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Topic: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-06 09:22:42 and read 12979 times.

Bonjour readers, and welcome to another short haul intra Euro report on Air France/KLM.

A good friend of mine moved to France earlier this year, and we’d been discussing plans for me to come and visit - who wouldn’t be up for a short trip to the South West of France at the end of October? From what she had told me, it all sounded lovely. The weather in London has been far from pleasant in recent weeks, although it’s not been that cold for this time of year. Nevertheless, I was pleased to be out of the city for a couple of days.

PLANNING

I got quite excited when travel options were being considered. My ultimate destination, Azille, was nowhere near any major airports which meant I had several options. The closest option was flying directly into Carcassonne but given that only FR would be able to carry me there from London, I immediately said “non” ! I don’t fly with Ryanair anymore.

I ended up settling for an Air France/KLM Skyteam combo which allowed me to fly LHR - CDG on the ATR72, then down to Toulouse on an A321. I would meet my friend in TLS. The return flight would be on KLM on an EM190 and after a short stop (more on that later) in AMS, a 738 back to LHR.

I was giddy with glee at the prospect of flying on a prop out of LHR - never having done this before. It would also make a huge contrast with the last LHR - CDG flight that I did in August, which was on the AF A380.

Ah memories….



This report will feature only the LHR - CDG - TLS sectors.

PRE-DEPARTURE

It was also the last weekend that the ATR72 was scheduled to operate the LHR -CDG route according to the Air France website so as the day before departure arrived and OLCI opened, I was pleased to see the flight was still due to be operated by the ATR.

Air France welcomed me to OLCI so I obliged and felt happy that my trip to France was about to begin.

Some 8 hours after completing OLCI however, I received another email from Air France telling me that my ATR flight had been cancelled and they had re-booked me onto a later flight that day.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

A wave of grumpiness set in, and after getting over the shock that my little ATR flight was to be no more, I also noticed that my connection time in CDG had been reduced to just one hour.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?

Although I’ve not transferred flights at CDG before, I have flown in an out of CDG many times and read several horror stories about transit experiences there. The possibility of actually being able to transfer to another flight in just on one hour filled me with dread. A quick call to Air France and I asked to be rebooked onto an earlier flight leaving LHR. There were plenty of seats available and the lovely lady on the phone happily changed my booking which meant I now had 3 hours to make the next flight down to TLS - phew!

Now why would they deliberately book me on a flight that gave me less time to connect there? I thought this was a bit dumb of Air France, but clearly they were far more optimistic than I was at getting through from 2E to 2F in time.

BYE BYE LONDON

I was out at LHR T4 pre-dawn, which actually made it feel like the middle of the night. I really hate when the days here get shorter *sigh*.

Check in for Air France/KLM flights was busy - in fact so busy that there was a considerable queue to check in bags. I had second thoughts about checking in anything at this point, but I had liquids which were over the limit which were presents, so that left me with no option but to check the bag in (I was later to regret this decision). The line moved faster than I thought was ever possible, and soon I was on my way through security and into the lounge for something to wake me up.

The lounge affords nice views of arrivals onto 27L, but as it was still pitch black, all I could see was the growing line of lights that were forming as LHR started to come to life in the early morning.

A couple of coffees later, and I was getting restless, so had a short wander around to see what was on stand.

Kenya Airways 772 at the gate



Royal Brunei 772 next door, having arrived from Bandar Seri Begawan and Dubai. I call this the “Brisbane Express“, as my mother always uses this flight to visit me here from Australia.



There were a few nightstoppers as well, including a CO 757 but I was unable to get any pics. Although I love night photography, it’s always a challenge trying to get a decent shot through glass, sans tripod and where there is lots of reflection. Grrrrr.

Departures from T4 this morning before us included a KL 738 to AMS and an AZ 320 to Milan.

Instead of being confronted with the nice little lines of an ATR72, this was what would take me to Paris this morning



Another angle with the CO 757 in the background



Not quite what I was hoping for - yet another A319. However, on the plus side, it was my first AF 319 and at least I had plenty of time to connect in CDG.

Sat 30 October 2010
AF1081
LHR - CDG
A319
F-GRXL
Flight time: 50 mins
Seat: 18F

By the time I got to the gate, the flight was boarding and the load today looked quite light.

