Review: Le Bus Direct (Paris Airport Bus)

Filed Under: Air France, Trip Reports

I believe this will be my first-ever review of a bus here at OMAAT, though I figured I might as well…

I was arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle, and I had a flight out of Paris Orly a bit over six hours later. So after working from the arrivals lounge for a bit, at around 10:45AM I started looking at how best to get to Orly Airport. An Uber would have cost 65EUR, though after doing some Googling I read about Le Bus Direct, which is the official bus service from the airport.

I believe Air France used to offer this coach service, but it was taken over by Le Bus Direct (I’m not sure if this is simply a rebranding, or if it’s a fully new company). As luck would have it, the Terminal 2C station for them was located just outside the arrivals lounge.

Le Bus Direct operates four different routes from Paris Charles de Gaulle daily on an ongoing basis from 5AM until 11:40PM. The destinations include:

  • Paris Etoile/Champs-Elysees
  • Paris Eiffel Tower
  • Paris Gare Montparnasse
  • Orly Airport

On the wall there was signage explaining the routes, etc.

Le Bus Direct routes


Le Bus Direct routes

There were a couple of ticket kiosks that accepted credit cards.


Le Bus Direct Paris ticket machine

While I had seen the prices online, I was still a bit shocked by them. 22EUR per person for a one hour bus ride seems a bit pricey (there is a bit of a discount if booking roundtrip).


Le Bus Direct Paris pricing

Le Bus Direct doesn’t publish a schedule, but rather the buses just seem to run almost constantly. So while there’s seating inside, in reality you’ll want to be outside on the lookout for the bus.


Le Bus Direct Paris CDG waiting area

The pick-up situation was really easy, as there were separate signs for each route (I was on route #3).


Le Bus Direct Paris CDG departure area


Le Bus Direct Paris Charles de Gaulle station

Sure enough, less than five minutes after I arrived a bus showed up.


Le Bus Direct Paris


Le Bus Direct Paris

The bus was pretty basic, and legroom was about as good as you’d find on an ultra low cost carrier.


Le Bus Direct Paris seating

Funny enough it actually looks pretty spacious based on the below picture, but I swear my knees were up against the seat in front.


Le Bus Direct Paris seating

Each seat also has a USB outlet, and wifi is allegedly free, though I didn’t see any network on my bus (and I could tether anyway).


Le Bus Direct Paris power ports

There was nothing fun happening onboard — no onboard showers, no caviar service, no sundae cart, no amenity kits, no credit card pitches… nothing.

The bus ended up being totally full. We arrived at Orly Airport at around 11:50AM, less than an hour after departing Charles de Gaulle.

Arriving at Paris Orly Airport

Le Bus Direct Bottom Line

Le Bus Direct operates high frequency service from the airport to various parts of Paris, as well as between airports. While 22EUR seems steep, and while the buses aren’t exactly comfortable, you can’t beat the frequency with which they seem to operate service, and how easy the whole experience was.

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Comments
  1. Nothing wrong with reviewing a bus ride. Even though this was an airport to airport bus, many of us use Flixbus in Europe and many of us find ourselves with a choice between a higher-priced taxi or a bus from the airport – when the plane ride is over, other means of transportation are part of our travel. I have enjoyed some of our Flixbus rides and they are pretty nice busses, it has been nice to see a few reviews on them.

  2. You gotta check out Greyhound’s premium shuttle service between New York and Boston. Flagship lounge access at Port Authority with on-demand dining curated by the nearby Au Bon Pain. Once onboard, enjoy seasonally inspired organic bistro dining hand crafted by the finest chefs that brought you United Polaris dining.

  3. as a tourist… for a ride with more than one person you gotta start thinking about using an uber, right? RER from the airport is half the price of the bus… not great i guess if youre lugging around a large suitcase.

  4. This is one instance where you should not whine, Lucky, specially that it doesn’t cost more than one onboard Wi-Fi ( I don’t even want to calculate how much you pay a year ) 😉

    Consider :
    1) 22euros for a DIRECT bus, usually a quarter to half full, is just about what is needed to cover the investment, pay the driver & offer some benefit for a private company to run it. Local public buses will charge you some 10 euros just to get for Paris to any of the airports, tells you bus fares cannot get below that unless you have a frequent traveller pass.

    2) consider that to paying triple, 60 euros for UBER and normal Taxis, more on holidays and sundays, as a typical downtown Paris-CDG taxi ride does cost north of 60 euros, but then taxis can run direct to both airports via free expressways bypassing Paris.

    3) for those like you who find a direct service a third the cost of a taxi still too expensive, take the RER A instead which is way roomier than the bus if you don’t mind people, cattle class smells and the time connexion to the (very) narrow gauge OrlyVAL, takes the same time than the BUSDIRECT for roughly the same price, with the perks of spotting the local fauna and some additional sightseeing.

    4) for the same price also, if the rides above are still too dull fo you, claustrophobic-free ROISSYBUS to downtown Paris can get you to hop onto ORLYBUS, both go overland, might take two hours minimum with no traffic, and in case of no strikes or “manifestations” – that local frog folklore, longer but hey, you get to see some of Paris’ beautiful architecture, including the possibility of a lengthier lay-over between both bus sectors.

  5. @ Ben — At 22 EUR per person, I suspect we’ll be using uber for our transfer from ORY to CDG next month when we fly La Compagnie EWR to ORY and then fly onward from CDG. However, if the uber prices are insanely high, it is good to know we have another convenient option. I look forward to your B0 review!

  6. Lucky, you should come to Texas and review Vonlane for your next bus review in the series!! It is actually relevant as it goes from Dallas Love field to Austin/Houston/San Antonio/OKC.

