Better warn you in advance: this is a looong report, with lots of plane-spotting on the ground and landscapes in flight.
AF had pre-assigned me a window seat which I did not like: it was in the sun’s direction, and the wing was somewhat in the way. At my second connection on the OLCI, Seat 4A became available and I grabbed it.
There was an orange (=medium severity) weather warning for the Paris area in the beginning of the week, and I received an SMS from AF warning me of possible congestion at check-in of the flights on Monday morning. It was unclear if AF was concerned that all staff would not be at work, or if too many passengers would make it at the last minute after struggling to reach CDG. It turned out that the expressway to CDG had more salt than the Dead Sea, and I reached CDG by taxi in nominal time, only slowing down in the branch towards the airport. The temperatures were actually going to drop later in the day.
The taxi dropped me at terminal 2F, in record time from my home with due respect of the speed limits.
I was puzzled by this thing (any better word?) for disabled passengers, devoid of any explanations. Pressing the button triggered a message telling me that pressing it again would put me in relationship with an operator that I did not want to disturb needlessly.
The line at the security check for standard Economy passengers was longish, but not discouragingly so.
See the small read information bottom right of the FIDS
Less than a quarter of an hour estimated delay to go through the security: this was acceptable
My flight was listed on time, but I was too experienced to take this information at face value
Once I had obtained my BP at one of the machines, I entered the line for rank and file passengers.
The hand luggage gauge and scale with the staff on the lookout for overweight hand luggage was there as usual, like on low cost airlines and for the same reason: when your lowest fares do not include checked luggage, the passengers try to fit everything in their hand luggage. I saw a passenger being stopped, then released. He may choose another airline next time.
Fifteen minutes later, I was airside: the prediction was correct (« < » means « strictly less », but the precision of my timing did not allow me to argue about that), which was a good thing.
I knew that the water fountains were inoperable at this level, so I went downstairs to the transfer corridors
… to go to the toilets which were clean, but crowded, because this was the time slot when they are being cleaned, and only have of the facilities were accessible. This was before the morning rush hour, and I recognize that the toilets need to be cleaned at some time anyway.
This corridor left of the windows is part of the Arrivals path: there was a one-way door on the left
It is possible to go at that level to the other jetty of Terminal 2F – this corridor is mostly for connecting passengers who just arrived from the afore-mentioned corridor after deplaning. Staying them is not encouraged by the placement of these seats.
This was the only place where I could have a view on this KL 738, with reflections on the windows because you cannot get close to them.
Going back to the Departures level (except for the gates for bus transfers)
There was an ample supply of newspapers offered by AF. Note that out of four foreign newspapers, two were Dutch: this is AF/KL territory.
There was also a wide variety of French titles, spanning most of the political spectrum (Le Figaro, l’Humanité, le Canard Enchaîné, la Croix, Le Monde, L’Équipe, Libération and Les Echos, in a jumbled order if you are familiar with them).
Most of the planes parked at Terminal 2F are difficult to photograph. An AF A319.
My experience is that Flight AF1262 is usually at Gate F30, which is good for plane spotting because it is at the end of the jetty, but there was limited light at that season.
When all seats near the gate are occupied, you wait in vertical position, like this:
Or like that.
First sight of F-GRXA which was going to fly me to ARN this time.
An AF A32& taxiing to the runways.
Connecting to CDG’s free wifi took time, because my laptop requires rebooting in CDG (not in ARN).
I could eventually reach Flight Report’s home page
These young passengers to BCN had a problem of oversize hand luggage (from what I overhead); the one on the right left with her back to check it in. They did not seem all that big to me, and I think I would have been able to reduce their sizes by wearing part of their contents.
Meanwhile, boarding of my flight had already started. My FB Silver status is still good enough for Skypriority access, although this has been deleted from the signs identifying the queues. An AF A321, two other AF A32x and an outsider, seen from the jetbridge:
Departure of an AF A319
An AF A320 in Skyteam livery
Skypriority or not, when you are behind the curtain…
… and when you are in the first rows of Economy, where all the passengers are Skypriority too and have filled the overhead bins …
… all you can do is hook your winter jacket to the seat in front and fit your laptop case and soft daypack under the seat. Or else I would have had to place them further back, wasting most of the advantage of seating in the front of the aircraft when it would come to recovering them at deplaning time. AF has reduced the seat pitch in their A319s: this does not leave much space event when your size is LCC-compatible.
