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I am taking the AirFrance TGVAir plane+train combined ticket, and I have a three-hour layover in Paris Charles de Gaulle before I can board my train from CDG (yes CDG does indeed have a high-speed train (TGV) station). I am thinking about where it would be best for me to kill off those three hours. Ideally I would like to stay in a warm place, possibly with access to a power outlet and WiFi.

Will I have more luck inside the terminal building, or inside the train station? Or maybe even somewhere else?

  • 1
    KLM, which has similar arrangements with connections to Belgium, allows to board earlier trains. SInce the are in the same company this might be the case with Air France as well. Simply ask if you can board an earlier train. – user141 Mar 1 '15 at 19:05
  • @andra There definitely is an earlier TGV train. However I am guessing that AirFrance does not allow to reserve train-plane connections that are too short, for fear of delays on either ends. I will definitely try to get on the earlier train though. – JoErNanO Mar 1 '15 at 19:44
  • You don't need to worry - it's France. Everywhere, there are cafe, mime ... – Fattie Jun 15 '16 at 19:56
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When you get to CDG, you'll need to clear immigration, get your bag, then go through customs. You can then take the CDGVal to Terminal 2, if you're not already there. Head to the station area, which is quite well signposted, and situated between T2C, T2D and T2E. You can spot it in the middle of the map on the airport website. Once in the station area, find the ticket office, find the badly sign-posted TGVAir desk (don't just the long main ticket queues!). Show them your ticket reference, they'll find your ticket which they should've already printed, stamp it, and hand it over.

At this point, look at the time. You need to be at the right point on the platform 5 minutes before scheduled departure, and I'd suggest at least 10, ideally 15 minutes before to avoid stress/worry. The platform should be announced 30 minutes or so in advance. That gives you your waiting time, which could be fairly short, especially if there were delays!

In the station area of the airport, there are a few cafes. I seem to recall there are some with power sockets, can't remember about wifi. I picked the one nearest the ticket office last time I was there, and it was fine to kill the time until the train. There area also some seats in the central area which are at a bench-thingy with power sockets, most of which worked. If you have under an hour, just pick one of those

If you have a long time, it's a 5-10 minute walk to much of T2, so you can always go for landside cafes there

  • +1 For the hands-on experience. I was also considering staying airside. Depending on how and where I enter the terminal after leaving the plane this should be possible. And I definitely know there is WiFi and powered-benches there. – JoErNanO Mar 1 '15 at 19:20
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    Don't forget to allow the time to get to the station area, to collect the ticket, and to get to the platform in enough time. Getting my ticket took a minute or two, and there was only one counter doing TGVAir tickets (+ only one big pile of tickets!), so I wouldn't suggest cutting it too fine – Gagravarr Mar 1 '15 at 19:25
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I came in from the UK into France which means I landed in the international terminal (2E). I was however not allowed to remain airside as the bus took us from the plane to the security area with passport control on one side and further screening for international transfers on the other.
Overall it took me half an hour between landing (on the furthest side of the airport) and clearing passport controls. I have an EU passport though so consider more if that's not your case.

I can however report about the luggage claim area which would be a good waiting spot if it weren't for the lack of eating facilities except of two vending machines. There are however benches with power plugs and the airport WiFi is strong.

After going through customs and into the terminal building landside, I navigated both the arrivals and departure floors. These both offer powered benches and WiFi.
In addition there are a few cafés/bars (more at departure level) to purchase food and drinks if needed.

The CDG train station is not well equipped for long layovers. There is a SNCF waiting room with a few dozen seats and maybe ten plugs all on the same wall. Needless to say hoping to get a place near them requires constant checking for people leaving. The free airport WiFi signal seems to reach in some points of the station, including the SNCF waiting room. In terms of food there are a few kiosks available, as well as a newsstand.
It is also important to note that the train station is a lot colder than the terminal building since it's open on one side like most stations.

It is important to note that both the train station and airport terminal are scattered with homeless people occupying the benches and effectively setting home there. These tend to be inoffensive. However in the station you will also find beggars, of the type who ask you for a couple euros for the train ticket, and gipsies with fake petitions for you to sign, both of which are slightly more annoying. This will require you to heighten your senses and watch out for your belongings.

Overall I think the airside option would have been the best. Lacking that I would stay in the terminal building either at departures or at arrivals.

For completeness sake, the TGVAir office is located inside the SNCF ticket-vending office (Boutique grandes lignes) next to the indication of platforms 4-6 and Pilier S.

  • Did you try to catch an earlier train? – Willeke Dec 25 '16 at 13:42
  • @Willeke Yes. I managed to do so a couple times. The tgvair and SNCF staff are usually very helpful for this. – JoErNanO Dec 26 '16 at 8:15

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