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I'm in a bit of a pickle with flights

Discussion in 'Traveling to/from the camino' started by Curtis, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Curtis

    Curtis Member

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    Hello past, present and future pilgrims!

    I will leave Canada September 12th and arrive in Paris on September 13th at 8:45am. I was looking into transportation from Paris to SJPDP and my original plan was to catch a train to Bayonne, then taxi to St Jean. This would be about 24 hours of travel (which doesn't sound all that comfortable) and my biggest fear would be not having any beds available once I arrive.

    I recently read that I could fly from Paris to Biarritz for a comparable price and reduce my travel time significantly, which as a result would reduce the stress of not getting a bed.

    Now my issue is, the plane to Biarritz leaves Paris at 10:50am on September 13th and would only give me 2hours to get off plane, go through customs, check bag (twice?) and board flight to Biarritz.

    Any suggestions would be warmly welcomed :)
     
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  2. simply B

    simply B member Donating Member

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    Go to sncf.com (French railway website).

    You should find a TGV departing between 10:00-10:30 right from CDG airport (Terminal 2).

    You have a connection at Bordeaux St. Jean and arrive Bayonne around 4:30 pm.

    Up to you whether you want to chill out in Bayonne for the night (I'd recommend) before the short hop to SJPP

    Buen camino (and envious!)

    B
     
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  3. BonitaHolland

    BonitaHolland Active Member

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    Fly to Bilbao and start in Pamplona
     
  4. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    First question: are you landing at the same airport the flight to Biarritz leaves from?

    Second, the train ride is a perfect time to get rid of your jetlag: close eyes, open them 15 seconds, sleep again, repeat.

    Plus you can book a bed in SJPP, so no need to worry about that.
     
  5. FionaClarke

    FionaClarke New Member

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    Not a chance, I'd say. Even if you were travelling first class on an EU passport from that would be a tight connection. Easyjet are ruthless about time limits for checking in bags and getting to the gate as they are known overbookers on their flights. You might have to get to a different terminal and there will be zero chance of checking your bags all the way through. When you land you will be filtered into a "rest of world" queue with fewer desks and greater scrutiny of everyone's travel documents. I'm married to a Canadian and until she got dual nationality I would have to wait for an extra couple of hours sometimes for her to clear passport control when we flew in from Canada or USA.

    There is another easyjet flight at 7.30pm but it doesn't get you in until 9pm.

    In your position, I'd find a cheap bed in Paris for the night, do a bit of sightseeing, get over some jetlag and catch the 10.50 flight the next day. Or depending on which airline you are using to cross the Atlantic, and the fare conditions, you might be able to change your ticket cheaply to include an onward flight on Air France (departs at 08.50 am) the next day.
     
  6. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    First question: are you landing at the same airport the flight to Biarritz leaves from?

    Second, the train ride is a perfect time to get rid of your jetlag: close eyes, open them 15 seconds, sleep again, repeat.

    Plus you can book a bed in SJPP, so no need to worry about that.
     
  7. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    What is wrong with simply staying a day in Paris and traveling calmly onwards the next day? Buen Camino, SY
     
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  8. No chance.

    Typically the flights to Biarritz are from 2G. You need minimum 35 - maximum 47 minutes to transfer from any of the terminal 2 ABCDEF and more from the other terminals.

    As noted ... there are rules about check-in ... 40 minutes and boarding .... 20 minutes. These are minimums.

    You should be at the departure terminal 2 hours in advance.

    You need to allow a minimum of 30 minutes to get off plane and gather luggage.

    The passport control depends on the number of people.

    And then there is the fact of flights hardly ever arriving on time.

    I would recommend planning on at least one hour to get out of the arrival terminal. I would not recommend making any commitments for onward travel without three hours to get out of the terminal.

    So that's suggested 5 hour window from arrival to departure. You probably won't need that much but often enough there are delays that will eat into the slush in your time. These are rules of thumb that I use ... I don't like running and seeing the tail end of the train leaving just as I get there.

    If I were you I'd plan to stay in Paris and catch a train from Gare Montparnasse or TGV Massy the next day.

    If you really want to continue travelling consider staying at Bayonne ... which you won't get to until 1700 anyhow.

    Another stop spot would be the transfer point at Bordeaux.

    The train to SJPdP leaves at 0745 (or 1110 if you want to sleep a bit) in the AM.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2016
  9. CdnDreamer

    CdnDreamer Active Member Donating Member

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    I flew from Toronto to Paris CDG airport last April on Air Transat. We arrived in terminal 3 at 7:00 am, a really small terminal that didn't take long to get through. I was catching a flight to Biarritz around 11 am. The flight to Biarritz left from a different terminal at the airport, so I had to go through security and I had to check my poles again. I had 4 hours between the flights and I wasn't rushed, but I don't think I had two hours to spare. See if you can find out exactly where your plane lands and where the other one leaves from. You would save time if you don't have to leave the secure zone. Have you been to CDG before? This was my second time landing at terminal 3 so I already knew where to go.

