CDG layover question

Old Oct 1st, 2022, 05:53 AM
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CDG layover question

Hello everyone --

I'm getting ready to book our tickets for April 2023. Business class JFK>CDG>MXP. It will be me, my husband, and our two teenage daughters. I have two options for layovers -- both arrive around 9 am. One option has a 2:10 layover, and the other has a 3:55 layover. I've never connected at CDG before, and we've never flown business class (and had access to lounges) before. Does anyone have a recommendation for which one to choose? Right now, I'm leaning towards the longer layover so that we can take showers before heading off to Milan, but I don't know if there's something I'm not considering! (Also, in case it makes a difference -- we're staying just one night in Milan before heading to Venice the next morning, and we're not planning on a lot of sight seeing in Milan.)

Thanks,
Stacey
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 07:39 AM
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I'm assuming you will have access to the relatively new, large Air France La Premiere lounge at CDG. If it were me, I would take the longer layover and get the shower and hang out there, then go refreshed with a change of clothing and superbly nourished to your gate for the connection to MXP. The food and drink there is really tasty and imaginative (it's a shame you can't realistically enjoy the wines that hour). It will compensate for the rigors of the taxing extra security, passport control (with sometimes long waits), and exceptionally long walks in tedious bland-to-ugly conditions, capped off by crappy departure gates (and sometimes taking a bus from the 'departure gate' to a stairway to the actual jetway far afield).

The alternative is to take the earlier connection and get out of that godawful (except for the lounge) airport as quickly as possible, though the 'business class' on the CDG-MXP portion will not feel like business class, as it basically is just a standard seat with nobody in the middle seat. That way you will be in Milan earlier to try to find a place to take a shower, change clothes, and get a bite to eat before your standard check-in time.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 07:52 AM
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Lounge aside -- I'd probably take the longer connection. CDG can be a total zoo at the best of times and since you will go through Schengen immigration there (Customs will be at MXP) you may need every minute of the 2-ish hours. Of course, you may arrive early, the premium cabins do debark first and you get expedited service so you might breeze through. and have 90 minutes free of the 2:10 . . . or not

With a party of 4 and having use of the posher lounge - I'd take the longer connection myself.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Lounge aside -- I'd probably take the longer connection. CDG can be a total zoo at the best of times and since you will go through Schengen immigration there (Customs will be at MXP) you may need every minute of the 2-ish hours. Of course, you may arrive early, the premium cabins do debark first and you get expedited service so you might breeze through. and have 90 minutes free of the 2:10 . . . or not
My husband absolutely refuses to make a connection at CDG after several very unpleasant experiences, both personally and of family members. Because of this, I have no recent experience with that airport. However, based on past experience, I agree with the "total zoo" assessment. In fact, if it were a zoo, the animal welfare authorities would close it down.

Maybe they treat business class travelers better.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
Maybe they treat business class travelers better.
Yes, if you are lucky and they are using the elite entrances to security and passport control, you may have a shorter wait, unless the facilities at the end of those particular queues are understaffed or otherwise badly organized. Also, in boarding your flight, you can line up to board first, though if you are getting a bus to your plane or to a remote gate, that just means more time in the bus.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 09:59 AM
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Longer connection for same reasons as above although I usually connect via FRA or MUC. You might want to consider staying at the MXP Sheraton if itís convenient to your VCE flight. There is a train downstairs directly to Milano Center that takes 45 minutes. Might be easier for you with an early flight next morning
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 10:04 AM
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Interesting -- I didn't even consider flying to VCE! We were going to take the train.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 10:05 AM
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Thank you, everyone. i think you all solidified my instinct that the longer layover was the way to go!
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 07:33 PM
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What airline will you be flying? Are you certain you will have access to an arrivals lounge?
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 07:56 PM
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I transited through CDG in August, flying AF business. Yes, the new lounge is very nice but it's not so amazing that I'd choose a really long layover. Just my opinion, but I think 2 hours 10 minutes is fine. I guess if you're really committed to showering in the lounge you'd want the longer layover. I didn't find CDG to be a zoo even traveling in peak season, but inbound and outbound I spent almost all my time in the lounge so maybe I missed something.

You can check out the lounge here, assuming that dfourh's reference to La Premiere lounge is an error given that you said you're flying business not first:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/air-fr...dg-new-lounge/

This is the La Premiere lounge:
https://onemileatatime.com/guides/ai...lounge-access/

Oh, speaking of first class on AF, on my way home I was offered an upgrade to it for just 2000E. For a second I thought, hey, why not? and then reason got the better of me.

ETA: I had an almost 4-hour layover at CDG on my way to Italy, so I did have time to shower, take a nap in a relaxation pod, chill out in the detox zone, etc., but I would have preferred to spend that time in Rome.

Last edited by Leely2; Oct 1st, 2022 at 08:01 PM.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
What airline will you be flying? Are you certain you will have access to an arrivals lounge?
Sorry -- should have posted that -- Air France
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 11:15 AM
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I would choose the shorter layover in order to get to my final destination faster. You may be able to check in to your hotel by the time you arrive in Milan. At the very least, you'd be able to drop off your luggage, and get out to do a bit of sightseeing. Also, just in case there is a delay with the earlier flight, you will have more options for changing to a later flight.
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