Making connections at Paris CDG

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#1
127 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
I just re-read a thread from 2014-2016 re making connections at Paris CDG - one of the first threads I started following here on CC! - but decided to begin a new one as things may have changed.

We'll be flying in from Houston IAH to CDG in July and connecting to Amsterdam. With gratitude to the earlier thread, I insisted that we have a 3 1/2 hour layover at CDG! Recently our flight from IAH has been landing in 2E with our AMS flight leaving from 2F. I have the CDG map from the Air France website but am uncertain re whether we can walk from one to the other or will have to take a bus and am hoping y'all can straighten that our for me! (I typically don't sleep much on planes, so I expect to be pretty groggy and want to know what to plan for.)

On the return, we'll fly from Basel to CDG. That flight has been landing in 2G, and our flight to IAH takes off from 2E. Again, what transportation should I expect to take from one to the other? Bus or walk? We have about 2 1/2 hours, assuming the Basel flight is on time.

Thanks for the help!
#2
Albany, NY
5,307 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
It's confusing, because 2E has three halls: K, L, and M. You don't know where you'll land until you actually do. So you can't plan ahead, but you can learn the different scenarios because it's a different route between each of the halls and the 2F terminal.

From one of these (L, if it's still the way it was in 2015), you can walk to 2F. The others are not walkable, and you'll take a bus (navette, en Francais). Just follow signs to 2F and you will be guided to the proper bus line. It's not bad, though the lines can be long at times and you might have to wait for a cycle or two to get space on the bus. As of 2015, when I wrote this down in my notes, the yellow bus connected 2E-K and 2F, and he blue bus route connected 2E-M and 2F. But things may be different now. Follow the signs!!

2G is a hovel and it's far away from the other terminals. You will take a bus between there and any of the 2E terminals. There is a horrible AF lounge in 2G but honestly we found the general terminal to be far better than the overcrowded hot lounge. Things may have changed (the last time we went through 2G to Switzerland was 2014).
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#3
127 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by jpalbny
It's confusing, because 2E has three halls: K, L, and M. You don't know where you'll land until you actually do. So you can't plan ahead, but you can learn the different scenarios because it's a different route between each of the halls and the 2F terminal.

From one of these (L, if it's still the way it was in 2015), you can walk to 2F. The others are not walkable, and you'll take a bus (navette, en Francais). Just follow signs to 2F and you will be guided to the proper bus line. It's not bad, though the lines can be long at times and you might have to wait for a cycle or two to get space on the bus. As of 2015, when I wrote this down in my notes, the yellow bus connected 2E-K and 2F, and he blue bus route connected 2E-M and 2F. But things may be different now. Follow the signs!!

2G is a hovel and it's far away from the other terminals. You will take a bus between there and any of the 2E terminals. There is a horrible AF lounge in 2G but honestly we found the general terminal to be far better than the overcrowded hot lounge. Things may have changed (the last time we went through 2G to Switzerland was 2014).
Thank you! You have helped clarify some questions I had and made the map more useful. I've already been watching our flights on FlightAware.com and will start to pay attention to not just the arrival terminal but also the gate number. So far I think our flight from/to Houston has been at Hall K, but I'll be aware that that might change. I'm comforted to know the signs are helpful. Again, thank you!
#4
california
1,760 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Not the easiest of airports to make terminal changes. We had to get on a bus as well. However the directions were fairly well demarcated and you appear to have plenty of time based on the schedule that you included. I would not spend too much effort as too which gate as they change at a whim , even as you are landing and taxiing in.
#5
127 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by wheezedr
Not the easiest of airports to make terminal changes. We had to get on a bus as well. However the directions were fairly well demarcated and you appear to have plenty of time based on the schedule that you included. I would not spend too much effort as too which gate as they change at a whim , even as you are landing and taxiing in.
Thank you for the note about gate changes! I'll be certain to check ASAP after arrival!
#6
7,890 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
There is a also a small tram for some of the connections. I ended up on it while transiting CDG in October but don't recall the specifics. Just follow signs and you'll be directed appropriately to get where you need to be. Just remember to check the monitors immediately upon arrival; that's how you'll find out where you need to go!
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#7
Albany, NY
5,307 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Waterbug123, you are right about the tram. It runs between K, L, and M of 2E. I have used it a few times, but I *think* that was mainly when we were leaving from Paris coming home to NY. So after passport control in the main part of 2E, you then tram to your correct departure hall.

I don't ever recall using the tram for a connection, except when I was a transit passenger arriving and departing on non-Schengen flights, and I arrived at (for example) K, and departed from a different hall like L or M. For example, when we flew JFK-CDG-Delhi, and never had to clear passport control to enter Schengen, staying in 2E the whole time.

Going between 2E and 2F, from non-Schengen to Schengen, they generally shunt you to the bus (or make you walk from 2E hall L to 2F). Theoretically, I have always wondered if you could tram from K or M to L and then walk to 2F, and whether it would be faster... Have never tried...

This schematic may help explain it. All halls in 2E are non-Schengen, beyond passport control.