    I did take an over the counter sleeping pill about an hour before getting on the plane in Toronto and I slept the entire way there. So I had a full night's sleep while travelling.

    I booked a room at a hotel in SJPP so I didn't have to worry about a bed on my first night. Some of the albergues allow you to book a bed in advance.

    Have you looked at Express Bouricott picking you up and taking you to SJPP from Biarritz or Bayonne? It is a van service, that gets cheaper if they have more than one person to pick up. When I was waiting for my second flight, we called ahead and added 2 more people to the van ride and it was really inexpensive.
     
  10. Curtis

    Curtis Member

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    Thank you everyone. Your expertise in the field is clearly showing over my grande ambients.

    After reading everyones suggestions and knowing my own situations and interests I think I will just catch a train.

    Can we redirect the conversion to whether or not I should be worried in mid-September about not finding an available bed upon arrival or where to book ahead. Albergue preferred over hotel

    love and peace. Buen Camino!
     
  11. Anemone del Camino

    Anemone del Camino Camino addict

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    Where to book in SJPP? Just take a look at the Eroski or Gronze sites, they will list accomodations, indicatiing which ones allow you to book ahead.
     
  12. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Hugely depends what time of day/day of the week you arrive in the end. For peace of mind, I would book ahead, see here for accommodation options: http://santiago.forwalk.org/en/trai...garoncesvalles/place/saint-jean-pied-de-port/

    Buen Camino, SY
     
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  13. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Forgot to add, there is also a brilliant PDF here in the resources section of the forum with 'all albergues' of the Camino Frances ;-) Buen Camino, SY
     
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  14. Nanc

    Nanc Active Member Donating Member

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    I am currently at the charles de gaulle airport, flying out tomorrow to Biarritz. Cost of a taxi to SJPdP would have been $19e for my share.
    I was stuck after the strike with plane connections that didn't work. And getting in at 1 pm, I had no expectations of being able to see Paris. Lost time was my attitude.
    Today different story. I booked a hotel at the Terminus and am shocked at how I DON'T hear planes over head, and pleasantly surprised at a $100 hotel room. I've been awake 36 hours so looking forward to a bed before hitting SJPdP.
    And even heading out after 2 pm via RER B from the airport I had an awesome time around NotreDame., River tours, and a lovely cup of tea and lunch on the sidewalk with classic French bistro tsble.
    Beginning in the a.m. gives you a lot of daylight! ,
    Nothing lost and MUCH GAINED
    Nanc
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  15. The SJPdP Pilgrim office stays open till after the pilgrims from the last train have arrived. They will know where you can find a bed. So its worth finding where they are located on a map ... because you will likely arrive after dark. Anecdotally there are not many stories of albergues being full ... particularly in September.
     
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  16. BonitaHolland

    BonitaHolland Active Member

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    Don't forget to try AirBnB
     
  17. Sandra Ashby

    Sandra Ashby New Member

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    I came to the same conclusion. I am leaving Toronto on Sept. 6th. I decided to go with the flow and take the first train I can catch. I do not want to arrive after a sleepless night and have to worry about connections. Buen Camino!
     
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  18. C clearly

    C clearly Veteran Member Donating Member

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    You didn't say which airline, but isn't there a later flight? Last year I flew from Toronto to Biarritz, via Paris, on Air France. I scrolled way down the list of flight connections to find a connection with a couple hours more time, but still got to Biarritz by mid-afternoon. Your choices may be limited as your flight is coming up soon, and you won't be able to buy it on the same ticket as your trans-Atlantic.
     
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  19. kelleymac

    kelleymac Active Member Donating Member

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    We did this from Toronto last May. We couldn't make the flight connections in time for early flight, the evening flight landed us in Bayonne late. (We arrived at CDG and flight south was out of Orly.) We thought about spending the night in Paris, but ended up taking the night train from Paris to Bayonne. (We got couchettes.) That gave us a day in Paris, and a morning in Bayonne. We took the train to SJPP arriving there about noon. I reserved beds for us in Orrison. So the first walk for us was only a few hours, but we were jet lagged and I was glad to stop and have dinner made for us.

    There are a few places in Paris that offer beds for pilgrims. I had thought of staying the night in Paris and taking the morning train down to Bayonne, but the beds that I found were all taken.
     
