knowing that the tunnel might collapse at any time.

And of course they are irrational and illogical
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
BCAL
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:43 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
U2 flies the route

U2 flies from LTN not LGW (at least when I checked their website again a few minutes ago).

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
And of course they are irrational and illogical

I can understand their fears and concerns!
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
LoungeLover
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:01 am

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 take a cab to Waterloo, wait just as long at the check-in as in an airport. Go through the totally disorganised security check. Wait in the dreadful waiting zone and then get onto your 2nd class coach. Filled with students, tourists and expats.
This means: noise, food, too much alcohol, loads of children (the babies of the rich expats working in the City).
Add to that my 6ft6 (1m98) and the most uncomfortable seating in the history of trains and you can imagine how relaxed I am.
I ended up sitting between coaches with my ipod on max volume a couple of times just because I couldn't stretch my leg or hear my music because of the noise. And believe me, this is NOT a one-off experience!
And when you get to Paris the queue for the cabs are absolutely ridiculous every single time - unless you take the train at weird hours.

Scenario 2:

You work in the west end or live in Kensington like me, get to the Heathrow Express or take the Piccadilly line, both efficient quick and answer my needs when I travel on business (Heathrow express) or leisure (Piccadilly line).
At heathrow I go to first class check-in (Gold card ExecClub member), through first-class security check, onto the First Class lounge.
In between, I can pick up some good food, books, clothing, electronics, DVDs, toiletries if I want to.
The flight is short and sweet, I get off and there is NEVER a queue in Paris for the taxis, even on a Friday night. In 20minutes I'm at my second home in the north of Paris. If I travel privately, I have paid exactly the same amount for the flight + heathrow express + taxis than with the eurostar+taxis.

But, and this is important: rather than sitting for 2h40mn in a horrible coach (even first class looks shabby) crowded 
I spent just 35mn in a leather seat and got a quick snack even in economy!

I have made my choice. Big grin
 
Rom1
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:24 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):


Quoting Rom1:
(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.

depends what transport you take, but the undergroud Piccadilly Lane price is surelly almost the same as the RER to Gare du Nord (if not cheaper) .... But I can't really tell as I don't leave in London, I usually take the bus to Heathrow so the difference between going to Heathrow or Central London is the same for me... I just find it more convenient to take Eurostar directly to Gare du Nord, and then switch to the subway to go whrer you need...

I am sure it all depends on where you live in the UK and in France, or where you want to go, because following Art thread, starting from Central London to Central Paris it is surelly more convenient to use Eurostar... and I doubt many people do otherwise...

Don't forget also the London City - Paris CDG flight, operated by CityJet, it gives a nice view of London as well as being more reliable with time, as you don't have to wait hours before take off...
 
Joost
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:29 am

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 22):
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.

The do realize it. Long-distance train travel prices dropped significantly after the price war in air travel started. On routes that I travel sometimes, like Holland - Paris and Holland - Berlin, the train is effectively always the most comfortable and cheapest way to travel. To Paris, the Thalys to Gare du Nord competes time-wise with flying from AMS (you might be quicker when flying, but in real life I'd rather take the train). To Berlin, from Amsterdam and further west flying (especially now with Transavia and Air Berlin competing on the route) sounds the most convenient; from places more towards the east the train is a good and often way cheaper than the plane; for a 7-day advance purchace / saturday night ticket for 2 people I paid 57 euros pp r/t - about the same as taxes when flying. 3 Years ago I paid the double.

They know however too, that they often can charge a premium because there are business travelers who prefer the train above flights.

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 22):
As a resident of the U.S. we get lots of special passes and discounts not available to E.U. residents.

I suppose you mean the Eurailpass? Well, they are nicely discounted. However for EU inhabitants there are comparable passes that are even cheaper.
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:41 am

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 their babies), isn't it?

That looks a cool alternative to me: for anybody based in Central London, that means no Piccadilly Line (=time), or no Heathrow Express (=money). And no Eurostar crazy boarding as well (based on what I just read from you guys, since I've never been on that train) and uncomfortable ride (again, from some of your experiences). You probably also avoid the very likely LHR delays and delayed luggage (I had bad experiences with both of these, however!), since it's probably a much less busy and way smaller airport.

