Avis du vol Air France Paris Osaka en classe Affaires

Compagnie Air France
Vol AF292
Classe Affaires
Siege 7L
Temps de vol 11:40
Décollage 12 Avr 18, 14:00
Arrivée à 13 Avr 18, 08:40
AF   #35 sur 72 Compagnies Un minimum de 10 flights-reports sur les deux dernières années est nécessaire pour apparaitre dans le classement. 4654 avis
Par GOLD 3132
Publié le 8 juin 2018
(A preliminary word of warning: my Flight Reports are always long, and the circumstances of this flight did not help reducing the length of this one. You will need to go through the entire report to understand why it is referenced in Business class: this is no mistake.)

This was my umpteenth trip to Japan, but I had been waiting for over ten years for an opportunity for this one which required taking nearly two months of leave of absence. My destination would have ideally been TKS, a small regional airport serving the city of Tokushima 徳島, my starting point in Japan, but the fares and schedules were unattractive and I fell back on a simple round trip to KIX which is only three hours away from Tokushima by bus.

CDG – KIX: AF292 (B777-200ER) You are here
KIX – CDG: AF291 (B777-200ER) it's there

I had chosen to use FB airmiles, first because I feared that the renovation of the FFP would include a devaluation of previously accrued airmiles (it did not happen for passengers traveling mostly to the Far-East as I do), and second because I wanted to be able to modify my departure date for cheap in case of a business constraint which did happen. A “Classic” award ticked is modifiable for a minimal 45 EUR fee.

photo clipboard012a

But only when I postponed by departure by two days did I discover that a 1.19 EUR tax was added to this fee; it was probably well hidden in small print inside obscure fare conditions. A 1.19 EUR surcharge is of course negligible and nobody complained when I included it in my expense claim (since I was changing my flight for business reasons, which was good for my karma at work), but this unfairness of Flying Blue’s communication on top of its massively unfavorable changes this spring did not help improve its image.

photo clipboard02a

On the other hand, I had no doubt that the warning “No meals served on board” ("Pas de repas servi à bord”) was a software bug.
(Writing “1 authorized pieces of luggage” (1 bagages autorisés) was pure sloppiness of the coder who did not bother to include a test on the number of pieces of luggage to add an s for plural only when needed. That nobody at Air France bothered to correct that does not give an impression of quality)

photo clipboard01a

Another bug was that I could not select a seat immediately after changing the flight.

photo clipboard03a

The whole cabin became accessible sometime later. One of the few perks of my predictably short-lived FB-Platinum status is that the so-called Plus Seats are for free. The first rows of the Economy cabin were of little interest to me, but the twin seats were, and I took a window seat in the last row, that whose aisle seat would be less attractive due to the proximity of the galley and of the toilets.

photo clipboard08a

Meals reappeared on this flight too!

I did not order a special meal: I did not travel enough on AF long haul flights enough to reach boredom with the standard meal offering, as I did on the ADG-ARN route the preceding year.

photo clipboard10a2

Then came April and a severe storm warning in the French transport sector. AF had difficulties handling strikes AND English grammar.

photo clipboard01

The trade unions at SNCF (= French Railways, which operate the infamous RER-B line from CDG to Paris) and at Air France carpet-bombed the calendar with multiple strike notices, and the only AF292 flight to be cancelled turned out to be mine.

photo clipboard08b

I would have considered boarding this aircraft spotted the preceding Sunday which was flying low above the course of the Paris Marathon. A specialist suggested that it might be an A380M (M for Marathon).

photo p4080404a

Since this was not an option, my first priority has been to send a request to shift my hostel reservation one day. Good news the:y had a room available and wished me a good travel.

photo clipboard09a

In the meantime, my file had been updated on AF’s website and good news, my window seat on the preferred side in a seat duo had been preserved.

photo clipboard01b

With regards to the seat assignment, I had to trust them initially because the website did not provide the information.

photo clipboard06a

The initial flight was supposed to be operated by AF (Sorry AF, “éffectué” is a misspelling) and I was rebooked on a flight operated by AF too (Sorry AF, in French, “opéré” is only used in case of surgical operations).

photo clipboard02b

OLCI was not available and I did not bother calling Customer Support which was likely to be busy with passengers with more serious problems than not being able to secure their seat assignment.

