It appears that a few people on here are already familiar with this tiny little airport in the middle of "nowhere" France. I'm not surprized either, that it's only been given an average rating of 3 stars.
In my opinion this so called "airport" deserves maybe 2.5 stars. Why? It's hard to explain. Is there anything really wrong with the airport itself? No, it's your typical small airport for cheap flights. There are definate reasons though, why this isn't worth the trip.
***** I'm near Paris.....pysche!*****
This airport is called "Paris Beauvais" , which is just a ridiculous statement. If 2 or so hrs way from Paris is called "in Paris", then I guess Birmingham airport should be renamed "Birmingham, London Airport".
What i'm getting at is that this place obviously isn't a 'backup" airport to Charles De Gaulle or Orly, which are the two closest to Paris. In terms of miles, it's only around 60 miles away from the pariphery of Paris itself. The problem with the Beauvais airport is the crazy amount of traffic you have to get through.
I've flown into this airport three times now. Each time I think "ok it HAS to be better now...traffic can't ALWAYS be bad". That was wishful thinking on my part. I went during the week , on the weekend, at night, during the day , and in the morning. Every single time it took me 2 hours (usually more) to get into La Defense (where I was living at in Paris) .
The other little tidbit about the area around Beauvais is that if you are without an amaz-za-zing GPS system, you might be screwed. I thought the roundabouts in the UK were a little confusing at times. The roundabouts in Beauvais are tortureous. I can speak French somehwhat fluently, (which helps) , yet it is impossible for anyone to understand the signs on the roundabouts no matter what language you speak. The first time I drove from Beauvais to La Defense, I had a TomTom, and still got lost on THREE roundabouts, which caused me to take over 3 hrs to get home.
Ok granted, if you are;
A.) A Speed Demon Rally Car Racer
B.) The most gifted navigator in the universe
C.) Can speak French and are familiar driving with the entire Country
Then ok you MIGHT be able to make Paris in a little over an hour. Still, in my opinion, if your flying into an airport to get to a particular city, you shouldn't have to drive more than 30 minutes to get into the outskirts of that city.
*****I'm in France, I have to have some fun Touristy Jaunts, right!??*****
If you look at a map of Beauvais it really isn't surrounded by all that much. You have Breteuil which, is "ok" as far as seeing a pretty Chateau etc... Other than that, it's just flat farm land until you reach Paris. So if your planning on flying into this airport, you really do not have a lot of places nearby to "stop over" in.
Your not close enough to the coast to take a trip there.
Your not close enough to the border to go to Belguim.
Your not close enough to any great Chateau's.
Your not close enough to any notable wine country area.
It's just he most awkwardly placed airport i've been privy too in the uncoolest area probably in the entire country of France. ( Um, I take that back , Calais is officially the "uncoolest" ).
***** So my outside isn't that great, oh wait, my inside isn't either*****
The airport is slightly nicer than your typical *small city* Ryanir'esque one. There is a cheapo cafe on the far end where the arrivals come in at , and you can get a Pain Chocolat avec une cafe' pour trois euro's! yay! (Which that IS really cheap for an airport....usually an Expresso alone will cost you around 3 euros or more) .
So, the cafe has to be the highlight of the airport. Yet, it really isn't. Sure you get a cheap chocolate pastry and expresso, but you have to wait a good 30 minutes in line just to get it. Then, once you get it, all the tables and chairs are taken, so you have to look for another place to sit. Only there is NOTHING available in the rest of the airport, so you have to go outside. I guess in the summer that wouldn't be a problem, but in the dead of winter, the last thing you want to do is eat and drink outside in the cold.
Last but not least, the actually queue's and check in areas for the various cheapo airlines, are bizarre. There are no rhyme or reason to them. They don't have a proper wrap around type system they just line up in a straight line wherever people decide too. This means, that if you have 50 people in line waiting to check in, and your near the back, your going to be pushed all the way to the doors then wrapped around towards the cafe. During all the mayhem, you'll have several people cut in line but not really on purpose. It's simply because it's hard to see where lines start and stop. Believe me, I know i'm not explaining it properly but, it's F***'ed. (Pardon my French=).
