This direct flight in Economy is the return trip after flying out via AMS in Business:
CDG-AMS : AF1240 (A321, Business) it was here AMS-ARN : KL1109 (B738, Business) it was there ARN-CDG : AF1063 (A32x, Economy) You are here
There was still a reasonable choice of seats when checked in on line at EYD – 30h + a few minutes, but I knew that this Friday evening ARN-CDG flight operated with a small A319 would most probably be full.
Going home after working during the week in Stockholm began with a subway trip to the station T-Centralen, short for Tunnelbanna Centralen, i.e. « Subway Central ».
The most convenient exit features this store of typically Swedish food; I would like to believe that this name is not a pun with Mount Fuji (富士山), which as most reader know is not called Fuji Yama, but Fuji San in Japanese, which does not mean “Mr. Fuji”.
This exit is the one closest to tracks 1 and 2 of the central station
These are the tracks dedicated to the Arlanda Express services
The next train would depart from Track 2.
I rode in the tail, in order to take the escalators to Terminals 2 and 3 in ARN (the escalators at the other end of the platform lead to Terminal 4)
There are power ports and a good wifi internet access
Arrival in 20 minutes in ARN
Bad luck: the Christmas decorations were still there in the access to Terminal 3 (the reflections on the windows are disasters for plane spotting)
This was no reason for not trying from this corridor used by a staff riding a scooter.
Despite the dark night, despite the reflections, it was a decent harvest with this Vueling A32x pushing back before her flight back to BCN
Swedish Saab 340s
Arrival of an Estonian Saab 340
The bus is longer than the aircraft!
Nextjet BAE ATP
That was all for landside plane spotting – there was no way I could obtain decent shots of planes taxiing in the distance – and I went to the security check where the line was moderate and moved fast.
Exactly nine minutes to make it airside and first buy the smoked salmon which is a must of my trips home.
The rear of a Nextjet BAE ATP (SE-MAK)
Amapola Flyg Fokker 50
Terminal 2 was quite empty. The green stairs on the left lead to a restaurant and to a lounge where I may eventually be accepted when I have cumulated enough CDG-ARN round trips.
Nearly all seats close to the illogically located power ports were already taken in the vicinity of Gate 67, the one always used by Flight AF1063
There was a small novelty with this brand new counter slightly before that gate
It provided a front view of the BA 767 which would head back to LHR.
There she was
It may even be possible to plug your laptop’s power supply in power ports under these lamps – when they are wired.
Meanwhile, there is a set of four power ports on this pillar
The BA 767 pushes back
It was time for me to go to my Gate, not 67 but 63 (another revolutionary change for me in early 2017 !^^).
The A319 was already there
There were already two lines (Skypriority and ordinary Economy), which were going to treble in size by the time boarding would begin.
Meanwhile, this staff made the usual announcement of the flight being full and would there be volunteers for checking luggage for free. The passengers, who probably all know about CDG’s shameful luggage delivery delays, were not impressed.
These signs did not mention it, and neither was it mentioned was boarding was announced, but my Silver FB status was OK when my BP and ID were checked in the Skypriority line.
The back of the plane while still very empty. The advantage of have a Skypriority privilege with a seat in the rear is that the overhead bins are still quite empty, whereas they fill up very quickly in the front where all passengers are the priority kind. There were only two rows in Business.
My seat behind PAX21A and PAX21Abis who was going to be the quietest kid ever.
I had been careful not to try and get the « window » seat of the last row on the left which has no window. It was not available anyway.
The new cabin of AF’s A32x has slightly wider seat than the competition
… but the seat pitch is dramatically reduced in order to increase the number of rows, which does not help fitting all hand luggage in the overhead bins.
Would you please straighten your seat ? : This polite request from the FA behind me when distributing the meals later illustrated, if needed, that the seat pitch is really tight : you would not want to have to eat if the passenger in front of you reclined his seat, even though they do not recline all that much. Using your laptop is equally inconvenient – I know this from experience.
The rather thin seats
The carpet was clean ; there was no safety card in my half row.
The overhead consoles
The toilets in the rear, with the diaper changing board for female use (according to the pictogram) that my neighbor in front of me did not use, a small overhead bin with some spare cushions, a first aid kit and a small cupboard for the vests of the FAs. The FA who saw me take these pictures before other passengers had arrived was amused, in a friendly manner.
It was indeed Gate 63, at Arlanda’s Terminal 2
This Nordic Express Saab 340 was really too far and too much in the dark to obtain a reasonably sharp picture.
Take off from Runway 19R, and view on Terminals 4, 3 and 2 (from left to right)
Stockholm’s urban area in the distance. Thanks to RI 777 who identified Kungsängen, Kallhäll, Jakobsberg, Barkarby, Rotebro and Viby !
