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Rickoshea52

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

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Is it just me or is Paris CDG quite possibly the most unpleasant airport in the first world? What a total hole! Badly signposted, poorly laid out, indolent security staff, lousy air conditioning, unreliable baggage handling and cramped concourses. The only good point is when you take off (if you are lucky enough to be on a plane even if your baggage isn’t). 

There’s  a reason I have avoided this airport for the last 9 years, I wish I’d taken the train. 

 

Grump over, can I have my teddies back now?

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Have you been to Stansted recently?

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CDG may well be one of the worst, but Fodor's Travel claims that LAX is the worst airport.

 

As a too frequent visitor, I have to agree.

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Only been to CDG once. It took so long to taxi from the runway to the stand I thought I'd have been quicker going by car!

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I'll second your CDG comments - I've been through there 3 times and its never gone smoothly - ever! Poor electronic check in that seems not to work, endless queues, rude and disinterested staff. Awful!

 

And yes, its huge. One of my wife's friends asked her if they were taxiing or flying to Newcastle as it took almost 15 minutes from the boarding point to the end of the runway.

 

On a lighter note, the taxiways go OVER the main AutoRoute into Paris. Always a treat for our children when they were younger as we were driving around Paris to see a 747 going overhead as we drove underneath!

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The thing I remember most about CDG (apart from all the other things mentioned) - is the number of rabbits seen scurrying around the taxiways as we took the 15 minute drive from the landing runway to the gate.

 

I remember thinking then that the rabbit warrens would undermine the taxiways - eventually.

 

IIRC, there were no air bridges - you got off the aircraft onto the ramp, boarded a bus - and then spent another 15 minutes driving to the arrivals hall!

 

Ken

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CdG is not really the most pleasant airport in Europe but personally I don't find it particularly worse than others. Sure not my favourite in Europe but IMHO no worse than places like Malpensa (that I find particularly bad) or Heathrow. With the added problem that distances between parts of the airport are crazy... I remember when trying to find a car rental office from my terminal that I commented that I'd have needed to rent a car only to reach the rental office...

CdG also suffers from something similar to Heathrow: the experience depends a lot on the terminal. Part of CdG is not bad while the terminals serving European low cost flights are pretty poor (but IMHO not as bad as the area in Heathrow serving flights to Ireland...).

Said that, if we talk of "first world" airports, I would consider CdG as much better than any US airport that I had the "luck" of going through. My experience in US airports has almost invariably been of chaos, cramped spaces and a total lack of any organization. With the added complication of all the security focused measures added after 9/11, that are of course understandable, as long as they work well. That a flight managed to leave an airport without a passenger (me, stuck in a very long queue caused by an overzealous security officer who had decided that every hispanic passenger needed extra screening) carrying the luggage of said passenger, is something that in theory shouldn't happen. Imagine my surprise when I reached the destination with a later flight and discovered that my bags had arrived 3 hours before....

 

2 hours ago, EwenS said:

Only been to CDG once. It took so long to taxi from the runway to the stand I thought I'd have been quicker going by car!

 

My first experience was similar.. I was on a flight to Australia and 20 minutes after leaving the terminal we were still taxiing... at some point I asked if we were going to Sydney via motorway....

 

1 hour ago, Flankerman said:

The thing I remember most about CDG (apart from all the other things mentioned) - is the number of rabbits seen scurrying around the taxiways as we took the 15 minute drive from the landing runway to the gate.

 

I remember thinking then that the rabbit warrens would undermine the taxiways - eventually.

 

IIRC, there were no air bridges - you got off the aircraft onto the ramp, boarded a bus - and then spent another 15 minutes driving to the arrivals hall!

 

Ken

 

You can see them there but really all airports host a large number of wild animals, be they rabbits, hares or whatever. I've had a chance of entering airports at night for work reasons and the number of animals going around is unbelievable. For them airports are safe places, as there's not much human activity that can disturb them away from the terminals. When the first flight in the morning takes off, they generally get back hiding. Generally, not in Paris though...

 

Regarding air bridges, depends on the terminal and the flight. Many European flights are treated how you say, stop on the ramp and take a bus. All flights from low cost airlines are generally treated this way.  Other flights, and generally all intercontinental flights, use air bridges. Actually one of them was involved in an incident only around a month ago, when the bridge hit and damaged a B787

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22 minutes ago, Giorgio N said:

All flights from low cost airlines are generally treated this way. 

