In this review we will take a look at the ‘Salon Paris’ business class lounge, the only lounge in Terminal 2C of Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport.
Charles de Gaulle terminal change
As my inbound Air France flight from Amsterdam arrived at Terminal 2F of Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport I had to find my way to Terminal 2C for my onward Aeroflot flight to Moscow.
Some inter-terminal transfers at Paris CDG are fairly easy to make and consist only of a short walk or bus ride. Sometimes, it can however be much more complicated or even downright grueling. Because of this the airport has a bad reputation among some travellers.
As someone who frequently connects through Paris CDG I think this reputation is a bit undeserved as most parts of the airport are pleasant enough and most terminal changes easy to make. That said, on this occasion the airport would definitely show itself from its worst side.
According to the invaluable website of Easy CDG, I had to simply head down after passport control, take an airside bus and voila, I would find myself directly in the gate area of Terminal 2C. Even the Air France flight attendant on my previous flight assured me that it was all “very straightforward”. In reality, it seemed to be more akin to a stage from the Tour de France in distance and effort that it requires.
After passing through passport control (which is a bit odd for an intra-Schengen flight – but not uncommon at all at CDG!) the way down to the inter-terminal bus was barricaded off for some reason. I was left with no other choice than to head to the baggage reclaim area and into the arrivals hall – and make my way to 2C on foot.
Even though the directions to the other terminals were well-signposted – it was not exactly an easy walk. It took me more than half an hour of walking through eternally long halls and corridors before I finally arrived in Terminal 2C.
The check-in hall of terminal 2C of Charles de Gaulle will not win awards for its design as it is rather narrow and thus quickly overcrowds. It is however a fun place for people watching due to the curious mix of airlines operating from it.
It seemed that 2C caters mostly to flights of less glamorous airlines, most of them from some of the old French colonies such as Air Algerie for example. Queues for check-in were a wild chaos with people taking some of the biggest suitcases I’ve ever seen. Some even took what looked like their entire household placed on top of small airport trolleys.
Luckily I had hand baggage only and could zigzag through the chaos and head straight for the entrance to the departure area.
Not being able to take the inter-terminal bus meant that I had to clear security and go through passport control again to go airside in Terminal 2C. In total, it took one hour and 40 minutes from the moment I stepped out of my arriving plane in Terminal 2F until the moment I was finally inside the departure area of Terminal 2C. That is more than double the 45 minutes which it normally should take according to the Easy CDG website!
In a sharp contrast to the check-in area, the departure area of Terminal 2C actually looked quite decent. It was bright and airy and had plenty of seats. There is free airport WiFi, as well as a handful of duty free shops and cafes for a small snack or a drink.
Even though the check-in area was rather crowded, the departure area felt pleasantly empty at this late afternoon hour. It is however rather small compared to other terminals at CDG such as 2F and 2E, so I would certainly not recommend people to arrive too early before their flight expecting there to be plenty of shops and other features to keep you entertained.
Salon Paris lounge
Terminal 2C of Paris CDG Airport has a single business lounge called the ‘Salon Paris’. It is used by all departing airlines, which besides Aeroflot are Air Madagascar, Gulf Air, Kenya Airways, MEA, Rossiya, Saudia, Uzbekistan Airways and a few others. To access the lounge, you must have a business class ticket or a high enough frequent flyer status, which for Aeroflot corresponds to Elite Plus status with any of the Sky Team alliance airlines.
The Salon Paris lounge is surely not something to write home about. It is dark, has an outdated design and furniture, and feels rather depressing due to the lack of natural light. The lounge is basically shaped like a giant letter ‘L’, with the food buffet being in the front of the lounge. There were definitely plenty of seating options throughout the lounge, with both comfy seats and sofas as well as work and dining tables being available.
Fortunately, the lounge was not really crowded when I arrived, with plenty of empty seats to choose from. I took a seat as far away as possible from the entrance as possible and made myself comfortable. There seemed to be plenty of plug sockets available throughout the lounge. As the lounge WiFi network worked seamlessly, it is therefore a good place to get some work done.
After I took my seat, it was time to explore the food and beverage options in the lounge. These were rather disappointing as well. The food selection was quite dreadful as it existed only out of some crisps, stale looking bread and croissants. The only food that actually looked decent enough was the French cheese.
At one point, the lounge attendant put a huge pot of couscous out on the pantry, although the contents somehow looked even more unappealing than the stale pastries and bread. I stayed well clear of it all – knowing that I would get much better food on board of my Aeroflot flight.
Also the booze selection was rather disappointing – especially in quantity. There was one bottle each of gin, whisky, cognac and vodka (all mid-shelf brands), cans of Heineken beer, and two mediocre bottles of both red and white wine. With Charles Heidsieck, the lounge did however have a respectable champagne on offer.
