So…we were at the point where I got into Terminal 2G of CDG. I was looking forward to this connection in order to compare it with AMS and FRA. I had about 1.5h to make my connections, previous experiences on both AMS and FRA told me this was a piece of cake (specially the FRA marathon)
According to the (really insufficient) information both on AF's and ADP's webpages, passport control would take place somewhere between Terminal 2F and Pier L. But to my surprise there was a Passport Control at Terminal 2G, for our convenience. I wouldn't call convenience an understaffed passport control when a huge bank of connections takes place (about 3 policemen on shift). So the process was painfully slow…as my clock ticked and ticked even more painfully. Eventually I was cleared to go by an uninterested Police officer. Now the real fun begins. Whoever manages the busses between Terminal 2G and the L and M gates should be sent for life to île du Diable. A lot of buses arrived, but none to places where people where heading, whilst the necessary busses didn't show up. A huge and ludicrous line had formed. Not only we had to cope with the incompetence of ADP's folk, but also with some obnoxious American passengers who considered everyone had to give them way so they could make it to their SLC flight, well guess what mate…we're all toiling to get into our flights. This made even more stressing by the fact that the screens showed my flight as boarding…yay!
So in the end it turned into the law of the jungle, something you get used to as a frequent traveller of Bogotá's Transmilenio…somehow a middle aged woman asked me if I was going to Bogotá and I said yeap, next thing she tells me not to leave her alone because she doubted she could make it on her own. So when the next bus got into place, it initially was destined to somewhere else but the lady coordinating the operation ordered the bus to change destination…as soon as I noticed this I shoved my way to the bus, with my new matie gripped tp my t-shirt.
We made it confortably to the bus, managed to secure seats and chatted a bit. She was also in Switzerland for the summer, staying with a friend of hers in a village deep in Fribourg(?) Canton (the kind you reach only by postbus). I told her what I was up to…then we made ironic remarks about how inefficient the airport was compared to Bogotá's and how people where behaving…as if things suddenly changed roles.
Eventually we made it to Terminal 2F, then we had to get to an elevator to the corridor towards L gates…managed to get this pics (finally) AZ in the house
Funky corridors…OK for me!, much better than hospital like AMS or industrial FRA
Ubiquitous DL (remembered for a moment the SLC guy…hope he made it (or maybe not…yerk!))
We made it to the L gates…nice flashy duty free…but no time to check it out, run to the gate.
Eventually I made it to my gate…the CCS flight, on the next gate, was already closed (hope nobody missed the flight because of the mayhem at 2G). I find it funny when BOG and CCS bound flights are on nearby gates. A huge line was being swallowed by the Airbus by the time I got to the gate.
I was hoping to buy some macaroons for the women at home at Ladurée, but due to the time constraints I was giving up on the plan…when suddenly there was this little kiosk, eureka! I must have looked really funny because I was packed with wines and booze I bought at Zurich, along with some chocolates, and now I had this new bag on me…
Finally, A340-300 for me! I had waited so long for this moment. F-GLZJ was to be my first.
I felt so relaxed when I finally made it…but the flight was completely packed, oh #%T$Y%
Luckily I managed to pack my silly amount of bags on the overhead bin…but my backpack would have to take all (remaining) space bellow my front seat. the rest was taken by the IFE Box.
The worst irony of the whole deal was the inverse proportion between the box and the screen
But what the hell…I was on an AF A343, something I had to do before I kicked the bucket, or else I would have regretted it.
And the flight to our sister nation is off!
Cabin view from my place
The plane clearly showed its age
Eventually everyone was in and we were good to go… taxi to RWY 27L, really long! In the meanwhile, lets try to grab some pics
Oh look…a DL plane!
…how weird..another one, did I suddenly got into ATL?
one sexy PILF…hope I make it this year
And now we're lined and almost ready to takeoff, cute little Tarom A318 landing on RWY 27R
Take off was…as expected…slow, felt like when you're going up a hill on the car but you're one gear over the one you really need. It was alarmingly slow. Thought we were going to stall and all.
Adieu CDG… see you in (unknowingly at the time) 2 months!
Eventually menus where distributed…nice touch
By the time we were leaving Europe our lunch was served. On a side note, the guy servicing our zone was envy-inspiring good looking, I wished he had an accompanying female colleague on this flight, but no luck for me.
I went for the chicken, really nice!
Small PTV did not help to entertain…so I kept it on the map function. I was dozing on and off anyways.
Yeap..one could tell the plane had 16 years old
After some really painful hours, we made it to America, we made it through Puerto Rico.
After flying over Boriquén, we had second servings… the food sounded nice on the menu, but the cold chicken was really dissapointing. The salad was not of my taste. And the couscous was stale…had to pour the cheese over it to give it flavor.
Having the eating issue taken care of, dosed for another while, till I noticed we were over Colombia. Sadly it was mostly cloudy until we were on finals.
I reckon this was Paraguaná Peninsula
Love that you can see the engines
Finally skies cleared…
The Magdalena Valley can be made out
Payandé Golf Course (1h away from Bogotá by car, 10 minutes flying)
Clouds again…beh Bogotá…beh
I've come to hate this view…means: your trip is imminently about to end
Smooth landing on RWY 13L
New airbus in town, visiting from Mexico!
Our pllane at BOG, the cleaning squad ready to raid it
Paris - CDG
Bogota - BOG
In a nutshell, this flight was totally different from the previous one, leaving a positive image of AF, a nice way to hop the Atlantic overall, but there are certain things AF can work on though.
AF: Nice crew, like LH and KL crews having troubles with Spanish (something weird French and Spanish being romance languages, and AF having strong presence in LatAm), the guy serving our area was really nice and not only good looking. IFE is practically useless. Food receives a mixed note, first serving was really good. Second serving, bleh. The bread was awesome, I totally loved it. Seat comfort, ok although a bit cramped, some seats were stuck together with duct tape. Something that I really liked, my bag made it to Bogotá!!! Suck that LH ( they've failed to get my bag to BOG both times I've connected at FRA)
CDG: Totally awful first experience at Terminal 2G, stupidly understaffed Border Control, and even more stupidly managed shuttles to the rest of the airport. Other than that, AF's hub at CDG seems to be improving, architecturally its more interesting than either FRA or AMS, and seems to be more fun than MAD. Could eventually make it into one of my favourite airports, as soon as they get the connections act together.
BOG: Arriving at BOG at AF's schedule is awesome, few lines, you're on the car less than 30 minutes after leaving the plane (providing the guys at baggage handling do make it on time).
Thanks for reading, saludos!
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