*****If I'm THIS bad why give me any stars at all??*****
The only reason is this.....it's cheap.
Straight up cheap.
I flew in from the Midlands airport to Beauvais for 5 pounds. Each way. That's total. So for 10 pounds round trip from the Midlands near B'ham to Beauvais *nearish* Paris. That's pretty rockin' awesome. You can afford to take a train, bus, or rent a car if you've only paid that much to fly.
So, with all the bad points there is that upside that many of you might think will outweigh the bad. The only thing I'll leave you with, is that I was able to get a flight from England to De Gaulle, for only 40 Pounds total roundtrip in January, AND it was on British Airways. That means I didn't have to worry about packing only ONE bag that weighs 15kilos MAX with a carry on of 10 kilos MAX (like you do on Ryanair and many other cheapy airlines). I also got free snacks and drinks (another thing you do NOT get on the budget lines). Then I was able to catch a bus from CDG airport to La Defense for only 5 euros that took 30 minutes.
Flying into CDG was a 10x's better experience than flying into Beauvais for just slightly more money.
*In a "nutshell" Conclusion*
Unless your on an EXTREMELY tight budget, I wouldn't suggest using this airport. =)
It's kinda funny that the Airport is known as Paris Beauvais, because actually it's about 1hr(ish) from Paris, in a little town known as Beauvais (not really surprising that !).
Getting into Paris is easy enough though as you can catch a shuttle bus, which goes from outside the terminal at a £20 each return(roughly - depending on exchange rate), tickets can be purchased at the airport. Their seems to be plenty of buses going into Paris, so no worries about space on the bus itself. The arrives at a bus station in Paris that is just a short walk to a Metro station, so your onward journey should be easy enough.
Back to the Airport itself, it's small but has few shops and is better equipped than most UK airports of a similiar size (Southmapton or Bournemouth are 2 examples).
Overall if you can get a cheap flight with somebody like Ryanair it's worth trying, but don't forget about the shuttle bus cost as well and factor that in.
~ ~ It?s actually slightly misleading to call Beauvais in France a ?Paris? airport, as it?s actually located some 90 kilometres from the city, which entails a taxi, bus, or train trip into Paris itself that in many cases will take you longer than the actual flight from your departure point. ~ ~ The mad cabbie and family used Beauvais airport on our recent short break to Paris, flying Ryanair from Dublin. As far as I can make it, this is the ONLY major airline that actually uses Beauvais, so the chances are that unless you book with Ryanair then it?s an airport that you?ll never be very likely to visit. Ryanair often use airports that are located some distance from a major city (Prestwick in Scotland is another example) in order to reduce costs, but it?s as well that travellers are aware of this before they fly, as it involves extra expense in actually getting into the city itself. ~ ~ At Beauvais, Ryanair have a fleet of air-conditioned coaches that await the arrival of every flight, ready to whisk you into the Port Maillot district of Paris, where it?s relatively simple to pick up a bus, taxi, or the Metro to take you onto wherever you want to go in the city. At ?10 per person (one-way) this adds ?20 to the cost of your journey. In our case (three people travelling) this meant an extra ?60 on the overall cost of our trip, but since we picked up the flights for only 1 cent each on the Web, (?101 return for three people after taxes were applied) then even with the extra ?60 added on it was a very cheap way to visit Paris. There?s an automated ticket machine for buying your coach tickets, but this was not operating either on the day we arrived or on the day we departed. So you have to join a (short) queue to purchase tickets from a booth. What isn?t so much fun is the extra 75 to 90 minutes the coach take
s to reach Port Maillot in Paris, which in our case was actually longer than the flight from Dublin itself. (70 minutes) But you pay your money and you take your choice, and we were aware of this slight drawback before we booked the flights. The coaches themselves are comfortable enough, and I napped most of the way from and to the airport in any case, so hardly noticed the journey time passing. ~ ~ Alternatively, you can travel to Paris by either train or taxi. A taxi will cost you ?115 (during the day) to ?155 (after 7PM) to Port Maillot, which to my way of thinking rather negates the point of purchasing a cheap airfare. I?m afraid I don?t know the cost of a train to Paris, but it does entail you getting a taxi to the railway station in Beauvais village, which will cost you another ?10 to ?13 each way. (As well as the train fare) ~ ~ I didn?t get much of an opportunity to look at the airport on our outward journey from Dublin. Beauvais is a VERY small airport, which means there?s never too much of a delay in getting through immigration control, or in retrieving your luggage. Within fifteen minutes of disembarking from the aircraft, we were through Customs, had our bags and bus tickets, and were sat comfortably on the Paris coach. I did make just one stop to use the loo facilities, which were like public toilets everywhere. Fairly basic, but in fairness, clean enough, with toilet paper, soap, and hand drying facilities all in good order. The Metro (underground) is within five minutes walk of where the coach drops you at Port Maillot, and local bus services the same, but I had decided to use taxis for transportation throughout our short trip. The taxi rank was literally around the corner, and it cost us a further ?15 (including ?3 tip) to get to our hotel. (Paris taxis are cheap, plentif
ul, and very efficient, with ranks on nearly every corner of major thoroughfares, and there are dedicated bus and taxi lanes throughout the city to speed up your progress. The drivers are both knowledgeable and very helpful and friendly.) ~ ~ I got far more opportunity to inspect the facilities at Beauvais on the return leg of the journey. Ryanair insist on you checking in at the airport two hours before the time of your actual flight, which meant catching the coach from Paris over three hours earlier. This left about an hour and a half to kill in the airport itself. The terminal itself is very compact, and in all honesty not much more than a series of connected concrete outbuildings. (With corrugated roofs!) The check-in was fairly slow to begin with, as there were a number of flights all checking in at about the same time. The Dublin check-in initially only had one counter, and as the flight was full, this led to a long queue. But they cottoned onto this after about ten minutes, and opened a second desk, which speeded matters up considerably. So no real complaints. ~ ~ Time for a cuppa. The cafeteria was basic, with the usual ?plastic? cafeteria food. You could get a hot meal from the counter display, but I?d already had breakfast before we left Paris, and in any case, nothing they were offering looked either very tempting or appetising. Hot dogs, hamburgers, lasagne, etc. In other words, basic cafeteria fare. The coffee (for me) was like warmed up dishwater, and the tea for my wife was even worse, both being served in the obligatory cardboard beaker. It was hot, which was about all you could say for it, and washed down the choccy biscuit and slab of fruitcake we bought to eat. A Diet Coke for the wee lass, and the bill came to over ?16! Certainly not worth the money. Plastic seating, and metal tables that could have done with b
oth clearing and cleaning didn?t help matters. But I suppose allowances have to be made for the fact that the airport was exceptionally busy that particular morning. Oh, the café also sells alcohol, by the way, if you feel in need of a quick snorter to settle the old nerves before taking to the air! But when you compare the food in Beauvais with the cooked Irish breakfast we had in the business class lounge at Dublin airport on the morning of our departure, it?s a very sharp contrast. Three full fry-ups, (very tasty) with a pot of coffee and tea, and tons of freshly made toast. Served by a waiter, in a comfortable and spotless lounge, and all for only ?9 per head! So the cafeteria/restaurant at Beauvais is not really recommended for anything other than the lightest of snacks. ~ ~ The airport has a small duty free shop, selling mostly perfumes, booze and tobacco. But this is of little use to you unless you are a traveller from outside the European Union. There?s also a small newsagents come tobacconists, which carries a fairly good selection of newspapers and magazines in most of the major European languages. I was disappointed however, that I wasn?t able to purchase either an Irish newspaper (the Irish Times) or a quality Scottish broadsheet (such as the Scotsman or Glasgow Herald) on the morning of our departure, and had to make do with an International Herald Tribune. This seems a bit short sighted on the part of the airport as two of their main destinations are in Ireland (Dublin and Shannon) and Scotland. (Glasgow Prestwick) There was a good selection of sweets, crisps, soft drinks and snacks, and also a good selection of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco. The tobacco and cigarettes in France are FAR cheaper (less Government duty) than in either the UK or Irel
