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If you’re planning a trip to Paris, you may want to know which airline to pick. It’s a long flight (around 10 hours from LA), after all, and you will probably want to reduce the chances of any problems occurring. My list of the best airlines to fly to Paris can help make your journey go smoothly.
I’ve flown to Paris a few times, and I know that visiting a new city can be overwhelming. The following airlines make it as simple as possible, with almost all of them flying into an airport which offers direct transport links to the city center.
I’ll give you a list of their pros and cons, plus tips on what to expect when visiting Paris for the first time.
If you’re in a rush, here is the number one airline I’d recommend using:
The Bottom Line Up Front
If I had to pick one, I’d say try to go for Air France. There are many flights to choose from, so you should be able to fly from an airport that suits you, and they fly straight to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. The customer service is good, and the food and drink are excellent, which is a bonus.
However, my second choice would be American Airlines for similar reasons. They also fly right into Charles de Gaulle from many US cities, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
All 5 picks would be a good choice, but those are the airlines I’d choose if I were to fly to Paris tomorrow!
At a Glance: Best Airlines to Fly to Paris
Here’s an overview of my top picks:
- Air France– many departure locations, fly straight to Paris, good customer service, and excellent food/drink
- American Airlines – a lot of choices for departure locations, fly straight to Paris, friendly staff members, good entertainment and food/drink
- British Airways– many choices for departure locations, fly straight to Paris, chatty and polite staff members, good British food.
- Delta Airlines – a lot of cities for departures, fly straight to Paris, helpful staff members, family-friendly
- French Bee – good for saving money, helpful staff, good food and entertainment
Flying To Paris: a Guide
If you’ve never flown to Paris before, you might be wondering what to expect. Here’s a quick guide on the main things you should know:
The main airport in Paris is Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the largest international airport in France. It’s a good airport, with many shops and restaurants to explore. There are some familiar places to eat here, including Starbucks and McDonald’s. You can also choose to eat some French food. I’d recommend checking out the Brioche Doree for their pastries and sandwiches.
Charles de Gaulle is around 50 minutes (by train) to the center of Paris. There are a few options for transport, including a direct bus service. In addition, you can get a taxi into the city center, which will cost you around 60 euros (around $62).
There are many other airports in France, but I’d recommend flying to Charles de Gaulle just for the ease of transport links to the city center.
If you don’t speak French, don’t worry. Many people in Paris speak English, especially people who serve tourists. Knowing the basics may help you to feel more at ease, however, and you may want to learn some French phrases just to be polite.
If you’re planning to explore less popular areas, I’d recommend learning some basic French phrases, especially for emergencies or if you get lost. I use Duolingo to learn French, which only takes a few minutes of practice daily.
Length of Flight
Flying to France from the US takes a long time. For example, the average flight from California to Paris takes around 10 hours and 50 minutes, while a flight from Florida can take 9 hours and 30 minutes.
I’d recommend bringing plenty of things to do on the flight. While in-flight entertainment is always worth looking at, bringing an e-reader, a couple of books, or your phone stocked with podcasts can help to pass the time more quickly.
You’ll want to be prepared for the weather when you arrive in Paris. The climate is variable and can change drastically with the seasons. Expect some snow and cold snaps in winter and heat waves in the summer.
I’d recommend visiting Paris in spring and early fall, which offers the most pleasant temperatures (and pretty foliage too).
You should be prepared for rain in Paris, even in the summer. I’d recommend bringing a light raincoat to keep you dry, as these can be folded up small in your bag or backpack.
For general travel tips, you can check out our guide on How to Travel, which will give you even more advice.
The 5 Best Airlines to Fly to Paris
Here are the 5 airlines I would recommend if you want to fly to Paris. I’ve chosen them based on the number of options in terms of departure locations, whether or not they fly straight into Paris or not, and the in-flight experience.
I’ll also give you my honest opinions on their pros and cons, so you can pick which one works best for you.
Air France is an obvious choice. Flying from many cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York, and Washington D.C, they have almost 200 weekly flights at peak times, so chances are you’ll be able to book with them when you want to travel to France.
Air France has hubs in both Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. Charles de Gaulle is the main airport in France and is conveniently close to the city, so you’ll be able to quickly arrange transport to your destination after your flight.
So, what’s it like to fly with Air France? It’s pretty good! Business class is particularly fancy, with fully lie-flat beds, mood lighting, and excellent customer service. Lower price tiers are still good, although the seats don’t offer the most legroom.
However, the food is (as you might expect) excellent, and the self-serve bar is a nice touch if you want a drink on the flight. I flew with Air France a few years ago and noted the food and drink were superior to other flights I have been on in the past.
Air France offers good in-flight entertainment, with many movies to choose from and music to listen to. The downside is that the customer service post-flight is a little hit-and-miss. If something goes wrong with your luggage, or you need to make a complaint, it can be hard to get hold of them.
If you want to find out more, you can check out our KLM vs. Air France comparison.
- Convenient, offering flights from many US cities straight into Paris
- The business class is excellent
- Good in-flight entertainment
- The food and drink are very good
- Seats in the economy class are small
- Post-flight customer service isn’t great
Another option is to go for American Airlines. They offer flights from various cities straight into Paris, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. There are many flights going to Paris year-round, so you should be able to fly from an airport that is convenient to you.
You can fly right into Charles de Gaulle, which is a good choice as you’ll be in the city straight away with minimal travel after your flight.
