We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Flying out of CDG

lost in Ohio
Level Contributor
2,255 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Flying out of CDG


We have a 11:20 DEPARTURE from CDG coming home to the USA.

What time do you recommend we arrive at the airport?

And can anyone recommend a taxi/car service from our hotel (near the Louvre) to the airport?

Many thanks

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
11,269 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Flying out of CDG

Three hours is the recommended time. Sometimes things go well, but you never know.

Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
Level Contributor
21,959 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Flying out of CDG

Be at the airport no later than 8:30, earlier if you have detax forms to process.

Call the following number the night before to have a taxi meet you no later than 7:30 the morning of your departure:



English speaking operator 01 41 27 66 99

Level Contributor
77 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Flying out of CDG

We had a 12:50 departure from terminal 1 returning to USA on 11/4/08. We heeded everyone's warnings about making sure to be at the airport a minimum of 3 hours in advance. We arrived at the check in counter at 9:30 and were told by airline personnel to return "in 1 hour" because they were checking in another flight. We went down to the restaurant area and had breakfast and coffee.

When we returned around 10:45 they still weren't ready for our flight. We waited another 30+ minutes. We started to get a little concerned because there were only 2 hours remaining until our scheduled departure. Several other passengers on our flight were also in the area awaiting check in.

We finally checked in close to 11:30 and received our boarding passes and luggage redemption ticket. Based on all we had read on TA and other sites about security delays, etc., we beecame very concerned about making the flight.

We found security to be much easier at CDG than at ORD (Chicago O'Hare). The wait in line from the time we arrived at the security checkpoint until we were on our way to the gate was less than 15 minutes! (This is unheard of at ORD). The security personnel were very courteous and fluent in English. There was sufficient staff and scanner equipment to handle the amount of people waiting. There were even more than enough bins and trays for personal belongings and shoes (a seeming rarity at US airports lately).

Needless to say, we worried for naught. We cleared security and had plenty of time to spend the last of our Euros at the duty free shops before strolling to the departure gate, where we waited another 30-45 minutes before the flight began boarding.

So, in answer to your original question we offer the following: Since so many others have had unfavorable experiences at CDG, definitely allow sufficient time for potential delays. Arriving a minimum of 3 hours prior to scheduled departure is recommended, tho not always necessary (but why take the chance?). If things go well, relax in the knowledge that you are already at the airport waiting for the airline to get ready for you. If security is crowded you will still have time to make your flight.

As far as a taxi to the airport, we made arrangements with our driver upon our initial arrival in Paris and reconfirmed several days in advance of our departure. Feel free to PM me for our driver's contact info if you like.

Enjoy your trip!

Evelyn and Matt

Asheville, NC
Level Contributor
466 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Flying out of CDG

This is a private car seervice. They are prompt and very reliable. I use them all the time along with many friends.

I will be using them next when I arrive for a short 12 day stay.



Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
52,773 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Flying out of CDG

I'd suggest you leave your hotel at 8:30 so you get there about 2 hours before your flight. In my opinion, there is no need to be there 3 hours beforehand unless there is something wrong with your booking. If possible, check-in online first.

Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
36,628 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Flying out of CDG

chgomatt, you had a HIGHLY unusual experience.

Even in the days before 9/11, I have stood in security lines at CDG for 2-1/2 hours.

It's not a problem to KILL an extra hour -- but there's no way to find an extra one.

Great Barrington...
Level Contributor
4,244 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Flying out of CDG

Before you leave for the airport, check your flight status to see if it is on time.

Be at the airport 2 hours before your flight is scheduled to depart. You can even go to 90 minutes if you have some sort of express check-in (i.e., business class, club membership).

Sunshine Coast...
Level Contributor
2,776 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Flying out of CDG

<<chgomatt, you had a HIGHLY unusual experience>>

Well maybe it's unusual but it happened to me too.

We followed the advice on TA and allowed an hour for our taxi to CDG and three hours to check in. As we were connecting in Zurich on our way to Bangkok I even booked the earlier flight from Paris so that we had the option of the next flight if necessary to still make our connection in Zurich.

Well our taxi took about 35 minutes to get to the airport so we had 3 and a half hours to check in. We went through the first security point. There were at most 2 people in front of us and it took 2 or 3 minutes.

We then went to the check in counter where there was 1 person in line and were initially told we were much too early and to come back in 2 hours which was 90 minutes before the flight. However as we were travelling with kids and had 4 suitcases they eventually took pity on us and checked out bags in. They repeatedly stressed that we shouldn't go through the second security until much closer to our flight. We were warned that there were no toilets or food or even enough chairs to sit on. The lady checking us in then called another staff member over (who spoke better English) to repeat the instructions to us. She looked at out boarding passes and looked shocked. She then asked if we were transferring from another flight and was horrified that we thought we needed to be there so early.

We sat in the small cafe for 2 hours, and spent our last euros in the shops. Finally about an hour before our flight we noticed people checking in and going through the second security point. We then went through security which took about 5 minutes. We managed to get the last chairs available in the waiting area (there were only about 30) and noticed that the majority of passengers (mostly wearing suits and carrying lap tops!) came through security around 30 to 40 minutes before the flight and walked straight onto the plane as that was when we started boarding.

Apart from the lack of chairs at the boarding gate I thought the whole process was very organised and efficient. I routinely experience much worse delays and problems at airports in Australia.

Knowing that I wasted 2 hours at CDG and an hour at Zurich is not so bad compared to what could have happened if we missed our flight to Bangkok.

Next time I fly out of CDG I will probably still allow a bit of extra time exactly as I do at any airport anywhere.

Level Contributor
25 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Flying out of CDG

Hi to all,

I think in spite of the reports saying that you don't need to be at CDG much in advance, i would suggest to be carefull anyway and make sure that you will be here at least two hours in advance because you never know what will happen in your way.

A 35-mn trip to the airport from Paris centre by taxi is when there is no traffic jam, depending on the day/hour it can take up to 1,5 hour !

Also, at the airport there are some very busy days and you can queue a long time before going into registering, security checks and customs.

People with suits and laptops coming at the last minute are usually businessmen who make regular trips, they may have some subscription card and they can register in advance.

Loire Valley
Level Contributor
6,950 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Flying out of CDG

There is no way I would plan to be at the airport any later than 3 hours before the flight. If they arent ready to check you in, no problems. (Checking in for many airlines at CDG is by machine, not at a desk)

All it needs is one careless driver on the road, or someone falling in front of a train, and there is two hours already gone...

Add to that the fact that at some times it does take the full 3 hours to get through security, and you could have a problem.

I have arrived at CDG 15 minutes before a flight and still made it (It took 2 hours to get from the peri to the airport) - but it was the last flight of the night, I did have my executive club membership card, I spoke enough French to be able to grovel my way through, and I had no luggage. I would not recommend the stress of trying this to anyone.