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How much time to allow at the airport?

Omaha, Nebraska...
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How much time to allow at the airport?

So excited for our first trip to Paris next week! Question for those who have been through this before:

A car is picking us up from our hotel in Montmartre at 8:00 a.m. Their notice says it will take about an hour-and-a-half to get us to the airport (Charles de Gaulle). That puts us at the airport around 9:30 a.m.

Our plane is scheduled to depart at 11:30 a.m. Does two hours sound like enough time to get checked in and find our terminal, etc.? (First time traveler question: do we have to go through customs when we depart from France? Or is that just when we arrive back in the U.S.?)

Thanks in advance for any advice! :)

Paris, France
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1. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

For flights to the US it's recommended that you allow at least 3 hours at the airport. You can confirm this with your airline. You will go through customs when you arrive in the US.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Yes, I would change your pickup time to at least an hour earlier.

An hour and a half is a long estimate for travel time to CDG from Montmartre, but perhaps you're booked on a shared shuttle so they have to allow time to pick up others en route?

New Hampshire
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3. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

For a flight to the USA, you would want to be at CDG no later than three hours ahead of departure. You should determine your Terminal in advance so you can be dropped of at the correct one. You'll need to check-in with your airline, then go through passport control, then security, then find your Gate. How long all that will take depends on your airline and departing terminal (some are more efficient than others).

Are you committed to this "car" that is picking you up? Is is a private or shared service? A private transfer should take 30-60 minutes to get to CDG. Only a shared service would take longer - and most, including myself, would advise strongly against that when headed to CDG.

Omaha, Nebraska...
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4. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Thanks, all, for your replies.

We booked the car as part of our travel package, so I'm not sure how committed we are, except that we've paid for it already. :^\

My understanding is that it's a private car. When we booked, we had a few different options, and we chose the 2-passenger car, so I don't imagine we'll be picking anyone else up along the way.

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Some of those pre-booked private shuttles are terribly unreliable. I would know where the nearest taxi stand is at your hotel/apt. in case you find the car is a no-show. I can't imagine needing 1.5 hours from Montmartre to CDG unless the car intends to be late.

The LAST time I pre-booked a shuttle as part of a package was 16 years ago in London. We waited 2 hours at the airport for it to show up (hey, we were younger and didn't want to waste our money!) . But we could have gotten to our hotel and been site-seeing had we taken a cab or better yet public transportation by the time that d@amn shuttle showed up.

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Doubt it's possible now but you have nothing to lose by asking for a refund. If you get it, great... a taxi will get you there quicker and for less money. If you aren't refunded just grin and bear it and hope they show up and on time. If they don't... don't wait too long before jumping into a cab. Better to lose the amount you've already paid than miss your flight.

New Hampshire
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7. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Highly recommend double checking the car service with whomever you booked it. Even then, I'd be wary.

A "notice" indicating that getting to CDG from your hotel in Montmartre will take about an hour and a half just does not sound right.

If you were to arrive at CDG at 9:30 AM for a flight at 11:30 AM, you would be cutting it far too close. We always allow at least three hours. Sometimes, there's plenty of time to spare, other times not. You do NOT want to risk missing your flight.

You do not want to be picked up at 8 AM by a car that is not taking you directly to CDG.

Independence, Kansas
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8. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

Be at CDG by 8:00. You might have your hotel book a cab for you and forego that other guy. CDG is why we always use Heathrow and Eurostar over to Paris. Some of the staff and even the gendarmes delight in sending tourists off to the wrong terminals. Real third world attitudes even though I speak passable French and approach them with respect. Not any more.....

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

just to pile on -- you absolutely need 3 hours. we have cut it close with 3 and if you whip right through, you can sit and have coffee and read a book. 11:30 is a high crowd time for departure so you can count on all lines being enormous.

CDG is our least favorite airport -- all the stereotypical French people you never meet anywhere else in France are employed at CDG

Nashville
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10. Re: How much time to allow at the airport?

To add to this question -- and knowing to allow 3 hours for a flight to the US is very helpful -- do you also suggest 3 hours for a flight from CDG to Zagreb (Air France) or other European cities? We're bracketing a trip to Croatia with a stay before and after in Paris. Thank you.