Short connection time at Paris Airport CDG

I have a question for anyone who has had a short connection time in Paris (CDG).

We are booked for the Classic Italy Small Groups tour beginning at the end of April. I just received notice from Delta that our flights have been changed. We are flying from Seattle to Naples on Delta connecting at CDG in Paris with Air France taking us to Naples. Originally we had a comfortable 3 hour layover at CDG. The flight change now only gives us 1 hour and 5 minutes connection. Short connections always put me in the high anxiety group.

Is 1 hour 5 minutes enough time to make this connection? The flight was booked with Tauck air department.



  • JohnS,

    Given that you will need to maneuver your way between terminals and pass through passport control, I would not wish to risk it. However, if your flight is on-time, if you are in business/first class and know in advance which shuttle to take, it certainly can be done.

    Long gone are the days in which my husband and I can sprint through airports. We usually like having sufficient time to relax in the lounges before our next flight, but that is merely our preference. Good luck with whatever choice you make and enjoy your tour. It's a great one! Safe travels.

  • I wouldn't risk it. Even if you make it through, your bags might not.

  • We are in business class so we will be one of the first out of the plane. I agree that spending time in the lounge especially after a long overnight flight is the best way to go. Going through passport control and the unknowns with the Covid requirements are my major concerns. We will probably call Tauck to see what other options are available.

  • Good point, BKMD, but since JohnS is flying business class, his luggage will be on the connecting flight long before he will be!

    JohnS - Have all of your COVID- related documentation in one place. You just never know when it will be requested.

  • I wouldn’t chance such a short connection time. Have you spoken with Tauck air department? If you booked with them, they may be able to help. We had a similar problem with an American flight change leaving us with an even shorter connection time, and Tauck was able to get us on a different flight with a more comfortable connect time. Good luck.

  • Tauck air seem to be messing up flights like this, accepting short, short layovers, I know it’s not their fault, but we had to call them for short connection time for two of our tours. They fixed them, then days later, they were back again. We ultimately had to cancel two tours because flights were impossible. There just aren’t enough flights opening up for destinations that are opening up to travelers.

  • I wouldn't risk it either even though everyone will tell you it's an allowable connection time. My travel agent will say that too but I prefer not to take chances. You'll have to pray your flight is on time in the first place and hopefully lands on time, then you'll have to navigate to the international terminal and go through security all over again. That can easily take over an hour. Hopefully, Tauck can remedy it for you. Squeaky wheels get heard.

  • British,

    JohnS clearly mentioned that it was Delta who changed the flight, not Tauck. I am confident that Tauck's air department can and will assist him in finding a solution.

  • When it happened to us with American, we learned that when there is a schedule change, that change is automatically generated by the airline’s computer system, which does not evaluate the connection times. It was not done by Tauck, In fact, Tauck was more than accommodating and provided us with options for changing our flight.

  • Our most recent trip to South Africa last November had a nightmare flight scenario. Our flight to Amsterdam to connect with the flight to SA had an emergency landing in Detroit due to a mechanical issue. Needless to say, we missed the connection and spent overnight in Amsterdam. We ended up joining the Tauck tour halfway into day one. Neither my wife nor I want to go through this again.

    We will probably call Tauck tomorrow to see what the options are.

  • Given the state of air travel right now it's hard to avoid changes. Even before covid we've had itineraries Tauck booked us that were just fine until the airlines made flight changes and yes Tauck air helped. In one case they were the first to notify me that there was a problem.

  • On two occasions Tauck notified me of changes before the airline notified me. Their customer service is, in my opinion, unparalleled within the industry. I believe the airlines will resume "normal" service and routes as we recover from the pandemic.

    JohnS - Please keep us apprised.

  • Also check into any later flights that day incase you do not make the connection. If you are early enough in the day and miss your flight, they may be able to get you on a later flight the same day. That happened to us when we were connecting to Warsaw via Frankfurt.

  • edited February 2022

    I realize it is not Tauck’s fault, but when they book the air, they could review a change before sending the new itineraries to the customer. As I said, just a few weeks ago, we were sent a new itinerary for a tour. We spend almost two hours while we were on another tour trying to get hold of them. They changed the flights for us and then within a week, changed it again, changing time, airline, country we were going through and airport we were departing from. It was not an acceptable schedule.
    One of the tours we had to cancel, there was just one flight a day. That’s how John missed his flight. Southern Africa is particularly hard to fly to right now.

  • If you do a flight booking test and both flights are options, that means, technically speaking, the connection time meets the carrier's minimum connection time for that airport. Delta does not list flights that do not meet that criteria. Any substitute flights will also meet the minimum connection time criteria for that airport.

    Whether you can actually make it depends on the incoming flight arriving on time, etc., etc.

    It was before COVID, but just a few years ago we made a connection in AMS in less than 30 min., about half the published minimum connection time, due to our 1st flight arriving late. We ran flat out, bypassed the passport control, and luckily we were able to do the formalities and have the "questions" asked at the gate. In more recent years that process has been moved to the gate area at least at AMS.

    As to how it all works now in the COVID era, I can't say. In any case, Delta/AF thinks you can make it.

  • Do airlines still hold flights for arriving late connections?

  • edited February 2022

    They sorta did that for us in AMS, they held the door open to the very last minute. I suspect the airlines really don't want to go through the hassle of re-booking and getting us a hotel room.