This is the meal as served
The same after unwrapping. Note the clever use of a water bottle and of the usual pack of plasticware, paper towel, salt and pepper made it possible to reduce the solid food to less than half of the area of the tray.
This goes in compensation of the improvement of the hot meal – I won’t miss the same sandwich that I ate seven times on seven AF1063 flights in 2016) – and the variety from flight to flight: penne, kitchen with tomato concentrate and some broccoli, this time.
The bread is unchanged; it hides 10 grams of chocolate with 70% cocoa which I found decent this time. The latter was the only food about which I found some content data.
The rest of the food had zero content information, an oddity in these times when consumers are saturated with data on what they eat, in milligrams, calories, percentage of recommended daily allowance and whatever.
In short, I can only provide an empiric stratigraphic analysis of this cake which was more coffee flavored (middle layer) than chocolate flavored (superficial layer).
A little known advantage of this meal is that once it is entirely eaten and with some dexterity, it is possible to compact the wrappings like this.
This makes it possible to dispose of everything cleanly in the magazine pocket, and start this FR before the FAs come to pick up the trays.
Approaching the Paris urban area
See in the center of the picture the rotating search light at the top of the Eiffel Tower, pointing right here.
Now that you spotted it, can you localize the Eiffel Tower without the help of its telltale projector ?
Part of Terminal 2
The French flag lighting of Terminal 1
A TAM aircraft at one of the satellites of Terminal 1
Taxiing above the CGV-VAL people mover’s tracks
Only because this is an exotic aircraft in CDG do I post this completely blurry picture of this PIA aircraft at Terminal 1.
The armrests in this cabin layout can be rotated all the way between the seats
But few passengers use this feature, even though these armrests are in the way to reach the aisle from the other seats.
A passenger asked for one of the cushions from the small supply seen in the back.
PAX21Abis has been of textbook quietness, including while deplaning.
The emptied cabin
An A319 at the next gate
And the one which had flown me back to CDG
She made it to the block 15 minutes ahead of schedule
There were not many people left in this AF lounge of Terminal 2F
Arrival in the luggage delivery room
The plane reached the block at 21:00 and the delivery of the luggage is planned at 21:20.
I had been the last passenger deplaning, and there were only half a dozen passengers lingering there. Let’s assume that a few more were in the toilets : that meant at most ten pieces of luggage to be delivered. Do I need to say more about the efficiency of CDG’s luggage handling ? Small wonder that the overhead bins in the plane are always packed !
Exit landside, where there were no touts for illegal taxis due to the presence of that airport staff with a blue jacket who oriented the arriving passengers to the legitimate taxi stand.
Isn’t that incredible ? Not only was there no line, but there were taxis waiting for incoming passengers, instead of the reverse.
And as a final breach of the usual well deserved clichés, my taxi driver was especially friendly and curious (with a positive meaning) ; he even asked me for the precise definition of a word that I used and that he did not know. Thanks in advance for your comments and signs of appreciation (“likes”, in 21st century parlance ;)
Stockholm - ARN
Paris - CDG
This ARN-CDG flight was fully nominal all the way through, with a full load of passengers as usual, efficient and smiling FAs as usual, a meal where quality had been improved at the expense of quantity, a decently comfortable because the passenger before me did not recline her seat. ARN is installing seats for laptop users : despite the lack of comfort of these stools, this is a welcome change. Apart from this, it was the usual efficiency of this small terminal. Speed of luggage delivery is not CDG’s strong point : the passengers obviously know it and do the utmost to fit all their belonging in hand luggage which is all the more difficult to bid in the overhead bins that AF increased the number of seats in their A319s. No waiting for a taxi, whose driver was unusually pleasant: it was sufficiently rare to mention it. I hesitate to improve CDG’s accessibility grade, though: a taxi is an expensive means of transportation, especially when travelling alone, and it is viable only in low traffic hours. This ARN-CDG flight was fully nominal all the way through, with a full load of passengers as usual, efficient and smiling FAs as usual, a meal where quality had been improved at the expense of quantity, a decently comfortable because the passenger before me did not recline her seat. ARN is installing seats for laptop users : despite the lack of comfort of these stools, this is a welcome change. Apart from this, it was the usual efficiency of this small terminal. Speed of luggage delivery is not CDG’s strong point : the passengers obviously know it and do the utmost to fit all their belonging in hand luggage which is all the more difficult to bid in the overhead bins that AF increased the number of seats in their A319s. No waiting for a taxi, whose driver was unusually pleasant: it was sufficiently rare to mention it. I hesitate to improve CDG’s accessibility grade, though: a taxi is an expensive means of transportation, especially when travelling alone, and it is viable only in low traffic hours.
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