Early Morning CDG Flight
We realised we had booked two early-morning flights from Charles de Gaulle, the main airport for Paris. We looked up if the metro/RER was running that early, but from our stop the times didn't work out. So the RER wasn't an option.
We couldn't find much online, bar a few out-of-date forum posts, on alternative methods for getting to CDG that early, so I thought I'd write our experiences down.
Option 1: Shared Taxi
For our first flight we got a shared taxi, using WeCab. It was pretty simple to order online. You decide by what time you want to arrive at the airpot (we chose 6:30am, for a 7:15am flight). Then they give you a window during which they will pick you up. Our window was half an hour wide (5:25am to 5:55am), but as we are staying on the other side of Paris we expected the taxi would show up closer to 5:25am.
The cab showed up at 5:20am (!), and we had to rush a little to get out the door. The service said they would text 5 minutes before the taxi arrived, but they didn't. Thankfully, we were staying in a ground floor flat with a view of the road and I noticed the driver waiting outside.
We only picked up one other couple (the taxi had room for seven people), and we arrived at the airport with plenty of time.
- Cost: €46.30 for two (~$62)
- Wake-up time: 5:05am (for 7:20am flight)
Option 2: Hotel
For our second flight, we decided to get a room in a hotel airport. We chose the ibis CDG Airport – it's pretty much at Terminal 3, and was about a 15-minute trip (CDGVAL terminal shuttle and walking) to our check-in gate.
Our flight was on a Sunday, so we arrived at the hotel on the Saturday. Despite advertising a lot of food options, there was only one buffet for lunch so we ended up going into the airport itself for lunch. That evening, only one of the restaurants was open, with a 30-minute wait time for food and a long line out the door. Pretty poor, to be honest.
We were on an EasyJet flight to Malága, so we had to get to the airport pretty early. On EasyJet, you're only allowed one carry-on (not one suitcase and one laptop bag, just one bag). Baggage drop closes 40 mins before departure, and gates close 30 mins before departure. So we had to be there earlier than our previous flight. However, we still managed to get up later.
- Cost: €97 for two (~$132)
- Wake-up time: 5:30am (for 7:00am flight)
Despite the hotel we chose having a number of flaws, I'd definitely recommend getting a hotel rather than the early-morning cab.
The peace of mind knowing you're in the airport complex, plus the convenience of a 15-minute automated train and walking journey, far outweigh the difference in price.