photo clipboard07a

D-Day (or D-Day+1, rather) came. My flight was not listed yet on the famous FIDS of the CDG-2 train station.

photo img_4273a

The e-mail received the day before the flight mentioned that check-in would be at Terminal 2F. This terminal that I know well is dedicated to Schengen Area flights and I thought that this was a bug possibly related to the strike at AF.

photo img_4274a

But Flight AF292 was not on the FIDS at terminal 2E and the staff at the information counter told me that I had indeed to check in at Terminal 2F. In order to avoid walking all the way back to the train station, I went down to the Arrivals level in order to cross the area between both terminals

photo img_4276a

… and then reach the lower level of Terminal 2F

photo img_4277a

And eventually see the familiar Nespresso landside shop and see that there was no waiting at the security checks next to it, both priority and non-priority.

photo img_4278a

But I first had to check in my luggage. Flight AF292 was not listed there either.

photo img_4279aphoto img_4280a

The staff at the entrance of the Skypriority check-in counters nevertheless confirmed that this is indeed the correct location for the flight to KIX. There was a free counter out of frame far left: the waiting time was nil.

photo img_4281a

Hardly more than nine kilos was not much for a checked luggage, but I had lots of electronics in my hand luggage,

photo img_4282a

The checked luggage was a backpack, and my back was not motivated at all by the 2 x 23kg checked luggage allowance due to my FB status.

photo img_4283a

Quasi-zero waiting time at the Skypriority security check which was next door.

photo img_4284a

I was not going to one of Terminal 2F’s jetties this time, but Gate L42 (a reference which carefully skips the fact that it is in Terminal 2E which is nowhere near where I checked in).

photo img_4286aphoto img_4287a

What future lies ahead for European Skyteam airlines: bankruptcy or rampant downgrading?

photo img_4290a

Yes, there was an Access #1 at the passport control in order to reach Terminal 2E which is dedicated to flights out of the Schengen Area. But when there are only two policemen in the booths and no automated PARAFE passport reading gate, the line goes forward very slowly, and sometimes not at all when the policeman on the right is handling a passenger whose passport creates a problem (but is eventually waved through) and the one on the left a wheel chair passenger. The policeman was nevertheless efficient and smiling when it was my turn.

photo img_4291a

It took altogether four minutes to go through the immigration: this was no disaster, and it was probably not that much longer for non-priority travelers either. The windows on the left of this corridor between Terminals 2F and 2E are excellent for plane spotting, but I seldom if ever have a chance to be there.

photo img_4292a

AF A380
photo img_4293a

AF A330

photo img_4296a

Two AF 777 taxiing from the North runways

photo img_4297a

Delta Airlines 767-300ERin Skyteam livery (N175DZ - thanks Socalnow !)

photo img_4299a

Arrival of an A32x also in Skyteam livery

photo img_4300a

Reaching the lounge entails going down one level

photo img_4301a

… and then up two levels shortly afterwards,

photo img_4302a

… then taking a long corridor which actually runs all the way along the lounge which is barely visible through the partition wall.

photo img_4344a

A counter with magazines and newspapers. Le Monde (one of the leading newspapers) headlined on the difficulties in ending smoothly the non-building of an airport (after some 50 years of debates, controversies and sometimes violent confrontations on site, the project of a new and much larger airport at Notre-Dame-des-Landes to replace NTE has been cancelled by the government).

photo img_4304a

Some newspapers from the Far East: Japanese (日本経済, 朝日新聞) and … French, because travelers who can’t read it probably do not realize that 歐洲時報, a Chinese language daily, is actually published in Paris.

photo img_4305aphoto img_4306a

A general view of the main area of the lounge: the catering area is at the far end of this long rectangle.

photo img_4307a

The small tables are equipped with USB and type E/F power ports. The latter have a childproof protection which mystified me at the lounge of Terminal 2F the first time I tried to use them – you only need to press hard enough to depress the central part. Both kinds were powered where I took a seat.

photo img_4308a

A semi-partitioned area just after the newspaper stand

photo img_4309a

There are wide windows to the outside, but they reveal that the lounge spans the roads which constitute the central east-west axis of Terminal 2. Sunshades outside contribute to reducing these windows to the sole purpose of providing natural light to the lounge.