Flight experiences vary with American Airlines. On the whole, though, you should expect a hassle-free flight. The seats are decent even in economy, and they’re pretty modern in the Boeing 787 particularly. These newer planes have some fancy new touches, including dimmable windows and larger touch screen monitors, with a lot of movies and TV shows to choose from.
The food is decent, with hot food now reinstated after Covid (during which they stopped offering hot food on all their flights). The breakfasts are particularly nice and have a decent range of drinks and snacks too.
The customer service in-flight is excellent, with friendly and helpful staff. The downside is the baggage handling. There are several instances of customers having their baggage damaged, so make sure to bring your toughest suitcases if you’re worried about that.
You can read more in our Alaska Airlines vs. American Airlines comparison.
- Lots of choices in terms of airports
- Flies straight into Charles de Gaulle
- Modern seats feel nice to fly in
- The food is good
- The in-flight staff are friendly
- Baggage handling isn’t great
British Airways are a pretty trusted airline to go for. I’ve flown with them many times and have always enjoyed a smooth experience. Flying from many cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington DC, you should be able to find an airport close to you with a British Airways flight to Paris.
You can choose to fly into Charles de Gaulle or one of the many other airports in France.
The seating is pretty good on most British Airways flights, although they may feel a little narrow compared to other airlines. The Boeing 777 has particularly narrow seating in economy, so I’d recommend avoiding that if you can. The upholstery is modern, with decent screens offering movies and TV shows to watch. You can also get some nice British food, too.
The in-flight customer service is excellent, with polite and helpful staff members on hand to help. The downside is that due to staff shortages, they are experiencing higher delays than usual, and chasing compensation for this can be a headache.
Read more about them in our British Airways vs. American Airlines comparison.
- Many cities to depart from
- Good customer service in-flight
- Good entertainment
- Nice food
- Seating is a little narrow, especially on the Boeing 777
- Higher delays than usual, and post-flight customer service can be hard to get hold of
Let’s talk about Delta Airlines. I’ve had good experiences with Delta, and they offer flights from many cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and more. Their prices may vary depending on the time you choose to go, but you can gain a lot of air miles for a future trip by flying to Paris. The flight prices can be a bit confusing, as there are a lot of tiers to choose from.
You can fly into Charles de Gaulle, but they offer flights to different airports in France too.
I like Delta because they’re a good airline to fly with if you have a baby or young children. They’re friendly and helpful, and the food options (for all ages) are good. The seating is comfortable, although a little narrow in the economy, and there are plenty of entertainment options too. The food is good, and you should find a lot of choices in terms of meals.
The customer service is good, which is nice, and I’ve never had an issue with them in terms of baggage handling either.
- A lot of choices in terms of cities to depart from
- Flies right into Charles de Gaulle or several other French airports
- Family-friendly airline
- Plenty of entertainment options
- Food is good, with a lot of choices for all ages
- Price tiers are a little confusing
- Narrow seating in economy
Founded in 2016, French Bee is a relatively new airline, offering low-cost flights into France. They fly from several cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington DC. The pricing is good if you’re on a tight budget.
They fly into several French airports, but not all flights go straight into Charles de Gaulle, so you may need to arrange more transport at the other end of your flight. It may be worth it to save money, but it’s something to keep in mind.
With economy airlines, you can expect a mixed bag when it comes to the passenger experience. The staff here are helpful, but small things can go wrong (for example, broken monitors for in-flight entertainment and phone chargers which don’t work). However, the food is okay, and the entertainment (when it works) is pretty good. Plus, the seating is decent in terms of legroom.
The customer service is good, but the baggage policy is a little deceptive. I’d recommend that you check the terms and conditions closely to see if you’ll end up paying more for baggage.
- Cheap flights from a range of US airports
- Flies into several airports in France
- Staff are helpful
- Entertainment is good
- Food is decent
- Cheap pricing
- Planes are a little ‘shabby’ with some features that may not work properly
- The baggage policy is a little deceptive
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about flying into Paris:
Answer: Mask-wearing is no longer mandatory in France. Plus, travelers don’t have to jump through any hoops to get into the country. They cannot request a COVID certificate, and you do not need to prove that you are COVID-negative before entering the country.
If you do need to visit a hospital or similar setting, you will find that most people are wearing masks, and they may request that you wear one. Something to keep in mind if an emergency happens (or if you need to visit a sick relative).
Answer: By far, it’s the rail network. You can get around the whole of Paris by hopping on a few trains, and it’s not too complicated to work out where you’re going.
I would wholeheartedly recommend avoiding driving in Paris. Rural France is worth a car hire, but not in the city. The traffic is terrible, and you’ll probably get stuck and feel frustrated (while trying to get to grips with driving on the other side of the road).
Answer: There are so many places to visit! You could go for the obvious tourist hotspots: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Catacombes. Paris is steeped in a rich history, and the architecture is amazing.
If you’re visiting in the summer, check out the Château de Versailles, an incredible palace offering amazing musical water shows in the evenings.
Plus, you need to visit a good bakery. The Boulangerie Utopie offers an array of mouth-watering eclairs and pastries. It’s busy but well worth the wait.
To Sum Up …
I hope this has helped you to figure out the best airline to choose for your trip to Paris. Taking long flights can be stressful, but picking a good airline can help improve the experience.
I’d recommend checking out Air France to kick-start your French food journey! Plus, the customer service is great, and it’s convenient as flights go into Charles de Gaulle.
If you’d prefer something more familiar, American Airlines offers many flights into Paris, and they’re pretty reliable in terms of customer service.
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