LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1721 posts, RR: 17 Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 18705 times:
Hello fellow a.nutters! This is my second trip report on the TR forum. My previous TR didn't come out very well, mostly because of bad planning and a really bad camera. Luckily i have learned from my mistakes, i've planned the report a couple of weeks in advance and i have also bought a new camera. I decided to split this report in to two parts because of the big amount of pics.
A couple of months back i had been planning a trip in the summer for me and a friend. The first choice was week in Shanghai on LX, unfortunately my friend didn't want to go to Shanghai because of the 12 hour flight (he hates flying). After many long discussions we decided just to go on a weekend trip to Prague. Since the trip to Prague was way under my budget i had some money over, i decided to go to visit my family and relatives in Casablanca, Morocco, after all i hadn't met them in more that 18 months. I booked the flight on AF's web site the day before the fares got higher. On this journey i will fly on all the planes in the A320 family.
The journey begins
It was the 17th of June 2008, the day my three week long trip to Morocco begins. I woke up around 6am, one hour earlier than i actually needed, i had only slept for six hours and i was kept awake by the excitement.
Today we take to the skies!
My baggage for this trip.
I was supposed to take the 10.25 bus to ARN but i was too inpatient to wait at home until then so i took the 8.20 bus instead. The bus trip took 90 minutes, i slept for most of that time.
The legroom on the coach was very tight and the seats felt cramped.
Flight nr: AF 2063 ARN-CDG
Duration: 2h 40m
Aircraft and reg: Airbus A321-211 F-GTAI
Seat: 10F Economy
I arrived at 9.50, i took out my suitcases from the hold and headed straight to the self Air France e-services baggage drop counter. There was no line at the counter, since i had printed out by boarding pass online i asked the agent if he could print out a two regular ones, but he refused. After having dropped off my baggage i decided to go to the "resting" area in SkyCity, where i slept for two hours.
View from the "resting" area.
After having slept for two hours it was time for some spotting.
A KL 738 and a TG 744
SAS Star Alliance A330 heading for EWR.
SAS and LH tails
A SAS RJ 85 headed for LCY
MH 777 9M-MRM headed for KUL
Blurry pic of the new concourse at ARN
After an hour or so of spotting my ride arrived from CDG, so i decided to head to the gate.
As a matter of fact this was my second ever flight on an A321, the first time on a CFM powered.
Boarding started at 14.15 and i was one of the first passengers to board. The load on today's flight was around 90-95%.
My seat for this flight.
The legroom was pretty good, nothing to complain about.
The cabin while boarding.
We pushed back on time and we began our long taxi to runway 03.
We taxied by the SAS Technical Services hangar, there was an A340 inside and there were a couple of sad looking Q400s parked in the rain outside.
Take off roll begins.
Climbing out of ARN. Note the heavy rain pour in the background.
Breaking trough a thick layer of rain clouds.
Clear blue skies.
AF still provide their passengers with proper meals served on trays on flights longer that 2,5 hours. The main reason to why i fly with them is because of their excellent meal service. On SAS you wouldn't even get a meal like this in economy extra, you get a two course meal box instead. I really hope that AF intends to keep this kind of meal service, but the high petroleum prices is a big threat.
20 minutes after take off the leading F/A served me my pre ordered Muslim meal, that turned out to be a crappy low calorie meal.
The meal was a 3 course cold meal consisting o a starter, main and dessert.
The starter was a salad with cabbage, apple, lettuce and a cherry tomato.
The main consisted of cold cuts of turkey breast with red lettuce, cucumber, yellow paprika and cherry tomatoes.
The dessert was a fruit cocktail with mango, mandarin and grapes.
The meal was not as good as i had expected, so when the meal service for the rest of the pax started, i told the F/A that i didn't like my meal and i asked if i could send it back. She replied: Of course, it's not a big deal, she then showed me the regular meal which was much better.
The starter was a Greek salad with olives and feta cheese.
The main consisted of pepper marinated salmon fillet with pesto penne pasta and red lettuce.
The dessert and cheese was a miniature Sacher chocolate cake and Président Camembert Brie.