photo img_4310a

Getting closer to the catering area which is beyond this rotunda.

photo img_4311a

There were still leftovers form the breakfast offering, but not for long.

photo img_4312a

The silverware is the same as that of the lounges in Terminal 2F.

photo img_4314a

The covers have a glass center so that you don’t need to lift them to see the contents (sausages for the breakfast offering, here)

photo img_4315a

This sautéed beef with onions didn’t look great, but it tasted great.

photo img_4317a

On the other hand, the salmon was quite disappointing.

photo img_4327a

A very decent ratatouille

photo img_4318a

On the other hand, I was disappointed with these fried noodles which were tasteless and hardly fried at all.

photo img_4320a

I did not try this "quiche piperade".

photo img_4319a

Soft and low-alcohol drinks are of the standard kind.

photo img_4321a

I won’t comment on the wines, being incompetent in this matter.

photo img_4313aphoto img_4323a

It took me a long time to find a table which would be available AND close to a power port.

photo img_4322a

You could doubt from the samples in this lounge that there is a dairy industry at all in France,.

photo img_4324a

The extensive French cheese culture has always been alien to Air France: never expect anything more than these honorable but eventually boring Cantal and Jura fruité cheeses. (Hey, Air France, when will you realize that there are some 400 different kinds of cheese in France ?)

photo img_4325aphoto img_4326a

These Opera cakes were delicious

photo img_4328a

The lounge gradually filled up ; it did not become overcrowded but became slightly too noisy to my liking.

photo img_4330a

I have seen two tables reserved for PRM, including one being rightfully used .

photo img_4331a

There was actually a much quieter area if you turned left just after the welcome counter. It was nearly empty possibly because there was little signage and because turning right was visually natural. There was no catering in that section, which helped reducing its attractiveness and therefore the number of passengers there.

photo img_4332a

A model of Airbus’ future trijet in Air France livery

photo img_4336a

The above corridor led to various facilities

photo img_4333aphoto img_4334a

A central pillar with a changing light decoration

photo img_4303aphoto img_4338a

Collective rest area

photo img_4339aphoto img_4341a

And individual booths closed with simple drapes – I saw only one passenger in them because it was the middle of the day.

photo img_4340b

Clarins treatment space for superficial needs

photo img_4342a

And behind the welcome counter, emergency equipment for vital needs.

photo img_4343a

I left the lounge shortly before the boarding time.
China Eastern A330

photo img_4345a

The surroundings of Gate 42L

photo img_4346a

The 777-200ER was being loaded

photo img_4347a

Boarding began on time: nearly no passengers were queuing ahead of time. (The Japanese are used to traveling light, so nobody would expect space issues in the overhead luggage bins). Few passengers used the automatic BP reading gates: they would rather all use the manual counters, which slowed down the boarding slightly (the family with a stroller had a valid excuse).

photo img_4348a

Scarce newspaper offering on the way to the aircraft

photo img_4349a

An AF A340 seen from the jetbridge

photo img_4350a

MEA A330 and Vietnam Airlines A350

photo img_4351a

The jetbridge was hiding the door

photo img_4353a

Refueling was in progress

photo img_4354a

Going through the Y+ cabin

photo img_4355a

The second Y cabin, when still empty

photo img_4356a

A FA was taking a picture of little girl on her seat there: a friendly touch of welcome.

photo img_4359a

The bulkhead seats in the second Y cabin. I have seen two babies in cribs there during the flight.

photo img_4360a

The duo seats at the rear of the cabin where I had reserved a seat initially.

photo img_4361aphoto img_4362a

It was very cold in the cabin when I arrived, for the simple reason that the rear door was still open for loading the catering. The temperature rose quickly once it had been closed.

photo img_4365a

This was my seat

photo img_4364a

The safety instruction card, both sides

photo img_4366a

A floor plastic cover had been ripped off its position.

photo img_4367aphoto img_4368a

What changed at AF since not so long ago is that there is an operational power port in Economy now, whereas they could not even power my laptop in Business class ten years ago.