    In the incident in AMS, we asked the crew of our incoming flight to alert operations and the folks at our next departure gate, so they knew we were coming. What we didn't know is that all boarding passes say Gate 1 (for a security check) then passengers were sent to the actual gate. It turned out our flight was actually leaving from Gate 2 which we couldn't see from where we were standing. When we showed up at Gate 1, huffing and puffing, they asked are you [AlanS]. I said, "yes we are supposed to be on FLT XX to ATL"- they pointed and told us to go to Gate 2, which luckily was directly opposite. After we did the "security questions" (gate people pleaded our case to the security guy) we were allowed to board. They immediately closed the aircraft door and within a minute or two started the push-back!

  • The ‘agents’ will only rarely hold a flight for connecting pax. People who are already on the airplane may miss their connections if the flight is delayed. We are normally flying as fast as the airplane can go efficiently, so ‘making up time’ enroute is largely a fallacy. That being said, if I could see passengers at the gate when the agent is trying to close the door, I would not leave without them. A couple times I got off the airplane when the agent was insisting on closing the door … the plane rarely left without me. The agents are under a lot of pressure to close the door on time.

  • Sealord Good point. I remember a long time ago, can't remember where I was heading or why there was a back up at security. I do remember being concerned about missing my flight. The Captain was also in a rush. He came up behind me and very politely asked if he could go ahead of me. I remember smiling and replying, Sir, the plane will not leave without you, me, not so much. He returned a smile and said, yep, you're right.

  • 1 hr & 5 minutes in CDG is cutting it tight. After a Tauck riverboat cruise we spent a week in Bordeaux. Flying home on Delta/AF we had a longer connection than that and literally had to run to catch our flight to Atlanta. The lines for passport control at CDG were very long. Good luck.

  • I called Tauck air department today and they indicated that 1 ½ hours is the minimum for a smooth connection. There was nothing on Delta that didn’t require an extremely long 10 to 12 hour layover.

    I ended up booking with United with the only downside being a 2 stop flight into Naples. I ended up booking this on my own since we have over $5000 in United future flight credits so all has worked out well. Hopefully no flight changes before the end of April.

  • JohnS,

    I'm glad you/Tauck found a solution.

  • This past fall we were flying Pittsburgh to DC to Jordan. Our flight was delayed leaving Pittsburgh because of storms around DC. We arrived in DC with moments to spare and raced to the gate. The door was closed, and the agent just said sorry. The overnight flight to Vienna left without us. The airline's decision to depart on time, cost us $500 because our PCR tests would have expired since we had to spend the night in DC. I would definitely have a Plan B when there is a tight connection.

  • loves2travel2 That was such an unfortunate situation and totally out of your hands.

    On my departing flight to international travel destinations, which usually has a layover in a USA city, I intentionally book the flight with a long layover in the connecting city. I try for ~4 hours. In the last few years there have been two occurrences where my flight out of NOLA was delayed by 2 hours. I don't panic. I enjoy my time in the lounge knowing I have cushion. I find there is less flexibility on flights returning to the USA, but again, if I have the option, I opt for the longer layover.

    This is another reason I treat myself to business class travel--if there are issues, (usually), the airlines/ agents are working on your behalf. I know in this situation, traveling business class wouldn't have made a difference for the additional cost incurred for the PCR test.

  • First class or business class will not help with a short connection if your flight out of the US is delayed. The wheels touch the runway at the same time for all passengers aboard and the luggage. Delta is partnered with Air France, which may be in your favor. I was 4 hours late departing US on Delta/Air France to CDG in 2019 due to mechanical issues requiring a change of gate and aircraft. Luggage and passengers were already onboard before discovering the problem. Fortunately I called and spoke to a Tauck representative at 11pm eastern time while awaiting a new gate assignment. The Tauck rep assured me that I could take a taxi at Tauck's expense from the airport to Paris if I missed the Tauck transfer. Tauck informed the transfer company of my late arrival and met me at CDH. Connections present an entirely different concern.

  • Being in the first group to deplane (First Class, Business, Premium Economy, etc) can help but is no guarantee. It can put you in line at passport control ahead of your plane load of passengers. A harder factor to predict is how many other plane loads are arriving at the same time. We've had 5 minute waits at CDG passport control and 45 minute. That's on top of walking or potentially riding the light rail to another terminal. The 45 minute wait was on our very first Tauck tour when we sat on the tarmac at JFK for 3 hours because a thunder storm had hit just as we had all boarded. Thankfully, our driver with the transfer service had been tracking the arrival time of the flight and was there without needing to call.

  • CDG is an extremely complicated airport even if you have prepared ahead of time with the maps,arrival and departure gates.We always have a minimum of 2 hours for transit preferably longer.The airport has nice facilities for business and first class;so it is not bad if you have to stay there for the connection.We did miss our flight connection once at CDG on our way to India;had to stay at an airport hotel which was not very good.

  • I just arrived at CDG and was glad I didn’t have to transfer because it took about 20 minutes to taxi to the gate area, another 15 waiting to actually use the gate and then a very long walk to immigration, train to another terminal and then another long walk. We were in business, too and it was well over an hour before we made it to baggage claim (which took another 45 min. to retrieve our bags) 1 hour is not enough!

  • JohnS ,Hi
    My suggestion ...
    Ask when checking in @ Seatac for assistance on arrival @ CDG. they will shuttle you through immigration & directly to the gate. CDG is not an easy airport.

  • You need 2 hours, just like FRA. It’s not complicated just massive. If you are checking bags then definitely 2 hours - their luggage processing is very slow.

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