The meal was fantastic! It was one of the best meals I've ever had onboard an airplane. After the meal the F/As served coffee and tea. Despite the fact that i was feeling stuffed after eating almost 2 meal trays i still managed to get a cup of coffee.
After having rested my stomach it was time for a mandatory visit to the lavatory, there was a long line to the lav, so to pass the time i took a pic of the cabin.
A very bright pic of the cabin. I had some trouble with the expo.
There were fewer amenities than what i had expected, only soap.
When i went back to my seat the descent into CDG started.
Close up on the reversers, i really like the look of the reversers on Airbus planes with CFM engines.
Taxi to terminal 2F. This was supposed to be a nice view of terminal, but the Cobus 3000 ruined it.
Cabin view while de-boarding
I was one of the last passengers to disembark, as i got out of the plane i thanked the leading F/A for the excellent service.
Walking down through the famous CDG glass jetways.
When we reached the exit an unpleasant surprise waited.
The doors that were leaded to the transit area had jammed. The people in the front tried to bang on the doors, but that didn't seem to help. After five minutes a female agent arrived, the tried to push the emergency open buttons but that didn't seem to help. Next came a couple of male agents they tried to unlock them with the keys to the doors, but that didn't seem to help either. At this point the hall way was full of people, there were people as far as my eyes could see.
Each and every time some one came to the rescue a bunch of drunken Germans started cheering. The atmosphere was really bad, it was hot and sweaty, people shouting and children crying.
At last five armed airport security officers came to the scene, after a lot of struggling they maneged to open the doors, in the next second people were rushing to the doors to come out. After the small incident with the doors i walked out to the transit area. Since my layover in CDG was around four hours i decided to take a walk around the terminals.
I've had some really bad experiences with AF's Planet Blue.
Transit area at the new terminal 2E
Check in counters at the new terminal 2E
After having walked around for an hour i was getting really tired and sweaty, so i decided to head to my gate at 2F
The famous glass roof of 2F, the glass roof made 2F feel hot and humid just like the inside of a greenhouse.
An AF A340-313X heading to Luanda.
The famous A330/340 nose and engines close up.
Flight nr: AF 1696 CDG-CMN
Duration: 3h 5m
Aircraft type and reg: Airbus A318-111 F-GUGA
Seat: 12A Economy
The Baby Bus that is going to take me to my final destination Casablanca.
The load on today's flight to Casablanca was around 80%
Walking down to the plane through the glass jetway.
Entering the Baby bus.
View of the cabin from my row.
The legroom on this flight was not as good as on the first flight.
I really like shape of the Airbus windows, they're much nicer than the 737 windows.
What's up with with this A321?
Turning on to the runway.
During the take off an ERJ-135 landed parallel. Chasing that plane looked almost like chasing a fast race car.
The Baby bus made a steep climb.
Above the clouds.
Shortly after reaching cruising altitude the sun started to set.
Around 30 minutes after take off the F/A's began the meal service. On this flight a cold meal was served aswell.
The starter was a cucumber and tomato salsa.
The main consisted of a fennel marinated piece of cod and potato puré with a sun dried tomato.
The dessert and cheese was an apricot tartlette and Président Camembert Brie cheese.
The meal wasn't as good as on the first flight but i was hungry at the time so i finished the entire meal.
The new cup design. It looks very similar to the plates AF use in International Business Class.
A view into the Tempo Challenge cabin.
The cabin of an A318 is really short.
On the A318 the lavatory is located next to the rear galley.
Since it was pitch black during half of the flight i did not take any pics, well i did but they didn't come out well.
The touchdown was very smooth and we taxied to the new terminal 2 at Casablanca Mohamed V International Airport.
As soon as i got out of the plane i immediately started sweating because of the high temperature and humidity. As i reached immigration i was soaked down in sweat.
The hallway leading to the transit area and immigration.
After clearing immigrations i took the escalator down to the old baggage reclaim in terminal 1. In the same moment that i arrived at the belt my suitcase showed up, now that's great timing.
