Welcome to the next installment in this series of Flights between Washington DC and Rodez, France. The point of this trip to Europe was to go to a big Flight-Report.com meet-up which coincided with the Le Bourget Paris Air show. I also took the opportunity to go see my parents in the Southwest of France. I worked out a somewhat complicated routing to stretch out the miles, and basically because I'm an AvGeek and the more flights the better, when you are not time constrained, that is.
Normally, when I go to my hometown in France, I do IAD-CDG-TLS and then drive 2 hours to Rodez, but that was getting a little boring. The ORY-RDZ flights will take me directly to my hometown; this was also the first time that this route had been reported on the site.
Knowing that I had strung together an itinerary with 4 flights and a change of airport in Paris, the Air Traffic Controllers strike had me very worried. Imagine my HUGE relief when I got this e-mail from Air France a few minutes before my flight took off from JFK for FRA. So everything should be fine!
Upon exiting my DL flight from JFK, I asked an agent in the jetway if there was a way to transit without having to go out landside since my AF flight to Paris was in 2 hours. The answer was a clear no, not surprising as I expected that to be the case. Non-Star Alliance connections in FRA must be rare. Immigration went pretty fast and it was nice to get some fresh air after an overnight TATL flight–no harm, no foul.
Since I'm landside, I go to a kiosk to re-print a boarding pass instead of using the one I printed during OLCI. I changed my seat and picked an emergency exit window with noone next to me–lets hope it stays that way!
Getting some fresh air before heading to the lounge.
Frankfurt's Terminal 2 is large, airy, and light-filled, unlike Terminal 1. However, I do find the design to be someone cold and industrial…seems very German :-)
There is a Premium/Sky Priority lane, which is very useful considering there is only one passenger in line in front of me and I'm airside in less than 2 minutes.
I was kind of worried that 2 hours would not be enough time, but with all this German efficiency, I had plenty of time left before my flight to go to the Air France lounge.
The lounge is small but pleasant, especially since it wasn't very crowded. One thing that surprised me, however, is that there are no restrooms (much less showers) in the lounge. It would have been nice to take a quick shower after getting off an 8 hour overnight flight.
I found a nice quiet corner to myself where I took advantage of the Wifi to catch up on some things.
I was a bit hungry since I hadn't really touched the cereal on the JFK-FRA flight…being lactose-intolerant and all. SO I had myself a little breakfast and some bubbles to properly hydrate à la Française :-P
I left the lounge at the boarding time indicated on the BP and saw this ANA 787 on the way. I was in excited Geek-mode as it was only the 2nd 787 I had ever seen at the time. What a beautiful bird!
When I got to the gate I noticed that there was no plane yet, even though departure time was in half an hour. The screens still show on-time…yeah, sure, that's gonna happen.
So now I'm worried for my connection between CDG and Orly. An agent makes an announcement to inform us that there will be a slight delay of 10-15 minutes. Lies, all lies…I used to work for an airline…I know that 10 minute delay really means a half hour or more!
And of course I was right! The aircraft doesn't even arrive until its scheduled departure time. Now, I've seen some pretty fast turnarounds on delayed flights (around 25 minutes for block-in to block-out) but 15 minutes on a full A318 ain't gonna happen.
This will be my first ride on an A318. Today it's ship F-GUGB
Boarding begins 20 minutes after the arrival of the aircraft. Luckily, the boarding went rather quickly as I'm sure many pax were worried about their connections in CDG and in a hurry to leave.
I was the first on board and found the cabin to be aesthetically pleasing–this is one of Air France's strong points. Confort, however, is not one of AF's fortés.
A warm welcome on board by two smiling FAs.
Good pitch, which is normal for an exit row :-)
Hello there…the aircraft that flew me from NYC earlier. It's kind of funny that I had to go through immigration to come back out landside and back through security to find my self, in the end, going back to basically where I started.
Announcements are made in French and English. German announcements are pre-recorded.
We finally push back with almost an hour delay. So much for the 10-15 minute delay mmm hmmmm
Apparently I fell asleep right away because I have absolutely no recollection of taking off and completely missed the drink service. I didn't wake up until wheels-down in CDG!
Although it was in the upper 70s(25C) in Frankfurt, the crew announces an outside temperature of only 14C (57F) in Paris! That's a big difference for such a short distance.
Le Concorde on this rainy day.
We get to the gate at Terminal 2F 45 minutes late.
I ran like hell to catch the next Air France coach service leaving for Orly Airport. I got there just in time for a 2:30PM departure. I'm hopeful at this point since my flight is at 4:15PM and I already have my Boarding pass with no bags to check. We'll see if I make it!
Thanks for reading! Leave a comment :-)
Air France Lounge
Frankfurt - FRA
Paris - CDG
Almost an hour delay on departure and a 45 minute delay on arrival. For a flight that's less than an hour long, that's a big delay, especially with a connection.
Comfort: To be honest, I was expecting a lot worst. This was my first experience flying with this new cabin outfitted with slimline seats so often decried as planches à repasser or ironing boards. Yes, the seatbacks don't recline, but who reclines on a 50 minute flight? Reclining in coach on short flights in this day and age in rude in my opinion, but I still believe seats should have the ability to recline. I managed to sleep on this flight so the seat couldn't have been that bad. Of course...being in a exit row with noone next to me helped a lot :-)
Staff: Very nice and pleasant crew on board, but I'm taking away some points for the blatant lies and lack of information from the ground crew in FRA.
Catering: My standard grade for AF's short-haul snack offering, known to the French as the eternal sucré-salé
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