most hated airport in the World!

The Charles de Gaulle airport, on which I posted my list of complaints a while ago, has been nominated “the most hated airport in the world” by CNN Go. They mentioned

“Grimy washrooms with missing toilet seats don’t help. Nor do broken scanning machines and an overall lack of signage, gate information screens and Paris-worthy bars, restaurants or cafés. The baffling circular layout is worsened by warrens of tunnel-like structures, dismissive staff and seething travelers waiting forever in the wrong queue.”

This is about Terminal 1, whose circular design is indeed nonsensical since there are only two exits to the circle. The picture on the site is in Terminal 2, with the huge posterboard at the exit of the train station. My complaint with Terminal 2 (I rarely use Terminal 1 for frequent-flyer reasons) is not about the toilets (they are fine by French standards), nor about scanning machines (I actually registered for an automated passport scan that cuts queues dramatically when both entering and leaving the country), nor about the bars and restaurants (I do not eat, nor drink), but rather about the poor design (or rather the outgrowth of the design:) a linear layout of the airport that forces travellers to walk long distances (often doubled by the fact that the luggage room exit is as far as possible from the train station) since there is no inner train, a flight density that often induces bussing passengers for dozens of minutes (this is always the case when flying to the UK), and a very poor train connection to down town Paris (there is no direct train, all trains stop in a myriad of Northern suburban cities).

9 Responses to “most hated airport in the World!”

  1. Happy New Year forum; does anyone know how I could find someone whom I briefly met at De Gaule? We both were at terminal 2E; I was checking my luggage to board an AF039 flight back to IAD, Washington, DC .

  2. […] plane to Minneapolis and then London to depart, as there is no such thing as a lounge in Phoenix airport…). I had an interesting exchange with a professional magician in the first plane, The Amazing […]

  3. […] actually a bit of a fright thanks to the RER train that was delayed but for whatever reason Charles de Gaulle airport was almost deserted and I went through all steps in less than ten minutes (which was also the time […]

  4. My problem with CDG is the dismissive staff: I almost got sent to the police station by the border officer, when flying back from the US, for having asked if he could send help to organize the massive crowd spilling on to the automatic sidewalks, with people stumbling off them when hitting the wall of crowd. Four transcontinental planes just landed jointly, for 2 open booths, only the last 3 meters of line materialized, and then a massive hoard. The cop wouldn’t hear anything, told me “Do as in the supermarket: if you’re not happy, write a letter”.
    When I asked for his immatriculation number (needed for said letter), he waved my passport “Don’t worry: you don’t know who we are, but *we* know who you are”, and then, without handing me my passport back, asked me to step out and wait on the side for more information, allegedly while calling for escort to the police station. When pressed, he never actually specified for which reason — and I’m pretty sure you can’t be arrested without being told why.
    Viva CDG.

    • Hey, you should know better: the (border) police is unfriendly everywhere, this has nothing to do with CDG and you should not call them “staff”, dude! No wonder you almost got deported!!! (I wonder where this would have been… Terre Adélie, maybe?!)

  5. I am no big fan of CDG (although I prefer it to Orly), but there actually are direct trains to Gare du Nord. Every second train is direct to Paris.
    This is very poorly signalled, and it is not obvious that you might get to Paris quicker by not boarding the first train you see.

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