As soon as i got out i was met by my uncle who then drove me down to Casablanca.
That will mark the end of part I of my journey, stay tuned for the next part where i will review the new T2 at CMN.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment.
What camera did you buy? I have had similar problems with my last trip report. It turns out that the size of my photos are too large to even upload one into my personal storage. This could be because it is a 10 megapixel digital SLR.
Sukhoi From Sweden, joined May 2006, 376 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 17356 times:
Thank you for the trip report the food and the terminal looks great on Air France/ CDG will try them next time if they have a good price and are flying where I´m going. Haven´t flown them for 12 years due to lack of English speaking cabin crew on ARN-CDG-ARN 1996 but my French has improved from zero to be able to order drinks etc on restaurants and I have heard that the AF cabin crew now days speaks English!
Since i'm a cheap person i decided not to put any big sums of money on a camera so i bought a Canon PowerShot A460. It's actually a great camera and it was much better than what i had anticipated. The only downside with it it's that it only has 5 megapixels, but that doesn't bother me much.
Quoting Sukhoi (Reply 4): Thank you for the trip report the food and the terminal looks great on Air France/ CDG will try them next time if they have a good price and are flying where I´m going.
The food really was great on AF, they have never disappointed me when it comes to the food. Besides their intra EU Y product is one of the best (only AY and OS have the same level of service). The fares are very good on AF, i bought my ticket for 3250 SEK which is much cheaper than LH 4600 SEK.
Quoting LY777 (Reply 5): Just, there are no TVs on AF A321/A318? That's weird!!!
The lack of overhead monitors is a big minus, it would have been very nice to have an airshow.
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1721 posts, RR: 17
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16515 times:
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
The good ol F-GUGA, it´s the first ever flown A318, you know?.
Hello Markus. When you say first ever flown you mean first in service right? When i first found out that the a/c was the first one in AF's fleet i first thought that it could might be the first one in service, then i thought that the first one in service could might be from F9. Though it's good to have it confirmed that i flew on the first A318 in service.
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 10): Seems AF offer pretty decent food on longer flights, am quite impressed actually!
The food served on AF short haul was really fantastic, i was quite amazed that they still serve it. Well that's the reason to fly AF i guess.
PlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 576 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 16504 times:
I am really impressed by the meals. Here on South America we don´t get that much in short routes, sandwiches on LAN, and, in Pluna, nothing. Really amazing.
Well, actually, AF, with all the french culinary tradition, HAS to give good food. According to the pictures, they don´t disappoint.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter): The famous glass roof of 2F, the glass roof made 2F feel hot and humid just like the inside of a greenhouse.
Interesting. I´ve never been on CDG T2F, but always marvelled at that spectacular roof in pictures. Of course, I never thought the interior of it would be like a greenhouse.... I guess some things are better in picture that reality.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter): I really like shape of the Airbus windows, they're much nicer than the 737 windows.
I don´t know about the shape, but I don´t like them because of their size. They´re so small! Why didn´t Airbus design their windows a bigger size, like Boeing´s? Hopefully, they´re fix that with the A350XWB
LH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1721 posts, RR: 17
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 15985 times:
Quoting AA767400 (Reply 15): The funny part is you ate the "crappy" meal, and then asked for the regular one. I love it. You were lucky she gave you a regular meal. Most of the time they don't have extras.
Well the meal wasn't that crappy but i had really been looking forward for a nice meal on AF. When i got it i got quite disappointed because it didn't live up to my expectations, the meal was nice since i'm a big fan of salads. When the F/A came around with the rest of the meals i tried to get her attention by giving her a disapointed look. It was very nice of her to give me a regular meal, i guess that the reason to why i got it was that my seatmate had declined his meal so i got his food instead.
Quoting FlySSC (Reply 14): AF operates the B77W on CDG-LAD, not the A343 ... so the aircraft you pictured was probably heading somewhere else ...
No i'm pretty convinced that the A343 was going to Luanda, the screens showed Luanda and there were many Africans waiting at the gate. Maybe it was a temporary equipment change from the usual 77W.