At the end of my last report, we had landed at CDG's newest Terminal, known as S4 or Terminal 2E Hall M. I was hoping my flight to DC would leave from this terminal so I could finally try the new lounge, unfortunately IAD flights always seem to leave from S3/Hall L, and today was no exception.
We head to S3 to spend time and relax in the Air France lounge there before our next flight.
The lounge isn't as nice as the new one in S4, but it is large and pleasant. Luckily, the lounge wasn't very crowded and we were able to find a nice quiet corner to rest in after a long redeye flight from Johannesburg. I didn't sleep much on the plane and was so tired I fell asleep in the lounge for a good hour, LOL.
I also took advantage of the shower facilities to freshen up. Feels great after an 11 hour flight!
The courtesy kit with L'Occitane products.
I took a stroll around the concourse prior to boarding my plane.
Boarding is set for 1:15PM, but starts a few minutes early.
We head up the escalators to take the jetbridge for the upper deck. As many times as I've flown the A380, boarding the upper deck is always an exciting moment.
On this flight, we're in the same row as we were on our flight from JNB, but on the opposite side.
An A330-200 nextdoor.
The bin along the sidewall is very convenient and gives a lot more lateral space. As far as confort goes in Y, you can't beat the upper deck on an A380!
The mini Y cabin, always pleasant.
A beautiful 747-400
Despite a full flight we push back right on time.
Aer Lingus A320
Tax time is pretty long, as is often the case at CDG.
This CRJ-1000 is the first one I'd seen in HOP colors.
Takeoff with a view of Terminal 1
Paris and the la Défense Business District–too bad the engine exhaust ruined the pics.
Menus are distrubuted about 15 minutes after takeoff.
The lunch menu seems pretty original.
I put on a movie to watch during the meal: Astérix et Obélix au Service de sa Majesté a French movie based on the French comic book series.
Aperitif (Before-dinner drink) service takes place about a half-hour into the flight.
Champagne for me, as usual.
I found the chicken to be pretty good; I especially liked the mustard sauce.
Shortly after the meal I fall asleep watching the movie. I wake up over the Canadian Maratime Provinces.
And apparently I was still tired because I fell right back to sleep, LOL. I didn't wake up again until the final descent so I missed the pre-arrival meal. No big deal.
Over the Washington suburbs
The Potomac River.
We pass right in front of the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum. The planespotters in the observation tower must have gotten a great view of our A380 landing, especially with the great weather.
Landing on runway 1R.
It's easy to see that Dulles is a United hub.
We arrive at the gate a few minutes early. Luckily it seems our flight was the only International Arrival at that time and we were through immigration in no time.
As I leave the terminal I see the South African Airways A340-300 heading back to the place I had just left! Full circle :-)
Thanks for reading. See you soon for more reports!
Air France Lounge - 2E, Hall L
Paris - CDG
Washington - IAD
On-time departure and Early Arrival.
Comfort: As I mentionned earlier, you can't do much beter in Y than the upper deck of an A380.
Personnel: Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde --the two Flight Attendants who took care of our section were polar opposites. One was incredibly charming, polite, and attentive, the other was....not so much. I even hear Ms Grumpy whinning to a colleague in the galley about a difficult pax who's IFE wasnt working. I thought that was incredibly unprofessional considering I was drinking a glass of water a few feet away from her. I totally understand the need to vent frustrations, but don't do it in front of customers!
After having had such an AMAZING crew on the flight from JNB to CDG, it was a disappointment to come back down to earth.
Catering: Very good meal. AF generally does well in Y compared to the competitition. Champagne in Y is always a good thing--even in a plastic cup!
IFE: Very good--fast, with a large choice of movies, shows, music, games, etc.
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