Travel Betty

Encouraging Fearless Independent Travel For Women

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Flying To Or Through Charles de Gaulle Airport In Paris? Good Luck.

April 3rd, 2007 · 1 Comment

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If the man, Charles de Gaulle, was anything like his namesake airport, then he must have been a scattered, indecisive, winding maze of inefficiency. The famed airport in Paris is undergoing renovations and I’m sure once they are done it’ll be the kind of place that gets you where you’re going. But for now, don’t expect to make connections in a timely fashion or to have your bags make it onto your connecting flight unless you’ve got a chunky layover. However, if you do have a chunky layover, there’s a good chance you’re going to be stuck in a terminal were food choices are limited to simple bread-based options. And as delicious as French breads are, airline travel in general is already a pretty starchy affair.

Aside from airport chaos, our flights all went smoothly and for the first time in 10 years, I didn’t need to snort a Xanax (thanks, hypnotherapist Angie Choi!). But when we finally arrived in Egypt from Paris, our bags were MIA. Of course after our experience at CDG, it wasn’t hard to deduce why. Air France did a great job of calming our fears. They gave us each an allowance (which we didn’t end up using surprisingly) and a bag of toiletries with a T-shirt to sleep in. Of course that did nothing to help us the next day when we had an early wakeup call to explore three different pyramid groups. There’s nothing like tromping around the desert in the San Francisco weather-tolerant clothing you’ve been wearing for the past 3 days. A question you should never have to ask yourself: Which side of my underwear is cleaner? The side I soiled yesterday or the side soiled the day before? (answer: go commando!)

On the way back through Paris, we luckily had a much longer layover (this is where I encountered all the bread). To be fair, there was a chair massage station, which I was too stinky to sign up for, and also a sizeable newsstand with a healthy selection of books and magazines in English. As always though, it’s best to have the means to amuse yourself instead of relying on outside sources. Luckily I come prepared and am also a world-class people watcher.

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Have you flown through Charles de Gaulle recently? Share your experience in the comments section.

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Tags: Air Travel · France

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  • 1 response so far ↓

    • 1 Lisbeth // Jun 2, 2009 at 1:19 pm

      I just found your site today and I love it! I missed a flight from Paris to the US at Charles De Gaulle even though I was more than an hour early and the plane was still on the runway. But THE RULE says you must be onboard international flights 2 hours before departure time.

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