If the embedded picture doesn't work here is a direct link: http://easycdg.com/wp-content/upload.../2E-Corres.png

Edited to add: here is a very handy website that will tell you exactly how to change terminals. Take a look! http://easycdg.com/passenger-informa...s-cdg-airport/

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#8
127 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
Originally posted by jpalbny
Waterbug123, you are right about the tram. It runs between K, L, and M of 2E. I have used it a few times, but I *think* that was mainly when we were leaving from Paris coming home to NY. So after passport control in the main part of 2E, you then tram to your correct departure hall.

I don't ever recall using the tram for a connection, except when I was a transit passenger arriving and departing on non-Schengen flights, and I arrived at (for example) K, and departed from a different hall like L or M. For example, when we flew JFK-CDG-Delhi, and never had to clear passport control to enter Schengen, staying in 2E the whole time.

Going between 2E and 2F, from non-Schengen to Schengen, they generally shunt you to the bus (or make you walk from 2E hall L to 2F). Theoretically, I have always wondered if you could tram from K or M to L and then walk to 2F, and whether it would be faster... Have never tried...

This schematic may help explain it. All halls in 2E are non-Schengen, beyond passport control.



If the embedded picture doesn't work here is a direct link: http://easycdg.com/wp-content/upload.../2E-Corres.png

Edited to add: here is a very handy website that will tell you exactly how to change terminals. Take a look! http://easycdg.com/passenger-informa...s-cdg-airport/

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Thank you for reporting your experience. I can vouch for the easycdg.com website - I found it a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to see that it has not just detailed written instructions such as where you'll go through passport control and/or customs and/or security but also photographs of the signage and the various hallways every step of the way. I am one of those folks who never sleeps more than a few minutes on airplanes, so I worry about making a connection when I'm all bleary eyed and barely awake - one of the reasons I insisted that Viking Air schedule us a 3.5 hour layover in CDG on our way from Houston to Amsterdam!
#9
127 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
I'm reporting our recent experience here in hopes of helping someone else!

We flew into CDG on Monday July 2, landing around 8:15 AM. The Air France app showed that we were to land at Terminal 2E, gate K39, but to our surprise, the plane parked some distance from any terminal (along with a number of other big jets) and we deplaned via portable stairway to the ground. Lugging our carryons down the stairs was a challenge but fortunately the stairway was much wider than the old ones that we remember.

We boarded a shuttle bus (several were lined up, so it was fairly efficient) and drove for several minutes then disembarked the bus at the roadway entrance to Hall K. Our flight to Amsterdam left from 2F, so we had quite a trek up escalators, down hallways, up more escalators, and across to 2F. However, the signage was very good, and we had no problem navigating the terminal.

In 2F we went through passport control and then through security. There were long lines in both places, but they moved pretty quickly. We knew we'd have to take our bags of liquids as well as cell phones, tablets and camera out of our luggage but were surprised that we also had to take our shoes off.

Still, we reached our departure gate about 45 minutes after landing so had quite a while to wait, but we'd rather sit at the gate than run through the airport wondering whether we'll miss our flight!

The return was much easier. Our flight from Basel landed in 2G, and our flight home left from K49, but again signage was very good (including indicating which line to get in for the shuttles to the various halls and terminals) and we caught the shuttle bus from 2G to K pretty quickly. Our passports had been checked and we had gone through security in Basel before boarding (were allowed to keep our shoes on that time!), so we didn't have to go through passport control or security again.

However, before boarding the plane each traveling group was questioned by an Air France representative. We were asked why we had been in France, how long, and the routine questions about having had our luggage in our control at all times. It took several minutes for each group, so lines moved slowly and we were glad we had gotten in line early!

So to sum up, we had no problems making connections at Paris CDG. Signage was good, and navigating the terminal wasn't difficult. On the other hand, the airport is so large that there's potential for delay in many areas, so if we fly via CDG again, we'll allow for a long layover between flights.
#10
Albany, NY
5,307 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Glad it worked out well for you, Carolyn. CDG is big and can be confusing but we always manage ok.

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Past: All trip pictures are now in my SmugMug galleries, HERE
Ganges Voyager II (Uniworld) - India's Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges - Feb 2017 (review)
River Beatrice (Uniworld) - Danube - April 2016
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SS Catherine (Uniworld) - Burgundy and Provence - March 2015 (review)
Silver Cloud - Eastern Med - Istanbul to Athens - October 2014 (photo review)
Silver Cloud - North Atlantic - Tower Bridge to Reykjavik - August 2014 - (photo review)
SS Antoinette (Uniworld) - Castles on the Rhine - Basel to Amsterdam - April 2014 (photo review)
Silver Explorer - Central America - Colon to Puerto Caldera - October 2013 (photo review)
MS Sun Boat III - Nile River - November 2012
Silver Wind - Athens to Rome - June 2012 (report)

Celebrity Xpedition - Galapagos - November 2011
Silver Explorer - Longyearbyen to Tromso - August 2011 (report)
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#11
Summer/Minnesota Winter/Yucatan
415 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
If given a choice I would make transfers in Amsterdam vs. almost any other airport in Europe. However, in recent years, there has been substantial price differences if you connect at CDG vs. Amsterdam. Last year it was almost $200 cheaper to Athens if we connected though CDG. We had a 3 hour connection time, which took a lot stress out of the connection.
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