Today was the last day of service for BA 757s and I was hoping to spot “CPET” just one last time. Of course, I never expected to but more on that shortly.

Couldn’t see a thing as the aircraft had nightstoppped meaning the windows were covered with condensation. Bugger. Here’s the view as we pushed back and taxied out. I noticed in Mark’s (BA319-131) report of his flights on the same day, the view from his BA 734 was pretty much the same at LGW!



For some reason, departures had been switched to 27L, so it was only a short taxi to the end of the runway for our little A319. The cabin was nice and clean inside, cloth seats and I had the seat next to me that was empty - always a bonus!

Just before turning onto 27L, an old friend was there to wave us goodbye. Goodbye 757 I said as we started our take off roll. At least by now it had started to get light and looked like it would be a nice day in London today - ironic when I was trying to escape the yukky weather we’d been having.



Up and away passing T5



Who’s that down there? Hello CPET - and goodbye. Looks like she was being pushed back for her first rotation for her last day of service. Well, if you’ve read a number of reports on here lately such as BA319-131 and FlyingFinn76‘s reports, you’ll know what CPET was up to on 30 October.



Heading west, over Windsor before commencing a gentle left turn



In a bygone era, the London - Paris route evoked glamour and prestige. These days, it’s about as ho hum as flying gets. Many trips to Paris these days I do via Eurostar which is usually met with a “Wash your mouth out - why are you not flying?” response from my good avia friend in the US.

Air France catering today (see what I mean - nothing “glama” about this at all).



However, having said that, the crew on the flight were friendly and the captain also made a couple of announcements which were well received (by me at least, everyone else seemed to be snoozing). This included the young gentleman in front of me (who I actually thought was a woman originally because he had long flowing hair -oops) who spent most of the flight with his seat reclined. Nice and cosy - just how I like to fly….not but I guess you can’t really do anything about it.

In a sick kinda way, I quite like the fact that a number of LCCs do not allow seats to recline!

Some nice early morning view as we climbed higher and out passing the English coastline below



Climbing higher



Unfortunately, the weather in Paris was expected to be rainy, and boy was the captain right.

After a short time, we were descending (barely enough time to eat the rather dry and cold croissant!) into CDG. Getting closer, it was clear that the weather was less than sunny in Paris today.



We landed on one of the southerly runways, and a relatively short taxi later, were at the gate.



Welcome to France!



No real negative observations of note of my first AF 319 flight. It was on time, crew were friendly and we get to CDG safely. Food offerings were a bit miserly but I'd already eaten in the lounge so I was not hungry. Can’t ask for too much more these days. Thumbs up for this one.

I waited for most pax to leave before heading out and looking for the signs to Terminal 2F. I had less hassle than I envisaged although some of the signage at CDG is very poor, in my opinion.

Having found my way to 2F, I then had to wait, and wait and wait until the departures board listed my next flight to Toulouse Blanca (TLS). Because of the way 2F is designed, you need to know precisely which gate, as there are separate security check points for each of the 2 concourses that comprise 2F. A good design? I couldn’t really see the reason for this duplication but I am no design expert.

Sat waiting landside for the gate to appear, I was deeply depressed by the fact that when sitting, the way in which the building was designed meant that you couldn’t actually see anything through the port holes.

What‘s this? A wall with some holes not very well positioned !



Finally the Gate came up so I headed to the relevant concourse, hoping for better views. Sadly I was to be disappointed. All that glass and not a decent vantage point in sight. Have I missed something here? I got bored waiting at the gate so took a pic of the colourful seats.



And the view out of the window. Can’t see any aircraft? Well they were all there - lots of Air France narrow bodies - A320/321s, 318s as well as a nice 330 parked at the other concourse at 2F but it was impossible to get a decent photo of anything, including my own A321 down to TLS.



Sat 30 October 2010
AF7794
CDG-TLS
A321
F-GTAO
Flight time: 1 hr 20
Seat: 28A

In contrast to the last flight, this one was destined to be packed full. As the departure time approached, the gate area became very crowded and people started lining up in front of the podium a good 30 mins before we actually started boarding. I find such behaviour to be quite odd given that everyone had reserved seats. The plane is not going to leave any faster if you line up!