photo img_4369a

The seat reclines this much (picture taken shortly after take-off)

photo img_4408a

Boarding continued and young Japanese settled at aisle seat 44J: I was not going to have the entire 3-seat set for my exclusive use. He was probably checked in after me. Oh well, the middle seat remained empty and that was still much better than being in a twin seat with a neighbor, because that empty seat provided space for my belongings (and those of PAX-44J, too)

photo img_4376a

Sometime after boarding was completed, a FA came up. A becoming young blond woman, whose communication was as pleasant as her looks. My status was not going to be ever mentioned, or even alluded to, but these were canonical Platinum greetings:

- You are Mr. Marathon, correct? Is everything all right ?
- Well, there is no particular problem. I would have had rather leave yesterday, but there is nothing you can do about that.
- I see… There are indeed passengers like you on this flight. I’ll see what I can do for you.

The smiling allusion had been received 5 by 5, but this was not the appropriate place or time to discuss about the strike which had cancelled my flight the day before. She came back with an Economy Premium amenity kit: an easy but nevertheless kind give-away.

photo img_4371aphoto img_4372a

- Would you want drinks from the front with your meal ? And if you wish to go to the bar in Business Class…
- It is very kind of you, but I never drink alcohol.
- In that case, I think that the offering in this cabin will be enough.
- Indeed. Could I simply go and take a picture of the wing from the front?
- Of course, there is no problem!

Isn’t this Joon Airbus too large compared to the AF 777 which hides her ?

photo img_4373a

Correct: this was one of the A340s to be operated as part of AF’s service downgrade on long haul routes, seen here during taxiing.

photo img_4384a

We were not there yet, because the captain announced a ten minute delay for pushback due to an extremely narrow take-off slot (quote). Seen here at the end of pushback, this road U-turn has been neutralized about a year and a half ago, lengthening the access to Terminal 2F from Paris (the queue at the kiss and ride of this terminal generated a traffic jam which spread to the entire road access).

photo img_4375a

I do not like this safety demonstration which I find annoyingly fussy, with the result that I try my best to not watch or listen to it – not quite what is expected from passengers.

photo img_4377aphoto img_4381a

Arrival of a LATAM A350

photo img_4386aphoto img_4387a

Air Mauritius A340

photo img_4388a

Ukraine International737

photo img_4389a

Takeoff Runway 09R, after this Easyjet A32x

photo img_4391a

Two AF 777s behind us

photo img_4398a

Next was an Aeroflot A321

photo img_4399a

It was very cloudy, which made plane spotting hopeless due to the lack of light. Just for the record, an Icelandair 757 at Terminal 1.

photo img_4401a

Terminal 2 in the background

photo img_4404a

Two aircraft taxiing in opposite directions to and from the north runways and Terminal 2

photo img_4406a

Terminals 2E et 2F, the realm of AF and its Skyteam partners

photo img_4407a

Distribution of an oshibori and of this menu, printed both sides.

Better warn you that there won’t be much of a geography lesson in this FR, because there have been very few breaks in the cloud cover.

photo img_4411a

Since there was no ground reference, let’s have a look at the airmap, displayed on a good screen (from the size, resolution, and reactivity point of view) which is a healthy change from the “Gameboy screens” that AF kept for much too long in its fleet.

photo img_4412a

Various views are available

photo img_4414a

Like on Finnair, after a short while, the airshow shifts into cyclic mode: this is a design mistake IMO, but it is not as frustrating there as on AY because the touchscreen is very reactive: recovering the "correct” display mode does not take long.

photo img_4413a

On the other hand, the plane’s model "clutters” the screen at all times, especially when you zoom in to try to localize yourself precisely. This is another design error, IMO: there should have been a mode with a simple dot on the trajectory, without the plane’s model..

photo img_4432aphoto img_4433a

The modeling of the aircraft forgot the fuel dump outlet (compare with the above screenshot).

photo img_4434a

This was not going to be the flight for air-to-air pictures: the two aircraft that I saw were much too far away.

photo img_4415aphoto img_4417a

Distribution of a drink (apple juice for me) and snacks

photo img_4420a

But see the difference with my neighbor (above): the FA discreetly gave one extra pack.

photo img_4419a

This small present suffered from rough handling, but the taste remained the same.

photo img_4421a

This is the detailed description of this small present

photo img_4422a

We were now above landscapes that I know by heart from my CDG-ARN shuttles, but there was no way I could see them again.