I think the low cost carriers choose to be treated that way. 

Apparently the handling companies' coaches tend to cost much less than paying for air bridges and a parking position adjacent to the terminal.

 

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4 hours ago, bhouse said:

I think the low cost carriers choose to be treated that way. 

Apparently the handling companies' coaches tend to cost much less than paying for air bridges and a parking position adjacent to the terminal.

 

 

Makes sense, it's an additional saving in those airports that give a choice.

 

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There are some airports where the low cost carriers park on terminal stands but still don’t use the air jetties requiring their passengers to walk across the pan and up the stairs into the terminal building. 

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Was doing over 100 flights a year until recently, in the main originating from LHR or LCY

 

Terminals 2 and 5 at LHR are world class, though I admit it can be a bit of a trek to the satellites 

 

Since BA moved at CDG, it’s been pretty reasonable IMHO

 

My least favourite (by a county mile) is Schipol -I simply don’t get this place, it’s inefficient in the extreme, and FRA has its bad moments too - guaranteed a 15 minute bus ride arriving from LCY (good for spotting!)

 

ZRH probably most efficient, especially for connections - works very well

 

and all I’ll say about STN, tried it once, NEVER again!

 

SD

 

 

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Stansted must be among the worst, or possibly THE worst.  It was designed to be a ‘quiet’ airport - Norman Foster, the architect, thought that information boards were preferable to announcements (I guess he didn’t know and visually challenged people?  Or was he thinking of those with hearing problems?). Apart from the quiet aspect there were very few if any shops landslide, and not many airside.  Plenty of space.    Unfortunately,  BAA, then owners, realised they could make. LOTS of money charging rent so allowed various shops to rent space.  So farewell a quiet spacious airport.

 

Time passed, security has had to be stepped up, and BAA was obliged to sell an airport and decided Stansted had to go.  Step up Manchester Airports Group,  MAG.  The decided even more income could be generated by crowd8ng airside with ye5 more shops.  Whoever provides security there seems to favour illiterate yobs who love exercising their powers to annoy passengers.  The last time - and I mean the VERY last time - my wife and I used the place, last year, the security yobs must have been team A.  An awful contrast with Glasgow City where we were travelling to and back from - well mannered, polite and helpful staff everywhere, especially security.

 

I think Stansted was recently voted the Pits among airports, mostly because of delayed departures. What passes for airport management there seem to take that as a compliment.  They want to Increase passenger numbers and this was approved by the local Council.  Fortunately or otherwise at the recent local government elections the then Conservative majority has gone and the new Council has announced it wants a rethink, and the increase has been put on hold.  Much grinding of teeth by MAG. 

 

I used to travel extensively for my job and loved it.  Most of the time I flew from / back to LHR, occasionally GTW, then realised I could fly from Stansted, paying £1:00 Parking as long as I needed, go to Schiphol, then on from there at no extra cost to my company.  Oh happy days.  The only people I’d advise to use Stansted now would come into my worst enemy category ( just 2 pEople!)

 

RANT MODE OFF.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2019 at 4:30 PM, Alpha Delta 210 said:

Or Luton? 🤣

I've been told that Luton is wholly-owned by the local town-council, which could well explain why it has such as dreadful reputation. 

 

Chris. 

Edited by spruecutter96
Correcting a typo.

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22 hours ago, spruecutter96 said:

I've been told that Luton is wholly-owned by the local town-council, which could well explain why it has such as dreadful reputation.

Gatport Airwick isn't, and if it's only as bad, it's doing well.

 

I don't fly much but the only airport I've ever enjoyed is Terminal 1 on Tresco.  Perhaps it would be easier if we asked whether there's a single airport in the civilised world that's bearable.

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I've been through a lot of airports (including CDG) and Bordeaux–Mérignac was by far the worst I've experienced. The terminal resembled a cattle shed and the staff treated the punters just as such.

Never again.

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Frankfurt Main is (or was) horrible although I haven't been there for about ten years. Confusing, poorly signposted, duplicated security checks, obnoxious jobsworth staff, everything possible done to make the experience as unpleasant as possible. I accept that boarding by bus is sometimes a necessary evil but the bussing at FRA is beyond the pale. I remember one time when the bus took so long a wag suggested the driver was going to take us to Calais and put us on the ferry. I also had a flight out of FRA (to BSL) when the taxying was longer than the time in the air.