I spent about an hour in the lounge nibbling on some French cheese and drinking a wee bit of champagne and wine before I headed back into the departure area. It was a good decision as the the gate agent called a dozen or so names, including mine, to report to the gate.
It turned out it was just the gate staff doing a Russian visa check before they started the boarding procedure to make sure we would all have the proper documents to gain entry into Russia (airlines can get massively fined if they transport ineligible passengers).
The friendly gate agent informed me that they would begin soon with boarding and that with only 40 to 50 or so passengers on the flight manifest it would be a very empty flight to Moscow.
Paris Charles de Gaulle can be a hit or miss when it comes to the airport experience. This time, it was definitely a miss as I could not reach the airside shuttle bus to hop between terminals and had to walk a long distance to get from 2F to 2C.
The Salon Paris business lounge is rather drab and uninspiring. Even though the lounge is a quiet refuge and a good place to get some work done or to get drunk on Charles Heidsieck champagne, it is not a place you want to arrive early for. The same counts for Terminal 2C overall if you do not have lounge access.
Trip report index
This review is part of the ‘Siberian Shuffle – A Crazy Winter Trip Around Eurasia‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:
1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Oslo Sandefjord Torp (Airbus A321)
2. A Day in the Norwegian Capital of Oslo
3. Review: Norwegian Railways Night Train Oslo-Stavanger in a Private Sleeper
4. Review: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Stavanger
5. Stavanger – A Great Norwegian City Trip Surprise
6. Review: North Sea Lounge Stavanger Airport
7. Review: KLM Cityhopper Business Class Stavanger to Amsterdam (Embraer RJ-175)
8. Guide to the Carnival Celebrations in the Netherlands
9. Review: KLM Crown Lounge (Schengen) Amsterdam Airport
10. Review: Air France Business Class Amsterdam to Paris (Airbus A319)
11. Review: ‘Salon Paris’ Business Class Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2C (current chapter)
12. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Paris to Moscow (Airbus A320)
13. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Lounge Moscow Sheremetyevo
14. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Moscow to Irkutsk (Boeing 737-800)
15. Review: Matreshka Hotel, Irkutsk
16. Irkutsk Trip Report: Exploring the ‘Paris of Siberia’ in Winter
17. Review: Mayak Hotel, Listvyanka (Lake Baikal)
18. A Winter Trip to the Frozen Wonderland of Lake Baikal
19. Review: Ibis Irkutsk Center Hotel, Irkutsk
20. Review: Domestic Business Class Lounge Irkutsk Airport
21. Review: Aeroflot Domestic Business Class Irkutsk to Moscow (Boeing 737-800)
22. Review: Pushkin Hotel, Moscow
23. A 24 Hour Stopover in the Russian Capital of Moscow
24. Review: ‘Moscow’ and ‘Jazz’ Business Lounges Moscow Sheremetyevo Terminal D
25. Review: Aeroflot Business Class Moscow to Paris (Airbus A320)
26. Review: TAROM Business Class Paris to Bucharest (Airbus A318)
27. Review: TAROM Business Lounge Bucharest Otopeni Airport
28. Review: Air France Business Class Bucharest to Paris (Airbus A320)
29. A Short Overnight Stopover in Paris
30. Review: Sheltair Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2D
31. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Paris to Baku (Airbus A320)
32. Review: Old City Hotel and Apartments, Baku, Azerbaijan
33. Destination Baku: An Intriguing Mix Between Old and New
34. Guide: Train Travel in Azerbaijan
35. Sheki: Azerbaijan’s Most Lovely Town and Springboard to the Caucasus
36. Must Be the Ganja! A Visit to the City of Ganja in Azerbaijan
37. Review: Shah Palace Hotel, Baku, Azerbaijan
38. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Lounge Baku Airport
39. Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class Baku to Paris (Airbus A320)
40. Review: Air France Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
41. Review: KLM Business Class Paris to Amsterdam (Boeing 737)
42. Review: KLM Business Class Amsterdam to Bergen (Boeing 737)
43. Blissful Bergen – Is It Really Norway’s Most Beautiful City?
44. Review: Bergen to Oslo on a Norwegian Intercity Train (Bergensbanen Railway)
45. The Flamsbana Railway – From the Myrdal Mountains to the Fjord at Flam
46. Review: SAS Economy Class Oslo to Brussels (Boeing 737-600)
47. Review: Diamond Lounge Brussels Airport Pier B Non-Schengen
48. Review: TAROM Economy Class Brussels to Bucharest (Boeing 737-800)