The culture that is CDG

Charles de Gaulle is a busy airport. Sitting about sixteen miles to the northeast of Paris’ city center, it is a hub for Air France and inter-continental air travel.

In 2019, the airport handled 76,150,007 passengers and 498,175 aircraft movements,[4] thus making it the world’s ninth busiest airport and Europe’s second busiest airport (after Heathrow) in terms of passenger numbers. Charles de Gaulle is also the busiest airport within the European Union. In terms of cargo traffic, the airport is the eleventh busiest in the world and the busiest in Europe, handling 2,102,268 metric tonnes of cargo in 2019.[4] It is also the airport which is served by most number of airlines with more than 105 airlines operating to the airport.[5]


Bozeman Montana also has an international airport- the busiest in the state. Avid skiers who call Big Sky their main mountain account for a portion of the 1.8 million passengers who passed through the boarding gates in 2021. At BZN it wouldn’t be uncommon for a perky flight attendant to look out into the line of passengers waiting to go through security and beckon passengers on a flight with an empending departure to cut the line. The other passengers wouldn’t say a word. It is perfectly acceptable to not let a fellow traveller miss their flight!

That’s not quite the way they roll at CDG. First off the lines are horrific. A snaking string of figures and baggage step through the cordoned passageways. An agitated passenger, boarding pass in hand, attempts plunging on ahead. They are concerned they will miss their flight! The attendants look away. They will only step in for the elderly or those with babes in arms.

Is OK to push ahead in CDG when polite line waiting is the only way to go in BZN? Can a person maintain their moral standing when various environments dictate different rules? Or do you just accept that sometime you’ll miss your flight?