  7. @OneWorld- it’s the RER B, not the RER A, which connects CDG to Paris and to the Orlyval connection at Antony.

    Also, you can’t connect directly between Roissybus and Orlybus. You would need to hop on the RER A at Auber, transfer to the RER B at Chatelet-Les Halles, and take the RER B to Denfert-Rochereau to pick up the Orlybus. That would be very time consuming and more expensive than the straight RER B/Orlyval route.

    My choice would be the Le Bus Direct during likely times of low traffic (like when Ben went in the middle of a weekday), and the RER B/Orlyval during potential high traffic times, to avoid potential long delays on the freeways.

  8. I like the really clear and understandable schematic map and signage. I really like it when a travel company is able to make things easier like this and I hate it when companies don’t put in effort or thoughtfulness on this. I took a direct bus service from Haneda to Narita when I had a connection to make… its the most practical way to get between those airports versus having to transfer with a train or taking a really high priced car.

  9. I never would have thought to look for a bus, I would have just gone to RER. Looks like RER is a couple euros cheaper, but requires a transfer to the annoying Orlyval (aka Airtrain). In a couple of years, RER will stop directly at the Orly airport however

  10. “So after working from the arrivals lounge for a bit, at around 10:45AM I started looking at how best to get to Orly Airport.”

    Is it a good idea to research these things before you do the traveling?

    And yes, good to see a bus review on here…maybe a train review between airports close by could be next.

  11. “I’m not sure if this is simply a rebranding, or if it’s a fully new company”

    It is just a rebranding from “Les Cars Air France”.

    It has been managed by Keolis for ages now so not a fully new company.

    But I guess AF did not wanted anymore to be associated with it.

  12. I wonder if this is the same bus service I took waaaaay back in the 1990s, when I gave the driver a 100 franc note and he gave me change for a 20…

    …At 22 Euros per ticket, it looks like the bus company is playing its own extortion game, but keeping the profits for itself.

  13. I have taken this bus many times .Airfrance got rid of it 2 save money .My hotel in Paris is a 2 min walk BUT @ the airport u may have to wait an hr for a No. 2 Le Bus like I have .Fine price good views.
    CHEERs

  14. Still blows my mind that you can fly 15+ hours RT and not even spend a few hours in the city itself, regardless what your job is.

    Paris is one of my least favorite cities in the world and I’d still spend a night…grab a croissant in the morning and wander the Seine after dark while the Eiffel Tower twinkles.

    Nuts!

  15. “There was nothing fun happening onboard — no onboard showers, no caviar service, no sundae cart, no amenity kits, no credit card pitches… nothing.”

    Heaven forbid! No credit card pitches!? Why, they’re what make American Airlines worth flying!

  16. Did anyone on board have a full sized suitcase? I always have one and would worry I’d essentially need 2 seats or block aisle.

  17. Air France operated it for many years ( the ‘Air France Bus’) before Le Bus Direct. I’ve not taken anything other than the bus or RER B for many years. I get why families or couples might look for alternatives but as a ( mostly) solo traveler, it’s the best way, as are similar systems in most cities .
    It’s great for Hyatt Regency or Le M Etoile as the Porte Maillot stop is directly outside.

  18. Can you review the bus service between Lehigh Valley and Newark? It’s marked with United code and counts as a flight.

  19. @Ross: Yes, Vonlane is the way to go. The seats offer more space than most domestic First Class products and the host of amenities is truly impressive. Some of the Vonlane buses even have a printer on board for last-minute business or travel documents. The only downside is that one needs to pay extra for champagne. The meals and snacks are better than on the flight connections for these city pairs but normalized to the time on board, they are less impressive than on a 3-4 h F flight. All-in-all, it’s close to an F flight for the prize of Y ticket and it doesn’t take much more time from downtown to downtown than flying.

  20. I’ve often wondered if Endre pays for his first class tickets or uses miles. Finally, one of life’s biggest mysteries is resolved.

  21. I thought it was an awesome service. I flew to India with an overnight stay in Paris and I think round trip was only about 30 euros. I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile and the first drop off is the hotel. The next morning, at 6am, the bus picked me up with plenty of time for my 10:30 am flight to New Delhi. Will use it again when I do not rent a car.

  22. yeah, not a fan of busses when a train is available — I’d take the RER, even though it’s about the same for a one-way ticket.

  23. “There was nothing fun happening onboard — no onboard showers, no caviar service, no sundae cart, no amenity kits, no credit card pitches… nothing.”
    I have to say, Lucky…with you coming from an obvious working-class background, it becomes even more painful to see how detached from reality you actually are.
    This sentence in itself, speaks volumes.
    Either a very dumb attempt at humor (which it seems does not come natural at all to you, since you always come across as such a humorless, bland person), or a desperate attempt to “compare” aircraft amenities to those of a bus. And one INSIDE A CITY, nonetheless.

    Truly, this made me feel a bit sorry for you.

    Hope you find some purpose in life. Yours seems to have been properly lost.

    Oh, and this blog of yours has SO been going downhill, for a long, LONG time now….

    Hope you reassess.

  24. I think with the RER – the Paris commuter train network through the centre of the city – a ticket might be a couple of Euros less but not by much and you have to change in the middle of Paris. The bus sounds like a good value for €22, even without wifi. Nothing is perfect but you got from A to B 🙂 and in Paris given the traffic that is amazing!

    Thanks so much for the posts!

  25. And you are complaining about a 22 € bus trip while stating Uber would cost 65 €. Duhhhh..???
    How tight-fisted and niggardly can you be?
    You are certainly making a good living by writing such silly/dumbkopf scribbling. nonsrnse

  26. Can I use a round trip ticket with same way/direction ? (ex. airport > Montparnasse twice)

    And if I bought a line 1 ticket, can I use any stations belong to it?

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