and, and I took the opportunity to buy myself a further 5 x 40 grammes of Golden Virginia hand rolling Tobacco at only ?5.10 per packet. (This is less than half the price I would pay at home in Dublin!) ~ ~ Meanwhile my wife and wee lass were investigating the well stocked souvenir and gift shop, which although on the small side had a fair selection of small gift items, and also some locally produced food produce. (Lots of different cheeses) Mind you, it?s your own fault if you haven?t bought all your gifts and souvenirs before you get to the airport, as in common with most other airport souvenir shops, you?ll tend to pay higher prices for items than you would in a high street store. If you?ve run short on the old spondoolicks (money) after your holiday, then there?s a cash machine (hole in the wall) and a Bureau de Change where you can top up your empty wallet or purse. (Always providing you?ve any money left!) Two public phone boxes were located just outside the main entrance to the airport, and although I didn?t use them I checked them out, and discovered you can use phone cards, credit cards, or good old-fashioned coins. ~ ~ Across the road from the main entrance there are half a dozen portacabin type buildings where the main car hire companies are located. (Hertz, Avis, etc) I didn?t hire a car for this trip, although I thought about it, and investigated the cost on the Web. I could have had a small air-conditioned vehicle (Opel Corsa or Peugeot 106 size) for only ?95 for the three day period we were in Paris, which is fairly cheap. (At least by Irish standards) The reason I didn?t hire a car was that public transport in Paris is both plentiful and cheap, and Paris is a notoriously difficult city to navigate in a car, with VERY expensive parking charges. (I still have nightm
ares when I recall trying to find my way onto the Luxembourg road from Paris on a trip we took back in 1986!) But it would certainly be worth considering Beauvais as a starting off point for a trip around France if you were renting a car, as with a good road map it would be relatively simple to navigate your way wherever you wanted to go in the country. I?ll certainly keep this option in mind the next time we visit France. (Possibly later on this year) ~ ~ I have a major gripe with Beauvais airport though. On the day we were leaving there were four flights due for departure all within an hour of each other. (Milan Bergamo, Shannon, Dublin, and Barcelona) The departure lounge itself (once you clear Customs) is very small, and it was like a bloody rugby scrum just trying to find out which gate you were supposed to be leaving from, and which queue you should be standing in. There wasn?t enough seating provided to accommodate the number of passengers, and the loudspeaker system was totally inadequate, (volume too low) which led to us standing for about 15 minutes in the wrong line. If they are intending to expand their operations, (which they are doing) then they should first ensure that the facilities that they have available are able to cope! ~ ~ So would I fly into Beauvais airport again. Hell yes! Why not, when the prices to get there are so cheap. When all is said and done an airport is only a transit point, and as long as I can get through it and on to my destination without any major hassle, then that?s all I?m really looking for. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ UK Airports served by Beauvais Glasgow Prestwick ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Irish Airports served by Beauvais Dublin and Shannon ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Other Airports served
by Beauvais Stockholm/Skavsta Rome Ciampino Girona Barcelona Milan/Bergamo ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Copyright KenJ February 2004 ~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beauvais-Tille airport is situated 3 miles from the historic town of Beauvais, and approximately 45 miles north west of Paris. Sometimes referred to as Paris-Beauvais airport, it is used primarly by charter and no-frills airlines as a gateway to the French capital, avoiding the crowds of Paris's main two airports - Charles de Gaulle and Orly. It is a pretty basic affair though, the terminal building is a very small, cramped metal prefab, and the baggage reclaim and departure "lounge" is a marquee built onto the side of the tin shed that makes up the main concourse. Despite this though, all the major car rental firms have an office there, and the facilities are basic, but acceptable. If you are travelling to Beauvais specifically to tour that part of France - fantastic, but since the majority of passengers will be on their way to Paris, you will need to use the shuttle bus. This costs 10.00EUR each way, and tickets are available from vending machines in the arrivals hall, or can be purchased from the bus driver. More signs would have been useful to direct us to where our bus was parked. The journey