The safety information card, both sides
As soon as the A320 in Skyteam livery has pushed back…
… an AF A319 taxies in
This was all I saw of a KL 737 in retro livery
The extremity of this jetty of Terminal 2F
AF A321 at her gate
The Sheraton and the train station
Arrival of an Austrian Airlines A319
Air Malta A320 at the terminal
Aigle Azur A319
Air Baltic 737
Air Seychelles A330
Terminal 1, with two Air China A330s
This is the other one
SQ flies an A380 to CDG
And QR a 777
A somewhat blurry LH A319 because our plane was taxiing too fast on a too bumpy taxiway.
TG serves CDG with an A380
An AF A380 in the maintenance area
The deicing machines whose work season was going to begin
This A320 is not waiting for take-off
Arrival of an Air Transat Air Transat on the parallel runway
Now is our turn
The Air Transat A330, ready to cross the runway
The countryside north of Paris was slightly frosted
CDG2 from above, after image enhancement
A Brocken specter on the cloud cover
The same, after image enhancement
First try at an air-to-air picture – there would be more successful ones later
Wing tip fence and the moon
AF/KL addicts recognize AMS here
Air to air picture of a plane obviously soon to land in AMS
Another try for an air to air picture. Not yet convincing..
Another more general view of AMS
Amsterdam’s historic center was not very visible
The white spot in the center of the picture, left of a canal, is a plane which was too small and too low to get a better picture of her. Another non satisfactory air-to-air picture :(
Almere, a new town built on a polder near Amsterdam
The breakfast, as served
Unlike the dinner on the reverse direction, the contents of the hot meal are identified.
The same after unwrapping
The piece of bread has not become any bigger
Compressing the wrappings of this meal has two purposes: one is to have fun, the other more serious one is to have something clean which can be slipped into the magazine pocket, together with the plasticware and the tray, in order to resume the writing of this flight report on my laptop.
A geometric alignment of windmills alongside the Noordoostpolder ("North-East Polder") which was reclaimed on the sea in the 50-60s.
… and its airport (GRQ)
The same, at the bottom of the overall view
The Dutch harbor of Eemshaven, at the right end of this picture
Borkum, the westernmost German Frisian island
It has an airfield: BMK, 1 meter above sea level (left of the canal and the small lake on the right in the picture).
Juist. There is an airfield there too (JUI), towards the right end, but my picture was not sharp enough to make it out.
It takes massive image enhancing and a lot of imagination to see its airfield (NRD), as a thin dark line along the south (= lower) coast center of this picture.
An offshore windfarm which was much more visible than that
Heligoland’s two islands, with the airport clearly visible on Düne Island on the right
Another air to air, in the lower third of the picture
The respective trajectories made it possible to show her off a blue sky backdrop
She was best identified as an Air Berlin A330.
A city for crossword puzzle fans: 8 letters with 4 A‘s? This was Aabenraa, around 20 km north of the German border (lower left).
Denmark’s Fredericia, and the straits which separates Fyn Island in the foreground from the mainland.
Hans Christian Andersen Airport (Odensee, ODE), named after the most famous native of the city. The original picture hue was so blue that I propose a black and white version.
Entering Sweden’s airspace.
And, just ahead of the reactor in the preceding picture, Halmstad and its airport
This is not a very long runway, but a future expressway
The countryside further north was covered with snow and the lakes were frozen.
First sight of Stockholm’s urban area : I was on the wrong side to see Stockholm and its domestic airport (BMA). The snow covered Viksjö golf course, just ahead of the reactor.
Järfalla on the left and Jakobsberg on the right, with Lake Mälaren in the background
The station (background) and Expressway E18’s interchange (foreground) of Jakobsberg. The L-shaped building at the lower edge of the picture is a store of one of the most famous Swedish brands worldwide: IKEA!