It also became apparent that this flight should have been renamed the “Air France Creche” given the number of unaccompanied minors on the flight - a whole army of children aged between about 8 - 11 turned up wearing their UM status around their necks. I’ve never seen so many unaccompanied kids on a flight before - do the French send their children like this around the country all the time?



As the aircraft was late arriving, we were 25 mins late boarding, and the gate area by this time represented a scene from some kind of mass evacuation - people loitering everywhere, some queuing, some not, kids screaming, people staring at their phones, some reading the paper…….

At last we were ready to go, and after boarding, this was the view from my seat - new colours A320. Are they new colours….really? Kinda like from the AZ school of rebranding. Must be a Skyteam thing?



Finally, I also got a nice view of this A330 in the old-new colours. Very nice. I am a big fan of the 330, despite some of the negative press surrounding it, particularly at the time of the Air France crash last year.



A short taxi later, and after a manual safety demonstration from the crew, we were off to TLS.

Heading for the runway



Leaving terra firma



Good bye Paris - which actually had improved weather wise by the time we departed (typical - always my luck)

Some autumnal colours as we head out of Paris



A few views of Paris on climb out - which by now was covered with only puffy white clouds!



A little further on, still climbing



No entertainment of any kind on this flight - a short drinks and snack service was completed by the crew, who, like my earlier flight, were pleasant and friendly. The captain also gave us some interesting flight information and our expected arrival time in TLS. I was disappointed that there was no moving map so I had no idea where we were - I assumed we pretty much made a straight line for TLS.

The weather steadily improved the further south we flew - yay.



Some pics as we got closer to TLS. Again, some nice rustic, autumnal colours on the ground.



Another view as we get closer to our arrival destination



All avia fans know that TLS is the home of Airbus so I was excited to see what might be on the ground there about to be delivered. Sinking closer and closer, I was lucky to get a view of some new A380s which were still being completed. A couple of LH and a SQ 380 on the ground. Great stuff!



Touchdown - Welcome to Toulouse Blagnac



The main terminal building with a few Air France, EZY and surprisingly for me, an Air Austral 772.



A nice sign, reminding us that we’re at Toulouse Blagnac



Some of the Airbus action on the other side of the airport. Never seen these guys fly before, but a few days later, I watched one land. Quite impressive but so ugly. Uggh.



Air Austral F-OMAY, getting ready to depart to Reunion



With an Aigle Azure A320 in the background



We’d arrived, albeit 25 mins late. That ended my journey with Air France. What can I say? I managed to get to Toulouse, did not misconnect at CDG and the flights were pleasant. That was pretty much how I’d sum up my flights on Air France.

Then I had a message over the PA, along with 5 other customers that they needed to speak to Air France baggage services in the terminal. Oh oh…

It turned out that Air France, despite having 3 hours to transfer my bag to the TLS flight, seemingly found this task impossible and had therefore sent my bag on the next flight. Nice going Air France.

I thought this was completely laughable (given how worried I had been about me missing the connection in CDG - not my bag!). Immediately, I could not understand how they managed to get it so wrong.

What I would say is that Air France managed to redeem itself in two ways (a) they told me in advance that my bag was not going to be at the bag reclaim area which meant I was not waiting and waiting and (b) the very nice lady working at their baggage office was so pleasant, it was hard not to be frustrated. She was lovely although she had no idea where I was staying when my friend gave her the address for the bag to be sent to! She handed me a Skyteam emergency pack containing the essentials and told me the bag would be delivered early the next day (although it actually turned up that evening which was even better).



I ended up meeting my friend in TLS as planned and had a couple of lovely days in the Languedoc-Roussillon region.

A few pics that I took over the weekend -

Carcassonne



View from the old city/castle in Carcassonne



Narbonne Cathedral



Gruissan - just before a powerful storm passed through



Minerve and surrounds



Even the grape vines are changing colour



Thanks for reading, and of course, any comments are appreciated.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2010-11-06 10:37:26 and read 12711 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Nice report and pictures, thanks for posting.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Some 8 hours after completing OLCI however, I received another email from Air France telling me that my ATR flight had been cancelled and they had re-booked me onto a later flight that day.

- I too tried to get on this flight last year, the expected 72 got changed for a F100.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I have flown in an out of CDG many times and read several horror stories about transit experiences there. The possibility of actually being able to transfer to another flight in just on one hour filled me with dread

- Indeed, it's just not worth the risk, even without checked baggage!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Couldn’t see a thing as the aircraft had nightstoppped meaning the windows were covered with condensation. Bugger. Here’s the view as we pushed back and taxied out. I noticed in Mark’s (BA319-131) report of his flights on the same day, the view from his BA 734 was pretty much the same at LGW!

