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arriving at the charles de gaulle airport, paris
- the auroran sunset

France - The Pyrenees mountain range
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arriving at the charles de gaulle airport, paris
- the auroran sunset

[You will see no photos at all - it’s too depressing taking pictures of ugliness.]

I have a new advertising slogan for the main Paris airport:

“Nothing puts you in a bad mood like CDG. Come to Paris!”

They badly need new management, plus a redesign. Nothing says “Welcome home” quite like an hour or two standing in completely unnecessary and unmanaged queues for ‘security’, followed by a total lack of security for your luggage. That has been sitting waiting to be stolen because of the first folly, followed by illogical, stupid, contradictory and missing signs. Add in a dose of surly, unhelpful jobsworth staff, in a building so badly designed that you go deaf from all the conversations.

Then when you think you have escaped, take a too full train through the scarred landscape of pervasive property defacement (graffiti ‘artists’ are one of the few types I would happily shoot on sight), suffering the advances of ever-present beggars who roam from carriage to carriage with their intrusive ‘music’. Finally you arrive in the world’s dirtiest station - the Gare du Nord, full of gangs of dubious looking ‘youths’, usually loitering in the way of exits, making clouds of noxious fumes with their little white dummies.

That last paragragh can’t really be blamed on the CDG management, but it all adds to the whole “arriving in Paris” experience.

No wonder I always used to go via Amsterdam’s lovely calm and peaceful Schiphol Airport to reach the south of France and avoid that damned place. Maybe if they paid me enough, I’d consider fixing it for them - that sort of thing seems to be becoming my area of expertise.

Everytime I come back to Paris, my mind boggles that the world’s tourism capital can get away with such an appalling first impression. Charles de Gaulle airport is a national disgrace.

Marker at abelard.org

And here is how Aéroports de Paris advertised themselves in 2013, after a major upgrading of the airport facilities. [video: 3:04 mins]

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340 words
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the address for this document is https://www.abelard.org/france/cdg_airport.php