The curved buildings and the station of Kallhäll, and again Lake Mälaren in the background.
Jacobsberg and one of the many arms of Lake Mälaren in the background
In the fore ground on the right, Grinslanten’s golf course had probably few customers that day.
A quarry shaped like a hand with spread finger, and the premises of a company making fences in the foreground.
The curvy buildings in Runby
The same, with Upplands Väsby station in the foreground.
The rococo Stora Väsby castle, built in the 1760’s, whose park has been sliced through by the railway line. It now belongs to the Swedish and Polish noble De Geer family.
The business area next to Rosersberg, just before landing on Runway 01L
A nice property with plenty of trees which was seriously devalued when ARN was built, except for aviation geeks
Landing 17 minutes late, with the crew’s excuses. Taxi by the Caravelle whose cockpit is presumably being restored in a heated covered facility.
Arrival behind us of an SAS 737-700
This 747-200 has reached her final destination many years ago
This ET 787 would depart to VIE and onward to ADD in the evening and is usually parked here in the freight area
These DHL 757s also leave in the beginning of the nights
This Amapola Flyg Fokker 50 freighter is also a frequent sight here
A longish stop on the tarmac without any explanation from the crew (and without any movement from the passengers), in order to let this Wow Air A320 to KEF taxi away from the terminal.
There she was taxiing to the runway, together with an SAS 738 (LN-RRL) in Star Alliance livery
The Wow Air A320 begins her takeoff run
Nextjet Bae ATP
Another one taxiing to the runway
A departing SAS CRJ-900
The AF A319 at her gate, seen from the terminal
Arrival of OY-LKF, a Finnair E-190
I did not have motivation to rush down the escalator and maybe catch the Arlanda Express which was already in station, and pay a 100 SEK extra-charge for buying the ticket on board: this was an excellent excuse to complete my plane spotting session from the corridor leading to Terminal 3’s gates.
The harvest contained a DY 738 (with some reflections of the Christmas decoration on the tail)
TK A321 near lift off
SAS ATR72 on the frozen tarmac
Arrival of a KL 738 at Terminal 2, taxiing past the ET 787 in the freight area
Once I had exhausted the supply of parked planes, and since I could not decently miss the next Arlanda Express train,
… I went down the stairs, with a 7 minutes waiting time and then 20 minutes travel time to download my e-mails and start answering, using the free wifi internet access in the Arlanda Express station and train.
Arrival in the central station
This is the end of the report, but since my readers may find it too short ^^, I propose a quick food bonus.
I owe to a Flight Report to/from LLI the memorizing of the name of Lalibela which is where extraordinary primitive Christian churches hewn out of the rock are located. There is an Ethiopian aircraft on ARN’s tarmac in daytime, but it is possible to eat Ethiopian food at night, in front of the Marriott Courtyard where I usually stay these days.
The traditional dishes are set like this, in an extra-wide deep metallic dish in a woven basket. It is served in very soft crepes which get torn very easily.
There is a very friendly welcome and it is not crowded, but beware! I discovered that the Ethiopian dishes rival those of Chongqing and Hunan provinces in Mainland China. I mean by that the Thai dishes may taste bland in comparison. If you fear hot peppers, better change street walk!
Thanks for reading me all the way to here!
Paris - CDG
Stockholm - ARN
Densifying the cabin and proposing fares without checked luggage which encourages an inordinate number of passengers to maximize their hand luggage results in a loss of comfort for whoever is last to reach the area of his seat in the aircraft, because of the lack of space for his belongings. There was a very decent supply of newspapers in CDG; the in-flight magazine does not count as entertainment for me. I am not interested in the download offering because my smartphone’s screen is too small for that. The breakfast is better than average (in Europe), and satisfactory in Economy. The FAs did not have an opportunity to show their worth.
The fluidity was honorable in CDG, despite dire predictions. The accessibility was correct only for those who can go to the airport by car, in non-rush hours. The wifi internet access was somewhat choosy and there was no information as to when the water fountains may work again.
Nothing special in ARN, apart from the excessive fare of the Arlanda Express, which is not going to become cheaper anytime soon.
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