Air Travel

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Air Travel

Direct flying time to Paris is 7½ hours from New York, 9 hours from Chicago, 11 hours from Los Angeles, and 1½ hours from London. Flying time between Paris and Nice is also about 1½ hours.

As one of the world's most popular destinations, Paris is served by many international carriers. Air France, the French flag carrier, offers many direct flights to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG, also known as Roissy) from New York City's JFK Airport, as well as ones from Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Montréal, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. Most other North American cities are served through Air France partnerships with Delta, either directly or via connecting flights. Another popular carrier is United, with nonstop flights to Paris from Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. American Airlines operates daily nonstop flights (some seasonally) to Charles de Gaulle from numerous cities, including Boston, Chicago, Miami, and New York City's JFK Airport.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration. www.tsa.gov.

Airports

There are two major gateway airports to France, both just outside the capital: Orly, 16 km (10 miles) south of Paris, and Charles de Gaulle, 26 km (16 miles) northeast of the city. Orly mostly handles flights to and from destinations within France and the rest of Europe, while Charles de Gaulle is France’s leading international gateway. The smaller Beauvais Airport, 88 km (55 miles) north of Paris, is used by European budget airlines, most notably Ryanair. Many carriers have flights to Biarritz, Bordeaux, Lourdes, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Perpignan, and Toulouse. If you’re going onward by rail, there is a TGV station at Charles de Gaulle’s Terminal 2, where you can connect to trains heading all over the country.

Airport Information

Beauvais. 08–92–68–20–66 ; www.aeroportbeauvais.com.

Charles de Gaulle/Roissy. 3950; www.aeroportsdeparis.fr.

Orly. 3950; www.aeroportsdeparis.fr.

Ground Transportation

From Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the fastest and least expensive way to get into Paris is on the RER-B line, the suburban express train, which runs daily from 5 am to 11 pm. The free CDGVal light-rail connects each terminal (except 2G) to the Roissypôle RER station in less than 8 minutes; for Terminal 2G, take the free N2 "navette" shuttle bus outside Terminal 2F. Trains to central Paris (Gare du Nord, Les Halles, St-Michel, Luxembourg) depart every 10–15 minutes. The fare (including métro connection) is €9.75, and the journey time is 30–35 minutes.

The Air France shuttle service is a comfortable alternative, and you don't need to have flown the carrier to use it. The buses cost €17 if you pay on board or €15.50 if you buy your ticket online; the approximate travel time is 75 minutes. Line 2 goes from CDG to Paris's Charles de Gaulle Étoile and Porte Maillot from 5:45 am to 11 pm daily. Buses leave every 30 minutes until 9:45 pm, with two further services at 10:20 pm and 11 pm. Line 4 goes to Montparnasse and the Gare de Lyon from 6 am to 10 pm. Buses run every 30 minutes. Passengers arriving in Terminal 1 should use Exit 32 on the Arrivals level; Terminals 2A and 2C, Exit C2; 2B and 2D, Exit B1; Terminals 2E and 2F, Exit E8; Terminal 2G, take the N2 shuttle to Terminal 2F, and then use Exit 3.

Another option is to take Roissybus, operated by the Paris Transit Authority (RATP), which runs between CDG and the Opéra every 15–20 minutes from 6 am to 12:30 am; the cost is €11, and you can pay on board. The trip takes about 45 minutes in regular traffic, about 90 minutes in rush-hour traffic.

Taxis are your least desirable mode of transportation into the city. If you're traveling at peak times, you may have to stand in a long line with many other disgruntled travelers. Journey times, and, as a consequence, prices, are unpredictable. At best, the trip takes 30 minutes, but it can take as long as 90 minutes during rush hour. Count on a €50–€70 fare (add 15% between 7 pm and 7 am), plus €1 for a second bag in the trunk. Beware of unauthorized taxi drivers who solicit customers near baggage carousels and airport exits; only choose a cab from the designated areas outside the terminal, where official taxis have both an illuminated roof sign and a meter.

SuperShuttle Paris and Parishuttle are two van companies that serve both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. Prices are set, so it costs the same no matter how long the journey takes. To make a reservation, call or email your flight details several days in advance to the shuttle company and an air-conditioned van with a bilingual chauffeur will be waiting for you on arrival. Note that these shuttle vans pick up and drop off other passengers, which can add significant time to the journey.

From Orly, the most economical way to get into Paris is to take the RER-C or Orlyrail line. Catch the shuttle bus from the terminal to the Pont de Rungis train station. Trains to Paris leave every 15 minutes. Passengers arriving in South Terminal use Exit F; for West Terminal use Exit G on the Arrivals level. The total fare is €6.70, and journey time is about 35 minutes. Another slightly faster option is to take the 8-minute monorail service, Orlyval, which runs between the Antony RER-B station and Orly Airport every 8–15 minutes from 6 am to 11 pm. Passengers arriving in the South Terminal should look for Exit K; those arriving in the West Terminal, Exit A on the Departures level. The fare to central Paris is €12.05, including the RER transfer.

You can also take the Air France bus service from Orly to Les Invalides, Montparnasse, and Etoile; it runs every 20 minutes from 6 am to 11:40 pm. (You need not have flown on Air France to use this service.) The fare is €12.50 if you pay on board, €11 if you buy your ticket online, and the trip takes 45–60 minutes, depending on traffic. Passengers arriving in Orly South need to look for Exit K; those arriving in Orly West, Exit D. The Paris Transit Authority's Orlybus is yet another option; buses leave every 8–15 minutes for the Denfert-Rochereau métro station in Montparnasse, and tickets cost €7.50. You can economize further by using RATP Bus 183, which shuttles you from the South Terminal to the Porte de Choisy métro station (Line 7). It runs every 30–40 minutes from 6 am to 12:20 am (frequency may be reduced on Sunday and holidays); tickets cost €2, and the travel time is about 40 minutes.

There are several options for traveling between Paris's airports. The RER-B travels from CDG to Orly with Paris in the middle, so to transfer, just stay on. Travel time is 50–70 minutes, and tickets cost €20.90. The Air France Bus Line 3 also runs between the airports every 30 minutes for €21 one-way; the trip takes 50–75 minutes. Taxis are available but expensive (€60–€80, depending on traffic).

Contacts

Air France Bus. 08–92–35–08–20; www.lescarsairfrance.com.

Parishuttle. 01–82–28–38–70; www.parishuttle.com.

RATP. 3246; www.ratp.fr.

SuperShuttle. 08–11–70–78–12; en.supershuttle.fr.

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