How are usually the fares on that flight? More than LHR-CDG? More than Eurostar?

[Edited 2005-06-29 17:49:48]
When I doubt... go running!
 
AsstChiefMark
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:48 am

The most I've ever paid for a Eurostar ticket is US$150 return. I buy online.

Mark
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
YULWinterSkies
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:59 am

Quoting Joost (Reply 31):
Holland - Paris and Holland - Berlin, the train is effectively always the most comfortable and cheapest way to travel.

Yes, this is absolutely true in continental Europe, especially where TGV and Thalys operate. Germany does not look bad either. But it seems that, despite having invented trains, the British are having trouble to make them efficient (from a few unfortunate experiences I had there!) and reasonably priced.  headache 

And, remember that trains make a plane window (787 included) a flea!  Smile
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TUGMASTER
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:12 am

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 , and really do have a fascination with flying rather than trains....???

So applying some LOGIC from good ol' Mr Spock , Most people here would rather flt LON-PAR rather than take the choo choo.

IT IS LOGICAL CAPTAIN

rgds

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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:19 am

Quoting YULWinterSkies (Reply 34):
the British are having trouble to make them efficient (from a few unfortunate experiences I had there!) and reasonably priced

It is because of the UK Government's Transport Policy that Britain is having problems making trains efficient and reasonably priced. The Government believes that the railway operating companies should be self-sufficient and therefore subsidies will soon be outdated.

In addition, many years of under investment in the railway infrastructure by successive governments has resulted in a rail system, modelled on Victorian principles, coping with the demands of the 2000s. Had the UK Government invested in modernising the railway system, and subsidising services to the same extent as the French and other European Countries, then I am sure we would not have a system to compete with France etc.
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LoungeLover
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:23 am

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 travellers LCY is just way too far out and has no quick link to get there. They are currently building an extenstion to an overland train but it's no Heathrow expres or Piccaddily line. When you live and work where I do, LCY is not even an option.
Also, those expats and their babies don't actually live in the City, they all live in my area, Kensington and Chelsea, which is closer to Heathrow and Waterloo.

The pricing system on Eurostar is also a mystery. If you book on the UK website the fares are about �150 even if you think that booking 4 weeks in advance whould give you something better.
I can easily get an �89 or �98 BA flight from LHR with all the comfort I described earlier.

Now the new thing is that Eurostar is moving to King's Cross Station with a brand new terminal. That will be interesting because it is north London. They are also promising a total refurbish of all coaches (which has begun and is a disgrace - itchy seat fabric) with wireless internet access throughout the journey and power sockets, even in 2nd class. Now those are some arguments that would make me think twice...
 
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:41 am

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 Paris with Easyjet for around £40, sometimes even less during off peak times. Which train company is going to offer that price and journey time? I bet none. I'm an aviation enthusiast, i'll take the plane 8 times out of 10.
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ctbarnes
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 1:57 am

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 of argument, you're flying LHR-JNB. Both BA and SA charge GBP 900 for a return. You go to your local discounter and they have LHR-JNB for GBP 650 on AF via CDG.

My guess is there is a fair amount of connecting traffic on the LHR-CDG run, so although it may not be making money, it's continued as a loss leader as a convenience for UK travelers.

Charles, SJ
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Vasu
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:17 am

Erm, flying is more fun any day!  Wink
 
GaleaoCumbica
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:23 am

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 cheaper than plane tickets.

Cheers

GaleaoCumbica
 
GAWZU
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:26 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
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

Read again and you'll see that Germuser was flying in Jan 02 when Buzz were still around and flying to CDG from STN.
 
andz
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:32 am

I thought the thread title had something to do with masochist = wanting to go to France...
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cxsjr
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 2:41 am

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 big time. If you dare to set foot in a taxi outside CDG, it'll cost you an arm and a leg!! €33 to be precise from CDG to Le Bourget for the Airshow because .... wait for it .... the taxi driver didn't know where our hotel was! And as for rude, don't get me started!

