Welcome to the second leg of this series of reports entitled Toulouse, the long way
As a French expat living in Washington, DC, IAD-CDG flights have become a sort of shuttle for me. Lately, however, I've been trying to create some more interesting routings which will also earn more miles. Normally I spend a few days in Paris to see friends and family before heading to the Southwest of France where I grew up on a direct PAR-TLS flight. This time I chose to go via Hamburg to test out the regional Premium Economy product and earn more miles for essentially the same price as if I had gone direct to Toulouse.
These reports were originally written in French–here is the complete series in French below. English versions are coming soon.
Generally, to get to CDG I try avoid the RER trains. Coming from Neuilly, I decided to take the AF coach service Les Cars Air France direct from Porte Maillot to CDG. I left at 1PM for a 3:30 flight.
There was very little traffic that day and we arrived at Terminal 2F in only a half-hour.
T2F has a seperate SkyPriority check-in area which made things go quickly. The agent was efficient, but not very friendly…I know shocking right? We had chosen our seats during OLCI (AF does not allow you to chose seats at booking on short/medium-haul flight). The cabin looked rather empty at that time, let's hope it stays that way.
The SkyPriority check in area has its own dedicated security checkpoint. There was literally noone in line and we were through security in two minutes.
Our flight is showing on-time.
With about an hour left before boarding, we have plenty of time to go to the lounge.
A warm welcome from the lounge agent. I had read on several different forums that there had been renovations in the lounges over the summer but I really didn't notice a difference from the last time I was in this lounge in June. Maybe I'm not very observant. When I go to the 2F lounges, I like to go down to the lower level that I usually find to be less crowded and offers a nice view of the tarmac, which is always good for a #AvGeek like me.
And indeed there are many more empty seats down here than upstairs.
Not a whole lot to snack on appart from some slices of meat and bread. Later on the meat will be replaced by croissants and Pains au Chocolat. For Afternoon tea perhaps?
A bit of planespotting from the lounge.
A KLM 73G arriving from AMS
Af A320 in SkyTeam colors.
An A380 in the distance
At boardinfg time we head to the gate. There is no good view of our aircraft.
As usual in Terminal F, the boarding gate is a total Cluster****. You can't even tell where the SkyPriority line is as there are tons of people blocking the way.
The boarding of our flight is delayed for a few minutes. As we wait I see a large group of people approach the gate next door with a camera crw in tow. It is former French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing! Apparently he and his entourage are headed to Berlin.
The President and his crew are still in the jetway as we board our flight. I guess even former presidents have to wait in line like everyone else :-)
Even though we managed to make our way through the crowd of gatelice and board when SkyPriority was called, lots of people had already boarded in front of us. This leads me to believe that the agents are not really controlling to see if the correct pax are boarding.
There is only one row of J on this flight designated by this nifty little sign. Fancy huh? LOL
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing's plane to Berlin.
The J/W cabin stayed relatively empty. A group of German 20-somethings decided to take it upon themselves to upgrade and sat in some empty seats. The FA asked them for BPs at door close and immediately had them move back to Y.
The TXL flight pushing back a few minutes before us.
The empty cabin in flight.
About a half-hour after takeoff the meal is served.
Grilled Chicken pesto sandwich,subric de noix de St. Jacques and a smoked salmon roll.
Compote de fruits rouge, a macaron and a little coconut cake.
Some more champagne. Cheers!
The FA comes around several times to refill glasses. We bigin our descent shortly after the end of the meal.
Our flight path gives a good view of the Finkenwerder XFW Airbus factory
We land late, luckily the taxi time is short and we get to the gate with only 15 minutes delay.
Turkish Airlines A321
Our aircraft on arrival.
Thanks for reading! I will try to translate more reports soon. Leave a comment :-)
Air France Lounge, 2F - F1
Paris - CDG
Hamburg - HAM
Comfort: These older-style seats, although visually not very appealing, are much more comfortable than the new ironing board slimline non-reclining seats that AF has installed on a lot of aircraft doing domestic and CDG-Germany flights. The empty cabin definitely added to the comfort. Crew: Very attentive, pleasant, and professional. Catering: Decent for a flight of this duration. Certainly better than the previous lunch-box [i]boîte blanche[/i] offering. A shame to have plastic silverware/glasses, though.
On-time performance: We arrived at the gate 15 minutes late
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