03/30/2012 01:00 pm ET

Charles De Gaulle Airport Gets Efficiency And Friendliness Overhaul

PARIS — Charles de Gaulle is the second-largest European airport in terms of passengers — 61 million last year — and the seventh-largest worldwide. Yet it doesn’t get much love.

According to Skytrax, a consulting firm based in London that publishes one of the world’s leading passenger surveys of airports, Charles de Gaulle ranked 34th last year out of the 73 European airports it covers, and 89th out of 208 worldwide.

For many passengers, Charles de Gaulle represents what they hate about air travel: sprawling buildings with bewildering layouts; interminable waits at security, passport control and baggage claim; forgettable shops and restaurants; and often indifferent personnel.

That may be about to change. This summer, Aéroports de Paris, the operator of Charles de Gaulle, and the French flag carrier, Air France, will begin an overhaul of their operations aimed at making the passenger experience at the airport more efficient and, they hope, more enjoyable.