photo img_4423a

Another discreet Platinum attention: a FA came up to ask what was my choice for the meal and brought it to me before the meal service began for all, in order to guarantee that I would have what I wanted.

photo img_4424a

The same after unwrapping. I had chosen the Japanese option: this was not unforgettable (you can’t expect wonders from a French catering company for a Japanese meal), but nevertheless decent.

photo img_4425a

All this came with a cup of misoshiru that the FA had initially forgotten to offer, probably because she had brought me a lunch tray in advance.

photo img_4429a

The bottle of water had an unlosable cap with a mechanism with less risk of a leak than a traditional screw type.

photo img_4426a

I could not wrap again what was left (a favorite game for me) because the plastic cover of the hot meal was not reusable.

photo img_4430a

One of the few cloudless moments let me see Ventspils (Latvia)

photo img_4436aphoto img_4438a

VNT, a.k.a Ventspils Airport

photo img_4439a

The extremity of the peninsula bounding the Gulf of Riga

photo img_4443a

Estonia’s Ruhnu Island, with the clearing in the forest (top right) betraying the presence of the runway of EERU, its airport.

photo img_4444a

I used the authorization which had been granted to go discreetly through the curtain into the rear of the Business class area in order to take this wing view through the door’s small window.
photo img_4449a

In flight door shot

photo img_4450a

View from the rear of the aircraft

photo img_4451a

Nondescript and expectedly clean toilets

photo img_4453a

And baby care table with a pictogram hinting an expected but irrelevant « women use only » message

photo img_4452a

Only if I had been on the ready would I have caught this plane flying in the reverse direction

photo img_4455a

It was already late in the destination time zone and I sank into sleep, with the help of a 26.2 mile visit of Paris the previous Sunday and all the work emergencies before the flight. The seat did not recline much and I had to tighten the safety belt to not slide down.

I woke up four hours later, in a strangely still fully lit cabin despite this being in the middle of the night. The immigration and customs forms had been placed on the middle seat and I had hardly started filling them when the blond FA came up again.

- Mr. Marathon ? I wanted to see you again after the meal but I saw that you were already asleep. You haven’t been bothered by the light? We did not manage to extinguish it. There was an empty seat in Business class that I wanted to offer you, if you wish.
- This is extremely kind of you; this is an offer which cannot be refused !

A Platinum upgrade! This crew was really set to pampering me. I gathered my belongings, checked three times that I was not forgetting anything because I would otherwise lose the advantage of priority deplaning. A wordless sign by the FA, and I answered the same way: no, I had placed nothing in the overhead bins.

We had a brief chat before she went back to the Economy cabin: she made no mystery that it was due to my courtesy during our initial interactions that she had upgraded me and that she would not have lifted a finger if I had been aggressive about the cancellation of my initial flight. A lesson for other travelers ?

photo img_4459a

The J cabin was in the dark, with most passengers were sleeping: these were not the best conditions to show it to my readers.

photo img_4461a

The IFE screen swivels a little to face the passenger.

photo img_4465a

We were there into the flight

photo img_4462a

I was not sleepy anymore, so I went to see the buffet prepared next to the galley just behind my row.

photo img_4466aphoto img_4467a

I returned to my seat with an ice-cream

photo img_4468a

These toilets are wider than in Economy, but there is no particular decoration.

photo img_4471a

This unusual (to me) changing table swings down onto the toilet seat which doubles as support for it, and no pictogram hints that men travelling in Business class could not use it too.

photo img_4472aphoto img_4473a

Another door shot, in the dark this time.

photo img_4474a

The galley and the Ja cabin from the rear

photo img_4475aphoto img_4476a

The seat in default position

photo img_4478a

And in lie-flat position

photo img_4481a

The so-called "in flight literature" (I doubt it will ever qualify for the Nobel prize for Literature) and the power port are somewhat hidden at the base of the seat.

photo img_4483a

The airshow was the same as in Economy, but on a wider screen

photo img_4487a

The FA went so far as to bringing me a business class amenity kit.

photo img_4488a

The most useful item them is possibly the ball point pen for filling the immigration and customs forms: who can claim he has never been forced to do it after deplaning because he did not have one with him ?

photo img_4489a

The trajectory to KIX is purely theoretical since the North Korean airspace is out of bounds.