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  20. kelleymac

    kelleymac Active Member Donating Member

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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
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  21. mspath

    mspath Veteran Member Donating Member

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  22. olgaeveraert

    olgaeveraert Olga Everaert

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    oh hallo fellow Canadian, I leave TO Sep 13, flying out to Dublin. I thought long and hard about which way to go, and Dublin it is. Found I could not get a direct flight to Biarritz until the next day so.. get to spend a full day and night in Dublin.. and why not.. arrive in Biarritz the 15th and plan to hire a car to SJPDP.. and then the adventure begins.. maybe I will see you around.. buen Camino and have a safe trip
     
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  23. Magz

    Magz New Member

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    Hi Curtis,
    I'm arriving in Paris a few hours after you same day. I have a flight booked to Biarritz that evening and spending the night there before heading on to SJPP the following day. I'm hopeful to have enough time to get to a little something of Paris but maybe not enough time. This is all assuming flights are on time and bags retrieved quickly! Perhaps our paths will cross
    Buon Camino
    Maggie
     
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  24. olgaeveraert

    olgaeveraert Olga Everaert

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    Hi Maggie, maybe I see you in SJPP safe trip
     
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  25. Magz

    Magz New Member

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    Yes! Perhaps we will. Safe travels to you as well.
     
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  26. Sandra Ashby

    Sandra Ashby New Member

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    There is a Ryan air flight at 3 pm but it is full. I was in the process of booking one of the last two seats when they were taken. The other airlines have flights but they are quite a bit more expensive. I will look into it again but not worried....I have not done any train travel for a while and I hear it is a pleasant trip. Cheers Sandra
     
  27. Old Koot

    Old Koot Member

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    Trust the Germans to have accurate information for the French trains Use https://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml.

    Arriving at CDG, you should have lots of time to catch the #4 Bus to Montparnasse (spelling) the main train station in Paris, the final stop for that 45 minute bus ride. Then from there, you should be able to book a ticket and catch a high speed train all the way to St Jean, if you haven't already figured out how to buy your train tickets on-line. When you first walk into that station from the bus stop, keep a watch for the TVG (again spelling) sign on your right while you're still in that corridor. That will be where you get your tickets.

    Taking the train is much cheaper than flying, and you get to St Jean, or in my case, to Irun, by late afternoon the same day. For me, it's about 30 hours of continuous travel from the west coast to the first albergue, but it's worth it to do it all on one long day, eh!!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
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  28. Curtis

    Curtis Member

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    Thank you Koot. That does sound like an ideal option, but I'm having a hard time finding St. Jean as a destination on that website you provided

    EDIT: Nevermind I found. It is saying that I cannot purchase a ticket online for non-German routes. That shouldn't be an issue
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  29. Sandra Ashby

    Sandra Ashby New Member

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    From one old boot to an Old Koot, thank you for this information. I am in a low space right now...you bucked me up!! I am flying or taking the train to Biarritz and staying there t0 recoup for a couple of days. This is to be a journey after a long emotional journey....one step at a time. Trying to stay on the right side of many things....!! I thank you and wish you a Buen Camino!
     
  30. Albertagirl

    Albertagirl Veteran Member

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    @olgaeveraert
    I shall also be flying out of Toronto that day on my way to Europe. If you see me it would probably be running through terminal 3 trying to get my flight to Paris with less than 1.5 hours connection time from my Calgary flight and no time to get anything to eat. My latest information from Air France announces that they only provide breakfast - on an 18:35 overnight flight. I suppose that I, like many travelers obsess about the details of travel because we are so aware of having no control over most of it. However, on to France to begin our caminos - me in Oloron Ste Marie and you in St Jean Pied de Port. May both of us, and the other travelers to the camino, travel safely and with only the usual frustrations of flying. Buen camino.
     
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  31. Sandra Ashby

    Sandra Ashby New Member

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    Run, fly and walk safely and with pleasure....I will watch out for the flying peregrino in Toronto...I am catching an Air Canada flight so I will not journey forward with you but I do wish you well.
     
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  32. tony young

    tony young Ulysses ... mostly lost

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    .... Hi Curtis ...
    I fly into cdg at 8.30pm on the 13th ex West Australia .... so no sympathy for the long travel time
    ... I booked a room at a cdg hotel ...
    I am flying Easyjet a 7am the next morning (14th Sept) ... and was looking to share a ride ... taxi .. hire car
    ... if any of this helps you .... drop me a line
     
  33. You need to be careful that you are providing accurate information. There are a lot of errors and misinformation here.

    The bus from CDG to Montparnasse is operated by Le Bus Direct. Its website states the journey is 1:15.

    Gare Montparnasse is just one of several large train stations in Paris. Its not the 'main station'.

