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A Tractor and a Jet - Just don't board the wrong one!
Paris Beauvais Tillé Airport (BVA)
Paris Beauvais Tillé Airport (BVA)
Date: 23/01/01, updated on 17/06/02 (471 review reads)
Advantages: Quiet and hassle free when everything goes to plan
Disadvantages: Very basic facilities and the distance from Paris
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!