photo img_4490a

Another raid to the buffet

photo img_4493aphoto img_4494a

I took a set of three miniature cakes which did not impress me, and a clementine.

photo img_4497a

The changing table is for female use in these toilets!

photo img_4495a

Toilet supplies

photo img_4496a

I was going to be able to take many more pictures of the right hand side reactor than I had expected.

photo img_4498a

The plane started following the zigzags of the complex air route between PEK and KIX: there is a lot of Chinese military airspace to be avoided.

photo img_4502a

This was possibly the first time I was trying an active noise reduction headset (no, I have not invested in one): its efficiency was especially impressive when removing it.

photo img_4504a

An honorable classical music offering

photo img_4505a

I owe to a reader of one of my previous reports the knowledge that this padding on the safety belt is an airbag.

photo img_4506a

The seat belt seemed to be second hand stuff from Amsafe Airlines, or something like that ;)

photo img_4507a

I traveled (not by plane only) to 15 of the 36 cities appearing on this map.

photo img_4511a

Distribution of a tepid oshibori

photo img_4512a

Sunrise on the right hand side reactor

photo img_4513a

Light control and FA calls are done on the IFE screen

photo img_4516a

I did not find how to switch on one of these lights .

photo img_4515a

An FA placed a white napkin on the table (which I find to high with regards to the seat for comfortable use of my laptop, by the way).

photo img_4517a

Flying through the narrow gully between the military airspaces of Dalian and Yantai / Qingdao

photo img_4518a

The sun had risen at cruise level altitude

photo img_4519a

Bread and pastries

photo img_4521a

The breakfast as served.

photo img_4523a

The J cabin in daylight, with a makeshift panoramic view.

photo img_4525_panoa

My seat in the daylight

photo img_4527a

I have seen worse, most recently with Eva Air, but this “window seat” had actually only half of a window. I could not complain about it in these circumstances, but looking at the landscape was actually much less easy than in Y.

photo img_4563a

I had to look for it to find the safety information card.

photo img_4529a

The weather cleared up above Japan.

photo img_4528aphoto img_4530a

Okayama 岡山 (on the right) and the forested peninsula which protects its natural harbor.

photo img_4534a

It was not easy to localize oneself when the airshow tells you that you “somewhere over there"

photo img_4535a

There are fortunately notable civil engineering structures, such as the Seto Viaduct 瀬戸大橋 which links Shikoku to Honshū

photo img_4537a

Teshima Island 豊島 in front of the reactor, and Naoshima Island 直島 in the background. The latter has been made famous by its modern art museums.

photo img_4538a

Ogijima 男木島 and Megijima Islands 女木島, off Takamatsu 高松

photo img_4539a

Goken Mountain 五剣山, west of Takamatsu in the background

photo img_4540a

Takamatsu, on Shikoku Island which was my real destination

photo img_4541aphoto img_4543a

TAK (Takamatsu Airport), at the foot of the mountains.

photo img_4547aphoto img_4549a

Higashikagawa 東かがわ, whose urban sprawl reaches all available flat surfaces between the mountains.

photo img_4551a

The wide valley of the Yoshino 吉野 River

photo img_4554a

The 800 m long Awa Chūō Bridge 阿波中央橋 on the Yoshino.

photo img_4556-2a

This is a ground view

photo img_4988a

Tokushima 徳島, where I would connect between a long distance bus and a local train later that day

photo img_4557aphoto img_4559a

Alignment on KIX: Jinoshima Island 地島 in adverse lighting conditions

photo img_4565a

Imminent landing

photo img_4567a

Full brakes and reverse after touchdown

photo img_4568a

A landing FedEx MD-11

photo img_4569a

And two other ones on the tarmac

photo img_4571a

DHL A300-600

photo img_4572a

The three major Chinese airlines are there (MU, CA and CZ).

photo img_4573aphoto img_4575a

Last turn alongside a Philippines Airlines A330

photo img_4577a

KLM came with a 787

photo img_4578a

And Singapore Airlines with an A330

photo img_4580a

Not only has the in-flight upgrade in J made me bypass all the passengers in Economy, but the Japanese immigration has improved its efficiency somewhat since the last time I landed in KIX, taking the fingerprints and pictures before the passport control itself which is therefore faster.