- Looks like your window is much better than mine was  
Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
In a sick kinda way, I quite like the fact that a number of LCCs do not allow seats to recline!

- I agree with you. When travelling in Y I don't relicne my seat, even on a longhaul, I think I should start to as those in front always do it to me!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Finally the Gate came up so I headed to the relevant concourse, hoping for better views. Sadly I was to be disappointed. All that glass and not a decent vantage point in sight. Have I missed something here?

- CDG is quite sad, very few good spotting/viewing points airside.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
It turned out that Air France, despite having 3 hours to transfer my bag to the TLS flight, seemingly found this task impossible and had therefore sent my bag on the next flight. Nice going Air France.

- Amazing, just part of what you were trying to avoid!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
What I would say is that Air France managed to redeem itself in two ways (a) they told me in advance that my bag was not going to be at the bag reclaim area which meant I was not waiting and waiting and (b) the very nice lady working at their baggage office was so pleasant, it was hard not to be frustrated. She was lovely although she had no idea where I was staying when my friend gave her the address for the bag to be sent to! She handed me a Skyteam emergency pack containing the essentials and told me the bag would be delivered early the next day (although it actually turned up that evening which was even better).

- Pretty good recover by AF, actually I'm impressed.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-06 11:20:53 and read 12597 times.

Hi Mark

Thanks for your comments. I had heard that the ATR flight was often substituted, but it seemed to be operating relatively frequently in the weeks leading up to Oct 30, so I thought I was safe ! No such luck.

Like you, I rarely recline my seat in Y, even in long haul flights, because I am always concerned that the person behind me will be uncomfortable so I tend to leave it up - or if I do recline, it's only a very slight recline. I can't sleep anyway so to me the amount of recline makes no difference!

Yes, AF managed to rectify things OK in TLS. My return flights on KLM were so much better, as was the transit in AMS. Even though I was in AMS only 55 mins, they still managed to transfer my bag across to my LHR bound flight. Somehow they managed in 55 mins what AF couldn't do in 3 hours !!!

Cheers P/jet

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: MSS658
Posted 2010-11-06 13:08:21 and read 12370 times.

Nice report, sorry to hear they had cancelled the ATR flight. I always love the feeling in those RJ's when passing the bigger jets (388,744 or even a 767 looks huge from an RJ IMO.)

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: CaptainRed
Posted 2010-11-06 13:26:36 and read 12322 times.

Hi Palmjet, thanks for this report and also for the nice pictures of southern France. I like this part of the country very much. Did you visit the Airbus factory in Toulouse?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
It turned out that Air France, despite having 3 hours to transfer my bag to the TLS flight, seemingly found this task impossible and had therefore sent my bag on the next flight.

Oh well, the bagagge transfer in CDG. The same thing happened to me twice when flying through CDG (out of 3 times). But then, as you have experienced as well, the AF staff always handled the situation quite well and got our luggage delivered to us within the next day.

CaptainRed

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: 767er
Posted 2010-11-06 17:09:42 and read 12100 times.

Hi James,

Yet another outstanding TR.

Love those Autumn colours.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: lychemsa
Posted 2010-11-06 17:49:50 and read 12030 times.

A croissant on LHR / CDG to me is pretty impressive. I remember already in the 1960s when AF served nothing. My aunt told me she flew AF on the same route in 1950 and they had champagne and a wonderful hot meal.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-07 02:14:41 and read 11637 times.

767er - hello! and thank you for your comments. Have you settled back into life after your recent travels?

lychemsa - it would have been passable if the croissant had been fresh, but it tasted like it had been sitting in the galley with the overnighting aircraft !!!

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: VSMike
Posted 2010-11-07 11:01:07 and read 11289 times.

AF & the Skyteam network are masters of the old last-minute aircraft switch'aroo... just as the French are masters of the baguette, the day-old croissant, and a mediocre table wine (let's face it, champagne is the only decent albeit short shelf-life thing to come off a French mountainside since Napeolean on horseback).