takes about an hour and a quarter, and drops you off at the Porte Mailliot gateway into Central Paris, adjacent to the Hotel d'Concorde. It will take longer to get there at rush hour times, as the motorways in and out of Paris get very congested. One of the problems is that the shuttle buses correspond to their connecting flights (i.e it is not a scheduled service), so if you miss the bus you are meant to be on - you could be potentially screwed - so be warned!! If you are worried about missing the flight, and are prepared to hang about the airport for an extra hour or two you can usually blag a space on one of the earlier buses providing there is a spare seat - priority is given to those who are booked to the particular flight that the bus connects to. One of my main cribs with Beauvais Airport is that it is r
eally too small for the amount of traffic it handles...some much needed investment is needed to make it a more pleasant place to travel to. Food and drink is ludicrously expensive. I saw a guy in front of me pay 7.50EUR (that's around £4!!) for a pint of lager. I paid £2 for a can of Coke...so it pays to make sure that your tummy is serviced before going out there. On the whole then - ok, but it isn't the nicest of airports architectually, and the cost of the shuttle buses and refreshments put a dent in your wallet that makes you question why you used a low cost airline in the first place. Do the math before travelling - you may be just as cheap using a flag-carrier airline to Charles de Gaulle!!!
Fields as far as the eye can see,deserted French country roads, a lone Alsatian dog in the porch - welcome to Beauvais Tille International airport! Most people fly into Paris through either Roissy or Orly airports. But if you fly with Ryanair (from Dublin or Glasgow Prestwick) you'll arrive at tiny Beauvais. This airport is about an hour and a half driving time from central Paris. It's located very close to a tiny "one street- two shops" village called Tille in a region called Picardy. There is a town called Beauvais but the airport is right next door to Tille. It was an unusual experience to fly here as it makes such a huge change from the manic hustle and bustle of major airports. You even begin to wonder have you come to the right place or did the coach take a wrong turn on the motorway! Ryanair run a coach service from Paris to the airport. The coach leaves from the 'James Joyce' pub. The nearest metro station for this is "Porte Maillot" which is located on Metro Line 1, a few stops away from La Defense. You can also take the RER Line C. The coach leaves for the airport 2hrs 30mins before the scheduled time of flight and tickets are 50FF one way. You must buy the ticket in the pub and it's quite well organised. Inbound to Paris, the coach leaves Beauvais 1hr 30mins after landing and you buy tickets at the Ryanair Information desk at the airport itself. The airport is tiny - smaller than many London railway stations. The facilities are very basic. When you first go inside you see the Ryanair information desk, toilets, 3 check-in desks and telephone kiosks. The central area has seating and there is a cafe and bar. They serve pretty basic snacks like French fries and sandwiches. Hertz car hire also have a desk where Ryanair passengers can get special discounts. It's quite an old looking building and looks a bit run down in all honesty, but
if flights are on time you shouldn't be there long. It's literally only takes a minute or so to walk from the check-in desk, through security and onto the aircraft - that's how small scale this is. Realistically you need to wait a bit to check-in as they only have 3 desks. Ryanair are the only major scheduled airline using this airport. Other jets are usually occasional charter flights so it's a very quiet place in terms of air traffic. No waiting at the end of the runway! The disadvantages would become very apparent however if any flight was seriously delayed. The airport is so small the facilities couldn't really handle more than 2 plane-loads of people at one time. There isn't enough seating or toilets in the event of any backlog. The day I was there my flight was on time, but another had been delayed. For the brief few minutes I was in the terminal it was quite overcrowded. Also, the distance from Paris would make it awkward if you need to stay an extra night if a flight was cancelled. (Although maybe a friendly farmer in Tille could put you up!?) In general I'd have to say that for the cheap fares that are often available, it is worth flying with Ryanair to Beauvais. It's adequate and functional. I found it quite easygoing and it made a nice change. I had no problems as my flight was on time. Take the chance and keep your fingers crossed that the flight is running on time and you won't be there too long!