(Taking the fingerprints of all foreigners entering Japan generated widespread protests thirty years ago within the large Korean community, because in a country where only criminals had their fingerprints recorded, this established a “foreigner = potential criminal” innuendo. Who remembers this now, in the era of biometric passports?)

photo img_4581a

Once I had exchanged a reserve of cash, I still had time until boarding the first long distance bus to Tokushima that I had targeted. That bus makes only a few stops on the expressways. It was typical Japanese efficiency: the luggage was placed in three different holds according to the destinations so that each stop would be as short as possible. There were no more than a dozen passengers on board.

photo img_4585a

In order to reach Shikoku Island after driving through the harbor facilities of Ōsaka and Kōbe, the bus drove through Awaji Island 淡路島, using the spectacular Akashi Kaikyō Viaduct 明石海峡大橋 which has been holding the world record for the span length of a suspended bridge,

photo img_4598b

… and then the much shorter Naruto Viaduct 大鳴門橋 (right).

photo img_4603a

It is interesting precisely because it is relatively short, because Awaji Island blocks the East end of the Inner Sea, with 1,300 m wide straits south of it. At rising or falling tide, 15 km/h currents create spectacular whirlpools there, and they were happening when the bus crossed the bridge.

photo img_4610a

Once arrived in front of Tokushima’s station, I had little time to waste before boarding the local train heading towards Takamatsu 高松, a single diesel powered car on a single rack line. I was not going far: to Bandō 板東 station, close to Temple #1 and to the minshuku 民宿 (traditional family pension) where I had booked my first night.

photo img_4619a

This FR would not be complete without its epilogue: I had reached KIX one day late and AF was not going to get away with it. Two weeks after posting a purely factual claim referencing each applicable section of European Rule CE 261/2004, I received this answer (in French) from “my” AF Customer Relations staff (I did not know I had one…):

(…) In order to lessen the unfavorable impression left by this incident and in application of the applicable regulations, I have the pleasure to send you a 600 EUR compensation. (…)

This really meant: "The applicable regulations require me to send you a 600 EUR compensation, and in order to lessen the unfavorable impression left by the last incident where our bad faith was no match to your tenacity, I have rather give up immediately.”

This is the end of this trip, and the beginning of a much longer one which you can choose to discover in the ensuing bonus: the Shikoku 88 temples pilgrimage. There are people who take nearly two hours to travel 1,200 km by plane, for instance in a 738 like this one approaching KCZ….

photo img_6334a

… and others who take nearly two months to cover the same distance on foot, like this anonymous pilgrim from Tōkyō and like myself.

photo img_6335a

Bonus : Cliquez pour afficher
Afficher la suite


Air France


Air france Lounge - 2E, Hall K


Paris - CDG


Osaka - KIX



For the sake of coherence, I’ll assume that I had a Business class ticket when grading this flight, but I obviously cannot award a grade other than the maximum to the crew.

The seat was comfortable and I can reasonably guess that one sleeps well in it, but I penalize to poor visibility through the window which matters more to me than full access from the aisle.
I did not get to see the dinner in J – it was OK in Y – and the breakfast was decent but not remarkable.
I penalize in the entertainment grade the airshow which reverts to loop mode as soon as you stop playing with it and, worse, which does provide not a precise localization.

I was slightly disappointed by the lounge at CDG: the main room was somewhat noisy, the windows provided a worthless outside view and there were few seats close to power ports. I was not impressed by the catering. Apart from that, there was an ample supply of newspapers and magazines and the internet access was OK.

Going through the security check was very fast (my status provided the same experience as a hypothetical passenger in J), but the passport control between Terminals 2E and 2F was understaffed even though there were few passengers.
When neither Air France nor French Railways are on strike (I had to wait for one day for that !), the accessibility of CDG only suffers from the poor comfort of the RER –B and also from its limited speed due to the many stops in the suburbs.
I penalize the services because no FIDS was displaying information on flights departing from other terminals (it was my fault if I went to the wrong one, but I had to go to an information counter to check the location). Worse, I had reached the airport well in advance as all airlines recommend it and my flight was not yet on the FIDS of CDG-2 station.

