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.
First, I'll start with a photo bonus of my native region of Southwest France.
Le viaduc de Millau, the world's tallest bridge.
The Dordogne River Valley
Now on to the Flight-Report…
The day before my flight, I was unable to check-in online for some reason. Because the airport is so close to town, I decided to make a stop by the airport to see if I could print out my boarding passes on the kiosk. I wanted to make sure I could get a decent seat.
Rodez-Aveyron Airport is a small regional airport, but has a respectable amount of traffic and destinaions. There are 3 Hop/Air France flights per day to Paris-Orly and seasonal flights to Corsica, several Hex'air flights to Lyon, and a good sized Ryanair operation with direct flights to London-Stansted, Dublin, Brussels-Charleroi, and Porto, Portugal. A real mini-hub :-P
When I printed my boarding pass at the kiosk, I noticed that my DL FF number was not showing. Since it was not busy, I went to the ticket counter, but the agent could not make it show up, although she confirmed it was in the reservation. Very weird…as it would turn out, it didn't really matter because Delta had not yet had an agreement with HOP and I would therefore get no miles, despite HOP being an Air France subsidiary. I was not too happy about that considering that these flights used to always be marketed as AF and I would always get DL miles before the HOP subsidiary was created.
While I was at the ticket counter, I asked the agent if she could assign me a seat in the exit row. The agent was very nice and helpful and gave me seat 1A and even blocked the seat next to me due to a low load factor. How sweet!
A few images of the terminal, which is not as small as one would expect for a town of only some 50,000 inhabitants.
Since I was already checked in, the next morning, I showed up only a half hour before departure to drop off my checked bag. There's no Sky Priority lane, but it is not needed here.
I was the only person at security and was through in 30 seconds, which is always nice. When I got to the gate, boarding was just starting with Sky Priority boarding. I was pleasantly surprised they even bothered with SP boarding on an ATR. I was the only person that got up for SP boarding and was greeted warmly by the agent who remembered me from the day before. I felt like a VIP! LOL
My ATR with the sun rising. Funny enough this is the same ATR that I had spotted (and is the cover photo on my previous report) on the outbound trip while hanging out on the observation deck in Paris Orly.
A warm welcome on board by the two flight attendants. I was the only on board for a few minutes.
The legroom isn't great, but it's as good as it gets on an ATR.
So not only was I the only Sky Priority passenger, I was also the only one in my row. VIP I tell you :-P
On-time departure with the sun shining…this good Southern French weather will not last.
My window is very scratched up; not easy to take pics.
The window directly behind me is a little better. Noone was sitting there either.
The weather is still nice as we fly over the Auvergne region
Unlike the flight over, I stayed awake for the service this time. So what…no lobster or caviar for the VIP? How disappointing :-)
Towards the end of the flight, I had a nice little conversation with the FA sitting across from me. She told me that this was the only flight she was scheduled for today and was planning on going to the Le Bourget Paris Air show today.
The cabin upon exiting.
The aircraft registration which shows that this is the same plane I photographed in Paris recently.
OpenSkies 757-200 F-GPEK that I had taken in October of 2010.
No surprise, we are bused to the terminal.
When I got to the baggage carousel, my luggage was already there! As I walk out of the terminal the sun comes out for a few minutes and then disappeared for the rest of my long weekend in Paris. Not the best weather for the Paris Air show, but I was excited to go either way!
Thanks for reading!
Air France Hop
Rodez - RDZ
Paris - ORY
An overall good flight on this short hop to Paris. Definitely a better flight experience than the flight over.
Early Departure and early arrival. Super speedy baggage delivery.
Comfort: Reasonably comfortable leather seats. Having the whole exit row to myself certainly helped to make the flight more comfortable and enjoyable.
Crew: Great ground crew and great FAs despite the early morning hour.
Catering: No lobster, lol...just the standard grade for short-haul snack offering.
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