There are so many people I have spoken to over the years who think that flying to France is just way too expensive. Now I know that what is considered ‘expensive’ is always relative. Expensive to me may not be for you. If you are looking to visit Paris, and now is a great time for those in the US since the dollar has gained so much ground on the Euro making it even less expensive, then I would suggest starting by checking out flights. I always prefer to fly direct – that is you get on at your local airport and get off in Paris – no stops, no layovers, no missed connections. I realize that this is not possible for everyone, and it can sometimes be more expensive than connecting flights. But no matter how you dice it, you will be on the plane for many hours. Paying a little more for a direct flight might be worth not having to change planes, sit around an airport waiting (or possibly missing a connecting flight). Direct flights also minimize the possibility of lost luggage. Check out the different airlines and what they are offering at different times of the year. Remember, that during high season, it will always be more expensive so if you can, look at traveling just after the season or just before. You can still have great weather and you might score a lower airfare. On top of that there won’t be as many tourists which is always a blessing. And of course, traveling during the low season is always less expensive and less crowded. The great sights of Paris look the same in any weather.
There are two main airports serving Paris – Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY). Both are close to the city so check out flights to either. If you are arriving from outside of the EU, you will need to go through passport control. This can be hit or miss. Sometimes there are several flights arriving at the same time making for longer lines which can really suck after a long flight. However, as the French say ‘there is always a solution’ if you are able and willing to pay a little extra. Several years ago some friends of ours told us about an expediting company that operates from CDG and ORY. Check this out. They literally meet you at the door to the plane, escort you past all the lines for customs where they present your passport to the customs agent and Voilá you are done (On several occasions we have made it from the plane to baggage claim in less than 5 minutes). They take you to baggage claim and help you with all of your bags and then, if you choose, they will have a car waiting to whisk you to your hotel. Or, they will assist your with your bags to get a cab into the city. It is an amazing service and I highly recommend it. Here is a link to their website:
If you are not using an expediting service, not to worry, you will be just fine. Both airports are great and easy to navigate. Once you clear customs and collect your bags, make your way out to find taxis in abundance.