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Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

Manchester, United...
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Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

Hi,

I'm flying from Manchester to Buenos Aires via Paris Charles De Gaulle airport with Air France. The flight from Manchester to Paris is scheduled to arrive at 22:10 in Terminal 3 and there's only going to be 70 minutes before the departure of the next flight in Terminal 2E at 23:20.

Will I have enough time to make it?

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1. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

Short connection at CDG is never a good idea. If this is a through ticket it might work and you will be transferred to the next available flight in case of delay. You may even loose your onward flight without delay and then you may be in trouble. Buying a new ticket to Buenos Aires could become an expensive affair.

Edited: 15 March 2014, 13:19
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2. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

"betransferred to the next available flight" that is the bombshell here...there is not hourly service to BA. CDG and "tight connection" should NEVER be the the same sentence. Certainly you can take an earlier flight from Manchester? If not, know you are probably on a legal but very uncertain connection and no one here can tell you if on that date given weather, air line mechanical situations etc. you will have enough time. My recommendation is change the MAN flight and AF should be willing to do that for you...they know what happens every day at CDG. 3 hours is my minimum there because it is a tough airport.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

It is a through-ticket, however i believe the next flight won't depart for another 24 hours and that's not to say that there'll be a seat available since there are very few flights to Buenos Aires. I'd hate to miss the flight but even more if my luggage leaves without me, could that happen? According to easycdg.com the minimum connection time required if you land in terminal 3 and depart from terminal 2 on your next flight is 90 minutes, Air France has sold me the ticket with only 70 minutes connection time, I can only presume that AF thinks there's a good chance that I'll make it in that time (of course provided that I land in Paris as scheduled, which is no guarantee), if not then the tickets were issued recklessly.

I've called the agency that I bought the tickets from with a view to changing my flight from Manchester to an earlier time, the cost of doing so would be disproportionately high as far as I'm concerned and therefore I'm stuck with this itinery.

Los Angeles
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4. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

AF doesn't take away your right to book whatever flights you want. What they will do is get you on the "next available flight." If the missed plane is due to short connections, they will not put you up in a hotel - you'll have to do that yourself (only if they screwed up somehow - read their small print). And, most airlines count "arrival time" as the time the plane touches down. Many people have learned this the hard way. Air France may charge you to change the ticket (we did a short connection one time and in the end, gambled - it was two hours, though not 70 minutes). It was enough time.

It's unlikely but possible your luggage will go on without you. What happened with us, one time, when making a connection at CDG via Air France was that the plane we were on was about 30 minutes late for various reasons. Half the people on the plane were making a connection to some place else. They asked the people who weren't making connections to remain in their seats so that we, who were, could get on a bus and rush to the other plane (boarded the plane via stairs, plane was already away from its terminal). They had two buses - one for each of the two planes we were all trying to connect with. It was crazy.

The flight attendant said they do this for many reasons - when there are a bunch of people missing one plane, it just doesn't make sense for them to have so many empty seats. But, this was flying in from another major European city, not Manchester.

We did sit for 45 minutes on our last trip while they found someone's luggage and removed it from the plane because they hadn't gotten to the plane on time - this is for security reasons. They don't want luggage flying unaccompanied and yet, they let it happen all the time because people have put that in their trip reports both here on this forum, on Flyertalk, and on TA's air travel forum.

Here's the thing. They start boarding the next plane 30 minutes early. First class is usually boarded a few minutes earlier. It goes fast. As they board each section (by row number), they start paging the no-shows at about 20 minutes before take off. Then, at about 15 minutes before take off, they start giving seats to the people who missed the last plane on a short connection. So you really have 55 minutes to be physically present at that boarding area. If you were 10 minutes before the plane took off, if they still had a seat, I think you'd get it (but not the seat you'd reserved - and I've seen people get irritable; I've also seen irritable people be irritable enough that they didn't get on the plane at all - they don't like upset, irritable passengers at the last minute).

Will they hold the plane to search for your luggage? Possibly, it has happened to us on more than one occasion. But, where does your luggage go then? Read some of the stories on flyertalk, maybe, to get a sense of this. They certainly aren't going to give it back to you!

Air France will hold a plane for 5-10 minutes if they know you're coming ( because they don't want to search for your luggage ) but they don't have to (and they don't have to search for your luggage - it's a case by case thing). So, if you do try this scheme that everyone here is trying to discourage you from, be sure and let your flight attendant know and throw yourself on their good graces to call the boarding area for the other flight and say you're on your way.

(Paying 100€ change fee might be well worth the headaches of missing a flight to BA and having to wait around for 24 hours and worry about your luggage).

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5. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

Sorry but you don't seem to have a very good agent. I can only assume that for whatever reason they consider this a legal connection or it just would not have gone through on one ticket. Legal does not necessarily mean a connection that will be comfortable or in some cases, with the slightest problem...possible. Your agent must not have much of a relationship with Air France that they cannot get a hour or two change on this flight so that you will have a better chance of making the long haul flight. I would not accept that answer and would try the agent again or Air France directly. I would not pay a 100euro change fee for an agents bad booking guidance...it someone pays let the agent.

New Hampshire
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6. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

Call Air France and ask about the logistics involved with this connection. This is one of those times where an airside shuttle may be provided. They may just instruct you to simply go to the Air France Transfer Desk on arrival, and that's what you should do.

Air France does not book impossible connections. Schedules are based on experience and there would be no point in their having to waste a lot of time and manpower rescheduling a lot of passengers and/or tracking down their checked bags.

The experiences of others in different circumstances are totally irrelevant.

Your best resource is Air France and not anyone here or airport websites.

7. Re: Charles de Gaulle Tight Connection

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