The fluidity upon arrival in KIX has become nearly correct thanks to extra staff and machines at the immigration.
My luggage was already waiting for me and the connection to internet is fast and efficient in the terminal.
Despite the distance from the city, the accessibility of KIX by public transport means is excellent, both by train and by bus.

Informations sur la ligne Paris (CDG) Osaka (KIX)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 13 avis concernant 1 compagnies sur la ligne Paris (CDG) → Osaka (KIX).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Air France avec 7.5/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 11 heures et 43 minutes.

  Plus d'informations

8 Commentaires

  • Comment 449438 by
    pokcay 69 Commentaires

    Great report , Marathon!

    I've always liked the way you tell the story.

    While the experience of getting the flight cancelled was a bummer, i guess the service of the aircrew made up for it.

    Always loved Japan, and would love to travel to Tokushima one day

    • Comment 449446 by
      marathon GOLD AUTEUR 9787 Commentaires

      With the aircrew service, the in-flight upgrade, the monetary compensation and the fact that I could manage arriving one day late, this flight cancellation was overall a very good deal. Other passengers could rightfully think otherwise.
      Tokushima is somewhat off the beaten track, but beware if you target the mid-August Awa Odori dance festival : all accommodations are booked many months in advance !
      Thanks for your comment !

  • Comment 449473 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5529 Commentaires

    If ever there were a report that deserved a 10/10 for cabin crew, this is certainly it! Truly outstanding service to give such VIP treatment in Y. When AF crews are good, they are amazing and the way they handled this situation really helps to make up for the inconvenience of the cancellations due to the strike. While top tier status pax often get special treatment, I believe this is exceptional and not typical. I've top tier status in two alliances and have gotten special treatment similar to what you describe here in Y before (Amenity kits and drinks/catering items from J, etc), but an onboard upgrade is truly exceptional.

    Though I read the report thoroughly, I couldn't find an explanation regarding switching from the duo seats to a 3-seat row. I assume the reason was to have an empty seat in the middle, which is great!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 449482 by
      marathon GOLD AUTEUR 9787 Commentaires

      I fully appreciated then and now the exceptional nature of this upgrade, and that made it all the more enjoyable.
      I agree with you : AF has exceptional staff (on the ground too) whose outstanding work is unfortunately ruined by a tiny minority of their colleagues.

      About the seat assignment: there were probably fewer duo seats in this aircraft than there were passengers who had booked one on that flight or that of the day before. AF did their best to accommodate them all, and I eventually got a better deal with that empty middle seat.

      Thanks for your comment !

  • Comment 449527 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 48 Commentaires

    Well to be honest, a good report. BUT you have to be happy with lounge food anyway!

    It is a LOT better than what AIR CANADA gives you, at least there is a piece of meat, can;t believe they even serve you salmon and dessert!!

    People in Europe, Australia, and Asia should be satisfied, what you got in North America, is MISERABLE

    • Comment 449530 by
      marathon GOLD AUTEUR 9787 Commentaires

      Europe and the Far-East are my favorite destinations for both work and leisure; reading Flight Reports convinced me that lounge food is a good reason to never venture to North America :)
      Thanks for stopping by !

  • Comment 449774 by
    socalnow 979 Commentaires

    Thank you for this lovely report Marathon. It was at the same time very informative, humorous, and educational. I am pleased to see the misfortune of a one day flight delay turn into such a windfall.

    The "A becoming young blond woman, whose communication was as pleasant as her looks" provided exceptional service and is a great asset to Air France.

    The story of the Shikoku 88 temples pilgrimage is inspiring and impressive.

    The "Delta Airlines 757 in Skyteam livery" looks like Delta Air Lines 767-300ER, N175DZ . ;)

    Thank you again for this excellent reading experience. Happy flying.

    • Comment 449801 by
      marathon GOLD AUTEUR 9787 Commentaires

      I fully realize that for some (many?) passengers, reaching destination one day late because of a cancelled flight spells disaster (because they needed to attend a business meeting or a wedding, e.g.), or at least a major logistics hassle.This was not my case this time and I was more than adequately compensated for the inconvenience. All in all, it was a unique flight experience introducing a unique travel experience at destination :)

      Thanks for your comment, including the correction of my plane identification mistake (sigh...;) !

Connectez-vous pour poster un commentaire.