Anyhoo... Ive learned that it's best to pack a picnic snack in case you get peckish on short intranet-European flights. I'll bet that lucious long-haired girlyboy sat in front of you had packed some fudge on that flight...? But it's nice to see that you still get a snack on board. We've lost all onboard foodpacking on domestic flights here in the USA.

Presently unbanned,
VSMike

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: 767747
Posted 2010-11-07 15:06:47 and read 11097 times.

Palmjet,

Fantastic report! Really nice pictures, and great views of southern France. Definitely a place I'd like to visit!

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-08 00:30:19 and read 10734 times.

VSMike - your skyteam insights, are, as always, priceless. Glad to have you back again. I'll be packing my own snacks in future for intra Euro flights, although KLM were more generous with the offering of a sandwich on the return flights back to LHR.

767747 - Glad you enjoyed the pics. I really enjoyed the region in South West France - my first time time there. Very relaxing and some gorgeous scenery. Thanks again. P/j

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: JL418
Posted 2010-11-08 00:54:39 and read 10712 times.

Hi Palmjet,

thanks for sharing with us your story, I'm waiting for the return leg. AF did quite well after all, the way they managed your missing bag deserves a virtual applause. I hope their know-how has somehow been transferred to AZ in these years, since the only time I've lost my bag with them (well, the only time I lost my bag at all) it was after a rather horrid ride on a Mad Dog and we were told: "Your bag has been lost, we don't know how and where. Give us your numbers, if you don't get any news from us within 2 days you're eligible for a refund". And off they went.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-08 11:52:03 and read 10409 times.

JL418 - hello I hope you are well. Thanks for your comments. I will look at posting the return trip on KLM.

Yes, certainly in comparison to your story about AZ, they were much better!! What a nightmare to never get your bag back. At least AF knew where my bag was.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: EC001
Posted 2010-11-08 18:49:18 and read 10260 times.

Hi there,

Just dropped by and read you excellent TR.

The photos are especially appealing! well done!

Sorry about AF changing planes   You must've been very disappointed!

Cheers,

Orian

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: flyguy89
Posted 2010-11-08 22:28:27 and read 10218 times.

Great TR thanks for sharing!

It's funny because your experience almost exactly mirrors mine. A few years ago I flew into Toulouse after a connection in CDG. Similarly I also had to wait around for about 2 hours for my flight to appear on the screen before going through security at CDG, which I found irritating. Then when I arrived in TLS I was also called to the front upon disembarking to be told my bag did not make the flight.....kinda funny.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-09 02:48:28 and read 10136 times.

flyguy89 - that's very strange and co-incidental. I wonder if it happens all the time then? At least I know next time I am doing a short haul flight through CDG, I won't check in a bag - just to be safe ! !! Thanks for your post. P/jet

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-11-11 11:04:29 and read 9682 times.

Hi Palmjet,

great report with many nice pictures - I almost missed that one! Too bad you didn't get the ATR 72, maybe next time?

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
The closest option was flying directly into Carcassonne but given that only FR would be able to carry me there from London, I immediately said “non” ! I don’t fly with Ryanair anymore.

Good decision!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):

Air France catering today (see what I mean - nothing “glama” about this at all).

AF's short-haul catering hasn't been changed recently - I got similar stuff many years ago. The long-haul catering is still great, though.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Sinking closer and closer, I was lucky to get a view of some new A380s which were still being completed. A couple of LH and a SQ 380 on the ground. Great stuff!

Nice to see the two LH birds parked side by side. I have never been to TLS, it seems I need to go there one day.


PH

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-11 13:50:44 and read 9632 times.

EC001 - thanks for your comments. I've only just managed to get over the disappointment of not getting the ATR. I guess I'll have to do a French domestic flight to catch it!

Planehunter - hello! Glad you enjoyed the report and pics - as I am always inspired to do a trip report and take pics whilst I am travelling after reading the excellent ones you post on here  

TLS is indeed very interesting. Not that busy on the airport side, although it's nice to see some of the more local AF action, but the other side of the airport is fascinating with all the nearly finished and completed new shiny Airbuses awaiting delivery!

I'd be interested to take a long haul flight with AF, as yes, from reports on here, they seem to offer decent food even in Y, so long as they give me plenty of time to transit at CDG. I hate rushing through airports! Thanks again P/jet

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2010-11-12 02:21:36 and read 9521 times.

