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France "Citizen's Climate Convention"

Having just returned from India, my wife and I, I feel well qualified to contribute to this debate. I like the trains in France and often they are the best choice.

However, having decided to do the return trip to CDG by train, this time, we have now decided that in fiture we will go by air, probably from Nantes.
For a month in India we had two large suitcases, my wife’s, small carry on suitcase and my small rucksack. I chose the rucksack as my carry on baggage as I realised I was going to have to handle most of the luggage other than on flat even surfaces where no lifting is involved.
I live 20km say 30min by car from a railway station which with one change will take me directly to CDG terminal 2 and from there one takes the CDG Val to the other terminals and car parks.
So here we have a taxi to the railway station a wait for the connecting train at Poitiers or Tours (St. Pierre des Corps) direct to CDG and change to CDG Val and on to the check in desk where we can get rid of the large suitcases at the check in desk and make our way through security to the airline lounge.
1/ Taxi fares in France are not what one would call cheap. (There is parking at the local railway station but at around the same cost as the off airport charges and for some reason I don’t feel it is quite as secure an environment.)
2/ Getting from the taxi to the train with luggage is probably less of a hike than parking to check in desk and I can arrive for the train 5 minutes before it is time to leave.
3/ Getting the luggage on the train is a little more difficult than putting 2 large cases on the check in conveyor at the airport.
4/ Major problem, finding space for the cases on the train. It is not ideal to leave them in the corridor between the seats, especially as they are on wheels and have no parking brakes. TGVs are very popular in France and whilst one has a guaranteed seat a space for luggage is always a bun fight.
5/ Getting on and off the train and finding space for the luggage has to be repeated when one changes trains.
6/ On arrival at CDG one has to manouver all this luggage to a different level and on to the crowded (a la metro crowded) CDGVAL and at the your departure terminal one has to go up a level in order to get to the check in desks. Only then are you free of the large heavy cases.
All this has been made much more difficult as following an incident at St Pancras International when going to board the Eurostar, my wife has developed a physchological fear of getting on and off escalators and travelators and needs both hands free to do so.
I have yet to find a way to get 2 large and 1 small suitcase on wheels and myself onto an escalator without danger to third parties.
So we need to allow extra time waiting in line for elevators which have limited space.
The alternative is:-
1/ drive to Nantes airport 1h15
2/ Be met by the valet parking service on arrival at the airport.
3/ Nantes is not a large airport and it is only a shallow ramp into the departure lounge where one could check the big cases on direct to destination New Delhi.
One more security hassle which would normally mean arriving earlier to ensure getting to the gate on time but this can be mitigated by paying for fast track security.
One still has to use the crowded CDGVAL and the escalators but this is easier without the big cases
Whether going by train or via a regional airport the schedules do not always work out. And unless you are prepared to get up before going to bed, going by air can mean a night in a hotel on the outward journey. On the return journey it is the train where one often needs an hotel and you have to haul the now even heavier suitcases and a whole load of other crap which you might have collected on the way and wont fit into the luggage you took with you back and forth your chosen airport hotel by navette and you still have to get up early if you want breakfast to catch the morning train.
The train normally works out cheaper, even travelling first class with its extra luggage space, comfortable seats with more leg room and wifi, especially when one gets the over 60’s discount.
So you pays your money and you takes your choice.
So both @johnh and @Skydriller are in fact correct when it comes to travelling in France
Just my 2cts🙂


@johnh, I understand what you are saying, but at the same time, you just proved my point – everyone’s situation is different.
Where I am its easier to drive to the airport, than get to the TGV railway station in Bordeaux – by any method, and Im usually flying further than Paris. The last time I did get a TGV (no luggage, needed to be in the middle of Paris for the day), availability was down to the last few seats over 2 weeks in advance, so rail must be more convenient for some, despite it being a real hassle for me I did get the train.
And conversely flight-wise, ChalAir seem to be doing something right with their routes connecting the extreme parts of France directly. I just don’t thing this type of regulation is going to make any positive difference to anyone or the environment.

The reason this measure will do little is because the airlines have done a lot of work to make travel, and particularly with luggage, as workable as possible (not using the word “pleasant”; that bit ended about 30 years ago ) while trains are still accurately depicted by films from the Bolshevik revolution, with the only differences being that the clouds of smoke are now missing, and the train goes a lot faster.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

You are right that in these measures will do nothing. Not because they will have little effect on aircraft emissions but because they will have no effect.
In typical French fashion it boils down to the cancellation.of somewhere between 3 and 5 air routes from places like Bordeaux and Nantes to Paris Orly. But these routes have not operated since the onset of Covid and have since shown no sign of a return.
Ergo the reduction in CO2 or whatever from these flights has nothing to do with these measures.
However, in the political bubble it’s a win win for everyone. The government is seen to be doing something about climate change whilst keeping opposition politicians and airlines happy.


The government is seen to be doing something about climate change whilst keeping opposition politicians and airlines happy.

Vive la France!

It’s also worth pointing out that this only affects flights to Orly. Flights to CDG continue, since their purpose is primarily to connect with long haul flights. So if you REALLY want to fly BOD-Paris, say because you live in Andernos and your friends are in Roissy, then it is still perfectly possible.

LFMD, France

I hear this “French initiative” being used in the media here to call for something similar.

A bit ironic given that we’re an island with no train service to get on or off it, and we actually subsidise some of our domestic flights to help promote regional development! So trying to tax it and subsidise it at the same time would be silly.

It doesn’t seem to be getting any traction thankfully.

EIWT Weston, Ireland
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