    The TGV is on high speed tracks to Bordeaux only. Sometimes you transfer to another train at Bordeaux and sometimes at Dax too. The train from Bayonne to SJPdP is a TER train and it starts in Bayonne.

    Flying is usually cheaper than the train ... unless you try to book a flight the same day of travel. The transfer from one terminal to another is usually time consuming and the flight schedule does not usually correlate with the train from Bayonne to SJPdP ... so there are advantages to taking the train ... price is not one of them.
     
  34. tony young

    tony young Ulysses ... mostly lost

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    ..... just booked a shuttle from Biarritz airport to SJPP after the early morning Easyjet flight .... anyone interested in sharing the fare ?
     
  35. olgaeveraert

    olgaeveraert Olga Everaert

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    hola, I like your spirit and , that is quite the journey ahead of you..safe travels, buen camino
     
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  36. Old Koot

    Old Koot Member

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    Just checking my own options, and now I note that from CDG, there is an available train connection this year (37 minutes) that takes me to Montparnasse precluding the bus option and facilitates me catching the 12:25 TGV 8537 TGV direct to Irun ( i.e. - no further train transfers). I don't yet know the price difference, but I would presume it would be less than the bus. Going to St Jean exactly one week later, you should have the same Tuesday schedule, except that you would transfer at Bayonne.

    After all the dust is settling a couple of hours later, I couldn't book a train from CDG, but was able to book a ticket via Voyages-sncf from Montparnasse at 84euros, which is less than the 97euros I paid last year at the Montparnasse station. Now I can save time standing in line by just going directly to the train and finding my seat. <sigh>
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  37. ChloeRose

    ChloeRose Member

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    I'd strongly suggest a proper night's sleep in Paris before catching your next leg. Your body will thank you! Starting your Camino with jetlag isn't great, especially as your first day is the mountain :) That said, I met another Torontonian who started right away and made it work.
     
  38. Old Koot

    Old Koot Member

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    I've never done that, albeit on my first Camino I did spend an extra night in St Jean, but that was a waste of time. On the Frances the second time, for me after 30 hours of travel it was much better after less than 5 hours of sleep to walk up to Orrisson (spelling ?) very early in the morning and get a bed there for the next night.

    On the del Norte, I'll walk to Pasajes, only about 17km or so (which is what I should have done last year) again after perhaps 5 hours or so of sleep after 30 hours of nonstop travelling without sleep. I'm not from the centre of the Universe, but instead from a small island at the top end of the Gulf of Georgia. My travel begins with catching the 7:00am ferry.
     
  39. Curtis

    Curtis Member

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    Thanks again everyone. This post has given me clarity and confidence. Looking forward to running into (walking into?) many of you that have said you'll be walking this September
     
  40. Christian Hiriart

    Christian Hiriart The Camino keeps calling. Donating Member

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    Planning for the next...
    I'm arriving to Paris CDG terminal 2A at 8:45am on September 17th from Toronto, I made reservation with Easyjet for 10:55am terminal 2D to Biarritz. With a little more than 2 hours I thought I would have enough time to do the transfer. For what I read here it would appear that I won't make the fly. I will keep this reservation anyhow and if I make it great, but if I don't I will take the train. Thanks for bringing this up, gives me a chance to be prepared for plan B just in case.
     
  41. Christian Hiriart

    Christian Hiriart The Camino keeps calling. Donating Member

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    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
    Planning for the next...
    For those of you that know CDG airport, is terminal 2A in the same building than 2D?
     
  42. Let us know how it goes. Buen Camino.

    2A is not in the same building as 2D.

    Here is Paris Airport (CDG and Orly) website.
    http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en

    See the map.
    http://www.parisaeroport.fr/passagers/acces/paris-charles-de-gaulle/plans-terminaux

    Shuttle info (probably faster to walk)
    http://www.parisaeroport.fr/docs/de...minaux-paris-cdg_plan-circuit-n1.jpg?sfvrsn=8
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2016
  43. Christian Hiriart

    Christian Hiriart The Camino keeps calling. Donating Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    428
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Frances September (2016) St. Jean to Leon
    Planning for the next...
    Thanks Whariwharangi, the maps are useful. You are right, is probably faster to walk.

    I will report back and let you know if I made it to my fly.

    Chris
     
  44. mvanert

    mvanert Member Donating Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    169
    Location:
    Surrey, Canada
    Camino(s) past & future:
    Pamplona - Santiago 2014, St. Jean to Estella June 2016, Estella to ? 2018
    This June I flew from Vancouver to Paris and then Paris to Bayonne, took a shared taxi to St Jean, it worked perfect.

     

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