CDG – Now I Remember Why I Don’t Like It

In Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris.  Haven’t been here for years, but remember vaguely not liking it.  Now I know why.

  1. It takes 15 minutes to get from the runway to the terminal building.  That’s not including the time required to get the gantries in place, etc – just taxiing time.
  2. Security is both shite and a pointless hassle.  Queues are very long, and they’re long for a reason.  I was coming off a flight from the US, and put into a queue specially reserved for people transiting to the UK & Ireland.  Low security risk, right?  Apparently not.  Not only did laptops have to come out of bags, so did cameras, MP3 players, laptop power supplies, spare batteries, mice, network cables, USB cables and anything else even vaguely electronic.  How come every other airport in the world can scan a bag with those things in it, but CDG can’t?  I understand laptops coming out of bags, but the rest is just a waste of time.  Not only that, but their policy on shoes is random.  The guy in front of me had the same type of shoes on as I did – he had to take his shoes off, but I didn’t.  Worse again: I didn’t bother taking my MP3 player, cables, spare battery, mouse, etc, out of my bag.  The guy manning the X-Ray machine didn’t even blink when the bag went through.  Bruce Schneier would have a heart attack.
  3. Food options are poor.  There’s nowhere serving “real” food (i.e. substantial meals), just sandwiches and salads.  There’s a Fusion Wok in a food court, but they….get this…serve the food cold and expect you to heat it up in the microwave yourself!  It’s served on cardboard trays, not plates.  They give you plastic cutlery, despite the fact that I was given a metal knife & fork in economy class on the Air France flight I just arrived in on.  The prices are even more exorbitant than Dublin AIrport.
  4. The hub and spoke arrangement makes it a real pain to move between gates and areas when transferring.  The distance between gates is really, really far and routes are hugely indirect.  A real pain and a waste of your time.

These are all the reasons I try to use Schiphol when I have to transit.  It’s a far superior airport.


One good thing – Orange France give you an hour’s free WiFi at CDG.  That’s the only good thing going for the place.

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