This report brings back some memories! True, I've never flown AF from LHR to TLS, but waaaay back in the late '90s I flew BA (well, Air Liberte) LGW-BOD/TLS-LGW two years in a row. We took a trip from Tolouse down to Carcassonne. I remember seeing the castle, as well as lots of FR ads advertising the new STN-CAR route.

Another less fond memory was when I was meant to be flying LCY-CFE-LRH, which got changed to LCY-CDG/ORY-LRH. My bag went AWOL and it took AF 5 days to find it in CDG - completely pathetic. I managed to spend more than my flight's worth on new clothes though, which were refunded very quickly, and was given a nice kit like the one you got and Euro 50 in cash - not too bad.

Pity you never got on the ATR 72, although personally, despite the abundance of A32S, I prefer them over the 'larger' props (e.g. anything with 2x2).

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2010-11-12 12:51:27 and read 9431 times.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 17):
Glad you enjoyed the report and pics - as I am always inspired to do a trip report and take pics whilst I am travelling after reading the excellent ones you post on here

Thanks, I'm pleased to hear that!


PH

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2010-11-14 06:10:25 and read 9239 times.

Hi,

great report on AF. Shame about the missed ATR, would've been a better start. And your bags, indeed not the best performance at CDG, but in general I think CDG isn't that bad as others might say. I really never experienced problems at that airport and also the staff is in general customer minded. Plus, the architecture in T2 is really nice, for my liking. That's personal though.
Great pics, also nice view on the Airbus factory. Would love to read more about your return on KLM. We haven't seen many Emb190 reports on KLM yet, so yours is very welcome.

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-15 05:51:36 and read 9047 times.

Hi Eric, good to hear from you. Thanks for your post. Yes, to get on the ATR out of LHR was one of the main reasons for choosing to fly with AF/KL on this trip so I was mighty depressed when Air France cancelled the flight !

I don't mind flying into CDG, so long as I am not connecting to another flight.

I also like in principle, the use of glass and the overall design of the terminals at CDG, however, 2F is simply useless for avid photographers like me - it's deceptive, because it looks like it would offer some great vantages to photograph aircraft at their gates but it's simply not the case - well I couldn't find anywhere decent.

I will look at doing a short report on the return flight. I did not take too many pics unfortunately as the departure time was 1730 and it was dark for most of the flight. Having said that, I thought the KLM flights were excellent : )

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: BZNPilot
Posted 2010-11-15 09:32:36 and read 8990 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Nice report! Truly a shame you didn't get on the ATR...that's a type I've yet to experience, but would really like to.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I was giddy with glee at the prospect of flying on a prop out of LHR - never having done this before.

I know exactly what you mean, I like the idea of being on little(er) aircraft at big airports. There's also something about props/smaller planes in general that I enjoy more than a typical flight on a 737 or A320...the smaller the plane, the more one can sense the actual aviation that's happening. Oh well, looks like you had some nice flights and a nice time in France anyway.  

Best regards,
BZNPilot

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-18 07:42:07 and read 8810 times.

Gabrielchew - thanks for your comments. I really enjoyed Carcassonne and managed to take a heap of photos. Sounds like your bag had a much worse experience with AF than mine !

BZNPilot - I am very glad to hear there are others out there who also like flying smaller aircraft at larger airports!! Would much rather an ATR than A320  

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2010-11-21 09:49:32 and read 8515 times.

Hi Palmjet, good report you wrote there.

Unfortunate you didn't make the 72. Ah well, always an excuse to try for it again elsewhere someday  

Unfortunate also regarding your luggage. No excuse with a 3hr connection, but i guess the situation was handled in a reasonable way at your destination.

I love the shots you took of Carcassonne. Some lovely colours in Autumn. A favourite time of year for me. Also on the subject of photos, i love the shot of your arrival in CDG with the rain on the window in focus and the out of focus wing and AF plane.

Cheers, Lee

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-22 02:59:02 and read 8371 times.

Hi Lee - glad you enjoyed the report and pics.

Autumn is also a favourite time of the year for me too. Love the change of colours. Yes, the window shot after arriving into Paris pretty much summed it up well in terms of the weather!

I also enjoyed your recent report to Milan on Flybe. Any more trips planned? P/jet

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2010-11-22 09:27:48 and read 8295 times.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 25):
I also enjoyed your recent report to Milan on Flybe. Any more trips planned?

