Is an airport roughly 90 miles from Paris really an ideal gateway to that city? Ryanair apparently thinks so. It just started serving Paris through an airport officially called Paris-Vatry and dubbed “Paris-Vatry-Disney” by Ryanair.
The closest major city is actually Reims, and the closest rail station is at Chalons-en-Champagne. The airport bus takes four hours to get to Paris, three and a half hours to get to Disneyland, an hour and a half to get to Reims, and a half hour to get to the Chalons rail station.
Unfortunately, this sort of stretched truth in airport labeling is becoming more frequent. The worst offenders are in Europe, but the U.S. is catching up fast.
According to Ryanair, for example, the “Brussels” hub is 30 miles away in Charleroix, “Frankfurt” is 75 miles away in Hahn, “Hamburg” is 35 miles away in Lubeck, and “Milan” is 30 miles away in Bergamo. In addition, many of these airports lack the rail links available at most important European airports. Poorly labeled airports in the U.S. include Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, about 50 miles from Boston, and Chicago Rockford Airport, 68 miles from Chicago; both offer lousy ground transport.
This sort of stretched-truth airport labeling isn’t a big problem if you’re familiar with the territory. But if you’re heading somewhere you don’t know, you could get stung with some unexpectedly long, arduous, and possibly expensive transportation problems when you attempt to get where you really want to go.
If you’re heading somewhere for the first time, the obvious remedy is to check the location of the airport before you buy your tickets.
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(Photo: Shutterstock/Lisa F. Young)