My advice, take the plane and go some place else!
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incitatus
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:36 am

I flew it last week.
I'm not a masochist.
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Glom
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:39 am

Quoting Cxsjr (Reply 44):
My advice, take the plane and go some place else!

Just as long as you take the plane.  Smile
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting GaleaoCumbica (Reply 41):
PLANE IS NICE. TRAIN IS BORING!

Well said mate, well said Big grin
 
HKGKaiTak
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:13 am

Quoting GaleaoCumbica (Reply 41):
PLANE IS NICE. TRAIN IS BORING!

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 . . . if I have the time or the money my first choice for short hops is always train first and plane second.

Still, variety is the spice of life. Next year when I visit France / London I will probably do Eurostar one way and plane the other. (Those of us under 26 will find some amazingly cheap "youth" deals - same if you hold a Eurail pass)
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brons2
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RE: Why Fly LHR-CDG Unless You're A Masochist?

Thu Jun 30, 2005 11:46 am

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 as part of my 3 week Euro vacation last month. I flew LTN-BSL and she picked me up in a (gasp) car and we drove back to Heidelberg. My fare on U2 was 12.99 pounds, although flying at 7:00 am Sunday morning kinda sucked. Oh well. Anyways, probably no comparison to the train there.

OK then, on May 16th we needed to go from Heidelberg to Pisa. We're spending a week in Italy together, culminating with 4 days on the isle of Ischia. Heidelberg does not have an airport. The closest airport, FKB, had Ryanair, but they wanted over 100EUR to fly to Italy from there. On the other hand, if I went to Hahn, it was only 29EUR to Pisa. Or I could take the train. The train takes between 11 and 13 hours. No comparison, right? Much more convenient to fly!

Well...wrong.

First of all, there is no train service to HHN. But, there is a bus that leaves from the Heidelberg hauptbahnof that goes to HHN. But the only times it left that fit in with our schedule was 8 and 12. Since our flight was around 3:45 and the bus trip was 2.5 hours, I wasn't comfortable taking the noon bus. So, we take the @#%$^ing 8am bus.

Arrive HHN about 10:30. We have 4 hours to kill until check in. May 16th was a holiday in Germany, so nothing was open in the town of Hahn. The lockers at the airport did not work, so we were dragging our bags around all this time. Finally we find one hotel that is open, but their restaurant is not. They tell us the gas station is open back out by whatever B highway goes through Hahn. So we drag our bags past the city limits and about a mile down the road and finally come to the Esso or whatever it was. Now, in Germany, the roadside gas stations actually have pretty nice restaurants, I mean it's not like 5 star or anything but the food is not only edible but usually quite good. We need to realize this concept in America. Oh well. I order a couple of Paulaner Weissbiers, down some turkey and spargel, and we head back slowly to the terminal. I suggest a cab, my friend wants to walk. We still have our baggage of course. I guess I got my workout in for the day.

So finally we get back to the airport. The check in desk is STILL NOT OPEN, and it's almost 2:45. Finally around 3 it opens. I run to the desk before the other million saps standing there. We get boarding passes 1 and 2. Ryanair did not appear to have computers, only a paper manifest. Lovely. We check our bags, I am sweating the 15kg limit but no worries. Upon arriving at the gate, I see that there are lines for 1-66 and 67-189. That's it. Right about now I was realizing just how much WN is NOT ghetto like this. I'm at the front of the 1-66 line, but I ask to preboard. The gate girl takes one look at me and motions for me to get on the plane. (I am 2 meters tall and 120 kg). Thankfully, I get an exit row. Just for kicks I try one of the normal seats. I cannot fit in it. Good thing I was there early.

Finally we arrive in PSA. We have to ride a bus to the terminal, which takes a few minutes to arrive. Then, we have to wait for our bags, which takes another 20 minutes or so. The train station to downtown is in the terminal, but there is a huge line for tickets. Finally we get one and get on the train. As we arrive in the downtown station, I see the clock. It's 6:00 PM. Total travel time: 10 hours. I begin to wish i would have taken the train, although it was cheaper to fly.

I have other stories like this from my vacation as well. Bottom line, sometimes it's faster just to take the train. YMMV.
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