Thanks P/jet. Yea i have a short trip on the horizon. I will be sure to make a report on it for you guys. If i could i think i would spend weeks at a time bouncing around the globe.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Ps76
Posted 2010-11-23 13:12:50 and read 8132 times.

Hello(!),

Just to say many thanks for the report. Was nice to fly with you on Air France (at least in writing) and experience the trip to Toulouse with you. I've also visited Toulouse Blagnac a few times and find it a very pleasant airport with of course the bonus of Airbus manufacturing being located on the field.

Many thanks,

Pierre

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2010-11-25 23:00:19 and read 7869 times.

Hi PJ,

Read this report already a while ago but never get around to commenting on it, sorry 'bout that! But I guess better late than never.

A nice one on your adventures with AF, which pretty much sums up my experiences with AF, CDG and transfering there as well. I like the great autumn colors on your pictures, especially from the destnations.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
I was giddy with glee at the prospect of flying on a prop out of LHR - never having done this before.

Oh, I would be too. Shame about the canceled flight, an ATR ex-LHR would definitely be something out of the ordinary. One flight quite high on my tofly-list is the BMI Express ERJ out of Heathrow, to Aberdeen (or Edinburgh?) I think - that's the smallest plane type operating there on scheduled flights and as such something special...

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Now why would they deliberately book me on a flight that gave me less time to connect there? I thought this was a bit dumb of Air France, but clearly they were far more optimistic than I was at getting through from 2E to 2F in time.

Actually an hour is just about right between 2E and F, as they are just opposite each other connected by a short underground walkway. Of course it doesn't leave much leeway for any delays, though. But for luggage, definitely not enough time, even three hours isn't enough at CDG as you unfortunately had to learn the hard way...

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
At least by now it had started to get light and looked like it would be a nice day in London today - ironic when I was trying to escape the yukky weather we’d been having.

Oh yes, as proved by my and Mark's reports on G-CPET later that day the day turned out to be a rather gorgeous autumn day!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
Who’s that down there? Hello CPET - and goodbye. Looks like she was being pushed back for her first rotation for her last day of service. Well, if you’ve read a number of reports on here lately such as BA319-131 and FlyingFinn76‘s reports, you’ll know what CPET was up to on 30 October.

Hey, thanks for the honorable mention!   And yes, nice to see the good old girl pushing back for MAN, the return sector of which we were flying!

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
A good design? I couldn’t really see the reason for this duplication but I am no design expert.

Well, it's CDG. And French. That pretty much sums it up. Architecturally it might look good, but for practicality, zero points.

Quoting Palmjet (Thread starter):
It turned out that Air France, despite having 3 hours to transfer my bag to the TLS flight, seemingly found this task impossible and had therefore sent my bag on the next flight. Nice going Air France

Welcome to CDG! Happened to me as well, although on shorter connections though.

Actually CDG is the only airport I've ever been to where the bus driver driving us from the plane to the terminal got lost! We drove 10 minutes towards some random direction, then full braking which had people falling down, some rapid-fire French over the driver's radio, U turn and ten minutes towards the opposite direction until finally arriving to the door where we were supposed to be arriving! Only in CDG.

Hope you post a report about the return journey as well.

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-26 10:00:22 and read 7736 times.

FlyingFinn76 - Hi there! yes, better late than never  

Thanks for your comments.

I totally agree with your summary of CDG. It was so frustrating - I could not get a decent picture of anything in 2F. Amazing to hear that your bus driver got lost at CDG - it certainly does not seem hard to get lost that's for sure.

I very much enjoy your reports - please keep them coming!

I will indeed be doing a return trip report on KLM.

Ps76 - thank you for your comments and glad you enjoyed the report too.

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2010-11-28 09:31:57 and read 7511 times.

Hey, PJ,

really nice pictures from Southern France and also a interesting story.
Despite the fact that they dont send the scheduled ATR, it seems AF going ok on you´re flights.
And the bag issue sounds like well handled.

Something more from TLS a couple of days prior to you´re trip coming up soon from my hand.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics)
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2010-11-29 11:22:51 and read 7371 times.

Hey Markus - thanks for your comments on this sector too. Looking forward to reading about your trip to TLS. Cheers P/j


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