 

For decrepitude and downright awfulness Berlin Schönefeld is hard to beat. Goodness knows what will happen if Brandenburg never opens.

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Been in CDG twice, never again!

 

Taipei also wasn't great, but mainly because of the heat and slow queue for passport control. So far I have to say Hong Kong, Honolulu and Doha have been the best experiences.

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On 7/3/2019 at 12:44 AM, dnl42 said:

CDG may well be one of the worst, but Fodor's Travel claims that LAX is the worst airport.

 

As a too frequent visitor, I have to agree.

LAX has always been pretty bad, but there is a lot of construction going on right now. So at least they’re putting money into it.  No place to go but up.

My favorite is LIH Lihue in Kauai because if you are at LIH it means you are in Kauai.

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53 minutes ago, 1015jim said:

No place to go but up.

Let's hope a LOT up!

 

I used to be able to fly out of LGB, but Jet Blue stopped going to places I needed to go. 20 minutes from touch-down to walking in my front door! I loved their older frequently flyer program. Every 4 flights to NY, DC, or Boston and I got a ticket!

 

55 minutes ago, 1015jim said:

My favorite is LIH Lihue in Kauai because if you are at LIH it means you are in Kauai.

I've only been there once, but it was indeed a lovely time.

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Try Tegel in Berlin! A bit of a dump. It won't be upgraded although it's sorely in need of one, because of the promise of Brandenburg being finished, although when that will be is not known... 

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On 7/5/2019 at 7:26 PM, Jonny said:

Stansted must be among the worst, or possibly THE worst.  It was designed to be a ‘quiet’ airport - Norman Foster, the architect, thought that information boards were preferable to announcements (I guess he didn’t know and visually challenged people?  Or was he thinking of those with hearing problems?). Apart from the quiet aspect there were very few if any shops landslide, and not many airside.  Plenty of space.    Unfortunately,  BAA, then owners, realised they could make. LOTS of money charging rent so allowed various shops to rent space.  So farewell a quiet spacious airport.

 

Time passed, security has had to be stepped up, and BAA was obliged to sell an airport and decided Stansted had to go.  Step up Manchester Airports Group,  MAG.  The decided even more income could be generated by crowd8ng airside with ye5 more shops.  Whoever provides security there seems to favour illiterate yobs who love exercising their powers to annoy passengers.  The last time - and I mean the VERY last time - my wife and I used the place, last year, the security yobs must have been team A.  An awful contrast with Glasgow City where we were travelling to and back from - well mannered, polite and helpful staff everywhere, especially security.

 

I think Stansted was recently voted the Pits among airports, mostly because of delayed departures. What passes for airport management there seem to take that as a compliment.  They want to Increase passenger numbers and this was approved by the local Council.  Fortunately or otherwise at the recent local government elections the then Conservative majority has gone and the new Council has announced it wants a rethink, and the increase has been put on hold.  Much grinding of teeth by MAG. 

 

I used to travel extensively for my job and loved it.  Most of the time I flew from / back to LHR, occasionally GTW, then realised I could fly from Stansted, paying £1:00 Parking as long as I needed, go to Schiphol, then on from there at no extra cost to my company.  Oh happy days.  The only people I’d advise to use Stansted now would come into my worst enemy category ( just 2 pEople!)

 

RANT MODE OFF.

Am I right in thinking that Stanstead also charges £2.50 to drop passengers off? I haven't flow through Edinburgh since 2010 for the Leuchars airshow but I think they were also charging £1 for drop off too.

 

Absolutely disgraceful to charge to drop off. It was reported recently in the press that Heathrow intends to charge £15 for cars to drop off starting in around 2021/22 because they want passengers to use a more "sustainable" way of travelling to the airport i.e. unreliable trains and tubes.

 

All stems from having essentially a captive customer  passenger base. 

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Stansted Airport encourages drop-offs at the Mid-Stay car park, which is free of charge for up to one hour, but means that you need to catch a courtesy bus to the Terminal.

 

The so-called Express Set-Down in front  of the Terminal is £4 for 10 minutes and then £1 for each additional minute.....

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At Edinburgh the charges are now £2 for 5 mins, £4 for 10 mins and £10 for 20 mins. All designed apparently to reduce the number of cars entering the airport by 500k in 2019. 

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